Manufacturers will label vehicles indicating the kinds of fuels they can use, such as ethanol, biodiesel or vegetable oil.
Shareowner resolution withdrawn after Kellogg's agrees to new sourcing policy and to respect human rights.
The following is an excerpt from Janisse Ray’s award-winning book about seeds and seed saving, The Seed Underground. If you’ve ever thought saving your own seeds was too much to tackle, let Janisse provide some encouragement and inspiration. For more information on seed saving, check out the next two articles in our “Seed Series.” Up […]
Watch entrepreneurs at VERGE pitch innovative sustainable solutions, including ideas to turn plastic into fuel, improve stairwell lighting efficiency and drive down the cost of solar.
Rice paddies and colorful tractors are common sights in remote parts of south India. So, too, are small shanties, brightly painted shops and coconut palms. But nowadays, in some villages, solar panels have also become part of the landscape, covering shingled roofs and competing with the palms for sunlight.
The panels are helping to catapult energy-poor villagers – who previously had no, or only very limited, electricity – into a more sustainable future. This leap to renewable energy is the result of an innovative business model that’s being rolled out to low-income communities in the state of Karnataka.
The company behind this new model is Simpa Networks, a technology company that aims to make sustainable energy affordable to all – even those who make less than $2 a day. In particular, Simpa targets customers who have limited access to electricity and use kerosene lanterns, which can pose health and safety risks, to illuminate their small homes. It also targets customers with little, if any, disposable income, who can’t afford to buy its solar products for $200 to $400 each – even though Simpa claims its system could yield significant savings over its 10-year lifespan.
How can it make money from these low-income customers? Simpa has turned to innovative product financing, one of the business-model innovations identified in Model Behavior, a report I co-authored that SustainAbility released last week.
Instead of paying the full price upfront, customers make a small initial down payment for a high-quality solar photovoltaic system and pre-pay for the energy service, activating their systems in small increments using a mobile phone. Each payment for energy also contributes toward the final purchase price of the system. Once fully paid off, the system unlocks permanently and produces free energy for the rest of its life.
The model is based on the concept of solar leases, which many US-based businesses are deploying to install solar panels on rooftops across the nation. SunEdison, SolarCity, Borrego Solar, Sunrun and Sungevity, among others, provide solar panels to commercial customers via power-purchase agreements. The solar companies install and maintain the solar-power systems, while customers pay for the electricity they use – and investors buy into the systems to take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit for renewable energy.
The idea is similar to the various financing and credit options offered at car dealerships or for home buying. Now the model is also being applied to other products aimed at low-income consumers in developing countries. Vestergaard, a company that produces health interventions like mosquito nets and fly screens for low-income populations, is experimenting with a new financing model to bring cleaner water to communities in Kenya. One of its products, the LifeStraw Family water filter, provides safe drinking water to families without access to piped water.
In 2011, Vestergaard delivered 880,000 filters to 4.5 million families in Kenya’s Western Province, spending $30m on distribution, preparation, training and support for the program over its 10-year life cycle. Instead of selling water filters directly to families, Vestergaard hopes to recoup its investment by collecting carbon credits from the Kenyan government. It will be eligible for these credits if enough families use the water filters instead of burning firewood to boil and purify water, which emits carbon into the atmosphere.
These products and business models are not without critics, and some are skeptical of the LifeStraw’s utility. It will still be years before the effectiveness of its carbon-credit model, and the viability of its proposed partnership with the Kenyan government, can be evaluated. Meanwhile, some remain wary of US-based solar leasing companies, which retain ownership of the solar panels, thereby keeping the federal tax credit rather than allowing homeowners to benefit.
However, most of these criticisms tend to be focused on the product or the policies related to that product, rather than the model itself. In the case of the LifeStraw Family, a 2010 randomized control trial in the Congo showed that a majority of recipient families were using the filter, but continued to drink untreated water as well, which reduced the effectiveness rates of the filter in preventing diarrhea. The model, however, has received accolades for its innovative design.
Product financing is not a new business model; rather, it is being used in new ways to get environmentally friendly products into the marketplace. Because these products can be more expensive, novel or untested, innovative financing schemes can help companies overcome barriers to adopting new technologies, which is key to securing a more sustainable future.
This article was originally published in Guardian Sustainable Business. For more information on this topic, please review Model Behavior: 20 Business Model Innovations for Sustainability, our latest report.
SustainAbility currently has two job openings in its San Francisco Bay Area office.
We are seeking an experienced and motivated research manager to contribute to the development and execution of our unique research program. The full job description and information on how to apply can be found here.
We are also looking for an exceptional candidate to provide executive assistant support to SustainAbility’s Executive Director and to facilitate the day to day running of our Oakland office. The full job description and information on how to apply can be found here.
We look forward to hearing from interested candidates.
The University of Texas at Arlington receives $122,000 from Chase to Fund Education Programs for U.S. Military Veterans
As part of a $1 million investment nationwide, Chase announced today that it will provide a $122,000 grant to The University of Texas at Arlington to fund educational opportunities for military veterans.
With the ongoing drawdown of military forces, about 1 million service members will transition out of uniform over the next few years. The UT Arlington grant will allow the University to expand its successful Student Veteran Project, which offers free, specialized admissions and counseling services to undergraduate veterans who want to return to college.
"Education is a path to sustainable employment as well as family and financial stability," said Maureen Casey, the bank’s Director of Military and Veterans Affairs. "By supporting educational opportunities for veterans and their families we will cultivate and empower the next greatest generation."
Alexa Smith-Osborne, an associate professor of social work, is principal investigator of the UT Arlington Student Veteran Project, which developed the program model. She said Chase’s support will make it possible to provide enhanced services to student veterans at the onset of their first academic year based on the model developed by the University’s Center for Clinical Social Work.
“This tested, innovative program model uses the latest evidence in neuroscience and human resilience among military populations to support peak academic performance, on-time graduation and successful career launch for student veterans,” Smith-Osborne said.
Many veterans face unique challenges in educational settings related to their military service, family status and attendance as non-traditional students. Chase's education grants will help U.S. colleges build programs for veterans on campus, including orientation and bridge programs, student services and enhanced classroom experiences with the ultimate goal of increasing retention and graduation rates.
UT Arlington boasts one of the largest populations of student veterans and active duty military personnel in Texas, Veterans Administration surveys show. The University enrolled about 500 veterans during the 2006-07 academic year. That number has more than tripled to 1,564 student veterans in fall 2013.
Military Times named UT Arlington one of the best colleges for military veterans this fall based on an extensive survey that considered academic rigor, service member enrollment, percentage of tuition covered by the GI Bill and availability of specific programs to help service members.
Chase recognizes the tremendous sacrifices that military members and their families have made on behalf of all Americans. As a result, the company has developed a firm-wide strategy focused on employment, housing and education for returning veterans.
In early 2011, JPMorgan Chase and 10 other companies launched the 100,000 Jobs Mission, pledging to hire a total of 100,000 veterans by 2020. Since then, 120 more companies from nearly every sector of the U.S. economy have joined in, hiring 117,439 U.S. military veterans in less than three years. The companies have now doubled their commitment - to hiring 200,000 by 2020.
Chase has hired more than 6,400 veterans since 2011. In less than three years, Chase has hired more than 1,400 veterans in Texas – more than any other state in the country. It has also provided more than 660 mortgage-free homes, including more than 60 homes in Texas, to military families through its non-profit partners.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
About UT Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.
The Nature Conservancy, Environmental Defense Fund and WWF topped the first-ever corporate ratings of environmental advocacy groups, according to a new report. The study was based on a survey of more than 200 companies.
The GreenBiz NGO Report, released today at the annual GreenBiz Forum outside Phoenix, asked companies — about three-quarters with revenue over $1 billion — to assess 30 of the largest environmental NGOs on their credibility and influence. It grouped the 30 companies into four distinct types, from “Trusted Partners” to “The Uninvited.”
“For years, we’ve seen corporations rated, ranked and reviewed by a wide range of NGOs. This is often part of a name-and-shame campaign compelling big brands to make big changes,” said John Davies, Vice President and Senior Analyst at GreenBiz Group, which produces the GreenBiz Forum. “We decided to turn the tables and have sustainability executives rate leading NGOs.”
[Editor’s note: On February 19, at 12:30 pm Eastern, the GreenBiz Forum will feature a panel of NGO leaders, led by John Davies. It will include senior executives from EDF, Greenpeace and Green America.]
Each of the 30 NGOs are rated on the basis of their credibility and influence and placed in one of four groups:
Trusted Partners – Corporate-friendly, highly credible, long-term partners with easy-to-find public success stories
Useful Resources – Highly credible organizations known for creating helpful frameworks and services for corporate partners
Brand Challenged – Credible, but not influential, organizations
The Uninvited – Lesser known groups, or those viewed more as critics than partners
The study looked at the top priority areas for corporations to engage with NGOs: climate change, community engagement and energy (both renewables and efficiency). It also asked business panelists to identify the types of working relationships they preferred when engaging with NGOs. They said that they prefer long-term partnerships over shorter ones, and look to NGOs to get their perspectives on relevant issues. Not quite half said they work with NGOs only on specific, short-term projects.
The report is being released on stage at the GreenBiz Forum, an annual conference attended by more than 500 corporate sustainability professionals representing some of the world’s largest companies. The event is tied to the publication of GreenBiz’s annual “State of Green Business” report, which assesses the key trends and indicators of progress by companies in addressing their key environmental impacts.
The free report can be downloaded on the GreenBiz website here.
In addition to the three organizations that topped the ratings in the GreenBiz NGO Report, other leaders included BSR, Ceres, Conservation International, Greenpeace, NRDC, NWF, Oxfam, Rainforest Alliance, Rocky Mountain Institute, Sierra Club and the World Resources Institute.
The lowest-rated NGOs, the Uninvited, included groups that focus primarily on name-and-shame actions rather than on developing working partnerships with companies, including the Dogwood Alliance, Earth First, Earthjustice, Forest Ethics and the Rainforest Action Network.
The NGO panel at the GreenBiz Forum will be part of a larger, virtual event. For more information or free registration, visit GreenBiz.com.
ABOUT GREENBIZ GROUP
GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website GreenBiz.com and daily e-newsletter GreenBuzz; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, such as the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives from Fortune 1000 companies; and conferences such as the GreenBiz Forum and VERGE. For more information, click here.
Students throughout Massachusetts are helping redefine the breast cancer movement. While many people think of breast cancer as corporate marketing campaigns and ribbons saturated in shades of pink, there exists a growing movement among students and others that challenges these assumptions. Although attention to the diagnosis and treatment is obviously necessary, this younger generation recognizes that prevention of the disease would save countless hours of expensive and trying treatments, as well as many lives. With the help of The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition’s (MBCC) annual Against the Tide event to be held this year in Hopkinton, MA on June 21 and in Brewster, MA on August 16, the emphasis is shifting from treatment to prevention.
MBCC's annual Against the Tide event has a reputation for inclusivity – and students of various ages are championing the cause. With the option of swimming, kayaking, walking, or running, there’s a way for everyone to take on the unique cause of breast cancer prevention.
“I believe that it does not matter how old or how young you are. Anyone can make a difference,” explains high school student and MBCC volunteer Charley Lei.
“These students are helping change the way people approach breast cancer,” states MBCC Executive Director Cheryl Osimo. “They are our future, and it’s up to us to do everything we can to ensure that this next generation doesn’t have to struggle with the breast cancer epidemic we are now up against. Now is the time to shift our focus from breast cancer awareness to primary prevention.”
MBCC invites students throughout the country to get involved with the Against the Tide event. Register yourself and invite your friends to do the same. You can swim, kayak, walk, or run – or do a combination of the four. There are many ways to get involved, and your energy and participation are greatly needed and valued. If you can’t attend, consider making a pledge of $10 or more to the “MBCC Breast Cancer Prevention Team.”
Visit www.mbcc.org/swim today to register or make a pledge.
The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. For more information go to www.mbcc.org/swim.
Corporations are often critiqued for concentrating solely on their bottom line. But change is on the way. There is now a new kind of corporation. It is a corporation that cares about the value it provides shareholders, yes, but is also measured on the care taken of its employees, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. It is called a B Corporation. Only companies that exceed rigorous social and environmental measurements can become a Certified B Corporation.
Maritime Tidal Energy Corporation (MTEC), a marine renewable energy consulting company, announced today it has exceeded the measurements and has become a certified B Corporation. MTEC was certified by an independent, non profit US company called B Lab. B Lab works toward harnessing the power of business to build a socially and environmentally conscious society. It achieves societal change by building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between "good companies" and just good marketing.
"Becoming a Certified B Corporation solidifies MTEC's objective of facilitating the development of marine renewable energy while maintaining its responsibility to the communities with whom it works. "We're delighted to be part of the B Corporation movement," said John Wanczycki, President of MTEC. "At MTEC we are about more than just providing value to shareholders. We believe that we can positively contribute to the 'well-being' of society and to the sustainability of the planet. Imagine the societal impact when there are thousands of Certified B Corporations."
About Maritime Tidal Energy Corporation (MTEC)
Founded in 2006, MTEC is a marine renewable energy consulting company focused on the professional services needs of the tidal energy sector. MTEC's mission is to be the professional services provider of choice for the marine renewable energy industry. www.maritimetidal.com
About Certified B Corporations
Certified B Corporations 1) meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; 2) legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interest, and 3) build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of February 2014, there are over 950 Certified B Corporations in 32 countries, and the number is growing rapidly. www.bcorporation.net/community/maritime-tidal-energy-corporation
Hormel Foods Donates $6.5 Million in Cash and Product Donations During Third Year of On Our Way to Ending Hunger Program
In recognition of completing the third year of its On Our Way to Ending Hunger program, Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL) today announced that donations to hunger relief organizations throughout the United States and abroad totaled more than $6.5 million during fiscal year 2013.
The On Our Way to Ending Hunger program focuses on collaboration with retailers, nonprofit organizations and government agencies to address hunger relief, nourishing the hungry both domestically and internationally, as well as motivating individuals and corporate partners to take action against hunger.
“On Our Way to Ending Hunger is how our company is helping to address the very real issue of hunger in this country,” said Julie H. Craven, vice president of corporate communications at Hormel Foods. “Through our plant community donations program, employees are able to make a real impact where they work and live, aiding local hunger relief organizations and strengthening their communities. Additionally, through Project Spammy™, we have the opportunity to make an impact outside of our own communities.”
Throughout fiscal year 2013, Hormel Foods donated more than $220,000 to local hunger relief organizations in more than 20 communities where it has U.S. manufacturing facilities. Each plant identifies the organization(s) within its community to support.
Addressing disaster relief needs last May, Hormel Foods donated 165,000 Hormel® Compleats® microwave meals to Feeding America in support of tornado relief efforts in Oklahoma. Additionally, the company donated 3,456 cans of Hormel® chili with beans, Stagg® chili and Hormel® Mary Kitchen® roast beef hash to the Hawaii Foodbank through the American Institute of Architects Honolulu eighth annual Canstruction competition.
Last year marked the fifth year of production for Spammy™, a shelf-stable poultry product fortified with vitamins and minerals, to help prevent malnutrition in children in Guatemala. The country has one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America, and working with its international partner, Food for the Poor, Hormel Foods shipped 2.4 million cans of Spammy™ product for individuals in need. Hormel Foods employees also participated in three trips to Guatemala, engaging first hand in Project Spammy™.
Hormel Foods also continued its important relationship with Hunger-Free Minnesota in 2013. Hunger-Free Minnesota is a statewide coalition of community and corporate organizations aimed at closing the “missing meals” gap in Minnesota.
About Hormel Foods
Hormel Foods Corporation, based in Austin, Minn., is a multinational manufacturer and marketer of consumer-branded food and meat products, many of which are among the best known and trusted in the food industry. The company leverages its extensive expertise, innovation and high competencies in pork and turkey processing and marketing to bring branded, value-added products to the global marketplace.
The company is a member of the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index, S&P Dividend Aristocrats for 2013, was named the 2013 Sustainable Supply Chain of the Year by Refrigerated & Frozen Foods magazine, and was again named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the fifth year in a row. Hormel Foods was recognized on the G.I. Jobs magazine list of America’s Top 100 Military Friendly Employers in 2012 and 2013, and named one of the 2014 40 Best Companies for Leaders by Chief Executive magazine. The company enjoys a strong reputation among consumers, retail grocers, foodservice and industrial customers for products highly regarded for quality, taste, nutrition, convenience and value. For more information, visit http://www.hormelfoods.com.
Microgrid Solar, headquartered in St. Louis, announced today that is has received certification as a B Corporation. Certified B Corporations are a new type of corporation which use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. These B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business. By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.
Commented Rick Hunter, Microgrid Solar’s Founder and CEO, “For Microgrid, B Corp Certification was a solution to an important need; the need for third party verification and a vetted organizing framework to help guide the work we have been doing towards building our company around a triple bottom line approach to doing business. The potential impact of B Corps is tremendous, and we are excited to be a part of this major socio-economic shift.”
In order to be recognized as a Certified B Corporation, Microgrid had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accepting legal requirements to include consideration of stakeholder interests (e.g., workers, suppliers, community, consumers, and the environment). “As the leading Midwest comprehensive building energy services provider, Microgrid’s focus has always been on making renewable energy and energy efficiency simple and affordable, while defining success in terms of people, planet, and profit,” said Hunter, “We strive to not only be leaders in our industry, but also leaders in the communities we do business, and are proud to have been accepted into this legal framework of corporations who focus beyond the bottom line.”
About Microgrid Solar
Microgrid Solar is a leading Midwest solar installer, based in St. Louis, MO, offering turnkey solar services for both commercial and residential clients. Microgrid has installed over 400 solar projects in the St. Louis area. The St. Louis Business Journal named Microgrid to the Who’s Who in Energy in 2012 and the Heroes of the Planet in 2011. More information at microgrid-solar.com
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 June 2013, there are more than 750 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 27 countries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace.
Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) has been named the Natural Efficiency Capital Leader of the technology industry by Trucost, a worldwide analyst firm focused on assessing corporate environmental impact. After evaluating more than 4,600 publicly traded companies, Trucost identified 34 Natural Capital Leaders across 19 industries – companies that have successfully grown their revenue while reducing emissions and their use of the earth’s natural resources. Adobe was selected as the global leader in the tech sector.
Trucost’s Natural Capital Leaders Index was introduced in the seventh annual State of Green Business Report 2014 produced by The GreenBiz Group, an information leader that promotes the integration of environmental responsibility into company operations in a manner that supports profitable business practices.
The inaugural Natural Capital Leaders Index developed by Trucost aims to become a standard for assessing which companies are truly leaders in sustainability based on metrics that effectively align business strategies with sustainable development imperatives.
More information about Adobe’s sustainability achievements can be found in its new CR report at www.adobe.com/corporate-responsibility/cr-reports.html
“Being selected as the technology industry trailblazer in the Natural Capital Leader index is validation of our commitment to responsibly managing the environmental impact of our operations,” said Michelle Yates, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Adobe. “With the excellent reputations of both firms in this space, we are honored to be recognized by Trucost and GreenBiz for our sustainability leadership.”
For more information on Adobe’s corporate responsibility initiatives, please visit www.adobe.com/corporate-responsibility.html
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.
© 2014 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Adobe, the Adobe logo, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Green Planet Bio-Fuels Inc. announced today that it has been certified as a B Corporation. Green Planet collects and recycles used cooking oil, servicing more than 1,000 customers in Ontario including restaurants, hotels and food processing companies. As a Certified B Corporation, Green Planet Bio-Fuels joins a roster of some of the most respected firms such Bullfrog Power, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and Now Magazine in North America that have made a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. This certification fits synergistically with Green Planets’ mission to be a key player in building a strong green economy in Southern Ontario.
“B Corporation Certification is incredibly important to Green Planet Bio-Fuels to demonstrate our commitment to corporate, social and environmental responsibility and to be accountable to our stakeholders in the community,” explains Steve Hyman, President of Green Planet Bio-Fuels.
Green Planet Bio-Fuels is currently the only used cooking oil collection company in Canada to hold B Certification. B Corporations are a new kind of company that use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. There are currently over 900 Certified B Corporations from more than 60 industries in 29 countries with one unifying goal – to redefine success in business. B Corps are important because they inspire all businesses to compete not only to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world.
Toronto-based Green Planet Bio-Fuels was founded in 2008 with the intention of recycling used cooking oil to be used as biofuels, rather then as animal feed, this way keeping spent fuel in fuel tanks rather in our livestock. Recycled cooking oil releases 80 to 90 percent less harmful emissions then fossil fuels. Today, Green Planet collects oil from across Ontario and is recognized as a forward thinking recycling company in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Call us at 416-752-6767 | Visit us www.greenplanetbf.com | Follow us on Twitter @GreenPlanetBF and Facebook.
2014 marks an exciting development for the Annual International Corporate Volunteerism Conference. Hosted by PYXERA Global on April 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, this year’s event, Catalyzing Growth in Emerging Markets, includes a Public-Private Partnership Forum featuring a series of talk-show style conversations between CEOs, Executive Vice Presidents, senior government leaders, members of Congress, and social sector leaders. The conference will address the ways in which cross-sector interests converge to achieve shared value and examine how the practice of International Corporate Volunteerism, or global pro bono, is contributing to socio-economic growth in emerging and frontier markets. Lead sponsors of this year’s event include The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Ernst & Young, IBM, SAP, and Merck.
Broadcast live from the Knight Studio at the Newseum, the Public-Private Partnership Forum will address themes of business in emerging markets, shared value, leadership, the power of corporate diplomacy and global health. “The International Corporate Volunteerism Conference is an excellent time to bring together thought leaders from industry, academia, NGOs and social enterprises to discuss the important role of engaging public-private partnerships to meet some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” commented Dow’s Global Director of Corporate Citizenship, Bo Miller. “This type of collaboration is synergistic and a pivotal part of Dow’s approach to corporate citizenship.”
Corporate volunteer programs provide companies and leadership an approach to better understand and service growing needs in emerging markets. “Through programs like the Richard T. Clark Fellowship for World Health, Merck has learned first-hand the value of public-private partnerships in meeting the health needs of the underserved. We look forward to contributing to the conversation about how these types of collaborations bring greater access to quality healthcare to people around the world,” noted Brian Grill, Executive Vice President of Merck Foundation.
April 8th will feature inspiring presentations, panels, and interactive workshops that address corporate volunteerism. Taking place at the FHI 360 Conference Center, the day features companies with active international corporate volunteer programs as part of corporate responsibility and employee engagement strategies. IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, Stanley S. Litow, shared, "Having operated the largest pro bono international problem solving program of its kind for the last five years, we're looking forward to sharing lessons learned in running the kind of initiative that yields enormous benefits for the company, employee and community."
In addition to Dow, Ernst & Young, IBM, SAP and Merck, Catalyzing Growth in Emerging Markets will also feature corporate leaders from Credit Suisse, BD, GlaxoSmithKline, Symantec, PepsiCo, Google, John Deere, Pfizer, CaixaBank and PIMCO. Leaders from distinguished social sector organizations such as Public Health Institute, Charities at Work, Global Giving and Global Impact will also be featured. Media sponsors include CSRwire, Devex and 3BLMedia.
“Cross-sector partnerships are increasingly becoming an effective and necessary approach to address the most pressing social issues of our time. This dialogue between public, private and social leaders will examine the ways in which partnership and collaboration can lead to sustainable impact,” stated Deirdre White, CEO of event host, PYXERA Global, an international development nonprofit that designs and manages international corporate volunteer programs for over a dozen corporations in service of government agencies, small and medium enterprises, and local organizations worldwide.
Click here to learn more about Catalyzing Growth in Emerging Markets.
Join the conversation on Twitter at #Catalyze14.
PYXERA Global (@PYXERAGlobal)
PYXERA Global leverages the unique strengths of corporations, governments, social sector organizations, educational institutions and individuals to enhance the abilities of people and communities to solve complex problems and attain mutually beneficial goals. Our vision is of companies, governments, and NGOs working together in new ways to efficiently increase global well-being through standard business practices. It breaks down the current model that isolates development as a charitable activity and mainstreams it into mission-aligned action.
On Tuesday, February 11, Nikos Avlonas, President of the Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE), and George Nassos, Principal of George Nassos Associates, presented in Chicago their new book entitled, Practical Sustainability Strategies: How to Gain a Competitive Advantage.
The book, recently published John Wiley & Sons, Inc., already got its place among America’s bestsellers on its first three weeks of publication. The book goes a step beyond all the theoretical solutions about sustainability and offers proven practical strategies that organizations can follow to develop and maintain a unique competitive advantage and includes case studies.
Great contribution to last night’s event were the presentation of its guest speakers, Howard Learner, President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, and Cary Nathenson, Associate Dean of The University of Chicago Graham School. The speakers emphasized the importance of the authors’ contribution in promoting sustainability and responsible corporate strategies. The event was attended by numerous professionals from the academia, corporate organizations and local media.
Commenting on the recent publication of his book, CSE’s president and book co-author Nikos Avlonas said: “This book reflects my fifteen-year global Sustainability experience with dozens of Fortune 500 companies and other organizations in North America, Europe, Asia and Middle East during which I provided strategic consulting and training services. This contributed toward creating strategies with a positive impact on both organizations, society and the environment as a whole.”
Cary Nathenson Associate Dean from the University of Chicago Graham School where Nikos Avlonas was advisor on its Sustainability Leadership program comments: “Sustainability education needs to be both theoretical as well as practical in order to contribute to holistic approaches. This new book makes a welcome attempt to bridge the theory-practice divide.”
Joseph Maguire, President, Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities, said: "Nikos Avlonas is a global leader in developing and implementing sustainability strategies for organizations—including SERF. He has teamed with his colleague George Nassos to masterfully distill their decades of experience in to this powerful and useful work." Maguire adds, "With an all-too-rare mix of accessible prose and hard data, these gentlemen have produced a work that belongs on the bookshelf of every corporate sustainability officer and concerned citizen of the world."
To learn more about the book, please visit here, or for more information about CSE’s global sustainability trainings programs, instructed by the Nikos Avlonas, visit here or contact CSE directly at email@example.com or at 312-214-6464.
As part of its continuing effort to promote professional development and career advancement among women, MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and The MGM Resorts Foundation today announced the 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference on Aug. 6 and 7, at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
The Women’s Leadership Conference will provide attendees with a range of learning opportunities, motivational guidance and personal growth tools, including:
- Exposure to diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models
- Two days of career-oriented workshops that will give women hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs
- Three distinct learning tracks for women who are Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives
- Workshops for entrepreneurs who are well-established or just thinking of starting their own businesses
“So many working women have told me that they feel they could take their careers to a whole new level if they had some structured guidance along with networking opportunities,” said Phyllis A. James, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of MGM Resorts International. “This conference provides a tremendous opportunity to women who are looking for ways to develop professionally and personally.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are a powerful demographic in the U.S. workforce. In 2010, they comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force. They are also expanding their roles, taking on more leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities. In recent years, women-owned businesses have become a major force in the U.S. economy; since 2007, they have employed 7.6 million workers and reported $1.2 trillion in sales.
The conference is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The non-profit MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. The Women’s Food Service Forum will once again provide support for the conference. Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.
The early registration fee for conference participants is $275 through May. Regular registration will be $350 from June to Aug. 7. Registration includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand. Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other women attending while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other resorts of MGM Resorts International.
Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference.
About The MGM Resorts Foundation
The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation's Board.
Flowserve Corporation (NYSE:FLS), a leading provider of flow control products and services for the global infrastructure markets, announced today a one day acceleration of its previously released schedule for the release of its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial results. The company announced that, after the close of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, it plans to file its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as issue its earnings release and earnings call presentation for the 2013 fourth quarter and full year.
The following morning, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, the company will hold its conference call with the financial community at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Mark Blinn, president and chief executive officer, as well as other members of the management team will be presenting. The call can be accessed by shareholders and other interested parties at www.flowserve.com under the "Investor Relations" section.
Flowserve Corp. is one of the world's leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services. Operating in more than 50 countries, the company produces engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves as well as a range of related flow management services. More information about Flowserve can be obtained by visiting the company's website at www.flowserve.com.
Social Enterprises, Inc. is proud to announce its certification as a B Corporation and has officially changed its legal corporate status to a Benefit Corporation. Social Enterprises, Inc., a Portland-based event planning firm specializing in sustainability and social impact conferences and summits, joins the ranks of a growing legion of Oregon and U.S. B Corporations which use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
“Social Enterprises was founded in order to give organizations generating important change on the frontiers of sustainability and social impact an affordable and professional resource to execute events that support their ongoing work,” said Ericka Dickey-Nelson, Founder and President of Social Enterprises, Inc. “With the Benefit Corporation framework, we are able to hold ourselves accountable to the same standards we recommend to our clients and assure our stakeholders that we mean business when it comes to implementing the triple bottom line across all aspects of our enterprise.”
Social Enterprises, Inc. was founded in 1997 in the San Francisco Bay area by Ericka Dickey-Nelson. What began as a side project to raise money for non-profits by hosting networking events for corporate professionals in Silicon Valley has since become a full-time mission to support nonprofit organizations like the Green Sports Alliance, EcoDistricts, Portland State University Impact Entrepreneurs and statewide coalitions of colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington and Arizona, by creating events that bring stakeholders together for dialogue and advancement of best practices and innovations.
Located in Old Town Portland, the Social Enterprises, Inc. team now boasts eight full-time employees and three part-time employees. The company actively supports best practices such as flexible work schedules, sustainable sourcing, remote employment and offsetting the cost of alternative transportation.
About Social Enterprises, Inc.
Social Enterprises, Inc. exists to serve the many non-profit and impact-minded organizations working to create a better world. Our mission is to assist these organizations in developing events that expand their network and influence while generating funds to support ongoing work. Social Enterprises is committed to producing sustainable events that minimize environmental impacts and make positive economic and social impacts on the communities we touch. Read our Sustainability Policy and learn more about Social Enterprises, Inc. at www.socialenterprises.net/about.
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 September 2013, there are more than 800 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 28 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).
In outreach to 129 companies inquiring whether they have public statements in line with the 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act SB-657, only 44 responded (of which 11 have now adopted a statement). While it is welcome that almost 400 companies to date have issued statements in line with the Act, this level of silence on the pressing issue of forced labor and human trafficking in supply chains is unacceptable, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre said today.
SB-657 requires certain businesses to disclose the efforts they are making, if any, to eradicate human trafficking and slavery from their supply chains. It applies to companies that: 1. are a retailer seller or manufacturer; 2. have annual worldwide gross receipts that exceed $100 million, and 3. do business in California.
A coalition of anti-trafficking organizations launched KnowTheChain to promote greater transparency and dialogue around this issue. The KnowTheChain website provides a record of which companies do and do not yet have statements under the SB-657 Act. Adopting a strong public statement is only the first step in addressing the risk of forced labor in supply chains, but it is an important one.
In January, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and KnowTheChain separately approached the 129 companies on the KnowTheChain website that had not yet been identified as having a SB-657 statement, encouraging them to adopt one. Of those 129 companies, only 44 responded. Eleven of these, such as Baker Hughes and Lululemon, have now published a statement. Some said that they are in the process of preparing one, and others indicated that they are not subject to the Act. However a total of 85 companies, including noteworthy brands such as Guess and Microsemi Corporation, have remained silent.
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said: “It is good to see that more and more companies are disclosing the efforts they are taking to tackle forced labor and human trafficking in their supply chains. But progress is too slow – it is shocking that so many companies are still failing to take action on this. The Act was passed to help eliminate the appalling human suffering created by trafficking, slavery, and forced labor through the supply chains of products we use and consume. The silent companies must demonstrate that they are taking this seriously. We look forward to working further with KnowTheChain to urge them to do so.”
Lori Bishop, Director of Investments at Humanity United, one of the partners in KnowTheChain said: “We understand that eradicating slavery from corporate supply chains means a transition in business norms, and that takes time. However, we also believe that all companies have the capacity – and the responsibility – to answer the question, ‘what is your company doing to address slavery in its supply chain?’ For companies subject to SB-657, this responsibility is mandated by law.”
Victims of forced labor are often hidden, but they are all around us. The ILO estimates that there are at least 20.9 million victims of forced labor, and that about 90 percent of today’s forced labor is exacted in the private economy. A recent blog post called “The Human Impact of Corporate Behavior” by Heather Lang & Ilse Griek of Sustainalytics, another KnowTheChain partner organization, highlights differences between industries in the extent to which they are responding to the SB-657 law.
The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights have established that all companies have a responsibility to respect human rights. This responsibility extends to conducting due diligence on a company’s “business relationships” – which include its suppliers – and also to the issue of human trafficking, a situation in which so many rights are abused.
Further information about the SB-657 Act, as well as the process of identifying companies that it may apply to and compliant statements is on the KnowTheChain website.
NOTES FOR EDS
- Contact: Annabel Short, Program Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre: +1 212 564 9160 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Partners in KnowTheChain are ATEST, CAST, Free The Slaves, Humanity United, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Made in a Free World, Not for Sale, Responsible Sourcing Network, Sustainalytics, Tronie Foundation, Verité, Vital Voices and World Vision.
- About the Resource Centre: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, an independent non-profit organization, provides the leading information hub on business & human rights: www.business-humanrights.org.
The website tracks reports about the human rights impacts (positive & negative) of over 5600 companies in over 180 countries, and provides guidance tools and resources for all those working in this field. Its researchers are based in Brazil, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Lebanon, Myanmar, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Ukraine and USA.
Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and President of Ireland, is Chair of the Centre’s International Advisory Network. The Centre does not accept funding from companies or company foundations, in order to maintain its independence and to prevent any possible perception of a conflict of interest.
The Centre’s mission is to encourage companies to respect and promote human rights, and avoid harm to people. The Resource Centre does this by advancing:
- Transparency – pursuing, collecting and disseminating to a global audience information about company conduct, positive and negative;
- Public accountability – helping civil society get companies to address concerns; seeking responses and drawing attention to each company’s response or failure to respond; and
- Informed decision-making – providing the leading business & human rights resource and guidance hub, to assist civil society, companies and others.