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Sustainable Sourcing: General Mills Invites Open Dialogue on Twitter

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

How sustainable developmentcan food companies source their ingredients most sustainably – and protect the resources and communities upon which their businesses depend?

With its 2014 CSR Report - releasing on April 16, 2014 - marking General Mills' 44th year of voluntarily disclosing progress on its social and environmental goals, the company has committed to sustainably sourcing 100 percent of its 10 priority ingredients by 2020. That represents more than 50 percent of the company’s annual raw material purchases and includes oats, wheat, dairy, palm oil, cocoa and vanilla, among others.

The challenge ahead is significant.

From finding the right partners to improving farmers’ profitability and the sustainability of their farming techniques, General Mills will need to not only focus on immediate social and environmental impact but also on sustaining its business for the long-term. 

general mills sustainable sourcingTo discuss the weight of this commitment and how it aims to move forward, General Mills Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Lynch and General Mills Sourcing Director Steve Peterson will join CSRwire for a live Twitter chat on April 23, 2014.

Moderated by Aman Singh, CSRwire’s Editorial Director and Nick Aster, Founder and Publisher of TriplePundit, the discussion will explore several subthemes including:

  • What does sustainable sourcing involve for a global company like General Mills?
  • What is the food giant doing to address its impact upstream?
  • With 99% of its water usage occurring outside its operations, how can General Mills include others in the supply chain – farmers, other companies, etc.— in its sustainability goals?
  • How does a supply chain spread across the developed and developing world shift General Mills’ sustainable sourcing approach?

 Here’s what you need to know:

Date: April 23, 2014

Time: 3pm ET

Hashtag: #GenMillsSusty

Speakers: @gmills_jerry @gmills_steve

Moderators: @AmanSinghCSR @CSRwire @nickaster @triplepundit

To register, send out the following tweet:

I'll join @gmills_jerry @CSRwire & @triplepundit to discuss what it takes 2 reach 100% #susty sourcing http://bit.ly/GenMillsSusty #GenMillsSusty

Got a question for our panel? Send it to aman@csrwire.com.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations and partner TriplePundit. These chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Whether the topic is sustainable living, shared value or responsible careers, these interactive sessions not only help our clients push their communication boundaries but also gain valuable feedback, criticism and the attention of an active and engaged community. Learn more by emailing aman@csrwire.com.

Updated Conflict Minerals Reporting Template Now Available

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

A new Conflict Minerals Reporting Template version 3.0 (CMRT 3.0) was published today by the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative. The leading multi-industry tool to facilitate transfer of information throughout the supply chain in support of conflict-free sourcing, CMRT 3.0 includes a number of updates from the current version 2.03a, including harmonization with the corresponding IPC standard. CMRT 3.0 is highly recommended for the collection of 2014 supply chain data for filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015 where required.

“The Conflict Minerals Reporting Template is a vital tool for companies around the world to gather information about the source of materials in their products, and the smelters and refiners that processed those materials. By gathering the same types of information from many levels of the supply chain in a standardized form, companies can make informed choices about conflict minerals in their supply chains,” said Michael Rohwer, Program Director of the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative.

Key updates reflected in CMRT 3.0 include harmonization with the relevant IPC protocol and an updated smelter and refiner reference list. The CMRT is developed by companies from multiple industries and is available in several languages.

The CMRT is free to use for all companies and is available for download on the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative website. For additional resources to support conflict-free sourcing, companies can join the CFSI as members and enjoy a range of benefits including access to Reasonable Country of Origin data.

About the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative
Founded in 2008 by members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, the Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative has grown into one of the most utilized and respected resources for companies addressing conflict minerals issues in their supply chains. Over 150 companies from seven different industries participate in the CFSI today, contributing to a range of tools and resources including the Conflict-Free Smelter Program, the Conflict Minerals Reporting Template, Reasonable Country of Origin Inquiry data and a range of guidance documents on conflict minerals sourcing. The CFSI also runs regular workshops on conflict minerals issues and contributes to policy development and debates with leading civil society organizations and governments.

Business Support for Policy Action on Climate Change Grows 20-Fold as the "Climate Declaration" Hits First Anniversary

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

On the heels of a new UN report detailing damaging and accelerating impacts of climate change, top business executives from IKEA, JLL, Mars Inc., Sprint and VF Corp. met today with members of the Congressional Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change to discuss climate-related impacts on their companies, actions they are taking to reduce their companies’ carbon footprints, and the urgency for stronger policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy choices.

The five business leaders were joined for additional Congressional meetings by executives from Aspen Skiing, Ben & Jerry’s, Burton Snowboards, CA Tech, Calvert Investment, eBay, Eileen Fisher, Nike, Starbucks, Symantec, Unilever and the Outdoor Industry Association, which represents more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

Among the topics discussed, the business executives specifically called on Congress to pass a tax extenders package that would renew expired tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency for two years. They also urged passage of the Master Limited Partnership (MLP) Parity Act, which calls for extending the popular MLP finance mechanism to renewable energy, to level the playing field with fossil fuel sources.

All companies participating today are signatories to the Climate Declaration, a corporate call-to-action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change.

Launched on April 10, 2013 by 33 founding companies and Ceres, a nonprofit sustainability advocacy organization, and its business network, Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), the Climate Declaration has more than 750 signatories nationwide. The newest companies to sign the declaration, at its one-year anniversary, include: the San Diego Port Authority, Sprint and SunPower.

"The hundreds of companies signed on to the Climate Declaration see the financial upside of tackling climate change today, both for their own bottom lines and the overall economy," said Anne Kelly, director of policy and BICEP at Ceres. "They recognize that the benefits of acting today far outweigh the escalating costs of further delay. We welcome them and invite others to come on board."

“The U.S. has spent more than $136 billion on disaster relief in the past three years alone, and the storms and other natural events causing this damage have been connected to climate change,” said Letitia Webster, director of global sustainability for VF Corporation, a North Carolina-based lifestyle apparel giant that owns iconic American brands such as The North Face, Timberland, Vans and Wrangler. “It’s critical that more of our nation’s financial resources are spent working to address the root cause of this problem to prevent, or at least slow down, the exact impacts that our outdated carbon infrastructure is creating.”

“These major businesses have shown tremendous leadership in calling for strong policy action to cut carbon pollution,” said Rep. Henry A. Waxman, co-chair of the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change. “I believe that with the active engagement of businesses like these we can protect our environment, create new jobs and strengthen our economy.”

Beyond signing the declaration, the signatories are taking their own steps to become more sustainable. IKEA US, for example, announced today that it is purchasing a 98 megawatt wind farm in Hoopeston, Illinois that, when operational in 2015, will allow the company to generate 165 percent of the energy it consumes in its U.S. operations (38 stores, five distribution centers, two service offices and one factory) with renewable sources. Ninety percent of IKEA locations in the U.S. already have solar installations for a total of 38 megawatts in capacity.

“We are committed to renewable energy and to running our business in a way that minimizes our carbon emissions, not only because of the environmental impact, but also because it makes good financial sense,” said Rob Olson, IKEA Chief Financial Officer. “We invest in our own renewable energy sources so that we can control our exposure to fluctuating electricity costs and continue providing great value to our customers.”

GM, the only signatory from the automotive industry, has taken numerous steps in the past year, including introducing two new electrified vehicles, the Chevrolet Spark EV and the Cadillac ELR; meeting the voluntary ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry at 63 facilities worldwide, saving $162 million in energy costs; investing $24 million in 14 additional megawatts of landfill gas at Fort Wayne and Orion assembly plants, avoiding 23,000 metric tons of CO2 and saving $10 million in energy costs per year; replacing coal-fired boilers at its Detroit Hamtramck assembly with process steam from municipal solid waste; and completing Ohio’s largest rooftop solar array, a 1.8MW installation at GM Toledo Transmission.

Aspen Skiing Company partnered with the Elk Creek Coal Mine to capture waste methane and generate electricity equivalent to what it uses annually while eliminating three times its annual carbon emissions.

“Aspen Skiing Company signed the Climate Declaration because of the significant threat a changing climate poses for our business and winter tourism based economies globally,” said Matthew Hamilton, sustainability director for Aspen Skiing Company. “We believe it will take unique partnerships, like a coal company working with a ski resort operator to find common economic ground on issues of energy independence while reducing climate impacts.”

Microsoft committed to going carbon neutral and put a price on carbon, and entering into a 20-year power purchase agreement with a wind facility in Texas. Gap Inc reached its 20 percent by 2015 greenhouse gas reduction goal a year ahead of schedule. The company is now working to set a revised goal.

In addition, 70 percent of the Climate Declaration’s major company signatories (those with over $100 million in annual revenues) have publicly advocated for strong climate policies, whether by lobbying on Capitol Hill, sending a letter or engaging with the public on the urgency of the issue through social media.

“It’s an honor to be part of BICEP because is brings brands together so that we have a stronger voice,” said Burton President Donna Carpenter. “At Burton, we’ve gone from focusing on our internal sustainability efforts to publicly lobbying for policy action and engaging the snowboarding community through social media campaigns. Climate change is an issue that must be tackled collaboratively.”

In addition to lobbying for policy action, Burton has committed to a three-year plan with measurable goals, such as a carbon footprint analysis and 15 percent energy reduction at the company’s Vermont headquarters.

About Ceres
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of nearly 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy), a project of Ceres, is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. For more information and a list of member companies visit: www.ceres.org/bicep.

Clinics Bring Life-changing Care to Ghana's Capital

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

Two new clinics were created as part of Novo Nordisk's Base of the Pyramid programme, which is creating partnerships to build sustainable access to diabetes care for people with low incomes. The first of them was inaugurated by representatives of Novo Nordisk, the Ghanaian government and local partners on 4 April.

"Ghana has one of the highest rates of undiagnosed diabetes – 73%, or more than 330,000 residents, are unaware of the disease. This is a ticking bomb unless we do something about it," Mike Doustdar, senior vice president of Novo Nordisk's International Operations, said during the inauguration. "This is one of two initiatives here in Ghana, and the plan is to go for four. And we will hopefully go from four to eight, and from Ghana to other countries."

We open our doors

The two clinics serve very different areas of Accra, one suburban and relatively prosperous, the other populated by people with lower incomes. They join other BOP clinics in Nigeria, Kenya and India.

"Novo Nordisk, we open our doors to you. And whatever you think can help you to do more of what you're doing, we are willing to help you," Honourable Rashid Pelpuo, Ghana's minister of public private partnerships, said during the inauguration.

"In Africa, when such projects come, they are always 'in the pipeline'. But in this one, the pipeline has delivered," added Kwaku Leboah, finance and administrative manager for PALB pharmaceuticals, a local partner to the project.

The clinics began receiving patients even before they opened. Hundreds of local people gathered for blood measurements and health tests, many of them pregnant women who crossed the street from other departments of the hospital where it is located.

Already after its first day of operation, the clinic's carefully handwritten list of blood measurements offered a clear message: many people in Ghana are going about their lives with undiagnosed diabetes.

The BoP segment is defined as the 1 billion people globally with low-incomes, the working poor, who earn between 1500 and 3000 US dollars yearly.

Wyndham Worldwide Recognized by Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility for Demonstrating Leadership and Commitment to Equality

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

(Marketwired) - Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's leading hospitality companies, has been recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and its Corporate Inclusion Index for the second consecutive year. A HACR corporate partner, Wyndham Worldwide was recognized for its workforce and recruitment, community investment and supplier diversity.

The Corporate Inclusion Index takes a comprehensive measurement of Hispanic inclusion at Fortune 100 and HACR corporate member companies. It tracks and evaluates inclusion practices related to employment, procurement, philanthropy and governance, and then analyzes the implications for the Hispanic community.

"As a global hospitality leader with locations in nearly 100 countries across six continents, thinking globally but acting locally is just part of how we operate in markets around the world," said Patricia Lee, senior vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "In order to keep Wyndham Worldwide an exceptional travel partner, a successful company and a great place to work, we must respect and understand various cultures, motivate and lead multiple generations, provide ethical leadership, and demonstrate integrity and respect in everything we do."

Believing diversity enriches the Company as a global hospitality provider, Wyndham Worldwide embraces a culture of diversity and inclusion that supports associates of all backgrounds. The Company offers a variety of diversity and inclusion programs for all associates, including leadership training programs, mentoring opportunities and educational support.

Wyndham Worldwide also sponsors several Associate Business Groups (ABGs), where associates with common interests share ideas and experiences, and promote professional development, engagement, and inclusion throughout the company. Open to all associates, ABGs at Wyndham Worldwide currently include: WYNPride (LGBT), ¡Fuerte! (Hispanic), Spectrum (African American), I-VOW (Veterans), AASK (Administrative Assistants), Women on Their Way (Women in the Workplace) and Generaciones (cross-generational).

Additionally, HACR presented Erika Gonzalez, diversity and inclusion manager, Wyndham Worldwide, with a Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award at its annual conference in San Diego. Gonzalez was one of 34 young professionals selected to participate in the 2014 Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers Program, which recognizes young Hispanics at Fortune 500 and HACR corporate member companies. Previous recipients of the award from the Company include Jason Fernandez, director, financial reporting and corporate accounting, Wyndham Vacation Ownership in 2012, and Tania Calderon, director of product and marketing strategy at Wyndham Vacation Ownership in 2011. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is the vacation ownership division of Wyndham Worldwide. Since receiving the recognition, Fernandez and Calderon have been a part of HACR's Corporate Achievers program, which provides a support network, leadership development and reconnects past recipients of the Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers award.

"This recognition is a reflection of our commitment and focus to workplace diversity and inclusion. We know that it takes great people to make great things happen; therefore we strive to cultivate a global workforce where individuals from a wide array of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds, are valued," said Tiziana Sullivan, vice president diversity, Wyndham Worldwide. "We invite every individual to experience acceptance and the opportunity to contribute at Wyndham Worldwide."

Recognized as an industry leader, Wyndham Worldwide has been named a Top 50 Company for Diversity by DiversityInc, a Top 50 Company for Latinas by LATINA Style, one of the "Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign, and one of the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women by the National Association for Female Executives. Additionally, the Company maintains strong partnerships with organizations such as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and National Association of Black, Hispanic, Asian and Women MBAs.

About Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility
HACR's mission is to advance the inclusion of Hispanics in Corporate America at a level commensurate with our economic contributions. HACR focuses on four areas of corporate responsibility and market reciprocity. They are: Employment, Procurement, Philanthropy, and Governance.

In pursuit of its mission, HACR offers Corporate America direct access to the Hispanic community – its talent, entrepreneurs and leadership – creating a forum to ensure corporate responsibility and market reciprocity for the nation's Hispanic population.

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality products and services through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,440 franchised hotels and over 638,300 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 106,000 vacation properties in 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of 190 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 915,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately 32,500 associates globally.

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

Bombardier Supports Rebuilding Schools in the Philippines

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

(Marketwired) - Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has donated $125,000 US in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in November last year. The money will fund the rebuilding of three school buildings in Northern Cebu to help the schools resume education in a region where the company operates.

Bombardier signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity Philippines to rebuild the schools located in Tapilon, Kawit and San Remigio. The families of many local Bombardier employees live in these communities.

Following the natural disasters, Bombardier Transportation issued a call for donations to all its employees. Management then matched the amount raised. In accordance with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy focusing on the areas of education, environment and entrepreneurship in communities in which it operates, Bombardier Transportation decided to help bring children back to school in areas that were damaged severely.

Bombardier's Finance Shared Services Center in Cebu City is an active member in the community, sponsoring events like the annual Sinulog Festival parade, which attracted about 3.5 million people from across the Philippines this year. The center's employees handle accounting and reporting for 13 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Evelyn Pantaleon, Principal of Kawit Elementary School said: "We are grateful to the support provided by Bombardier and Habitat for Humanity Philippines, which will change the lives of pupils in Northern Cebu. They are currently completing their semesters and studying in makeshift temporary classrooms. This contribution will enrich and rebuild local communities and is welcomed and appreciated by the pupils and their families."

"Habitat's philosophy is not only to provide houses, but also promote holistic community development," said Habitat CEO & Managing Director Charlie Ayco. "That is why the classrooms that Bombardier have generously donated will definitely help in rebuilding their lives as they move forward after this calamity."

Habitat's Re-build Philippines aims to meet the shelter needs of communities affected by natural or man-made calamities such as super typhoon Haiyan, the Bohol earthquake and the Zamboanga siege. Its disaster response program provides emergency and shelter repair kits and builds core houses for affected families.

For more information about Bombardier's CSR activities and its sustainability report, visit www.csr.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.

About Habitat for Humanity Philippines
Habitat for Humanity Philippines (HFHP) is a non-profit organization that serves Filipino families in need of decent homes. We bring together partners who share the same vision of transforming lives through building responsible and sustainable communities. Established in 1988, HFHP is a country affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International based in Georgia, USA. For 25 years, HFHP has served over 60,000 families throughout the country. HFHP envisions that every Filipino family has a decent place to live. Visit www.habitat.org.ph or www.facebook.com/habitatphilippines for more details.

About Bombardier
Bombardier is the world's only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.

Bombardier is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America Indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013, we posted revenues of $18.2 billion. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.

For news releases, related material and photos, visit our media centre at www.bombardier.com/en/media-centre.html.

BOMBARDIER and ECO4 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.

Contacts:
BOMBARDIER TRANSPORTATION

Australia and New Zealand: +61 3 9794 2223
John Ince, john.ince@au.transport.bombardier.com

Benelux: +49 30 98607 1687
Janet Olthof, janet.olthof@de.transport.bombardier.com

Canada: +1 450 441 3007
Marc Laforge, marc.laforge@ca.transport.bombardier.com

China: +86 10 8517 2268
Flora Long, flora.long@cn.transport.bombardier.com

France and North Africa: +33 6 07 78 95 38
Anne Froger, anne.froger@fr.transport.bombardier.com

Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Central and Eastern Europe: +49 30
98607 1134
Immo von Fallois, immo.von_fallois@de.transport.bombardier.com

India and Japan: +91 7 838 660 093
Harsh Mehta, harsh.mehta@in.transport.bombardier.com

Mexico: +52 55 5093 7714
Paulina Ortega, paulina.ortega@mx.transport.bombardier.com

Middle East: +44 1332 266031
Emma Brett, emma.brett@uk.transport.bombardier.com

Nordic and Baltic Countries: +46 10 852 5213
Par Isaksson, paer.isaksson@se.transport.bombardier.com

South East Asia: +65 6478 6235
Evon Lam, evon.lam@sg.transport.bombardier.com

Southern Africa and Israel: +49 30 98607 1147
Sandy Roth, sandy.roth@de.transport.bombardier.com

UK: +44 7971 850 606
Jeanette Bowden, jeanette@networkpr.co.uk

USA: +1 450 441 3007
Maryanne Roberts, maryanne.roberts@us.transport.bombardier.com

Contact:
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Gina De Los Reyes Virtusio
+632 846 2177
+63 918 800 4462
+63 905 6654462
gina.virtusio@habitat.org.ph

Corporate Responsibility Training - Atlanta

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

This three-day training will provide essential content to develop and implement a successful corporate responsibility strategy and is delivered by expert practitioners with years of experience advising leading companies on CR and sustainability, companies.

Since its launch in March 2008, hundreds of delegates have completed the training. Companies who’ve sent staff on the course include BAE Systems, BAT, BSI, The Co-operative, Deloitte, Eni, Ernst & Young, Guardian News & Media, Maersk, Nestlé, Nokia, PwC, RBS, SGS, SK Telecom and Vodafone.

The training is broken into three modules covering:

A. Foundation in corporate responsibility and sustainability (1 day)
B. Stakeholder engagement (1 day)
C. Reporting (1 day)

Participants can take all three modules together or attend one or more individual modules.

Who Should Attend:
Whether you’re a corporate responsibility, marketing, or procurement professional, or an academic, consultant or auditor, then our comprehensive and corporate responsibility training course is for you.

African Mine Security Summit

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

The continuous criminal threat to the mining industry has established the need for mining companies to implement robust security strategies. Issues like perimeter intrusion, illegal mining, corrupt officials/law enforcement, theft and organised crime have increased the demand for intelligent and cost effective security solutions.

The inaugural “African Mine Security Summit” will extensively showcase:

  • Industry practice to manage and mitigate security risk
  • Methods to secure mine site operation against internal and external threats
  • Advance technology implemented for robust security across all verticals
  • Informative presentations and case studies by industry leaders

MBA Polymers Wins 2013 Katerva Award

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

People's Choice Award Winner: HealthPhone

People’s Choice Honorable Mention: 50 Million Missing Campaign 

MBA Polymers is the winner of the 2013 Katerva Award. MBA Polymers has developed breakthrough separations technology and has grown to what is now the world’s primary company recovering plastic from large complex waste streams such as end-of-life computers, electronics, appliances, automobiles, and most recently household waste. MBA has over 300 million pounds/year of processing capacity to turn waste into high performance plastics. MBA works with some of the largest manufacturers in the world to close-the-loop by replacing virgin plastics with MBA plastics in their new products. MBA Polymers (see www.mbapolymers.com/home/) headquarters is located in the United Kingdom.

The Katerva Award is the highest global sustainability recognition, and has been referred to as the Nobel Prize of Sustainability. This year’s Katerva Award winner was chosen from 50 competitive finalists, the top five-ranked projects in each of ten award categories.

According to Terry Waghorn, founder and CEO of Katerva, “Today's challenges overwhelm conventional approaches. They require breakthrough and disruptive innovation and the ability to scale rapidly.  Katerva is designed to do just that—to catalyze and accelerate breakthrough solutions.”

The 2013 Katerva People's Choice Award winner is:

HealthPhone (www.healthphone.org) HealthPhone UNICEF’s Ammaji Channel is a personal video reference library and guide to better health and nutrition practices, for families and communities, pre-loaded on a US$3 microSD memory card to insert in their basic mobile feature phones. This gives them direct access to knowledge to learn, share, educate and exactly at the time when they need to deal with a health problem, where they are, and as they are, without a connection or cost.

Honorable Mention goes to 50 Million Missing Campaign (www.genderbytes.wordpress.com/) The 50 Million Missing Campaign is a fund-free, grassroots, global campaign to end the ongoing female genocide in India. It was founded by author and gender activist, Rita Banerji, in 2006.

The ten 2013 Katerva Award Category Winners are:

Behavioral Change: Kiva U (www.kiva.org/do-more/kivau/intro)

Economy: Bolsa Verde do Rio de Janeiro (www.bvrio.org/site/)

Ecosystem Conservation: Bycatch (www.bycatch.org/)


Energy & Power: Aquion Energy (www.aquionenergy.com)

Food Security: Practical Action (www.practicalaction.org)

Gender Equality: WE CARE Solar (www.wecaresolar.org/)

Human Development: Solar Ear International (www.solarearinternational.wordpress.com/)

Materials & Resources: MBA Polymers (Katerva Grand Prize Award Winner, see description above).

Transportation: MIT City Car (cities.media.mit.edu)

Urban Design: ARCHIVE Global (www.archiveglobal.org/)

The Katerva Awards recognizes innovations with the greatest potential to advance the planet toward sustainability. Katerva Award Winners receive substantial legal, business, and operational support from the distinguished companies and individuals of the Katerva Winners’ Circle, helping them to cross the bridge from innovation to solution.

Katerva's mission is to identify and accelerate the spread of the world’s most promising disruptive innovations. www.katerva.net

Walden Hyde Becomes a Certified B Corporation

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

Boulder, CO—based brand-strategy and creative agency Walden Hyde (www.waldenhyde.com) announced today that the company has become a Certified B Corporation. This prestigious designation is awarded to companies that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems and meet higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

“Walden Hyde brings sustainability into mainstream culture by helping companies understand what it means to their customers and brands, then helping them tell the right story in the right way,” said Principal, Robb Shurr.

He added, “Being a Certified B Corporation is important to our core mission and helps us be accountable to our own brand values.”

Working across sectors spanning CPG, hospitality, the outdoor industry, and nonprofit, their clients include Unilever, The North Face, Klean Kanteen, prAna, Xanterra Parks and Resorts, and the Forest Stewardship Council.

With this new certification, Walden Hyde joins the ranks of other Certified B Corporation business leaders such as Patagonia, New Belgium Brewing Company, Ben and Jerry’s, and Method.

About Walden Hyde
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Walden Hyde (www.waldenhyde.com) is a brand-strategy and creative agency made up of anthropologists, storytellers, sustainability experts, and designers. They uncover the powerful human stories behind trends and culture to help good brands build consumer loyalty and change behavior.

About B Corp
Certified B Corporations meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of April 2014, there are more than 900 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 32 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace.

About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement to redefine success in business so that all companies compete not only to be the best in the world, but the best for the world. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiative: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) passing legislation to accelerate growth of social entrepreneurship and impact investing (12 states have already passed benefit corporation legislation); 3) driving capital to high impact investments through the use of GIIRS Ratings and Analytics (more than 60 investors with over $3B in impact assets under management use GIIRS); and 4) providing free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 7,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment).

Ikea, Jll, Mars Inc., Sprint, VF Corp., to Urge Policy Action on Climate Change at Bicameral Briefing Sponsored by Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Waxman

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

On the heels of a new UN report about damaging and accelerating impacts of climate change, top US business executives will be meeting with Congressional leaders next week to discuss climate-related impacts they are already seeing on their companies, actions they are taking to reduce their companies’ carbon footprints, and the urgency for stronger policy action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support renewable energy, and boost energy efficiency.

Executives from industry giants Sprint, IKEA, JLL, Mars Inc. and VF Corp. will brief the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change in the morning, and will be joined by additional business leaders for meetings with individual lawmakers in the afternoon. The companies are signers of Ceres’ Climate Declaration, a business call-to-action that urges federal and state policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of addressing climate change. More than 750 businesses have signed the Climate Declaration since its official launch a year ago on April 10, 2013. Newest signatories to the Declaration include Sprint, Sun Power and the San Diego Port Authority.

WHO:

  • Colin Dyer, president and chief executive officer, JLL, a major commercial real estate services firm headquartered in Illinois
  • Amy Hargroves, director, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Sprint, headquartered in Kansas
  • Rob Olson, chief financial officer/acting U.S. president, IKEA, headquartered in Pennsylvania
  • Kevin Rabinovitch, director, Global Sustainability, Mars Inc., headquartered in Virginia, with significant operations in Texas
  • Letitia Webster, director of Global Corporate Sustainability at VF Corp., a North Carolina based company that owns Lee, Wrangler, The North Face, Timberland and numerous other consumer brands

WHEN:   
Thursday, April 10, 2014
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM ET

WHERE:
Senate Visitor’s Center, Room 215 

ABOUT CERES: Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of over 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $12 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of 30 businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.

Northwest Electricity Prepayment Study Indicates High Customer Satisfaction and Energy Savings

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

Customers who enroll in prepay electric service reduce their energy usage from 5.5% – 14% as a result of changes in behavior due to more real-time information and awareness around their energy usage, according to a study conducted by Distributed Energy Financial Group (DEFG). Three out of four customers who were part of the study indicated they had changed their electric usage behavior to lower their electric bill since switching to prepay. In addition, the study indicated that customers had high levels of satisfaction with their prepay service as 92% of the surveyed customers indicated they were “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with their prepay service.

“The findings from the prepay study indicate that customers change behavior as a result of voluntarily switching to a prepay electric service. Customers become more proactive in looking for ways to reduce their energy usage and lower their electric bill,” said Darren Brady, Executive Vice President for DEFG. “Prepay service can enhance the relationship between the utility and its customers by not only making the payment process more convenient, but by providing real-time information to the customer about their daily cost which is changing how they think about and manage their electricity.”

The study included two cooperatives that offer prepay electric service in the Northwest and was undertaken to better understand the potential conservation impacts that can result from prepayment of electricity service. “We participated in this study to learn more about how our members view our prepay offering, and to better understand how our members manage their electricity usage while on the prepay service,” said Virginia Harman, Manager for Glacier Electric Cooperative.

The study evaluated the usage data from 1,394 customers enrolled in prepay programs to identify potential energy savings impacts from participation, and also asked the same participating customers about their experiences related to the prepay electric service. The customer survey was conducted in the fall of 2013, and included a total of 112 respondents.

“The results from the study confirmed what we have seen in our recent prepay savings study and national consumer surveys conducted through our Prepay Energy Working Group,” said Darren Brady, “Customers enrolled in voluntary prepay programs on average are reducing their energy usage at a very meaningful level, higher than most traditional energy conservation measures. While at the same time prepay services are generating high satisfaction levels from customers across all income levels, helping utilities enhance the value of a traditional payment transaction with their customer base.”

The study asked questions related to the actions customers had taken since enrolling in a prepay service. The goal was to try and better understand customer behavior and the specific steps that customers may take to reduce their energy usage as a result of prepayment.

“Overall, the results from this study indicate that prepay brings greater awareness of energy usage to the customer, encouraging them to take both basic actions—such as turning off the lights and turning down the thermostat—to making investments in energy efficient lighting, insulation, and HVAC systems,” said Darren Brady. “Customers indicated they switched to prepay to have greater control over their energy usage and bill, as well enabling better budgeting of energy costs and allocation of available funds to pay for electricity.”

DEFG is a management consulting firm specializing in energy. We believe that customers are the future of energy. Since 2003, we have helped clients create value in a commodity marketplace. In our rapidly changing marketplace, customer engagement is key to success, and our clients learn to better engage with residential and commercial customers. These customers provide unique resources, reduce risks and increase revenue potential. defgllc.com

GRI G4: One Year On - How Organizations are Creatively Applying GRI G4

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

DATE: June 19, 2014

WEBINAR TITLE: GRI G4: One Year On - How Organisations are Creatively Applying GRI G4

SYNOPSIS
The objective of this webinar (45-minute presentation / 15-minute Q&A) is to take stock of the progress of the GRI G4 sustainability reporting framework now that it is one clear year since it was launched. We consider how organizations have evolved their sustainability strategies and communications and consider how GRI G4 has played a role in this development of thinking. We also take this opportunity to give an overview of the GRI G4 reporting framework.

Background
This is the third event in the 2014 SGS webinar series aimed at helping organizations to succeed in developing winning sustainability strategies and to support them in every step during the implementation. Key to an integrated and effective organizational strategy is a clear sustainability story – this is central to business in 2014 and beyond.

Presenter
Dr. Colin Morgan, Global Product Manager – Social Responsibility Performance Assessments

Dr. Morgan holds a doctorate in organizational responsibility and has global responsibility for the SGS service delivery for Sustainability Communications where he has worked with globally recognized high profile organizations across the globe. He oversees the global delivery of sustainability reporting communications, particularly focusing on Sustainability Communications Assurance, where SGS have worked with over 100 companies to ensure their integrity in reporting. Dr. Morgan is also the product manager for the ISO 26000, ISO 20121 and the SGS social accountability responsible supply chain service programs.

Target Audience (Who are we after?)
This webinar will be most of interest to organizational sustainability strategists, reporting specialists, corporate communications teams, finance officers, senior leadership teams at organizations around the globe, sustainability professionals.

SCHEDULE
Program URL: https://sgseventcenter.webex.com/sgseventcenter/onstage/g.php?p=49&t=m

Click to Register for Session 1:
https://sgseventcenter.webex.com/sgseventcenter/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=708975552

04:00 p.m. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Singapore Time)
09:00 a.m. London (GMT Summer Time)
10:00 a.m. Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam (Europe Summer Time)
05:30 p.m. Darwin (Australia Central Time)

Click to Register for Session 2: https://sgseventcenter.webex.com/sgseventcenter/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=704939949
08:00 a.m. New York (Eastern Daylight Time)
01:00 p.m. London (GMT Summer Time)
02:00 p.m. Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam (Europe Summer Time)
08:00 p.m. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Singapore Time)

Global Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA Approved)

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

Has vacation on a Greek Island always been your dream?

Are you interested in getting a formal training on CSR?

CSE invites you to combine both this summer in one of the most beautiful Greek Islands!

CSE courses are accredited and approved by IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment), the leading international membership-based organization for Sustainability Professionals with more than 15,000 members based in 83 countries.

Key Issues to be covered:
This challenging 2-day training program enables participants to acquire the skills and competencies required for the effective use of the GRI Framework, GRI reports and publication of CSR/ Sustainability Reporting in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

The training provides insight on the conceptual introduction and preparation of the GRI reporting process, covers all the issues related to the dialogue with stakeholders and credibility of the reporting process, defines the content of the report and the monitoring process and explains in detail the preparation and communication of the final report.

The Certified Training Program aims to disseminate knowledge on sustainability reporting around the world. It has been developed especially to help report makers and users to more effectively use the GRI Framework and utilse GRI reports. Upon successful completion of the course, trainees are able to apply their knowledge in all levels of CSR and Sustainability Reporting according to GRI G4 guidelines and will receive course certificates directly from GRI confirming their acquired knowledge on Reporting.

Modules:
1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption
2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions
3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines
4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction
5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines
6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report
7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend:
• CSR Professionals
• Public Relations
• Communication and Marketing Managers
• Human Resources Managers
• Sustainability and Environmental professionals
• General Managers

Roundtable: How to Measure the Social Effects of CSR Strategies

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

The Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, devoted in updating the region on the newest international CSR news and tools, invites you to attend an insightful sustainability roundtable in New York on the 2nd of June 2014 (between 5:15pm and 7:15pm), straight after day 1 of the Advanced Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Training (IEMA Approved).

The Roundtable, with leading regional professionals and CSR experts, will focus on a crucial topic being a large business concern today "How can we measure the social effect of CSR strategies?" The goal is to go into depth about the challenges corporations confront, the investments in CSR actions and programs as well as the use of tools and international strategies like Social Return on Investment (SROI), which can form the framework that measure society coherent value.

The panel boasts a great experience across corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, including Nikos Avlonas, CEO and Founder of the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence, Bahar Gidwnani, CEO of CSRHub and NY area Angel Investor and Richard W. Parlier Jr., Sustainability Project Integration Specialist United States Postal Service.

If you are interested in CSR and SROI this is must-attend event.

Social Enterprise Alliance Summit '14

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA) is the champion for social enterprise in the United States. Our aim is for social enterprise to reach its full potential as a force for positive social change, in service to the common good.

To achieve this purpose, we provide social enterprises with the tools and resources they need to succeed, and work on building an optimal environment in which they can thrive. Since 2000, SEA’s Summit has been the signature event for learning, collaborating and creating a social enterprise movement through collective inspiration and action.

SEA’s 14th Summit, to be held in Music City, will feature four days of panels, two dozen training sessions and more than 60 speakers including:

  • Dr. Victoria Hale is Founder of Medicines 360 and Founder & Chair Emeritus of One World Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the US. Her passion is the development of important new medicines for all of humanity, with the specific goal to reduce health inequities. Under Dr. Hale’s leadership, One World Health developed a new cure for visceral leishmaniasis, launched a novel approach to treat dehydrating diarrhea and developed a platform technology to reduce the cost of malaria drugs by more than 10-fold. Recent honors include: membership in the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies (2007); MacArthur “Genius” Award (2006); and the President’s Award of Distinction from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
  • Seth Goldman is President and “TeaEO” of Honest Tea, the company he co-founded in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. In March 2011, HONEST Tea was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company, helping to further the reach and impact of HONEST Tea's mission by becoming the first organic and Fair Trade brand in the world's largest beverage distribution system. Since Seth started HONEST Tea in his kitchen, the company has initiated community-based partnerships with suppliers in India, China and South Africa, and has created marketing partnerships with the Arbor Day Foundation, City Year and RecycleBank.
  • Building an Economy on Love – Featuring Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest and founder of Thistle Farms, which employs women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She was named by the White House as one of 15 Champions of Change for violence against women in 2011. She will be joined by Tolulope Ilesanmi, a Nigerian immigrant to Montreal who started Zenith Cleaners as a spiritual practice. “Cleaning is the process of removing dirt from any space, surface, object or subject thereby exposing beauty, potential, truth and sacredness,” he says.
  • Lessons From Across the Pond – Featuring Peter Holbrook, CEO of the Social Enterprise Coalition, the UK’s national body for social enterprise; and Gerry Higgins Chief Executive Officer of Community Enterprise in Scotland. The social enterprise economy is much more advanced in the UK than the US. They will offer observations and lessons on what the US can do to advance more quickly.
  • Tours of Local Social Enterprises – Conference attendees will have the opportunity to tour Nashville’s own social enterprises, including: Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, the poverty-alleviation group Soles4Souls, Thistle Farms and FashionABLE, which works with women to help them start small business cooperatives and requires manufacturers to employ women with fair wages & fair hiring practices.
  • PLUS: Intensives on Jobs and work force development, Recycling and Deconstruction, Alternative Staffing and Faith-Based Social Enterprises. Plus a marketplace with over 50 social enterprises from the Nashville area displaying their wares.

Southern Vermont VBSR Chapter Meeting

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm
Exploring BLab: An Easy Way to Understand and Manage Your Sustainability Impacts

Discover how easy it is to use the B Impact Assessment tool and lead your organization to a sustainable future. This free and confidential tool will help you measure your company's socially responsible business practices and compare them against thousands of other businesses.

More than 900 Certified B Corps are leading a global movement to redefine success in business and build a more inclusive and sustainable economy. These change agents are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace, offering a positive vision of a better way to do business, and achieving high growth and high impact. At the same time, 20 states have passed legislation creating Benefit Corporations to build and appropriate legal infrastructure in support of sustainable business. Join us to learn about the difference between Certified B Corps and Benefit Corporations, how to become a B Corp or a Benefit Corporation, the advantages to your organization of joining the movement and the experience of one Vermont Company that is a certified B Corp.

There will also be a couple of case studies and success stories.

Speakers: Yola Carlough and Additional Speakers TBA

Yola joined B Lab in 2011. Her work in the area of Community Development facilitates entry into the B Corp community for businesses that commit to the highest standards of transparency, accountability and performance. Her efforts bring momentum, through membership growth, to the global B Corp movement that redefines success in business and builds a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable economy. She also manages a private consulting initiative in the field of sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

From 2007-2011, Yola was Director of Sustainability at Burt’s Bees natural personal care products in Durham, NC. where she developed, integrated and monitored innovative strategies to achieve the brand’s short and long term corporate responsibility goals in a commitment to sustainable working and living practices that activate the power of business on behalf of positive environmental and societal change. As Executive Director of the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, Yola worked to create meaningful partnerships with non profit organizations driving innovative, positive change through systemic, replicable models that seek to eliminate the root cause of social and environmental problems.

Prior to joining Burt’s Bees, Yola was Director of Social Mission at Ben & Jerry’s in Burlington, VT, where she managed pioneering environmental and socially conscious directions for the company’s domestic and international business.

Cost: Free and Open to the Public!

To Register: Advance registration appreciated but not required. RSVP to CS Wurzberger at cs@thegreenupgirl.com or 802-258-8046.

E+Co Case Study with Bruce Usher

CSR Wire - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - 01:59 pm

On Tuesday, April 8th, Bruce Usher, The Elizabeth B. Strickler '86 and Mark T. Gallogly '86 Faculty Director of the Social Enterprise Program at Columbia Business School, will present the E+Co Case Study.

Bruce served on the board of E+Co, an award-winning impact investment organization focused on the introduction of clean-energy technologies in developing countries. In this case, attendees will be asked to review qualitative and quantitative material from the organization's business plan in order to determine whether E+Co’s business model was fundamentally flawed.

Hosted by Mine-O-Rama Inc. at 1601 Broadway, the case study will be a structured program with networking opportunities to follow.

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