Conservation International can detect fires and predict fire threat to help improve prevention and ecosystem damage control by viewing Earth’s changing biosphere from space.
Enough of all the talk between the water and energy sectors. Here's why there's no better time to band together and act.
A group of major companies launches the fund to help finance municipal recycling, but some say extended producer responsibility would accomplish more.
Sustainable business pioneer John Elkington discusses his new book, the big challeges companies face and whether he's optimistic about the future.
From versatile fish to salt-sequestering plants, the natural world abounds with ways to turn sea water into freshwater.
To understand what a green leader achieved, let's look at the changes a businessperson started in himself and the mistakes he was willing to make.
ASHOKA U CELEBRATES PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MOXIE FOUNDATION
The Moxie Foundation and Ashoka U join forces to reimagine social innovation in higher education
Arlington VA --September 2, 2014-- The Moxie Foundation is partnering with Ashoka U to raise standards and accessibility of social entrepreneurship programs at colleges and universities around the world. With the support of a $1.1 million gift from the Moxie Foundation, Ashoka U will embark on a new phase of global growth and expansion.
This partnership will bring together Moxie Foundation’s passion for creativity, collaboration and innovation with Ashoka U’s vision of systemic change, strategy and experience in higher education. Over the course of the next three years, Ashoka U and the Moxie Foundation will work in collaboration to further embed the skills and values of social entrepreneurship education across a greater faction of education institutions. Of course, even with this emphasis on global growth, Ashoka U will continue to remain committed to supporting and growing the Changemaker Campus network at the Ashoka U Exchange.
Together, Ashoka U and Moxie hope that this partnership will lay the seeds of lasting change to benefit future generations of students in helping them foster creativity and build the entrepreneurial skillset they need to succeed in today’s ever-changing world.
About the Moxie Foundation:
The Moxie Foundation is dedicated to enriching and empowering individuals and communities by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success, personal health, and the environment. Some of Moxie’s partners include the Zahn Innovation Center at San Diego State University, The Moxie Center at University of California San Diego, The Zahn Center at City College, City University of New York, Center for Peace and Commerce at University of San Diego, and Education Synergy Alliance, San Diego. At these centers for innovation, students, faculty and staff get a chance to learn that, as Irwin Zahn says, “Innovation is not just an exercise in thinking about solving a problem. You do it. That’s the critical thing,” moreover, these centers foster student’s inherent creativity that, “if just given the opportunity and a little guidance, will change the world”.
About Ashoka U:
In a world that is changing faster and faster, students need a new skillset to succeed. Our global network of 150 colleges and universities is advancing an education that develops interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and solutions-oriented skills. Ashoka U helps break down barriers to institutional change and fosters a culture of social innovation in higher education.
For additional information, please visit www.ashokau.org or contact
Erin Krampetz, Co-Founder and Community Director
+1 (703) 600-8318
b-pack Releases New 14.9 Version
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - September 02, 2014) - b-pack, the world's leading procurement software, announced the release of b-pack V14.9. In this release, b-pack delivers advanced Procure-to-Pay functionalities, an even more simple-to-use interface and progressive technology. Enterprises can now implement a nimbler and more automated procurement process that leads to better decisions, full control and massive user adoption.
"The new user interface of b-pack puts huge emphasis on the end user perspective to broaden its adoption through extreme usability," said Pierre Rallu, the VP of Business Development of b-pack. "Including many graphical elements such as widgets, it adapts to all users from requisitioners to managers."
KPI - advanced capabilities
b-pack reporting capability has been significantly improved for faster drill-down across any dimension of the Procure-to-Pay chain. According to Julien Nadaud, b-pack founder and CEO, "This enhanced reporting capability provides upper management complete visibility on the purchasing chain, through the organization."
EZ Cart - online catalogs
EZ Cart brings a new e-Commerce experience. While most P2P solutions try to provide an Amazon-like experience to their users, we went further by integrating the Amazon.com content into the b-pack cart. Now requisitioners have the option to purchase from their company negotiated catalogs, from external catalogs such as punch-out or from Amazon.com directly through the b-pack cart.
DIY Integration - the revolution
With 95% of b-pack implementations including integration with one or many systems, the new DIY integration framework provides b-pack clients the ability to build, manage and monitor their interfaces with very limited involvement of third parties. "Leveraging the advanced SOA architecture of b-pack, we now provide an easy-to-use configuration wizard to enable interfaces using web services connections (SOAP, REST), secured FTP and other manual transfer methods (e.g. online downloads and uploads)," said Fabrice Guiot, technical master at b-pack, Inc.
b-pack is a software and services company specializing in procure-to-pay solutions which include but are not limited to strategic sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement and invoicing/accounting functions. To find out more about b-pack and the benefit it can bring to for your organization please visit http://www.b-pack.com
Twelve Industry Companies Develop Novel Methodology for Product Social Impact Assessment
September 1st 2014, Amsterdam.
Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment Available Now
A group of companies united in the Roundtable for Product Social Metrics announces the publication of the Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment, a practical tool for sustainability professionals. The handbook describes an innovative methodology for assessing a product’s social impacts throughout its life cycle, and is the result of a unique collaborative effort of a group of multi-industry market leaders.
Social Impact: the Next Frontier in Sustainability
Stakeholders increasingly demand transparency about the social impacts of products,” says João Fontes of PRé Sustainability, spokesperson for the Roundtable. As supply chains and product life cycles span the world, businesses need a practical, reliable way to systematically analyse risks and identify improvement opportunities. “Research on consumer preferences, like The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, shows that half of the world’s consumers are prepared to pay a premium if products have an ecological or social benefit,” says Jacobine Das Gupta, Corporate Sustainability Manager for DSM.
As large, multinational organisations, the Roundtable participants – Ahold, Akzo Nobel, BASF, BMW Group, DSM, L’Oréal, Marks & Spencer, Philips, RB, Steelcase, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and a chemical company, led by sustainability consulting firm PRé Sustainability – understand the need for a social impact assessment method that is capable of screening a product’s entire supply chain across continents and throughout its life cycle.
The First Practical, Objective Methodology for Product Social Impact Assessment
Until today, no practical, cross-industry accepted product social impact assessment method existed. Other social impact assessment guidelines look at the corporate level and do not provide the concrete tools and measurable results necessary for better decision-making at a product level. The Roundtable’s innovative social impact assessment method fills this gap, giving businesses the power to assess a product’s entire life cycle, scan their supply chains for risks and improvement opportunities and improve sustainable product development, reporting and communication.
Pilots conducted by the Roundtable participants have shown the method to be comprehensible, reliable, and applicable in a day-to-day business context. “This method is a first step towards measurable social sustainability at a product level, and the Roundtable will continue to refine it in Phase III,” says Dave Woodyard, Global Manager of Environmental Sustainability for The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The handbook is a starting point for any business wanting to differentiate and create value through social impact assessment.
Companies Can Start Analysing the Social Impacts of Their Products
The Handbook for Product Social Impact Assessment is available for free download now, allowing sustainability professionals in all industries to “get started on product social impact assessments today.” More information is available at the Roundtable website.
Phase III - The Next Step Towards Shared Language for Product Social Sustainability
The Roundtable will now focus on Phase III of the project: finding solutions for cross-cutting implementation issues, exchanging experiences with other practitioners and experts, and continuing to improve the methodology. The Roundtable participants invite interested industry companies to join the group and collaborate in Phase III.
Note for the editor
About the Roundtable for Product Social Metrics
The Roundtable for Product Social Impact Assessment is a group of companies from different industries, led by PRé Sustainability. The member companies are:
• Ahold Andrea Bolhuis • AkzoNobel Carmen Alvarado, Ana Martha Countiño • BASF Peter Saling, Richard van Gelder
• BMW Group Marzia Traverso • DSM Jacobine Das Gupta, Henk Bosch, Dave Morris • L’Oréal Charles Duclaux
• Marks & Spencer Hazel Culley • Philips Markus Laubscher, Marcel Jacobs • RB Dave Challis • Steelcase Sébastien Zinck
• The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company Dave Woodyard, Lynn Bell, René van der Merwe
About PRé Sustainability
PRé puts the metrics behind sustainability to create business value. PRé integrates sustainability into product development procedures in order to fit its customer’s strategic business goals — and create a better world.
b-pack Releases OEM Procure-to-Pay Solution
ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - August 31, 2014) - b-pack is happy to announce that its versatile platform can now be adapted to any business within most industries. b-pack's new offer enables purchasing services companies to manage their own Procure-to-Pay application, tailored to their clients' needs. P2P technology enhances their value services for the client and b-pack provides the perfect platform for that.
With b-pack application's online Builder, you can create, configure and manage P2P applications under your own brand. In addition to the state-of-art cloud technology based on Amazon Web Services, b-pack's application provides full control of the spend, ensures compliance against negotiated contracts and gives complete spend visibility.
This new offer is built on b-pack innovative Builder platform. This Builder platform enables b-pack's partners to create in couple of minutes, update and monitor their own P2P applications, adapted to their client needs. Within the builder, certified partners will access up to three levels of configuration, from adding and removing fields, to creating new functions without impacting the multi-tenancy of the application.
With this platform, b-pack is providing an innovative solution for our partners to easily enhance their offers with minimal initial investment. As an example, a midwest based strategic sourcing firm, recently partnered with b-pack to grow their business and bring more revenue. Their mission is to cut cost for their clients by negotiating contracts, finding better prices and ensuring the diversity of their supplier panel. This firm started to use the b-pack platform in early 2014. Their clients have access to an easy-to-use procure-to-pay application branded under the firm's name, complete control of their spend and the guarantee of using prices and negotiated terms.
b-pack is a software and services company specializing in purchase-to-pay solutions which include but are not limited to strategic sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement and invoicing/accounting functions. b-pack is a global company with customers in many industries that use our solutions to automate, optimize and gain visibility into their spend within all the components of the purchasing process. Offering cloud solutions, b-pack is ranked as a Top 5 eProcurement Vendor by Gartner Magic Quadrant. With more than 13 years of expertise and innovation, b-pack has been implementing flexible solutions that address organizations' specific business processes and requirements. With offices in North America and Europe, b-pack has global reach to meet companies management needs. Learn more at: http://www.b-pack.com or call 404.602.0102. Read more at our company blog or follow @bpackpurchasing on Twitter.
Grow-Trees.com and Vodafone India to Plant 300,000 trees in Kanha-Pench to develop India's First Private Wildlife Corridor
- · Tree planting to benefit rural communities with livelihood opportunities
- · Provide enhanced forest cover linking Kanha - Pench National Parks to facilitate wildlife movement, enlarge wildlife habitats and improve water catchment
- · Help Vodafone India to offset the carbon footprint generated by its offices across the country
Bhopal, 27 August, 2014: Vodafone India, one of India’s leading telecom services providers, and Grow-Trees.com, the exclusive Indian Planting Partner for United Nation’s Environment Program’s Billion Tree Campaign, today announced the formal launch of their join initiative to create India’s first private wildlife corridor. This corridor is being developed between Kanha-Pench wildlife reserves by planting 3,00,000 trees over a 3-year period. The trees will be planted over 100 hectares of forest land between the two reserves. To formally launch this plantation drive, Mr. Rohit Adya, External Affairs Director, Vodafone India and Mr. Ashish Chandra, Business Head – MP&CG, Vodafone India, handed over a sapling to Mr. Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees.com. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rohit Adya, External Affairs Director, Vodafone India, said, “Vodafone India is committed to supporting sustainable initiatives that benefit all – the organisation, the community and the environment. With this unique project, we will be able to offset 33 million kg of carbon footprint generated by our offices every year for 3-years. In addition, we will be able to support livelihood opportunities, enable reforestation and create a corridor between Kanha and Pench to facilitate habitat connectivity in tiger breeding areas.” Elaborating on the significance of this initiative, Mr Ashish Chandra, Business Head – MP&CG, Vodafone India, said, “Madhya Pradesh is endowed with rich and diverse forest resources. With 9 national parks and 25 wildlife sanctuaries, almost 25% of the state is covered with forests. Home to a large tribal population and an attractive tourist destination, these forests provide a source of income to several thousands. This initiative with Grow-Trees.com is our way of supporting conservation of an importance natural resource and means of livelihood.” This project will create about 25,000 workdays of direct jobs mainly for women and tribals inhabiting the area in addition to supporting several allied livelihood generating activities such as farming, fruit and honey gathering etc. on a sustained basis. The site is in Sijhora Range and would be jointly protected by three villages - Majhipur, Jogisoda and Chandiya. A variety of trees, including Karani, Harra, Baheda, Bamboo, Khamer, Ladiya, Mango and Amla, that are local to the region will be planted. Saplings of these are already being grown in the special nurseries funded by Grow-Trees.com. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Bikrant Tiwary, CEO, Grow-Trees.com, said, “Approximately 45% of India's land is degraded primarily due to deforestation, unsustainable agricultural practices, mining and excessive groundwater extraction. More than two thirds of this can be regenerated and our endeavour is to facilitate this by providing planting opportunities to individual and corporate customers. We are delighted to have Vodafone India as our corporate partner to support this novel project of wildlife corridors for enlarging wildlife habitats. The size and scale of this private reforestation initiative is the biggest till date in the country. The planting process on site will be led by our on ground partner FES.” About Kanha and Pench Tiger reserves Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and Pench Tiger Reserve straddling Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra are important habitats for the tiger population in central India. As tigers need large home ranges to ensure population viability, it is important to ensure habitat connectivity between different breeding areas. The Kanha– Pench corridor therefore gains high importance in the efforts to save the tiger and other wildlife. Such a corridor is vital for the long term survival and viability of tigers as it connects smaller tiger populations in Pench to larger populations such as at Kanha. Without these linkages tiger populations isolated within individual tiger reserves face a higher risk of extinction due to poaching and loss in genetic vigour over generations. A tiger straying out of a forest also has to confront a range of challenges such as hostile villagers, retaliatory poisoning for livestock kills, poaching, and electrocution by live wires, apart from road and rail traffic that cause further fragmentation of forest cover. The trees planted will help improve the forest connectivity between Kanha and Pench and provide a sheltered corridor for tigers and animals to traverse between the two reserves. About Grow Trees www.Grow-Trees.com gives companies and individuals the ability to plant trees from their computer to welcome new customers, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, festivals or special occasions. Companies and individuals can send a personalized e-TreeCertificate with their message and logo or personal photograph. Trees are planted only on government and community lands with the objective of benefitting rural communities (through flowers, fruit, fuel and fodder), wildlife, improving water catchment areas, preventing soil erosion, reversing deforestation and fighting global warming by decarbonising the atmosphere. Grow-Trees was launched on World Environment Day, June 5, 2010. About 7,14,000 trees have been planted so far through the site in different projects across India by over 175 companies and thousands of individuals. About Vodafone India Vodafone India is a 100% fully owned subsidiary of the Vodafone Group Plc. with operations across the country serving over 170 million customers. Commencing operations in 2007, Vodafone in its long-term commitment to India, has built a robust business in a highly competitive and price sensitive market. Vodafone India has been providing innovative, customer friendly and reliable products and services by continuously differentiating itself with a strong brand, best quality network, unique distribution and great customer service. This has been acknowledged at several prestigious forums where Vodafone India has won awards and recognition across different segments consistently. Serving the needs of businesses, Vodafone Business Services provides total telecommunications (Voice and Data) solutions across mobility and wireline platforms. With the advantage of global expertise and experience and the knowledge of local markets, the business is run through the following verticals – Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE), National Corporate (NC), Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) and a dedicated vertical for Government customers. Vodafone Business Services has steadily taken leadership position and is currently providing both mobile and wireline services to global and national businesses equipped with a robust and superior network infrastructure and a 24x7 NOC. As a value based organization, Vodafone is committed to achieving the highest standards of Health, Safety and Well-being not only for its employees but also for all its partners. For creating such a responsible culture in the organization, the company received the Golden Peacock Occupational Health & Safety Award 2013. At Vodafone, sustainability is an integral part of the company’s mission and strategy, shaping the conduct of business every day. ‘Vodafone Cares’ is a platform to showcase all the good that Vodafone does for the society and has championed several projects and initiatives under the three pillars of Education, Environment and Empowerment. The Vodafone Foundation in India is committed to leverage the potential of mobile technology to address some of India’s most pressing challenges relating to education, health, equality and access. Its activities focus on the 4Ms of empowering individuals – m Health, m Education, m Agriculture and m Women. Vodafone is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies with over 435 million customers in its controlled and jointly controlled markets as of 30 June 2014. Vodafone has equity interests in telecommunications operations in nearly 30 countries and around 50 partner networks worldwide. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com. Follow us on twitter @Vodafone IN For Further Information, please contact: Vodafone India | email@example.com Sonika Ladhi
Trainee Account Executive, Adfactors PR Social M : +91 90049 10684
D : +91 22 67574455
E : firstname.lastname@example.org
W : www.adfactorspr.com
Sustainalytics strengthens corporate governance capabilities
Names New Head of Governance Research to Lead Development of Expanded Solution Set
Amsterdam – August 27, 2014 – Sustainalytics, a leading provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) research and analysis, announced today that the firm is making a new and significant investment in strengthening the corporate governance pillar of its ESG research and ratings solutions.
Gary Hewitt, former head of governance research at GMI Ratings, has joined the firm and will lead the development of an expanded suite of corporate governance research and data products designed to complement and integrate with Sustainalytics’ existing market-leading ESG research solutions. Previously, Mr. Hewitt led a research team at Watson Wyatt (now Towers Watson) and spent almost a decade with a leading proxy advisory firm, Institutional Shareholder Services, with a focus on executive compensation analysis and ratings development.
“With the increasingly important role ESG research is playing in investment decision-making and risk management, combined with the recent consolidation of ESG research providers, we firmly believe that institutional investors and ESG professionals desperately need a stable, independent and focused provider of research and analytics across the entire Environmental, Social and Governance spectrum,” said Michael Jantzi, CEO of Sustainalytics. “Gary Hewitt’s extensive corporate governance knowledge will allow us to deepen our corporate offering, create new services for our clients and expand our governance thought leadership.”
Celebrating its five year anniversary operating as Sustainalytics, a firm built on the bedrock of more than 20 years of previous ESG experience around the globe, the firm works with more than 250 asset owners, asset managers and related organizations globally to identify, analyze and assess the potential for material portfolio risk related to companies’ ESG practices.
“The scope of corporate governance practices and behaviors impacting a company’s long-term ability to create shareholder value continues to expand,” said Hewitt. “This is an exciting time in the field of corporate governance and an exciting time at Sustainalytics. The firm already offers quality products and advisory services across the ESG continuum. I look forward to working with my colleagues and with our clients to expand the solution set and to provide even more meaningful governance insights into the investment process.”
For more information please contact:
Sustainalytics is an independent ESG research and analysis firm supporting investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. The firm partners with institutional investors who integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment decisions.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Sustainalytics has offices in Boston, Bucharest, Frankfurt, London, New York, Paris, Singapore, Timisoara and Toronto, and representatives in Bogotá, Brussels, and Copenhagen. The firm has 175 staff members, including more than 100 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise and thorough understanding of more than 40 industries. In 2012 and 2013, Sustainalytics was voted best independent sustainable and responsible investment research firm in the Thomson Reuters Extel’s IRRI survey.
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LARGEST SOCAP TO DATE WILL HOST OVER 180 PANELS AND CONVENE 2,500 ATTENDEES ON IMPACT INVESTING, SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND USING BUSINESS TO CREATE POSITIVE SOCIAL IMPACT
- There’s critical mass among major financial institutions given their increased monetary commitments. SOCAP’s “Major Wealth Platforms in Impact” session features representatives of major financial institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and others speaking about their increasing role.
- Government is turning to impact investing models in place of traditional aid. “Powering Africa Beyond the Grid” features a discussion on the potential of the most significant impact investing initiative by the U.S. government so far to not only accelerate energy access in Africa, but to bolster a new generation of clean, reliable energy companies.
- Foundations are placing more of their funding power into impact investing. More than 20 private corporations and foundations including Prudential Financial, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ford Foundation and more announced a commitment of over $1.5 billion combined to new impact investments, timed with the launch of the United States National Advisory Board (NAB) on impact investing’s report: “Private Capital, Public Good: How Smart Federal Policy Can Galvanize Impact Investing – and Why It’s Urgent.” SOCAP14 will host a discussion on the outcomes of the report.
- • Jacqueline Fuller, Director, Google.org
- • William H. Draper, Co-Chair, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
- • Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
- • Dan Schulman, Group President of Enterprise Growth, American Express
- • Douglas Atkin, Global Head of Community, Airbnb
- • Danae Ringelmann, Founder and Chief Development Officer, Indiegogo
- • Leila Janah, Founder and CEO, Samasource
- • Impact Investing
- • Health
- • Place-based Innovation
- • Financial Inclusion
- • Food Systems
- • Resilience
- • Sharing Economy
- • Omidyar Network: SOCAP will be the West Coast launch of Omidyar Network’s National Advisory Board on Impact investing. The board launched its first report “Private Capital, Public Good” in June.
- • Google.org: Google.org will showcase grant recipients selected from the organization’s recent Impact Challenge, which invited Bay Area nonprofits to submit their ideas for addressing the region’s most pressing problems. All 25 nonprofits will receive technical support from Google and one year of accelerator support through Impact Hub SF. Google.org will also be a part of a conversation on place-based innovation in the Bay area.
- • Herman Miller International
- • Halloran Philanthropies
- • Vodafone Americas Foundation
- • IDB
- • USAID
- • Wells Fargo
- • Prudential Financial Services
- • Deutsche Bank
- • Shell Foundation
The report, released today in Chinese and English by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, looks at how companies in the region address human rights concerns. The Centre invites companies to respond publicly to allegations of misconduct in areas such as the treatment of workers, environmental pollution, and complicity by technology firms in surveillance or censorship activities. The briefing analyses 223 such approaches to companies.
The response rate from firms headquartered outside the region about their operations in Greater China is 77%. The response rate from firms headquartered in Greater China is 50%. Despite the lower response rate, when firms headquartered in Greater China do respond, they are more likely to do so in detail, directly addressing each specific allegation point-by-point (52%), than non-Greater China firms (38%).
Privately owned Chinese firms are more likely to respond to allegations (56%) than state-owned companies (40%).
Lowell Chow, Greater China Researcher & Representative for BHRRC said:"It is time for business in the Greater China region to match principles on human rights – whether in internationally-recognized frameworks such as the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, or in their own codes of conduct – with their actions.
"An environment in which thousands of migrant workers toil in unsafe conditions, working long hours for less than a living wage, or when communities are pushed off their land for industrial projects with inadequate compensation, is unsustainable. There are now clear standards and guidance materials on human rights for business. Companies can no longer feign ignorance of their responsibility to respect human rights, or claim that they do not have the tools to help them do so."
While a response by a company does not always lead to action, it does indicate the company’s willingness to engage publicly with concerns raised by human rights advocates, and provides a public statement that the company can be held to.
Overall, 23% of the firms headquartered in Greater China that responded either admit or partially admit the concerns raised – with 61% denying them (other firms said further investigations were needed, or referred to another business entity). For firms headquartered outside Greater China, these figures are 32% and 41% respectively.
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, said: "We commend the practical steps that many companies are taking to avoid human rights abuses, either directly or through their supply chains – as well as the significant progress the Chinese government has made in lifting people out of poverty. Now all companies and the government must act quickly to ensure workers and communities affected by business activities are treated with dignity and respect."
The briefing says that now is the time for action on business and human rights, given:
- Increasing activism by workers and by communities affected by industrial projects;
- Growing awareness among business that operating responsibly can help prevent and limit unrest and preserve reputation;
- A government concerned by growing inequality, environmental damage, and public disquiet; and
- The strong frameworks that are now available for companies and governments that want to do the right thing, including the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights, which the Chinese government has endorsed.
The briefing concludes with a clear set of recommendations for business and government. For companies, the briefing calls on them to adopt a clear public human rights policy; conduct a thorough impact assessment for their operations whether within China or overseas; implement clear management processes on human rights; report publicly on their progress; engage with critics; and remedy abuses.
It calls on government to develop a national action plan on business and human rights; strengthen the legal framework for victims of human rights abuses to seek and secure redress; enforce existing laws in the areas of labour rights and environmental protection; and strengthen human rights guidance for Chinese firms operating at home and overseas.
1. To arrange interviews contact: Hong Kong: Lowell Chow, Greater China Researcher & Representative, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre – chow (at) business-humanrights.org / tel +86 14715496030 (mainland China) or +852 54896030 (Hong Kong) New York: Annabel Short, Program Director, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre – short (at) business-humanrights.org / tel +1 212 546 9160 2. The full briefing paper including a record of company responses / non-responses can be downloaded from here: http://business-humanrights.org/en/greater-china-briefings
3. Greater China refers to mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. 4. Four of the over 200 cases to which the Resource Centre has sought company responses relating to Greater China:
China Water Electric responded in detail to a report by the Cameroonian Network of Human Rights organizations. The report alleged human rights abuses associated with its work on the Lom Pangar dam in Cameroon – including cramped conditions and limited access to potable water at the workers’ camp, environmental contamination, and that Cameroonian workers receive worse treatment than Chinese workers. In its response the company described steps it had on access to drinking water (digging wells, monitoring water quality) and on addressing pollution, and it denied discrimination.
Royal Caribbean Cruises responded to Friends of the Earth Hong Kong’s campaign for it to use low sulphur oil when docked in the city, given the serious health impacts of sulphur dioxide pollution from cruise ships. The company responded that it would be switching to low-sulphur fuel when docked.
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) ressponded to allegations of human rights abuses related to the company’s Shwe natural gas and Myanmar-China oil transport projects in Myanmar (including land confiscation without adequate compensation, damage to farmers’ and community land, military profiteering, and harm to fishing areas), detailed in reports by Shwe Gas Movement, EarthRights International (ERI) and Northern Shan Farmers’ Committee (NSFC).
Apple’s suppliers Jabil, Toyo Rikagaku Kenkyusho and Wintek responded to China Labor Watch’s report "Beyond Foxconn: Deplorable Working Conditions Characterize Apple’s Entire Supply Chain". Two other suppliers Catcher and Pegatron declined to respond, and Apple itself did not respond. (Our overall response rate from Apple to human rights concerns is 38%, compared with a global average of 70%).
5. About the Resource Centre:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is an independent non-profit organization. We provide the leading information hub on business & human rights: www.business-humanrights.org. Our aims are:
Transparency: We track the human rights conduct of over 5,600 companies worldwide – including abuses and advances
Accountability: We invite companies to respond publicly to allegations by civil society (with a global response rate of 70%)
Empowerment: We equip people in NGOs, companies, and governments with the information they need to make the right decisions, and stimulate informed debate
Simplified Chinese website: www.business-humanrights.org/zh-hans Traditional Chinese website: www.business-humanrights.org/zh-hant
Our researchers are based in Brazil, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand, UK, Ukraine and USA.
This Greater China briefing joins our other regional briefings on over 10 regions/countries.
For further details, see the "About us" section of our website.
Cause Consulting & Youth Design Inspire Boston Teens to Take Action
2014 Youth Design Competition Winners Announced
BOSTON, MA, August 25, 2014– Stereotyping, police violence, pollution, smoking, GMOs and education were among the issues tackled by Boston's young people during this year’s Youth Designers Take Action Competition, in partnership with Cause Consulting. Youth Design, a year-round program connecting urban youth with the creative profession, is proud to announce that Bethany Barrant, a recent graduate of Boston Latin High School, is the winner of the 2014 competition for her powerful anti-stereotyping PSA highlighting “my appearance is not my story.”
“If anyone doubts they can do something, I tell them to just go forward and try it,” says 2014 winner Bethany Barrant. “Until two years ago, I never had the chance to take an art class. Today, I can translate images and concepts from thoughts into inspiring ideas. Youth Design gave me the tools, internships, networks, support, exposure and training to help me grow.”
Throughout the summer, Boston-based social issue and CSR strategy firm Cause Consulting led the students through the PSA creation process. Students were coached by design firm internship mentors, virtual creative directors and Cause Consulting team members. First, each student selected a topic that concerned them, then determined a target audience and finally designed a poster to inspire them to take action. To help students arrive at their final entry, Cause Consulting facilitated a workshop with the students teaching them how to define and research their audience, learn about their chosen issue and create the right messaging and call-to-action. The highlight of the process for many students was working on a mock assignment for John Barros, the Chief of Economic Development in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Boston. To their surprise, John Barros himself joined the Youth Designers at the end of the workshop to hear their perspective on teens and jobs and how they can play a vital role in the creative economy.
“The students’ designs demonstrate the skill, inherent talent, passion and potential for Boston’s young people to cause change,” says Mark Feldman, Managing Director of Cause Consulting and Youth Design Board Member. “We are proud to invest our time to empower these amazing young peopleto bring their ideas to life.”
A panel of volunteer judges selected the winners based on their use of powerful imagery, chosen messaging and motivational calls-to-action. The 2014 Youth Designers Take Action winners are:
- · First place –Bethany Barrant for “Stop Stereotyping. My appearance is not my story.”
- · Second place –Yamilet Acevedo for “Pollution, it’s like taking water from a baby.”
- · Third place –Christina Fernandez for “edUcation, U are being left behind.”
All the PSA’s can be viewed at: http://ow.ly/AH0Gy
Youth Design is a leading Boston-based nonprofit organization that is focused on addressing critical socioeconomic needs of urban youth by teaching them highly marketable design skills, providing access to unparalleled professional mentors, and supporting them along the path toward higher education. Since 2003, Youth Design has helped to shape the next generation of diverse design professionals through aggressive educational and workforce development initiatives set in the context of design while promoting diversity in the creative economy.
Cause Consulting is a Boston-based strategy and communications firm that helps companies simultaneously strengthen business and impact society. Ranked as the #2 CSR Communications Agency by CR Magazine, , the firm specializes in CSR strategy, signature programs, cause marketing, employee engagement and communications.
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Seventh Generation Advances Key Sustainability Goals
2013 Corporate Consciousness Report Details Industry-Leading Evolution
BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2014) - Seventh Generation, the nation's number one brand of renewable, bio-based consumer products, has unveiled its 2013 Corporate Consciousness Report. The company's latest sustainability performance review examines the progress it's made on its objectives to Nurture Nature, Enhance Health, Transform Commerce, and Build Community as it works toward the ambitious end-of-decade goals set forth in its 2020 Roadmap.
The new report adheres to the Global Reporting Initiative G4 guidelines, a leading, globally relevant framework which require a new higher standard of transparency. Seventh Generation is an early champion of the revised guidelines that aren't scheduled to be introduced until 2016. Among the reports highlights are a series of supply chain changes that significantly boost the renewability of the company's many products. Chief among this is Forest Stewardship Council sustainability certification for 62% of its wood pulp consumption, a groundbreaking industry-first that dramatically exceeds the year's goal of 50% certification. Additionally in 2013, all products eligible for the USDA's Certified Bio-Based Product labeling received the program's seal, and the introduction of new bottle caps made from 50% post-consumer recycled plastic led the way to a 25% company-wide reduction in the use of virgin plastic. The company also reports reducing its greenhouse gas emissions per metric ton of product by 11%.
Socially, 2013 was a banner year at Seventh Generation as well. The company's community volunteering program, which encourages employees to devote work time to local causes, had a 100% participation rate and total hours donated were 40% above the year's target. The firm also moved from #11 to #3 on Vermont's "Best Places to Work" survey; made financial and product donations of $225,000 to non-profit organizations working to make the world a better place; and led efforts to reform chemical safety laws on both a national and state level.
Seventh Generation's industry influence continues to grow as well. In an effort to reform the wasteful bottled water market, the company purchased bobble, a leading reusable bottle maker for which the company will supply wide distribution. It also developed a supplier code of conduct, launched sustainability collaborations with its retail partners and Tier 2 suppliers, and became a founding signatory of the Climate Declaration urging federal climate change action.
"What I like best about our new report is that it shows us refusing to rest on our laurels," said Corporate Consciousness manager Ashley Orgain. "We're still making meaningful progress despite the fact that each year progress gets harder to make. We've picked all the low-hanging environmental fruit -- now we're reaching for the high stuff. That makes any achievement pretty remarkable yet alone the strides we saw in 2013. And that's really our message; every person and each business can live sustainably. You just have to take that first step and then keep on walking."
To read the 2013 Seventh Generation Corporate Consciousness Report, visit www.seventhgeneration.com/2013-report
ABOUT SEVENTH GENERATION
Seventh Generation is committed to being the most trusted brand of household and personal-care products for your living home. Our products are healthy solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. Seventh Generation also offers baby products that are safe for your children and the planet. The company derives its name from the Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy that states, "In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." Every time you use a Seventh Generation product you are making a difference by saving natural resources, reducing pollution, and making the world a better place for this and the next seven generations.
For information on Seventh Generation cleaning, paper, baby and feminine personal care products, to find store locations, and explore the company's website visit www.seventhgeneration.com.
(Apia, Samoa) 26 August 2014 – As a special gift to the people of Samoa for hosting the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, the United Nations is sponsoring a four-day film festival in partnership with the United States-based BLUE Ocean Film Festival and the National University of Samoa.
“We are pleased to support this unique initiative between BLUE and the National University of Samoa,” said Christian Clark, United Nations Spokesperson for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States. “Media has the power to catalyze important discussions. We hope this festival will help inspire dialogue between the Samoan people and arriving delegations, media and others attending this important meeting.”
The Conference will focus the world’s attention on a group of countries that remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities. The meeting seeks a renewed political commitment to address the special needs and vulnerabilities of small islands and aims to identify opportunities for sustainable development of those states, particularly through the strengthening of partnerships between small islands and the international community.
“We are honored to support the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States, and to partner with the United Nations for our films,” said Deborah Kinder, Co-founder and CEO of BLUE. “This supports our mission to provide global educational outreach that inspires people everywhere to connect with ocean conservation, and to serve as a catalyst for discussion.”
The United Nations has selected a number of different films for BLUE On Tour to engage a broad range of people, from experts to governments, on the issues surrounding ocean and climate change. This is the first time that the UN has partnered with BLUE, which was chosen for its wide range of ocean films.
The four-day BLUE On Tour film festival will be held at the National University of Samoa in Apia, Samoa on 26-29 August at lunchtime in Room D-210.
Film Schedule: UPDATE: Films will also be shown Friday afternoon
Tuesday, 26 August - Planet Ocean - Part I, Hope Productions
Wednesday, 27 August - Planet Ocean - Part II, Hope Productions
Thursday, 28 August - World's Largest Marine Park, Khalid bin Sultan Living Oceans, Foundation: Mapping the Blue; Selected Shorts, UNEP, The Krill is Gone
Friday, 29 August - Saving Our Tuna, UNDP; Swains Island, Jean Michel Cousteau, Ocean Futures Society
For more information regarding this event, please visit: http://www.blueoceanfilmfestival.org/blue_on_tou_samoa.htm
BLUE On Tour
Charlotte Vick, email@example.com
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Diane Loughran, firstname.lastname@example.org
UN Department of Public Information
Wynne Boelt, email@example.com
BLUE On Tour Samoa media inquiries (USA)
Martha Shaw mailto:Martha@earthadvertising.com
Leaders from AbbVie, CH2M Hill, ERM, Lend Lease, Occidental Petroleum and Roll Global Among Speaker Lineup for SPF Americas 2014
- Opening Keynote: highly decorated American astronaut, fighter pilot and test pilot John O. Creighton will keynote on safety and risk management. Subject-matter experts from companies including BNSF Railway, CH2M HILL and ERM will then discuss strategies for managing risk, performance and compliance in an interactive panel format.
- Industry Roundtables: new to the 2014 agenda, these roundtables provide the ideal platform to share industry challenges and best practices with like-minded professionals. Industry categories include Oil & Gas, Mining & Metals, Chemicals, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing and many more.
- Case Studies: EH&S, Sustainability and Risk experts from Enablon customers including Abbvie, Aleris International, Axiall Corporation, DCP Midstream, Lend Lease, Occidental Petroleum, and Roll Global discuss how they are leveraging technology to manage environmental and social performance, ensure compliance, minimize risks and improve profitability.
- Implementation Track: both Enablon customers and non-customers will find value in this track covering best practices for software selection, implementation and migration.
- Mobility Session: dedicated to one of today's hottest topics, this session will discuss the role of mobility in advancing a company's EH&S, Sustainability and Risk initiatives, and the ins and outs of Enablon mobile solutions. Mobility will also be addressed by speakers throughout the conference.
Enablon is the world's leading provider of Sustainability Management solutions. More than 1,000 global companies and 1 million users worldwide use Enablon software solutions to manage environmental and social performance, minimize risks and improve profitability. Enablon provides on-premises and SaaS solutions and an advanced online sustainability network called Wizness. Through its partnership network, Enablon operates in more than 160 countries. For more information about Enablon and its products: www.enablon.com Contact Information
Tel: +1 312 784 7955