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Xylem Announces Partnership With The Chris Long Foundation

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 7:15pm
Originally published by Water Online

Xylem a leading global water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues, is partnering with The Chris Long Foundation's Waterboys initiative to bring clean and sustainable water to communities in need across the United States. The partnership was announced today during the National Ground Water Association’s (NGWA) 2019 Groundwater Week.

Xylem and Waterboys seek to raise awareness about domestic water issues, including that 1.5 million people in the U.S. lack access to clean, safe drinking water at home. It’s an issue that is particularly acute for lower-income communities in rural areas. Working with Xylem’s acclaimed corporate social responsibility program, Watermark, and activated by the company’s Goulds Water Technology brand, this partnership will deliver a series of water well projects to provide rural communities with reliable, safe water access, which can lead to better overall health and improved quality of life.

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Geronimo Energy Announces Commercial Operation of 200 MW South Dakota Wind Farm

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 7:15pm
Geronimo Energy Announces Commercial Operation of 200 MW South Dakota Wind Farm Geronimo Energy is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid Plc.   Geronimo Energy (Geronimo), a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid Plc (NYSE: NGG), announced today the start of commercial operations for its Crocker Wind Farm (Crocker), a 200 megawatt (MW) wind energy project located in Clark County, South Dakota. Crocker has Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPAs) in place with leading corporations, Walmart and Cargill. The project was built by Wanzek Construction and utilizes GE 2.7-116 wind turbines.    “Crocker coming online represents the culmination of many years of collaboration with the community and has and will continue to bring economic development to rural South Dakota,” said Blake Nixon, Chief Executive Officer for Geronimo Energy. “Crocker is unique in that it is 100% contracted by corporate Virtual Power Purchase Agreements. Increasingly more corporations are making the choice to include renewable energy procurement in their sustainability goals - and Geronimo is proud to be playing a role in our industry’s continued growth and expansion into corporate power purchasing.”   Geronimo began working with local landowners to develop Crocker with the intent to positively impact its local and state host communities. Crocker is estimated to have provided hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact throughout the development and construction phases, including job creation, increased local spending, and capital infrastructure improvements. In the first 20 years of operation, the project is anticipated to further benefit the economy with tens of millions in tax revenue, landowner payments, and new full-time job creation, as well as $800,000 in charitable funding.   “Sourcing from wind energy projects – like the Crocker Wind Farm – brings Walmart closer to our goal to be supplied by 50 percent renewable energy by 2025,” said Mark Vanderhelm, Vice President of Energy for Walmart. “The energy we’ll procure from this facility represents a significant step in our renewable energy journey.” 

“We’re excited to see the Crocker Wind Farm begin operations,” said Peter Dahm, Cargill’s Sustainability Director for Operations and Natural Resources. “Not only will the wind farm play a vital role in helping us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we’re also proud of the positive impact it will have on the Clark county community and helping local landowners diversify their source of income.” 

About Geronimo Energy

Geronimo Energy, a National Grid company, is a leading North American renewable energy development company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with satellite offices located throughout multiple states in the regions where it develops, constructs, and operates. As a farmer-friendly and community driven company, Geronimo develops projects for corporations and utilities that seek to repower America’s grid by reigniting local economies and reinvesting in a sustainable future. Geronimo has developed over 2,400 megawatts of wind and solar projects that are either operational or currently under construction, resulting in an investment of over $4 billion in critical energy infrastructure and revitalization rural economies. Geronimo has a vast development pipeline of wind and solar projects in various stages of development throughout the United States. Please visit www.geronimoenergy.com to learn more.

Contact
Lindsay T. Smith
Geronimo Energy
7650 Edinborough Way, Suite 725
Edina, MN 55435
952.988.9000

Specsavers Uses HPE Greenlake to Expand Eye Disease Diagnostics and Serve More Patients

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 7:15pm

 Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced its collaboration with Specsavers utilising the HPE GreenLake platform to support 385 retail stores across Australia and New Zealand.

Specsavers is currently rolling out advanced 3D eye scanning technology to almost every location to help detect eye conditions that could be referred for diagnoses. This new technology generates vast amounts of customer and medical information so IT had to advance quickly to keep pace.

“We’re undergoing a significant transformation in the way our customers interact with us,” says Julian McAll, Head of Technical Services, Architecture and Solution Design for the Asia-Pacific Region at Specsavers. “In turn, IT has to transform to deliver the flexibility, security, and performance that keeps customers coming back.”

Specsavers engaged with strategic service provider, Champions of Change, a HPE partner, who introduced HPE GreenLake which enables Specsavers to scale up or down the storage capacity without an upfront technology investment and improve the performance of their applications.

“It’s a move toward agility that we’ve never experienced before and aligns to our transformation strategy” reports McAll. “With HPE GreenLake, Specsavers can continue to roll out new customer experiences and scale to meet demand without regard to hardware needs.”

Learn more about how HPE helped Specsavers with their vision for the future of eye health here

Aflac Brings 2019 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball to Pediatric Cancer Patients

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 7:15pm

 Aflac, a leader in supplemental insurance sales at U.S. worksites and a committed corporate ally of families facing childhood cancer, today announced its national partnership with this year's highly anticipated holiday concert series, iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour. The series connects music lovers across the country with Aflac's ongoing "Aflac Isn't" marketing campaign.

As an added benefit, Aflac recently collaborated with Musicians On Call and artists from iHeartRadio Jingle Ball's star-studded lineup to host an exclusive concert for pediatric cancer patients in Atlanta and Washington, D.C., who are unable to leave the hospital, bringing a piece of the annual tradition to them.

"Since 'Aflac Isn't' launched in January, our company remains steadfast in its mission to forge unique and meaningful relationships with consumers through the world's most renowned music events, and we are excited to close out the year with one of the biggest yet — the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour," said Shannon Watkins, vice president of Brand and Creative Services at Aflac. "As we celebrate the season of joy and giving, we look forward to continuing to educate people about how Aflac doesn't work how they think it does and how we can help Americans with expenses health insurance doesn't cover throughout the holidays. Partnering with the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour is a wonderful opportunity to drive our message home while offering some brave families an unforgettable experience this holiday season."

As part of Aflac's long-term commitment to reach consumers through music, Aflac will help tell the story of how music, like Aflac, is often more than it appears to be. Throughout the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, Aflac will integrate its "Aflac Isn't" messaging into the following music moments:

Aflac will host a "Level Up Lounge" for all parents and chaperones at several concerts, including Dallas/Fort Worth; Minneapolis/St. Paul; New York; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Miami/Fort Lauderdale. The Level Up Lounge will provide a VIP experience available to standard ticket holders with free food and beverages, charging stations, comfortable seating and streaming of the concert. Aflac Isn't trivia will be offered for participants to win prizes to supplement their concert experience.
Parents will also find a "Supplemental Spinner" as part of Aflac's on-site activation in key markets. Participants will have an opportunity to spin a giant wheel and win prizes based on which Aflac Isn't phrase is selected. Prizes will include an instant upgrade to their family's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball experience.

As part of a co-branded editorial series with iHeartRadio, Jingle Ball-themed audio episodes of "For the Record" will set the record straight on the holiday music tour. The "For the Record" audio series will air as a radio broadcast on iHeartRadio stations and stream on the iHeartRadio App.

Aflac will bring unique music discovery to fans through customized iHeartRadio playlists. Additionally, Aflac and Vevo will curate a sponsored Holiday Pop Tour 2019 music video playlist featuring up to 10 of the top Jingle Ball performing artists.

Building on Aflac's 24-Year, $136-plus million commitment to childhood cancer treatment and research, Aflac collaborated with Musicians On Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in health care facilities, and gave children at local hospitals the surprise of the season with two special shows. In Atlanta, popular boy band Why Don't We provided young patients and families at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta with an intimate acoustic performance. In Washington, D.C., award-winning country music stars Dan + Shay engaged patients and families with a special set at Children's National Hospital. 

"It was exciting to team up with Aflac and Musicians On Call to bring the music and holiday spirit of iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball to children at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center who aren't able to attend the event in December," said American boy band Why Don't We. "It was great surprising the kids, including one of our superfans, and their families with their very own concert and watching the huge smiles across their faces while we performed. We couldn't think of a better way to give back this season."

"It's important for us to take time out of our schedules to help others, especially during the holidays. We were excited to provide a one-of-a-kind performance with Musicians On Call and Aflac for young patients at Children's National Hospital," said country music duo Dan + Shay. "The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour is a must-see holiday tradition, so we were grateful to give that joyful experience to incredibly brave children facing cancer and create a beautiful memory for everyone involved."

A heartwarming video recapping the Why Don't We and Dan + Shay hospital performances will be shared with concert-goers at select Jingle Ball stops and across digital and social media platforms throughout the tour. To join the conversation, follow the Aflac Duck (@AflacDuck) on Instagram and Facebook.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company's leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Musicians On Call

Musicians On Call (MOC) celebrates 20 years and is the nation's largest organization delivering the healing power of music. MOC was founded in 1999 with the mission of bringing live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities ranging from children's hospitals to adult facilities, VA hospitals and hospices. To date, its volunteers have played for over 775,000 patients, families and caregivers across the country. Through live, in-room performances for patients who are undergoing treatment or unable to leave their beds, these volunteers add a dose of joy to life in a healthcare facility. MOC supporters over the years include Bruce Springsteen, Kelly Clarkson, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Justin Timberlake, Ed Sheeran, Reba McEntire, Gavin DeGraw, Darius Rucker, Pharrell, Amos Lee, Nick Jonas, Rachel Platten and many more. For more information, visit www.musiciansoncall.org.

About Aflac Incorporated

Aflac Incorporated (NYSE: AFL) is a Fortune 500 company helping provide protection to more than 50 million people through its subsidiaries in Japan and the U.S., where it is a leading supplemental insurer, by paying cash fast when policyholders get sick or injured. For more than six decades, insurance policies of Aflac Incorporated's subsidiaries have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. Aflac Life Insurance Japan is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance in Japan, where it insures 1 in 4 households. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative in the United States, for eligible claims, Aflac can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. For 13 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year, and in 2019, Fortune included Aflac on its list of World's Most Admired Companies for the 18th time. To find out more about One Day PaySM and learn how to get help with expenses health insurance doesn't cover, get to know us at aflac.com.

Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

Media contact: Kristen Fraser, 706.580.3813 or kfraser@aflac.com

Analyst and investor contact: David A. Young, 706.596.3264, 800.235.2667 or dyoung@aflac.com

Aramark Announces New 2025 Sustainability Plan

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 4:15pm

Today, Aramark, the leading U.S.-based provider of food, facilities and uniform services, announced a new 2025 sustainability plan, Be Well. Do Well., focused on positively impacting people and the planet. 

Be Well. Do Well. is built around several key priorities.

  • People priorities: to engage employees, empower healthy consumers, support local communities, and source ethically and inclusively.

  • Planet priorities: to source responsibly, operate efficiently, and to effectively manage food waste, packaging, emissions and other activities that could adversely impact the environment and planet.

“Aramark strives to do our part with respect to environmental, economic, social and ethical considerations,” said Kathy Cacciola, Aramark’s Vice President, Enterprise Sustainability. “Be Well. Do Well. focuses our efforts to help people and our planet, as we serve our client partners, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

Aramark’s people priority is to facilitate access to opportunities that will improve the well-being of the Company’s employees, consumers, communities and people in its supply chain. Building on current work, Aramark continues to help people develop careers and livelihoods; access, choose and prepare healthy food; and grow communities, businesses and local economies.

“As a top-scorer of the Disability Equality Index (DEI), Aramark has committed to learning and improving inclusion efforts, ultimately driving a culture of inclusion that extends beyond the U.S. to their global operations, impacting thousands of people across the world,” said Jill Houghton, President & CEO, Disability:IN and publisher of DEI. “We proudly congratulate Aramark for advancing a welcoming workplace culture for people with disabilities.”

With respect to the environment, Aramark is focused on several initiatives, including climate change. The Company is working to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by offering more vegan and vegetarian meals, sourcing responsibly, operating more efficiently, minimizing food waste, and reducing packaging.

“It is great to see Aramark putting equal emphasis on people and planet,” said Meghan Fay Zahniser, Executive Director, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). “We applaud them for working to reduce GHG emissions, with efforts that range from plant-based menu options to vehicle fleet efficiencies, and for recent announcements, like their support of Swipe Out Hunger and addressing food insecurity on campuses.”

The Company’s efforts, to date, have already shown significant progress. Be Well. Do Well. reaches further in accelerating a positive impact on people and planet over the next five years.

Engage EmployeesAramark’s management and operational leadership teams currently include approximately 56 percent women, and 57 percent of the workforce is racially/ethnically diverse.

Empower Healthy Consumers: Aramark has effected a 15 percent average reduction in calories, saturated fat and sodium across its menus served in workplaces, hospital cafes and college and university dining halls, where 30 percent of menu offerings are now vegan or vegetarian.

Support Local Communities: Since the inception of Aramark Building Community in 2008, Aramark volunteers impacted more than five million adults and children in underserved communities, helping to improve community health and the employment success of youth, adults and families.

Source Ethically and Inclusively: Aramark works with over 6,000 small and diverse suppliers to supply goods and services to support clients. About 18 percent of those are formally certified as diverse suppliers, and we seek to continue our focus on supporting diversity among our ecosystem of supplier partners.

Source Responsibly: Building upon work surrounding animal welfare and sustainable seafood, Aramark has also made a commitment to implement a No-Deforestation Policy. The Company is acting on commitments to purchase broiler chickens, eggs and pork from partners who embrace humane practices.

Operate Efficiently: Aramark is executing on initiatives that aim to materially improve fuel efficiency over the next three years.

Minimize Food Waste: Aramark has eliminated more than 15 million pounds of waste since 2015, contributing to the Company’s overall goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50 percent by 2030.

Reduce Packaging: The Company has reduced its purchase of plastic straws and stirrers by 20 percent over the last year, with a goal to reduce purchase of these items by 60 percent by the end of 2020.

For more information on Aramark’s Be Well. Do Well., visit the Company’s new online resource, www.aramark.com/sustainability, or join the conversation on social media, #AramarkBeWellDoWell. To download the Be Well. Do Well. Media Toolkit, click here.

About Aramark
Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 280,000 team members deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently; and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ), DiversityInc, Black Enterprise and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Waters Corporation Announces 2025 Sustainability Goals

Tue, 12/10/2019 - 10:14am

MILFORD, Mass., December 10, 2019 – Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT) today announced its 2025 sustainability goals and simultaneously announced a commitment to report its sustainability progress annually. These goals were developed following a comprehensive materiality assessment and are published in Waters’ latest sustainability report, which covers activities and progress from 2018 and key highlights from 2019. 

“Our focus on sustainability is stronger than ever, and we’re building on that momentum to establish our first-ever set of five-year sustainability goals. Our 2025 goals underscore our commitment to Deliver Benefit to all stakeholders, including our customers, employees, shareholders and society,” commented Chris O’Connell, Chairman and CEO of Waters Corporation. “We have reduced our greenhouse gas footprint by nearly 10%, increased the percentage of women in leadership positions and on our Board of Directors, and developed efforts to address global food and water safety. Through these actions and our new goals, we expect greater value creation for all of our stakeholders.”

A comprehensive stakeholder materiality assessment performed in 2018 identified and prioritized the company’s five 2025 sustainability goals:

  • Advance Our Innovation Ecosystem: We will systematically implement measurable, sustainable practices in how we innovate, develop, and deliver our products.
  • Reduce Our Environmental Impact: We will improve our operational performance by decreasing environmental impact and increasing natural resource efficiency.
  • Enhance Our Sustainable Supply Chain: We will advance an end-to-end product and supply chain sustainability program that identifies opportunities in engineering, procurement and operations to reduce the environmental impact of our products and supply chain.
  • Lead by Example in Our Employee Development and Engagement: We continue to focus on the employees we have today – and the employees we will need tomorrow – through programs and initiatives that drive diversity, inclusion, and development.
  • Nurture Our Culture of Health, Safety and Well-being: We will foster an attitude of awareness, preparedness, and responsiveness across our workplace and throughout our supply chain.

In addition to detailing the 2025 goals, the sustainability report highlights key advancements the company made in 2018. These include:

  • Increased the representation of women on Waters’ Board of Directors to 30% and signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge.
  • Achieved global renewable energy use of 9% and a greenhouse gas reduction of approximately 9% since 2016.
  • Developed a proprietary employee success model to articulate the behaviors and attributes that will strengthen the values and vision of the company.
  • Invested $215 million in a state-of-the-art precision chemistry manufacturing facility that will employ elements of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED®) building standards.
  • Established the International Food and Water Research Centre in Singapore to address the growing global challenges of food and water security and safety.

To view the complete sustainability report and learn more about Waters’ commitments and successes, please see the report on the Waters website.

About Waters Corporation  

Waters Corporation (NYSE: WAT), the world's leading specialty measurement company, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials and food sciences for more than 60 years. With approximately 7,200 employees worldwide, Waters operates directly in 35 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities, and with products available in more than 100 countries.

Waters is a registered trademark of the Waters Corporation.

Media Contact:
Andy Wu

Read the Report

Plate Waste in US Cafeterias Could Total 530,000 Tons per Year

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

Today, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released Food Waste Warriors: A Deep Dive Into Food Waste in US Schools. The report, which gathered information from WWF’s Food Waste Warriors education program, analyzed post-service food waste in 46 schools in nine U.S. cities across eight states. Based on the results from this sample, food waste in schools could amount to an estimated 530,000 tons per year, costing as much as $9.7M per day or $1.7B every school year.  

With support from The Kroger Co. Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 (Southeast), WWF implemented the Food Waste Warriors program in Atlanta, Boulder, Cincinnati, Columbus, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Portland, and Seattle over the course of six months. In one of the largest studies on plate waste in school cafeterias to date, the program not only measured food and milk winding up in the trash, it also armed students with an understanding of the connections between food, waste, and the environment, while empowering them to brainstorm how to begin to reduce that waste.

“Producing food has a tremendous impact on our planet and biodiversity, but the plate-to-planet connection is not always made,” said Pete Pearson, senior director food loss and waste, World Wildlife Fund. “By raising awareness on the issue of waste and engaging champions in our schools, we can inspire the next generation of students to tackle the global food waste challenge.”

While results varied, participating schools on average produced approximately 39.2 pounds of food waste and 19.4 cartons of milk waste per student per year. Throughout the short four-to-six-week audit period, all participating schools saw reductions in their food waste -- on average 3% from first to last audit -- just by measuring what was going in the trash. Elementary schools showed even more promise, averaging a 14.5% reduction, with the top three performing schools reducing food waste by an average of 53%.

“The Kroger Co. Foundation is passionate about empowering communities and creating Zero Hunger | Zero Waste communities, and we are immensely proud to invest in and support World Wildlife Fund’s Food Waste Warriors education program,” said Sunny Reelhorn Parr, director of The Kroger Co. Foundation. “The report’s data and insights are invaluable and deepen our belief that it is essential to educate students about responsible food practices to prevent food waste, in both lunchrooms and homes. World Wildlife Fund is a trusted partner in our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste journey, and we look forward to continuing our work together to incrementally transform schools, households and communities across the country.”

While this study is not a statistically representative sample of the more than 100,000 schools participating in the National School Lunch Program, the Food Waste Warriors project was able to garner immediate engagement and see measured food waste reduction, providing a baseline for what is possible nationwide. If schools across the country were able to replicate the results of the study and reduce food waste by a mere 3%, it could deliver a potential savings of $52M per year, funding which could be reinvested into nationwide nutrition and lunchroom programs.

The idea of regularly auditing school cafeterias gained momentum in 2017 when the USDA and EPA published the Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits, a project led by Melissa Terry from the University of Arkansas. “Cafeterias are classrooms, where our kids can learn about healthy food choices,” said Terry. “The potential for students to actively engage in food system-based conservation education is a huge opportunity for our children, our farmers, nutrition educators, and school administrators.”

Not all solutions will work for all schools, but most can find opportunities to reduce food waste if they start to measure and understand the issue in their environment, while educating and empowering students at the same time.

“It starts with better data,” said Pearson. “Imagine if every school consistently measured waste? Openly sharing this data and investing in food waste prevention in U.S. schools provides a scalable solution to keep food out of landfills, improve nutrition and rekindle my grandparents’ zero waste food ethic we desperately need.”

About World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
WWF is one of the world's leading conservation organizations, working in 100 countries for over half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more and follow our news conversations on Twitter @WWFNews.

CONTACT Susan McCarthy +1 (202) 495-4133 susan.mccarthy@wwfus.org World Wildlife Fund http://worldwildlife.org

Ecolab Joins the U.N. Global Compact's Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm
Ecolab Inc., the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, today announced that it will align its operations and supply chain to the U.N. Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C, and will work to reduce its carbon emissions by half by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050. The company is committed to doing its part in limiting the rise of global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) or less above pre-industrial levels, the limit deemed necessary by the U.N. to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.    “Climate change demands urgent action, and it’s absolutely critical that we accelerate our efforts to mitigate its impact,” said Ecolab Chairman and CEO Douglas M. Baker, Jr. “We don’t yet have all the answers as to how we’ll get to net-zero carbon emissions, but business needs to come together and create forward momentum. That’s why Ecolab is committing to 1.5°C.”   To help meet its commitment, Ecolab will:
  • Move to 100% renewable energy in its global operations. In 2018, the company signed a virtual power purchase agreement that will cover 100% of its electricity needs in North America once the wind farm it is helping to finance comes online in 2020. Today, 99.4% of Ecolab’s electricity in Europe comes from renewable sources. 

  • Expand energy efficiency projects at Ecolab plants, office buildings and operations around the world.

  • Move to electrify its fleet of service vehicles.

  • Work with supply chain partners to adopt similarly ambitious climate goals.

In addition to efforts within its own operations, Ecolab is helping companies throughout the world become more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Water scarcity is exacerbated by climate change, and in 2018, Ecolab helped customers conserve 188 billion gallons of water. Using water also takes a sizable amount of energy, and these water savings helped avoid 19 trillion BTUs of energy use and 1.1 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.     “Water is the missing link in the climate debate,” said Emilio Tenuta, Ecolab vice president of Corporate Sustainability. “If the world economy made gains in sustainable water management, we’d be a significant step closer to a more climate-resilient world and cut our carbon emissions in the process.”   In its 2018 report, Global Warming of 1.5 °C, the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated that, based on the best available science, a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels is no longer deemed safe. To avoid the worst consequences of climate change, global warming must be capped at 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F) or less, the IPCC stated.   The U.N. Global Compact, a group of more than 9,500 companies that are collaborating to foster more sustainable ways of doing business, launched the Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C in 2019 to spur companies to do their part in achieving this goal. As of Dec. 4, 2019, 140 companies have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5⁰C.    About Ecolab A trusted partner at nearly three million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With annual sales of $15 billion and more than 50,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use, and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world. www.ecolab.com    Follow us on Twitter @ecolab, Facebook at facebook.com/ecolab, LinkedIn at Ecolab or Instagram at Ecolab Inc.     ###

SL Green Realty Corporation Awarded for Outstanding Energy Efficiency Commitments

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm
SL Green Realty Corporation Awarded for Outstanding Energy Efficiency Commitments

A notable New York City building owner is setting a high bar in energy efficiency and sustainability upgrades. Trane®, a global leader of indoor comfort solutions, and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, has recognized SL Green Realty Corp. with an Energy Efficiency Leader Award for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to best energy practices.

SL Green engaged Trane to install two energy efficient centrifugal chillers and 1.37MW of thermal energy storage at its iconic 11 Madison Avenue building in New York City. This Trane® Thermal Battery™ cooling system behaves like a battery, charging CALMAC® thermal batteries when excess or inexpensive energy is available, and discharging when demand or price is high. During peak cooling season, the thermal batteries produce more than 500,000 pounds of ice each night. The ice then cools off the building during the day, significantly decreasing SL Green’s carbon footprint, energy consumption and operating costs.

Through the ice battery installation, SL Green has lowered tenant energy cost by 10 percent, reduced energy and operating costs by more than $730,000 annually and decreased carbon emissions by 1.4 million pounds – the equivalent of taking more than 130 cars off the road or planting 188 acres of trees.

“The Energy Efficiency Leader Awards recognize businesses and institutions that demonstrate impactful contributions towards environmental sustainability,” said Donny Simmons, president, Trane Commercial HVAC, North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “SL Green is a perfect fit; the smart energy practices at 11 Madison Avenue prove business and environmental goals can work hand in hand for a more sustainable future.”

The Thermal Battery system plays an integral role in helping SL Green reach its portfolio-wide sustainability goal of 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, along with its commitments to New York State and New York City energy mandates of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

“SL Green capitalizes on every opportunity we have to reduce our carbon footprint because we have a responsibility to our tenants, our partners and New York City as a whole,” said Edward V. Piccinich, Chief Operating Officer, SL Green Realty Corp. “This innovation is a worthwhile investment, both operationally and financially. We’re honored to be recognized by Trane for leading the way.”

SL Green’s and Trane’s commitments to sustainability extend beyond energy efficient practices; the companies share similar goals focused on enhancing quality of life and climate action:

  • SL Green is committed to transforming the built office environments; to mitigate climate change and provide a high quality of life for all New Yorkers. The company’s vision has been manifested through the development of One Vanderbilt, a new, Class A office tower where all design, construction, and operational elements prioritize environmental stewardship and societal responsibility.

  • Trane is meeting the challenge of climate change through bold 2030 Sustainability Commitments. Its Gigaton Challenge is designed to reduce the customer carbon footprint from buildings, homes and transportation by one gigaton CO2e, while leading by example in its own operations – achieving carbon neutral and net positive water operations.

View the SL Green thermal storage system video case study.

# # #

About SL Green

SL Green Realty Corp., an S&P 500 company and New York City's largest commercial office landlord, is a fully integrated real estate investment trust, or REIT, that is focused primarily on acquiring, managing and maximizing value of Manhattan commercial properties. As of September 30, 2019, SL Green held interests in 93 Manhattan buildings totaling 45.0 million square feet. This included ownership interests in 27.2 million square feet of Manhattan buildings and 17.8 million square feet securing debt and preferred equity investments.

About Trane

Trane is a brand of Ingersoll Rand (NYSE:IR), which advances the quality of life by creating comfortable, sustainable and efficient environments. Trane solutions provide comfortable indoor environments through a broad portfolio of reliable, energy efficient heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, parts and supply. For more information, visit www.trane.com.

First Global Standard for Tax Transparency

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

The launch of a new tax reporting standard that seeks to ensure multinationals are much clearer about how much – and where – they pay their taxes has received widespread international support.

The GRI Tax Standard is the first global standard for comprehensive tax disclosure at the country-by-country level. It supports public reporting of a company’s business activities and payments within tax jurisdictions, as well as their approach to tax strategy and governance.

Global investors, civil society groups, labor organizations and other stakeholders have all signaled their backing for the Tax Standard, as it will help address their growing demands for tax transparency.

The Tax Standard has been developed in response to concerns over the impact tax avoidance has on the ability of governments to fund services and support sustainable development – and to give clarity on how much companies contribute to the tax income of the countries where they operate. 

As the latest addition to the GRI Standards – the world’s most widely adopted sustainability reporting framework – it is now freely available to organizations around the world. 

Tim Mohin, GRI Chief Executive said:

“Payment of taxes is a major way for companies to support the communities where they operate. Yet too many businesses are unwilling to disclose how much, and where, they pay taxes. GRI’s Tax Standard challenges this status quo by outlining clear best practice for disclosure.  

I believe more companies will join other responsible leaders and demonstrate how they’re meeting their obligations to society. These businesses will reap the benefits of their leadership by improving relationships with governments, investors, civil society, consumers and other stakeholders.”

Fiona Reynolds is CEO of PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment), the global investor network of over 2,600 signatories who collectively manage in excess of US$89 trillion. She said:

“Tax avoidance is a leading driver of inequality and as such a responsible approach to tax by business is essential. The PRI has been leading efforts to drive more meaningful corporate disclosure. GRI’s new Tax Standard marks an evolution in tax transparency and provides a much-needed and ambitious framework for corporate tax reporting.”

Olivier Boutellis-Taft, Chief Executive of Accountancy Europe, said:

“GRI’s new tax disclosure standard is a vital contribution to address stakeholders’ demand for corporate tax transparency. Accountancy Europe stands for transparency and trust: we therefore commend GRI for pioneering reporting in this sensitive area with great balance and for providing a global, meaningful and practical format for companies that choose to explain how they handle their tax affairs. We look forward to continue working with GRI on tax and other crucial sustainability matters.”

Daniel Bertossa, Assistant General Secretary of Public Services International, the global trade union federation, said:

“Tax avoidance comes with high human costs as it undermines governments’ ability to provide quality public services and promote economic development. We cannot tackle pressing global issues like poverty reduction, climate change and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals without a fair and adequate tax system.

There is growing anger around the world at governments’ inability to deal with the issues people care about, which is eroding trust in public institutions. The GRI Tax Standard is absolutely necessary to hold multinational corporations to account and ensure governments can develop the fair tax policies needed to fund services and restore public confidence.”

Alex Cobham, Chief Executive of the Tax Justice Network, said:

“Every year, the global economy we all live and work in loses an estimated US$500 billion to multinational corporations not paying the tax they owe – that’s $500 billion less each year to fund public services and invest in our communities. This injustice and the global inequality it fuels has in part been made possible by the lack of reliable and comparable, country-by-country information on the taxes that multinational corporations contribute. That is why we need to reprogram our approach to tax, starting with the crucial transparency that adoption of GRI’s new Tax Standard can help achieve.”

Gary Kalman, Executive Director of the FACT (Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency) Coalition, said:

“GRI’s Tax Standard is the clearest and most significant recognition to date of the global trend toward tax transparency for multinational companies. The standard is both necessary and balanced. We urge companies to quickly implement this standard and help make it the model for the transparency that will soon become common global practice.

“The multi-stakeholder process that produced this standard ensures that the information is helpful to investors while workable for companies. As a result, GRI has done something that is somewhat rare: they have produced a standard that is both relatively straight forward and enormously impactful.”

Notes to editors

Further endorsing quotes in support of the Tax Standard are available, including the following companies, organizations and individuals: Aberdeen Standard Investments; Hermes Investment Management; MFS Investment Management; Oxfam; Paul Tang MEP; Tax Research UK; Royal London Asset Management; VBDO (Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development).

View the new GRI Tax Standard (to be known as GRI 207: Tax 2019). A fact sheet is also available.

The Tax Standard was drafted by a multi-stakeholder Technical Committee appointed by the Global Sustainability Standards Board, GRI's independent standard-setting body. It’s development was informed by global consultation, including a public comment period, when strong support was received from investors.

The Tax Standard builds on the aims of the OECD Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), which requires large multinationals (in OECD countries) to provide country-by-country data to tax administrations. The GRI Tax Standard focuses on public reporting – making tax information available to all stakeholders – and applies globally.

Estimates of the scale of tax avoidance, in terms of lost revenue to governments, have ranged between US$500-600 billion annually (according to UNU-WIDER and the International Monetary Fund).

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the independent international organization that helps businesses and other organizations understand and communicate their sustainability impacts.

Carnival Cruise Line Becomes First Cruise Operator Certified ‘Sensory Inclusive’ by Kulturecity

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified "sensory inclusive" by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities. 

The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line'sSouth Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.

As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.

In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload.  Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.

These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity.  Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival's ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.

Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.

Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom televisions on the line's six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.

"Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity.  Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board," said Vicky Rey, Carnival's vice president of guest care and communications and the company's ADA Responsibility Officer.

"We're proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones.  We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone," said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.

In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). 

The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities.  Additionally, Carnival's youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: "It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'."

"Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise," Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism. 

To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com. 

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Carnival can also be found on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Journalists also can visit Carnival's media site, carnival-news.com or follow the line's PR department on Twitter at twitter.com/CarnivalPR.

For additional information on KultureCity, please visit kulturecity.org.

About Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 27 ships operating two- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery – Mardi Gras in 2020 and an as-yet-unnamed ship in 2022. Carnival Cruise Line is certified as a Great Place to Work. 

About KultureCity
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs including those with autism, PTSD and more. Since the program's inception, KultureCity has created over 450 sensory inclusive venues in four countries, as well as made special events such as NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend sensory inclusive.  KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/carnival-cruise-line-becomes-first-cruise-operator-certified-sensory-inclusive-by-kulturecity-300968700.html

SOURCE Carnival Cruise Line

For Carnival Cruise Line, Vance Gulliksen, +1-305-406-5464, media@carnival.com; For KultureCity, Julian Maha, MD, 205-907-5659, julianmahamd@kulturecity.org

RESOURCES Carnival Corporation Carnival Cruise Line KultureCity CONTACT Chris Cradduck +1 (214) 893-9119 chris@ldwwgroup.com

JetBlue’s Award-Winning Employer-Sponsored College Degree Program, JetBlue Scholars, Reaches a Milestone – 250 Degrees Conferred

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) is celebrating the latest milestone for its award-winning employer-sponsored education program – 250 degrees conferred in just three years. JetBlue’s innovative model goes beyond the traditional tuition reimbursement method. JetBlue Scholars launched in 2016 offering the airline’s crewmembers an opportunity to earn fully accredited undergraduate college degrees, with JetBlue covering most of the cost. JetBlue Scholars now also includes a pathway for crewmembers to earn master’s degrees at discounted and affordable rates.

The JetBlue Scholars undergraduate pathway gives crewmembers the accessibility and flexibility to learn at their own pace. The program provides a clearer path and converts aviation and military training and other professional certificates into college credit, helping reduce the time and cost for crewmembers to obtain their undergraduate degrees. Thomas Edison State University (TESU) is the sole provider of degrees for the JetBlue Scholars Program at the undergraduate level. The undergraduate pathway offers opportunities to earn degrees in business, aviation, liberal studies and information technology (IT).

More than 31 million Americans have some college credits but no degree. With college tuition at an all-time high, the average student is $33,000 in debt. As JetBlue covers most of the costs for undergraduate degrees, crewmembers save an average of $14,000 on tuition, totaling more than $6.5 million in overall college costs savings since the program started.

The latest graduates will have an opportunity to attend upcoming graduation ceremonies at TESU. New JetBlue Scholars graduates were also celebrated at a recent ceremony at JetBlue’s state-of-the-art training facility in Orlando, Fla. Family and friends joined JetBlue leaders, JetBlue Scholars Success Coaches and administrators from TESU to congratulate and celebrate the latest alumnae. TESU President Dr. Merodie A. Hancock traveled to the JetBlue Scholars graduation to confer the degrees personally.

JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Joanna Geraghty, gave the commencement address offering words of advice and encouragement to the program’s newest graduates. “If there’s any advice that I can give you to, it’s this: Never stop learning, stick with it, and to the extent that you can, pay it forward. You have the power to make a difference in whatever you choose to do and I can’t wait to see how you inspire humanity next.”

The prototype of the average college student is changing. As such, JetBlue has taken an innovative approach to the traditional higher education. In line with JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity, JetBlue Scholars offers convenience, online learning and Success Coaches to support crewmembers throughout the process of completing their degrees. 

JetBlue Scholars was developed based on crewmember feedback. The program has proven to be a valuable retention and development tool, leading to increased crewmember engagement and loyalty and resulting in a greater return on investment for JetBlue.

Feedback from recent graduates:

  • “I believe that all is possible in life, even if it takes you many years of hard work. No one in my family has been able to attend college. To be able to fulfill my dream has been incredible. My degree allows me to use new skills in my everyday life and at work. Now I will be able to move forward with my career growth and development.” Pedro Hernandez is a Facilities Supervisor at JetBlue and recently earned his Associates of Arts and  Bachelors of Liberal Arts degrees with JetBlue Scholars.
  • “Finishing my degree is the end and the beginning of an important journey for me. During my classes I had days that I felt overwhelmed. The process was not easy especially when I received orders to deploy with the US ARMY. But it wasn’t impossible either. I saw myself growing professionally and personally with new skills that are making me more competitive in the workforce. Today I can say I did it.” Alex Rosario is an Inflight Team Leader at JetBlue and has earned his Associates of Arts and Bachelors of Liberal Arts degrees through JetBlue Scholars.

JetBlue Scholars Undergraduate Pathway

Through an innovative partnership model, JetBlue unbundled the higher education system, step-by-step, to make it easier for crewmembers who have some previous college credits but did not know how to move forward to complete their degrees. JetBlue Scholars undergraduate pathway utilizes low cost, high-quality alternative college credit options, including new technology-based learning platforms like Study.comSophia.org and StraighterLine.com. These courses are accepted for college credit at partner school -Thomas Edison State University and are a fraction of the cost of traditional college classes.

Nearly 700 JetBlue crewmembers are currently working towards their college degree through the JetBlue Scholars program. On average, it takes crewmembers about 13 months to complete an associate degree and 16 months to complete a bachelor’s degree through JetBlue’s model. For more information, visit jetbluescholars.com.

ABOUT JETBLUE

JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 42 million customers a year to 100+ cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of more than 1,000 daily flights. For more information, please visit jetblue.com.

CONTACT JetBlue Corporate Communications +1 (718) 709-3089 corpcomm@jetblue.com

Verizon Brings Digital Literacy and Job Readiness Program to Latino Communities

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

Verizon announced “Latinos @ Work,” its new partnership with UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, which will bring digital learning centers to underserved Latino communities in four major cities across the country. The $1 million grant includes the development of a digital literacy and job readiness toolkit that will be implemented in Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle and Lawrence MA.

The digital literacy and job readiness contextualized toolkit will help community-based organizations provide soft and hard skills to participants through eight-week long programs. Enrolled participants will also be provided with meals, childcare, laptops and transportation during the duration of their course. The digital learning centers will be equipped with mobile technologies, curriculum, and professional services to help program participants become digitally competent.

"Verizon is proud to partner with UnidosUS to develop tools and resources that foster digital inclusion and empower Latino communities to compete in the fast-paced digital economy," says Justina Nixon-Saintil, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Verizon. 

The curricula will help individuals prepare for jobs that require digital skills and to be employed in those jobs. It will consist of modules that aim to elevate the skill sets of participants, including financial capability, digital literacy, job readiness, communication and job search.

“With Latinos @ Work and Verizon’s generous support, we will ensure that more Latinos are able to gain the digital skills necessary to better compete in the modern workforce and contribute to the nation’s economy,” said Dr. Peggy McLeod, Vice President of Education, Workforce, and Evaluation at UnidosUS. “Our network of community-based partners has extensive expertise in culturally responsive programs, and by addressing critical skills gaps we will help more workers advance in their careers and onto higher wage jobs.”

The Latinos @ Work program will be facilitated by UnidosUS Affiliates and local partners. These organizations include: Northwest Side Housing Center in partnership and Cara Connect in Chicago; the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana Foundation in New Orleans; El Centro de la Raza in Seattle; and Lawrence Community Works in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

According to a 2018 study by Pew Research Center, Hispanics account for 16 percent of the US workforce but they only represent 7 percent of all STEM workers. Latinos @ Work seeks to address this gap as graduates of the program will be connected to further education, training and employment opportunities in the financial service sector, information technology, retail and customer service, and hospitality fields.  

The digital learning centers and toolkits are part of Verizon’s long-standing commitment to help bridge the digital divide and prepare more people in underserved communities for meaningful careers in our digitized workforce.

UnidosUS, previously known as NCLR (National Council of La Raza), is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Through its unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico, UnidosUS simultaneously challenges the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos at the national and local levels. For more than 50 years, UnidosUS has united communities and different groups seeking common ground through collaboration, and that share a desire to make our country stronger. For more information on UnidosUS, visit www.unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media contact
Bernadette Brijlall
Bernadette.Brijlall@Verizon.com

IVECO, FPT Industrial and NIKOLA Launch Their Partnership to Achieve Zero-Emissions Transport

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14pm

 IVECO and FPT Industrial, brands of CNH Industrial N.V. (NYSE: CNHI / MI: CNHI) and NIKOLA today presented the scope and plans of their joint venture and collaboration agreement established to accelerate industry transformation towards emission neutrality of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks in North America and Europe through the adoption of fuel-cell technology.

This comes three months after CNH Industrial’s announcement at its Capital Markets Day, held on September 3 2019, involving its IVECO commercial vehicles brand and its powertrain division FPT Industrial, of the intention to enter into a strategic partnership with NIKOLA Motors. The primary focus of the agreement is to leverage the partners’ respective expertise to successfully deploy Zero-Emission heavy-duty trucks and to disrupt the industry with a new business model. 

The partnership includes the creation of a European joint venture to develop and distribute cab-over hydrogen fuel-cell and battery-electric trucks for the European market. NIKOLA will provide its class-leading fuel-cell expertise and advanced technologies, as well as its disruptive business model that foresees an industry-first all-inclusive lease rate. IVECO, together with FPT Industrial, will contribute their engineering and manufacturing expertise to industrialize the fuel-cell and battery electric trucks.

IVECO, FPT Industrial and NIKOLA have started development of the joint-venture’s first truck: the battery electric NIKOLA TRE, which is based on the new IVECO S-WAY heavy-duty truck platform and integrates NIKOLA’s proprietary technology, controls and infotainment. Testing is expected to begin in mid-2020, with the European public launch planned for the IAA September 2020 commercial vehicle exhibition in Hannover, Germany. Sales and aftersales support of the NIKOLA TRE will be provided by IVECO’s widespread European dealer network.

“The increasing focus on the recognition that there needs to be fundamental reductions in automotive emissions is driving our industry to rapidly seek advanced technological solutions,” said Hubertus Mühlhäuser, Chief Executive Officer, CNH Industrial. “This joint-venture with NIKOLA is testament to both partners’ technical expertise, which will result in tangible environmental benefits for Europe’s long distance hauliers.”

“This partnership is a win-win for everyone involved. From the moment we launched the NIKOLA ONE in 2016, truck drivers and government officials have been asking for us to bring NIKOLA to Europe," said Trevor Milton, Chief Executive Officer, NIKOLA Motors. "We needed the right partner to help us enter the European market and CNH Industrial is the right commercial partner.”

ascena retail group, inc. Announces First Quarter Fiscal 2020 Results; Reports Income per Share from Continuing Operations of $0.16; Adjusted Income per Share from Continuing Operations of $0.18

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 7:14pm

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – ascena retail group, inc. (Nasdaq - ASNA) (“ascena” or the “Company”) today reported financial results for its fiscal first quarter ended November 2, 2019.

First Quarter Highlights:

  • Comparable sales were flat; excluding Dressbarn, comparable sales were (2)%

  • Operating income was $40 million, which primarily reflects the benefit of cost reductions, offset in part by lower gross margin; adjusted operating income, excluding the restructuring costs as detailed in Note 2, was $45 million;

  • Dressbarn wind down on track and store closures are expected to be completed in December 2019;

  • Improved inventory levels, down 5% versus the prior year; and

  • Cash and revolver availability of $680 million; compliant with all covenants.

Gary Muto, Chief Executive Officer of ascena commented, "We were pleased to have exceeded our adjusted operating income expectations for the first quarter through better than expected improvement in operating expenses. We continue to make advances on right-sizing our cost structure, while focusing on driving sustainable growth and improved operating margin for each of our segments. In addition, we once again ended the quarter in a strong cash and liquidity position with no borrowings under our credit facility as we remain disciplined in managing working capital and rationalizing our capital expenditures."

Mr. Muto continued, "While we are encouraged by the progress we are making, we know there is more work to be done.  We are moving our brands in the right direction by capitalizing on their distinct market leadership positions while maintaining our focus on optimizing our capital structure. The steps we are taking now set us up to provide consistent profitable performance and enhance shareholder value over the longer term.”

Fiscal First Quarter Results - Consolidated

Overview
Current and prior year results include items that the Company does not believe reflect the fundamental performance of its business.  More information on such items is provided in the Notes to the unaudited condensed consolidated financial information, which is included herein on pages 9 through 11.  In addition, the following commentary reflects results from the Company's continuing operations that exclude its maurices brand, which was sold in Fiscal 2019.

Net sales and comparable sales
Net sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 were $1,297 million compared to $1,339 million in the year-ago period.  Net sales primarily reflect flat comparable sales for the quarter and a decrease in non-comparable sales which include the impact of the store closures.

The Company's comparable and net sales data are summarized below:

        Net Sales (millions)     Comparable
  Three Months Ended     Sales   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
  Ann Taylor (1)%   $181.9     $185.7     LOFT (2)%   403.1     410.3     Premium Fashion (2)%   585.0     596.0                   Lane Bryant 2%   220.7     220.0     Catherines (5)%   59.1     65.4     Plus Fashion 1%   279.8     285.4                   Justice (6)%   254.8     266.0     Kids Fashion (6)%   254.8     266.0                   Dressbarn 10%   177.5     191.1     Value Fashion 10%   177.5     191.1                   Total Company —%   1,297.1     1,338.5  

Excluding Dressbarn, the Company's comparable sales for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 was (2)%.

Gross margin
Gross margin decreased to $773 million, or 59.6% of sales, for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, compared to $801 million, or 59.9% of sales in the year-ago period. The decline in gross margin rate from the first quarter last year was primarily due to higher promotional activity at our Kids Fashion and Premium Fashion segments.  Those declines were partially offset by increased margins at our Plus Fashion segment, reflecting improved product acceptance and a higher mix of full price selling, and at our Value Fashion segment.

Buying, distribution, and occupancy expenses
Buying, distribution, and occupancy (“BD&O”) expenses for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 decreased 9% to $257 million, which represented 19.8% of sales, compared to $282 million, or 21.0% of sales in the year-ago period.  In terms of dollars, the reduction in expenses was driven by lower occupancy expenses resulting primarily from our continued cost reduction efforts and lower buying expenses at Dressbarn as a result of the planned wind down.

Selling, general, and administrative expenses
Selling, general, and administrative (“SG&A”) expenses for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 decreased 9% to $397 million, or 30.6% of sales, compared to $436 million, or 32.6% of sales in the year-ago period.  The decrease in SG&A expenses was primarily due to our cost reduction initiatives, mainly reflecting lower store-related expenses, lower headcount as well as non-merchandise procurement savings.

Operating results
Operating income for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 was $40 million compared to $1 million in the year-ago period, and primarily reflects the expense reductions, offset in part by the gross margin dollar declines. Excluding the restructuring costs as detailed in Note 2, operating income for the quarter was $45 million.

Provision for income taxes from continuing operations
For the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, the Company recorded tax expense of $3 million on pre-tax income of $15 million. The effective tax rate of 17.0% was lower than the statutory tax rate primarily due to a valuation allowance on the Company’s net Federal and state deferred tax assets.

Net income (loss) from continuing operations and Income (loss) per diluted share from continuing operations
The Company reported Net income from continuing operations of $32 million, or $0.16 per diluted share in the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, compared to a Net loss from continuing operations of $24 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, in the year-ago period.

Fiscal First Quarter Balance Sheet Highlights

Cash and cash equivalents
The Company ended the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 with Cash and cash equivalents of $262 million, down from $328.0 million at the end of the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2019 as a result of seasonal inventory purchases in advance of the peak holiday season.

Inventories
The Company ended the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 with inventory of $673 million, down 5% from the year-ago period.

Capital expenditures
Capital expenditures for the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 totaled $29 million, compared to $39 million in the year-ago period.

Debt
The Company ended the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 with total debt of $1,372 million, which represents the balance remaining on the term loan.  There were no borrowings outstanding under the Company's revolving credit facility at the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2020 and the Company had $417 million of borrowing availability under its revolving credit facility.  The Company is not required to make its next quarterly term loan payment of $22.5 million until November of calendar 2020. Subsequent to the first quarter of Fiscal 2020, the Company repurchased approximately $80 million aggregate principal amount of its Term Loan debt in open market transactions for a total purchase price of approximately $50 million.

Fiscal Year 2020 Second Quarter and Full Year Year Outlook

Due to volatility expected in total consolidated results related to the ongoing wind-down of its Dressbarn brand, the Company is providing guidance for the second quarter of Fiscal 2020 for the consolidated continuing operations of the Premium FashionPlus Fashion, and Kids Fashion segments as follows:

  • Net sales of $1.200 to $1.225 billion;

  • Comparable sales of negative low single digits;

  • Gross margin rate of 51.2% to 51.7%;

  • Depreciation and amortization of approximately $64 million; and

  • Adjusted operating loss of $40 million to $60 million.

In addition, for the full year, we continue to expect that total capital spending will be between $80 million and $100 million, which represents a significant decrease compared to prior years.

Real Estate

The Company's store information on a brand-by-brand basis for the first quarter is as follows:

  Quarter Ended November 2, 2019   Store Locations
Beginning of Q1
Store Locations
Opened
Store Locations
Closed
Store Locations
End of Q1
Justice 826 2 — 828 Lane Bryant 721 — (6) 715 LOFT 669 1 — 670 Dressbarn 616 — (72) 544 Catherines 320 — (7) 313 Ann Taylor 293 — — 293 Total 3,445 3 (85) 3,363

Conference Call Information

The Company will conduct a conference call today, December 9, 2019, at 4:30 PM Eastern Time to review its first quarter Fiscal 2020 results, followed by a question and answer session. Parties interested in participating in this call should dial in at (877) 407-3982 prior to the start time, the conference ID is 13697197. The call will also be simultaneously broadcast at www.ascenaretail.com. A recording of the call will be available shortly after its conclusion and until December 23, 2019 by dialing (844) 512-2921, the conference ID is 13697197, and until January 9, 2020 via the Company’s website at www.ascenaretail.com.

Non-GAAP Financial Results

As noted above, the comparability of the Company's operational results for the periods presented herein has been affected by certain transactions. The Company believes that non-GAAP financial measures, when reviewed in conjunction with GAAP financial measures, can provide more information to assist investors in evaluating current period performance, trends and period-over-period comparative results.  Non-GAAP measures eliminate amounts that do not reflect the fundamental performance of the Company’s businesses. These items include costs such as (i) costs associated with the wind down of its Dressbarn operations, (ii) restructuring, tangible asset impairments and other related charges including, but not limited to, charges incurred under the Company's cost reduction initiatives, and (iii) impairments of goodwill and other intangible assets. Reference is made to Notes 1 and 2 of the unaudited condensed consolidated financial information included herein for more information and a complete listing of such adjustments.

Many investors also use non-GAAP measures as a common basis for comparing the performance of different companies.  A general limitation of non-GAAP measures is that they are not prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies due to differences in methods of calculation and excluded items. Non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, the Company’s Operating income and Net income per common share, as well as other measures of financial performance and liquidity reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Additionally, a reconciliation of the projected non-GAAP operating income, which is a forward-looking non-GAAP financial measure, to operating income, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, is not provided because the Company is unable to provide such reconciliation without unreasonable effort. The inability to provide a reconciliation is due to the uncertainty and inherent difficulty predicting the occurrence, the financial impact and the periods in which the non-GAAP adjustments may be recognized. These GAAP measures may include the impact of such items as restructuring charges, costs associated with the wind down of Dressbarn, and the tax effect of all such items.  As previously stated, the Company has historically excluded these items from non-GAAP financial measures. The Company currently expects to continue to exclude such items in future disclosures of non-GAAP financial measures and may also exclude other items that may arise (collectively, “non-GAAP adjustments”). The decisions and events that typically lead to the recognition of non-GAAP adjustments are inherently unpredictable as to if or when they may occur. For the same reasons, the Company is unable to address the probable significance of the unavailable information, which could be material to future results.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements made within this press release may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Forward-looking statements are statements related to future, not past, events, and often contain words such as "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "see," "will," "would," "estimate," "forecast," "target," "preliminary," or "range," and include, without limitation, the Company’s outlook for the second quarter and full year of Fiscal 2020, and risks associated with the ability to achieve a successful outcome for its portfolio brands and to otherwise achieve its business strategies. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or review its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that its projected results expressed or implied will not be achieved. Detailed information concerning a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the information contained herein is readily available in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K.

About ascena retail group, inc.

ascena retail group, inc. (Nasdaq: ASNA) is a national specialty retailer offering apparel, shoes, and accessories for women under the Premium Fashion (Ann TaylorLOFT, and Lou & Grey), Plus Fashion (Lane Bryant, Catherines and Cacique), and Value Fashion (Dressbarn) segments, and for tween girls under the Kids Fashion segment (Justice). ascena retail group, inc. through its retail brands operates ecommerce websites and approximately 3,400 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

For more information about ascena retail group, inc. visit: ascenaretail.com, AnnTaylor.com, factory.anntaylor.com, LOFT.com, outlet.loft.comlouandgrey.comlanebryant.com, Catherines.com, Dressbarn.com, and shopjustice.com.

CONTACT: For investors: For media:   ICR, Inc. ascena retail group, inc.   Jean Fontana Shawn Buchanan   Managing Director Corporate Communications   (646) 277-1214 (212) 541-3418   Jean.Fontana@icrinc.com shawn_buchanan@anninc.com         Jessica Schmidt     Senior Vice President     (646) 677-1806     Jessica.Schmidt@icrinc.com        

ascena retail group, inc.
Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited)
(millions, except per share data)

  Three Months Ended     November 2,
2019
  % of Net
Sales
  November 3,
2018
  % of Net
Sales
  Net sales $1,297.1     100.0 %   $1,338.5     100.0 %   Cost of goods sold (523.8 )   (40.4 )%   (537.4 )   (40.1 )%   Gross margin 773.3     59.6 %   801.1     59.9 %   Other costs and expenses:                       Buying, distribution and occupancy expenses (256.8 )   (19.8 )%   (281.7 )   (21.0 )%   Selling, general and administrative expenses (397.3 )   (30.6 )%   (435.7 )   (32.6 )%   Restructuring and other related charges (4.6 )   (0.4 )%   (7.9 )   (0.6 )%   Depreciation and amortization expense (74.4 )   (5.7 )%   (74.6 )   (5.6 )%   Operating income 40.2     3.1 %   1.2     0.1 %   Interest expense (26.4 )   (2.0 )%   (26.0 )   (1.9 )%   Interest income and other income, net 1.5     0.1 %   0.6     — %   Income (loss) from continuing operations before (provision) benefit for income taxes and income from equity method investment 15.3     1.2 %   (24.2 )   (1.8 )%   (Provision) benefit for income taxes from continuing operations (2.6 )   (0.2 )%   0.4     — %   Income from equity method investment 19.0     1.5 %   —     — %   Income (loss) from continuing operations 31.7     2.4 %   (23.8 )   (1.8 )%   Income from discontinued operations, net of tax —     — %   29.7     2.2 %   Net income 31.7     2.4 %   5.9     0.4 %                     Net income (loss) per common share - basic:                 Continuing operations 0.16         (0.12 )       Discontinued operations —         0.15         Total net income per basic common share 0.16         0.03                           Net income (loss) per common share - diluted:                 Continuing operations 0.16         (0.12 )       Discontinued operations —         0.15         Total net income per diluted common share 0.16         0.03                           Weighted average common shares outstanding:                 Basic 198.8         196.7         Diluted 198.8         201.2        

See accompanying notes.

ascena retail group, inc.
Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets (Unaudited)
(millions)

        November 2,
2019
  August 3,
2019
ASSETS       Current assets:       Cash and cash equivalents $262.1     328.0   Inventories 672.6     547.7   Prepaid expenses and other current assets 238.2     279.3   Total current assets 1,172.9     1,155.0   Property and equipment, net 795.3     847.0   Operating Lease right-of-use assets 814.6     —   Goodwill 313.5     313.5   Other intangible assets, net 266.8     276.6   Equity method investment 61.1     42.1   Other assets 66.8     65.6   Total assets 3,491.0     2,699.8           LIABILITIES AND EQUITY       Current liabilities:       Accounts payable 347.2     336.0   Accrued expenses and other current liabilities 349.2     333.9   Deferred income 119.6     128.3   Current portion of lease obligations 173.2     —   Total current liabilities 989.2     798.2   Long-term debt, less current portion 1,341.2     1,338.6   Lease-related liabilities —     234.2   Deferred income taxes 0.5     0.6   Long-term lease obligations 826.1     —   Other non-current liabilities 161.0     177.2   Total liabilities 3,318.0     2,548.8   Equity 173.0     151.0   Total liabilities and equity 3,491.0     2,699.8              

See accompanying notes.

ascena retail group, inc.
Segment Information (Unaudited)
(millions)

  Three Months Ended   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Net sales:       Premium Fashion $585.0     $596.0   Plus Fashion 279.8     285.4   Kids Fashion 254.8     266.0   Value Fashion 177.5     191.1   Total net sales 1,297.1     1,338.5              

 

  Three Months Ended   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Operating income (loss)(a):       Premium Fashion $38.0     $46.1   Plus Fashion (0.5 )   (18.9 ) Kids Fashion (0.9 )   4.5   Value Fashion 8.2     (22.6 ) Unallocated restructuring and other related charges (4.6 )   (7.9 ) Total operating income 40.2     1.2              

 

  Three Months Ended   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Non-GAAP adjusted operating income (loss) (a):       Premium Fashion $38.0     $46.1   Plus Fashion (0.5 )   (18.9 ) Kids Fashion (0.9 )   4.5   Value Fashion 8.2     (22.6 ) Total non-GAAP adjusted operating income 44.8     9.1              

(a) Current year amounts reflect the impact of adopting the lease accounting standard in the first quarter of Fiscal 2020.  Prior period amounts have not been restated and continue to be reported under the accounting standards in effect for those periods.

ascena retail group, inc.
Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Information
(millions, except per share data)

Note 1. Basis of Presentation

Fiscal Period

Fiscal year 2020 will end on August 1, 2020 and will be a 52-week period ("Fiscal 2020").  Fiscal year 2019 ended on August 3, 2019 and was a 52-week period (“Fiscal 2019”). The three months ended November 2, 2019 and the three months ended November 3, 2018 are both 13-week periods.

Discontinued Operations

In the fourth quarter of Fiscal 2019, the Company completed the sale of its maurices business.  As a result of the transaction, the Company's maurices business has been classified as a component of discontinued operations within the consolidated financial statements for the three months ended November 3, 2018.

Note 2. Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The comparability of the Company's operational results reported in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") for the periods presented herein has been affected by certain transactions. The Company believes that the non-GAAP financial measures presented below, when reviewed in conjunction with GAAP financial measures, can provide more information to assist investors in evaluating current period performance, trends and period-over-period comparative results.  The non-GAAP measures presented in this press release eliminate amounts that do not reflect the fundamental performance of the Company’s businesses. These items include costs such as (i) restructuring, tangible asset impairments and other related charges including, but not limited to, charges incurred under the Company's cost reduction initiatives, (ii) costs associated with the wind down of the Dressbarn operations, and (iii) impairments of goodwill and other intangible assets.

Many investors also use non-GAAP measures as a common basis for comparing the performance of different companies.  A general limitation of non-GAAP measures is that they are not prepared in accordance with GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies due to differences in methods of calculation and excluded items. Non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to, not as a substitute for, the Company’s Operating income and Net income per common share, as well as other measures of financial performance and liquidity reported in accordance with GAAP.

The following tables reconcile non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and include Operating income, Income tax benefit (provision), Net income (loss) from continuing operations, Diluted net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, as adjusted ("Adjusted EBITDA").

    Three Months Ended     November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Operating income - reported GAAP basis $40.2     $1.2     Restructuring and other related charges (a) 4.6     7.9             Non-GAAP Operating income 44.8     9.1              

ascena retail group, inc.
Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Information - (continued)
(millions, except per share data)

Note 2. Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures (continued)

    Three Months Ended     November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
(Provision) benefit for income taxes from continuing operations - reported GAAP basis $(2.6 )   $0.4     Income tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments (b) (0.9 )   (1.1 )           Non-GAAP income tax provision from continuing operations (3.5 )   (0.7 )            

 

    Three Months Ended   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Income (loss) from continuing operations - reported GAAP basis $31.7     $(23.8 )   Restructuring and other related charges (a) 4.6     7.9     Income tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments (b) (0.9 )   (1.1 )           Non-GAAP net income (loss) from continuing operations 35.4     (17.0 )          

 

    Three Months Ended     November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Diluted net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations - reported GAAP basis $0.16     $(0.12 )   Per share impact of Restructuring and other related charges (a) 0.02     0.04     Per share income tax impact of non-GAAP adjustments (b) —     (0.01 )           Non-GAAP diluted net income (loss) per common share from continuing operations (c) 0.18     (0.09 )            

ascena retail group, inc.
Notes to Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Financial Information - (continued)
(millions, except per share data)

Note 2. Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures (continued)

    Three Months Ended     November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Adjusted EBITDA $119.2     $83.7     Restructuring and other related charges (a) (4.6 )   (7.9 )   Depreciation and amortization expense (74.4 )   (74.6 ) Operating income 40.2     1.2     Interest expense (26.4 )   (26.0 )   Interest income and other income, net 1.5     0.6   Income (loss) from continuing operations before (provision) benefit for income taxes 15.3     (24.2 )   (Provision) benefit for income taxes from continuing operations (2.6 )   0.4     Income from equity method investment, net of taxes 19.0     —   Income (loss) from continuing operations 31.7     (23.8 )   Income from discontinued operations, net of taxes —     29.7   Net income 31.7     5.9              

(a)  Fiscal 2020 reflects costs associated with the wind down of Dressbarn, as well as the reorganization of the Company’s sourcing operations.  Charges include (i) severance primarily related to the sourcing reorganization, (ii) $1.1 million of professional fees offset by approximately $5.0 million received from the sale of intellectual property rights associated with the Dressbarn ecommerce operations, and (iii) $4.4 million of costs related to the exit of Dressbarn’s retail store leases.  Fiscal 2019 primarily reflects severance and professional fees incurred under the Company's Change for Growth program.  Amounts recorded in each period presented are as follows:

  Three Months Ended   November 2,
2019
  November 3,
2018
Professional fees and other related charges $(3.9 )   $8.4   Severance and retention 4.1     (0.5 ) Lease termination and store closure costs 4.4     —     $4.6     $7.9              

(b)  Represents the income tax impact applicable to the non-GAAP adjustments described above using the Company's effective rate.  For Fiscal 2020, certain of the amounts are not subject to a non-GAAP tax impact due to the Company's valuation allowance position.

(c)  Reflects the impact on EPS of using 198.8 and 196.7 million weighted average common shares for both GAAP net income per diluted common share from continuing operations and adjusted net income per diluted common share from continuing operations for the three months ended November 2, 2019 and November 3, 2018, respectively.  The number of weighted average basic and diluted common shares are equal as the impact of potentially dilutive stock options and restricted stock units was de minimis in the three months ended November 2, 2019 and anti-dilutive for the three months ended November 3, 2018 under the treasury stock method.

Eagles Autism Foundation and Aramark Partner With “Popcorn for the People” to Support Employment Opportunities for Adults With Autism

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 4:14pm

To help combat the unemployment rate in the autism community, the Eagles Autism Foundation and Aramark, the Philadelphia Eagles food and beverage partner at Lincoln Financial Field, have teamed up with Popcorn for the People, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating meaningful employment for those with autism and developmental disabilities. Popcorn for the People trains and hires adults with autism to create, cook, package and sell uniquely flavored gourmet popcorn. The organization’s artisan flavors will now be served at Lincoln Financial Field behind Section 119, in the Hyundai Club and Tork Club markets, as well as HeadHouse Plaza.

A portion of the proceeds will support the Eagles Autism Foundation – the Philadelphia Eagles’ signature community platform – while the remaining proceeds will go towards Popcorn for the People and their mission to employ adults with autism. The Eagles are the first pro sports team to partner with Popcorn for the People.

“We are proud to align ourselves with Popcorn for the People and Aramark, two organizations that equally support an inclusive workplace and employment opportunities for adults with autism,” said Ryan Hammond, Executive Director, Eagles Autism Foundation. “Individuals with developmental disabilities are qualified, hard-working members of society who offer a wide range of unique skills and experiences. As an organization that embraces a culture of inclusivity, we congratulate Popcorn for the People for serving as changemakers in our society, and we look forward to offering some of their most popular flavors to our fans at Lincoln Financial Field.”

According to research, eight out of 10 individuals with autism are currently unemployed. Popcorn for the People has created a sustainable business model that hires and trains individuals on the autism spectrum in a supportive and nurturing environment. When fulfilled and empowered, individuals become more responsible, thrive creatively, take on bigger risks, and are able to embrace accountability.

“We are proud to support organizations in the communities where we live and work that are making a significant impact to help individuals and families,” said Brent Hardin, Vice President-East Region, Aramark’s Sports & Entertainment division. “As a longtime partner of the Philadelphia Eagles and premier partner of the Eagles Autism Challenge, we’re excited to team up with the Eagles Autism Foundation and Popcorn for the People to offer a quality product that not only tastes great and enhances the menu at Lincoln Financial Field, but benefits an important cause.”

Popcorn for the People was founded in 2015 by Dr. Steven Bier and Dr. Barbie Zimmerman-Bier who, at the time, were searching for a job for their 24-year-old son, Sam, a high functioning adult with autism. They decided to combine America’s favorite snack with their son’s passion and determination to find his rightful place in the workforce.

“At Popcorn for the People, we look for innovative organizations like the Philadelphia Eagles and Aramark that are willing to disrupt the endless cycle of unemployment in the autism community,” said Dr. Steven Bier, Founder, Popcorn for the People. “When you buy a bag of popcorn from Popcorn for the People at a Philadelphia Eagles game, you know that the popcorn was hand-cooked and bagged by a worker with autism.”

NSF certified and hand-crafted to perfection, Popcorn for the People’s assorted flavors are made with the finest Non-GMO kernels, Non-GMO sunflower oil and all-natural ingredients to deliver and maintain only the highest quality. Flavors include: chocolate caramel, cookies n’ cream, french toast, salt and vinegar, white cheddar and dark chocolate espresso, among others.

Popcorn for the People is an extension of Let’s Work For Good, a 501(c)(3) non-profit social enterprise with a mission to provide meaningful and lasting employment for adults with autism and developmental disabilities.

About Eagles Autism Foundation

The Eagles Autism Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for innovative autism research and programs. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism as well as future generations. Our event aims to inspire and engage the community, so together, we can provide much needed support to make a lasting impact in the field of autism. Please visit www.EaglesAutismFoundation.org.

About Aramark

Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) proudly serves Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, state-of-the-art healthcare providers, the world’s leading educational institutions, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 280,000 team members deliver experiences that enrich and nourish millions of lives every day through innovative services in food, facilities management and uniforms. We work to put our sustainability goals into action by focusing on initiatives that engage our employees, empower healthy living, preserve our planet and build local communities. Aramark is recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by FORTUNE, as well as an employer of choice by the Human Rights Campaign and DiversityInc. Learn more at www.aramark.com or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Popcorn for the People

Popcorn for the People is a non-profit, social enterprise dedicated to creating meaningful and sustainable employment for workers with autism and other developmental disabilities. Workers hand cook, label and package bags of popcorn at a 4,000-square foot cooking and processing center in Piscataway, NJ. Workers sell the popcorn at numerous high profile locations including Harry Potter at the Lyric Theater on Broadway, Rutgers University Big Ten Football & Basketball, HMSHost Travel Plazas, Goldman Sachs HQ, and Barclays HQ. Please visit www.PopcornForThePeople.com.

Corporate Philanthropy Conference: Measurement Metrics and Outcomes

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 1:14pm

Join us as we take a deep dive on building and sustaining a philanthropy strategy that aligns with your organization’s business strategy, culture, and mission. This year’s event will examine the “business” of corporate philanthropy through case studies and real-world scenarios with perspectives from both corporations and beneficiary organizations.

Session topics will cover the decision-making process as it relates to corporate strategy, as well as metrics, measurement, impact, output versus outcome, employee engagement, portfolio analysis, and more. This conference is designed especially for executives with responsibilities in the following areas:

  • Corporate Philanthropy

  • Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Corporate Citizenship

  • Corporate Foundations

  • Community Affairs and Community Relations

  • Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG)

  • Board Service

  • Corporate Communications

  • Public Relations

  • Legal, Regulatory, and Financial Advisory

  • Cause Marketing

To Register, download the agenda or learn more, visit us at: www.conferenceboard.org/philanthropy SAVE $100 with Code: CSR100

GreenBiz 20

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14am

The sustainability profession is evolving, with new concerns and concepts emerging faster than ever. GreenBiz 20 (Feb. 4-6, Phoenix) is the premier annual event for sustainable business leaders exploring the latest trends, tools and insights.

Attend GreenBiz 20 to network with and learn from this powerful community of more than 1,500 sustainability thought leaders and practitioners from business, government, academia and NGOs. Save 10% with our discount code GB203B. Learn more: http://bit.ly/2piCcOe

IMPACT2030 Announces Dr. Alaa Murabit As Incoming CEO

Mon, 12/09/2019 - 10:14am

 IMPACT2030, a business led coalition, is uniting companies around the world to channel the skills, expertise and creativity of their people as a force for good to advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organization, which is already 60 corporations strong, is proud to announce Dr. Alaa Murabit as incoming CEO.

Dr. Murabit is a medical doctor, United Nations High-Level Commissioner on Health, Employment and Economic Growth, UN SDGs Advocate and recipient of the Canadian Meritorious Service Cross. She has been nominated to address the United Nations General Assembly multiple times and is recognized for her leadership in global policy and in elevating the role of women, particularly young, minority women, on global platforms.

“I'm honored, and grateful to the board, for the opportunity to lead IMPACT2030. More than ever employees and companies are looking for connection and purpose, and IMPACT2030 is answering that call. By leading the conversation on human capital investments, the changing reality of corporate responsibility, and what it means to create and build effective, sustainable communities, IMPACT2030 is shaping this agenda” says Alaa Murabit. “I’m excited to build on this incredible work with our dedicated and passionate partners and a clear objective to unlock the power of human capital to, as the SDGS say so clearly, ‘leave no one behind’.” 

Peter Bodin, Chair of the IMPACT2030 Board of Directors and CEO of Grant Thornton International, Ltd says: “I’m extremely excited about Dr. Murabit’s appointment as CEO of IMPACT2030. Her reputation as a leader, advocacy for gender equality, and significant involvement with the SDGs, means she is perfectly placed to take the organization into the future. I’m confident that we will see tremendous progress under her guidance.”

“I would also like to thank Sue Stephenson, a co-founder of IMPACT2030, for her contributions as Interim CEO and the role she has played in building our coalition. Ms. Stephenson will remain on our Board of Directors, providing support and guidance to Dr. Murabit in this exciting next phase.”

About IMPACT2030

IMPACT2030 is uniting companies around the world to scale the impact of their human capital investments to advance the SDGs. The Founding Partners are UPS, SAP, IBM, PwC, Pfizer, TCS, Google, Grant Thornton, PIMCO, Dow, Medtronic, Mars, TD Bank Group, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, Chevron, The Ritz-Carlton, WE and Realized Worth. This select group of forward-thinking companies have invested financial resources and thought leadership to advance the organization’s mission and global growth. Learn more about IMPACT2030 at www.impact2030.com.  

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