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Report calls for step change on human rights conduct of business in Greater China region

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm
    Report calls for step change on human rights conduct of business in Greater China region Time to close the gap between international standards and actual practices by Chinese and foreign firms   International, 26 Aug 2014, Companies operating in Greater China – as well as Chinese firms operating overseas – must do more to respect human rights, according to a new report by an international human rights organization.
  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
Website:  www.business-humanrights.org
Simplified Chinese website: www.business-humanrights.org/zh-hans Traditional Chinese website: www.business-humanrights.org/zh-hant
Blog: www.business-humanrights.org/en/about-us/blog
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

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

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. 

DNV GL Launches Interactive Arctic Risk Map To Communicate Region's Complex Risk Picture

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm
DNV GL LAUNCHES INTERACTIVE ARCTIC RISK MAP TO COMMUNICATE REGION’S COMPLEX RISK PICTURE ONS, Stavanger: The world’s need for energy is driving interest in further industrial activity in the Arctic, yet the region’s conditions are highly variable depending on the type of activity, location and time of year. This creates a complex risk picture. DNV GL, the leading technical advisor to the oil & gas industry, has therefore developed an interactive Arctic Risk Map to present the risks associated with offshore and maritime activities in the Arctic. The map aims to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive tool for decision-making and transparent communications. “The Arctic is not a monolithic area and the risk picture varies accordingly. Stakeholders therefore need a sound decision basis for understanding the risks associated with Arctic development and transportation. The DNV GL Arctic Risk Map can help facilitate transparent discussions to address the many dilemmas related to activity in the region,” says Børre Paaske, project manager at DNV GL – Oil & Gas. The map presents multiple dimensions, such as the seasonal distribution of ice, metocean (physical environment) conditions, sea-ice concentrations, biological assets, shipping traffic and oil and gas resources, in a user-friendly, single layout. It also includes a Safety and Operability Index, showing the variation in different factors that impact the risk level depending on the season and their location in the Arctic.   In addition, a location- and season-specific index has been developed showing the environmental vulnerability of marine resources with respect to oil spill as an external stressor. In general, DNV GL’s analysis shows that the Arctic environment is characterised by seasonal variations in vulnerability, and that this vulnerability increases in the summer months along with the level of industrial activity. However, this differs greatly between regions. Some areas, for example, are particularly vulnerable in winter, when they are used by birds for wintering or as spawning grounds for fish.   As a result, the consequences of an accident in the Arctic would likely be more severe in some areas than others. The map is a useful tool to identify regions that require special attention when it comes to planning activities and for imposing mitigation measures throughout the year. The map can also provide input to decisions-makers about restricting certain types of activities in specific areas at different times of the year. “The risk level in the Arctic must be equivalent to – or better than – the best performance in the industry today. The Arctic’s varied and complex conditions require the industry to take a stepwise approach in which learning and technology are developed progressively regarding the more challenging Arctic areas,” says Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO of Oil & Gas, DNV GL. “As an independent body, DNV GL takes an active role in ensuring that any increase in industrial activity has a strong focus on safeguarding life, property and the environment.  This Arctic Risk Map is a great example of our vision in action,” she adds. The link to the Arctic Risk Map is available at www.dnvgl.com/arctic Download images here: http://production.presstogo.com/mars/public_sharing.lb?p_colshar_id=7517&p_hash=5238    About the Arctic Risk Map The Arctic Risk Map has been developed to present the spatial and seasonal distribution of ice and metocean parameters, biological resources, ship traffic, oil and gas resources and accident history. The map is interactive and web-based, developed using the GIS software ArcGIS. The map includes the following locations: Baffin Bay & Davis Strait, including West Greenland, the Barents Sea, including the Pechora Sea, the Beaufort Sea, Bering Sea (East), Bering Sea (West), Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Central Arctic, Chukchi Sea, Greenland Sea (East), Hudson, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Siberian Sea and Okhotsk Sea. In addition, the map contains aggregated safety and operability indexes for the Faroe Islands, Iceland and the Norwegian Sea. The map uses the most up-to-date pan-Arctic species-distribution data available. However, it is important to note that there are uncertainties when it comes to both the degree of coverage and quality of the data set that could have an effect on the overall safety and operability picture presented. The information included herein is based upon a non-exhaustive selection of publicly available information which has been compiled by DNV GL. DNV GL has not undertaken an independent verification of the accuracy of the available sources, and the information provided does not constitute a basis for decision-making. By entering this site, you hereby acknowledge that all use of the information given is at the user’s sole risk. You must not rely on the information as an alternative to advice from appropriately qualified professionals. DNV GL accepts no liability whatsoever for the content or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. No responsibility whatsoever will be assumed by DNV GL for any errors or omissions made. If you have any specific questions about any of these matters, you should consult an appropriately qualified professional. About DNV GL DNV and GL have merged to form DNV GL. We are now the world's largest ship and offshore classification society, the leading technical advisor to the global oil and gas industry and a leading expert for the energy value chain, including renewables and energy efficiency. We have also taken a position as one of the top three certification bodies in the world. Read more here: www.dnvgl.com/merger About DNV GL Oil & Gas In the oil and gas industry, GL Noble Denton and DNV’s Oil & Gas business have joined forces to enable safe, reliable and enhanced performance in projects and operations. We provide integrated services in: technical assurance; marine assurance and advisory; risk management advisory and offshore classification. Our 5,500 people combine industry expertise, multi-disciplinary skills and innovation to solve complex challenges for our customers. Together with our partners, we drive the industry forward by developing best practices and standards across the asset lifecycle.     Media contact: Eli Turander
DNV GL - Oil & Gas
Email : Elinor.Turander@dnvgl.com
Tel: +47 953 35 795     f you would rather not receive future communications from DNV GL, let us know by clicking here.
DNV GL, Hovikveien 1, Høvik, - 1322 Norway

Seventh Generation Advances Key Sustainability Goals

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

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.

Contact:
Brandi Thomas
Seventh Generation
(802) 658-3773 x760
bst@seventhgeneration.com
www.seventhgeneration.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Releases ‘Investing in America’s Health’

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm
    Blue Cross Blue Shield Association Releases ‘Investing in America’s Health’ Annual report demonstrates Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ impact in creating healthier communities nationwide   CHICAGO – Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies around the country collectively devoted more than $363 million to support community health initiatives in 2013, and their employees volunteered more than 370,361 hours to community service, according to “Investing in America’s Health,” a report by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA). The sixth annual report demonstrates the 37 BCBS companies’ commitment to creating healthier communities nationwide.   “Across every ZIP code in the U.S., nearly one in three Americans rely on Blue Cross and Blue Shield for access to safe, quality and affordable healthcare,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “With local roots in every community, Blue companies are uniquely positioned to create and maintain lasting partnerships with doctors, hospitals, schools and other organizations to help create stronger, healthier communities.” By working alongside local physicians and hospitals, BCBS companies help deliver better quality and more affordable care. They provide leadership and help fund local programs that improve the health and wellness of more than 105 million members and their communities. This collective support demonstrates The Power of Blue and its three focus areas: improving access to healthcare, improving healthcare quality and affordability, and enabling healthier living.  Improving Access to Healthcare BCBS companies are working to address a predicted shortage of tens of thousands of medical professionals by 2025. In an effort to ensure Americans have access to physicians, nurses, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, BCBS companies are investing in education and development programs for America’s healthcare workforce. BCBS companies also support local clinics that provide services in underserved areas. Improving Healthcare Quality and Affordability The Blues® are developing innovative tools and programs to improve the quality of care and help make it affordable for all Americans. Today, BCBS companies are leading a shift toward care delivery programs that provide incentives for better health outcomes for patients while reducing costly duplication and waste in care delivery. About one in five claim dollars are now spent in these new models, with more than 24 million BCBS members in 350 locally tailored programs that reward doctors for better coordinated care and improved health outcomes. BCBS companies also recognize medical facilities that demonstrate proven expertise in delivering safe, effective and cost-efficient care through the Blue Distinction® program. Additionally, BCBSA’s Center for Clinical Effectiveness assesses the effectiveness of medical devices, procedures and biological products through comprehensive reviews and clinical evidence. Enabling Healthier Living With a commitment to improving the health and wellness of the communities they serve, BCBS companies provide a variety of resources to organizations, schools, families and individuals to help create a healthier living environment. A key focus is reversing the trend of childhood obesity. In collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), BCBS companies in 10 cities hosted more than 72,000 people at 48 events in 2013. These events gave communities a place to play by closing roads to traffic and opening them up for families to jump, run and stay active. BCBS companies also work alongside local chapters of national charitable organizations that share their vision of a healthier America. BCBS employees donated $8.9 million to community and social causes and volunteered 370,361 hours by building playgrounds, working in community gardens, bringing meals to the homeless, organizing community walks to support non-profits, mentoring students, donating blood and serving on boards. “For 85 years, the locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies have been committed to improving health and wellness in the communities they serve,” Serota said. “They devote valuable resources to help create healthier communities — not just for members, but for every American.” To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities through The Power of Blue, view the report at www.bcbs.com/investingincommunities.   Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.BCBS.com.  We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog for up-to-date information about BCBSA.

Blue Ocean Film Festival Presented to the People of Samoa by the United Nations

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

(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

 

Media Contacts:

 

Samoa

 

BLUE On Tour

Charlotte Vick, charlotte.vick@gmail.com

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Diane Loughran, loughran@un.org

 

New York

 UN Department of Public Information

 Wynne Boelt, boelt@un.org

 

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

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm
Leaders From AbbVie, CH2M HILL, ERM, Lend Lease, Occidental Petroleum and Roll Global Among Speaker Lineup for SPF Americas 2014   Largest EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Technology Conference to Gather Over 500 Professionals in Chicago   CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Aug 21, 2014) - The Enablon Sustainable Performance Forum (SPF) Americas 2014, taking place on Thursday, Sept., 25th and Friday, Sept. 26th, will feature a stellar lineup of speakers composed of inspiring industry experts and business leaders. The conference will be held at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago, IL, by Enablon, the world's leading provider of EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Management software. With more than 50 sessions and 500 professionals from some of the largest companies registered as of today, the SPF is the largest EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Technology conference in North America. The complimentary conference brings together business leaders and industry experts to discuss how to leverage people, processes and technology to drive sustainability, minimize risk and maximize business performance. SPF Americas speakers are experts from many of the world's largest corporations and leading organizations. These innovators come to SPF to share their expertise with forward-thinking professionals on topics including performance management, audit & compliance, risk & incident, environment, health & safety, and more. Presentations touch upon the hottest topics in the space, including mobility and predictive analytics. Attendees will walk away with a wealth of knowledge from the agenda. Agenda Highlights
  • 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.
The conference also offers multiple networking events including the distinguished Gala Dinner and Enablon Excellence Awards Ceremony which recognizes organizations that are leading the way within their industry and that effectively leverage technology to achieve superior results in sustainable performance. Previous awards recipients include Ball Corporation, Enbridge, Lend Lease, PepsiCo, Sherwin Williams, Timberland and UPS. For more information on the agenda, speakers and networking opportunities, visit the conference website at www.enablon.com/spf-americas-2014 or follow us on Twitter: @enablon and #SPFAmericas Visit the registration page at http://bit.ly/1BFEaEX to reserve your complimentary pass. To request a press invitation, please contact Coline Vaillant at cvaillant@enablon.net. About Enablon
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
  • Press Contact
    Coline Vaillant
    Enablon
    Email Contact
    Tel: +1 312 784 7955  

Tetra Pak® Recycler, Verdek, Earns Certification From SCS Global Services for Recycled Poly-Aluminum Building Panels and FSC® Kraft Pulp

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

Tetra Pak® Recycler, Verdek, Earns Certification From SCS Global Services for Recycled Poly-Aluminum Building Panels and FSC® Kraft Pulp

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 13, 2014) - Verdek Transformaciones Sustentables (Verdek), a recycling company of Tetra Pak® cartons in Mexico, has earned both Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its recovered pulp fiber and post-consumer Recycled Content certification for its poly-aluminum building panels, both derived from its Tetra Pak recycling facility near Mexico City. The certifications were awarded by SCS Global Services, a leading provider of environmental and sustainability certification worldwide. 

"Our auditors have reviewed Verdek's production process, inputs, and tracking procedures in order to verify the accuracy of its Recycled Content and FSC claims," said Alicia Godlove, Materials Manager for SCS. "No less than 98% of the raw material for these products is derived from post-consumer Tetra Pak cartons, diverting these containers from the waste stream while producing usable building and paper products."

Tetra Pak cartons are made from high strength paper fiber layered with aluminum foil and polyethylene plastic. The cardboard paper gives the carton its strength and printing surface while the aluminum and polyethylene protect its contents from light, moisture, oxygen, and microorganisms. The resulting multi-layer ascetic container keeps food and beverage products safe to consume without refrigeration or the use of additional preservatives for up to a year. 

Verdek pays Tetra Pak carton recyclers for the used cartons collected from schools, hospitals, and neighborhoods throughout Mexico. Through a "hydro-pulping" process, water and friction are used to separate the cellulose fibers from the polyethylene and aluminum. The fiber is rolled and pressed into blocks to be used for tissues and paper towels. The remaining poly-aluminum is dried, processed, and compressed with a thin layer of polyethylene film and/or kraft paper into building panels that can be used as flooring, roof and ceiling tiles, base layers for kitchen and bathroom countertops, and as a substitute for fiberboard and plywood panels. 

Verdek's certified products will help support downstream markets for environmentally friendly materials. The recycled content poly-aluminum panels will help architects and builders earn credits under the widely adopted LEED v4 rating system of the US Green Building Council and the FSC pulp will allow mills to produce FSC certified tissue and paper products.

Over 172 billion individual Tetra Pak cartons are produced annually in more than 170 countries around the world. They are used by leading food and beverage companies, as well as development and public health organizations, to deliver more than 76 billion liters of milk, juice, nectars and other products to consumers. Although fully recyclable, due to limited infrastructure, it is estimated that only 25% of Tetra Pak cartons are recycled into usable products. Verdek's manufacturing facility has the capacity to process up to 1000 tons of post-consumer recycled Tetra Pak cartons per month, diverting the equivalent of 388 million 1 liter cartons from the waste stream per year or .23% of total global production.

About SCS Global Services

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. Now in its 30th year, SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice. 

Contact Information

CONTACT:
Lawrence Nussbaum
+1.510.452.6821
lnussbaum@scsgloblaservices.com

Seventh Generation Acquires the Business of Gamila Products, LLC Including Impress Coffee Brewer and Teastick

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

Seventh Generation Acquires the Business of Gamila Products, LLC Including Impress Coffee Brewer and Teastick

Green Leader Expands On-the-Go Reusable Beverage Container Line and Capabilities

BURLINGTON, VT--(Marketwired - Jul 15, 2014) - Today, Seventh Generation, the nation's leading brand of non-toxic and renewable bio-based household, baby and personal care solutions, announces its acquisition of the Gamila Products, LLC business. Gamila's Impress Coffee Brewer and Teastick products will be folded into Seventh Generation Ventures as part of the bobble® brand portfolio. bobble is on a mission to reduce the outrageous waste of single serve water bottles through its reusable bottle that blends style and function, filtering water while you drink.

Both Gamila and bobble are innovators in the realm of portable beverage products with a focus on more sustainable consumer solutions, making this a seamless merging of the two brands. Seventh Generation Ventures acquired bobble in 2013 to expand its offerings and meet the growing needs of consumers who desire to live a healthy, environmentally-friendly lifestyle. Now, one year later, the company is furthering this mission with its purchase of Gamila. In fact, Seventh Generation Ventures was created to enable other mission-led brands to leverage Seventh Generation's infrastructure to accelerate growth.

"The success of bobble has validated that today's consumers want more sustainable, stylish beverage carrier options," said John Replogle, CEO and President, Seventh Generation. "When we learned of Gamila and discovered the company was similarly focused on design and reducing single-serve waste, we knew we had found something special. We're excited to continue exploring the portable beverage industry with their team."

Under the Gamila brand there are currently two products:

Impress Coffee Brewer: The Impress is a clever, one-cup-at-a-time coffee maker that combines manual immersion brewing with a nested press design and micro-filter extraction. The Impress brews a full-flavored great cup of coffee in 3 minutes or less without the need for paper filters, electric mechanisms or fussy coils and plungers.

The Impress Coffee Brewer was originally introduced on Kickstarter. The Gamila team reached its fundraising goal within the first week of their campaign and ultimately raised three times the goal by the end of the month-long campaign period.

Teastick: The Teastick is a sleek, one-cup infuser that combines the quality of loose-leaf tea with the convenience (but not the waste) of a tea bag. Designed as a single-serve infuser as well as a tea scoop and stirrer, this item can currently be found in kitchen and home stores across the country.

As part of the agreement with Gamila Products, Seventh Generation will also work with the company's award-winning product development group, Designbox. This relationship will enable further exploration and commercialization of portable filtration technology and reusable beverage carriers as well as the potential development of low-cost water filtration systems for third world countries.

"We share Seventh Generation's mission of creating sustainable products through socially responsible business practices and are thrilled to join forces with them," said Aly Khalifa, Co-Founder of Designbox. "We have been familiar with the company and the bobble brand for quite a while, and it is a natural fit for us to develop new and exciting portable beverage solutions together."

Partnering with Designbox also advances bobble's goal to "make water better." Replogle shared, "bobble has made great strides in on-the-go and at-home water filtration technology. The acquisition of Gamila and collaboration with Designbox provide an opportunity to innovate further in this space and deliver more options to consumers seeking a healthy, sustainable lifestyle."

To learn more about Seventh Generation, please visit www.seventhgeneration.com. For more information on bobble, please visit www.waterbobble.com.

About Seventh Generation
 Established in 1988, in Burlington, Vermont, Seventh Generation is one of the nation's leading brands of household and personal care products. The company lives its commitment to "caring today for seven generations of tomorrows," with products formulated to provide mindful solutions for the air, surfaces, fabrics, pets and people within your home -- and for the community and environment outside of it. A pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation continually evaluates ways to reduce its environmental impact, increase performance and safety, and create a more sustainable supply chain. To learn more about Seventh Generation products and business practices, locate a retailer in your area, or review Seventh Generation's Corporate Consciousness Report, visit www.seventhgeneration.com.

About Gamila Products
Gamila was created by Aly and Beth Khalifa as another project of their innovation firm, Designbox, to bring together gourmet taste with great design. The Teastick was launched in 2005 and inspired a new category for stylish single-serve tea service. Building on those insights of individualized gourmet service, Gamila introduced the Impress to an enthusiastic launch on Kickstarter, which quickly gained international attention and distribution. Gamila's sustainably-minded, future-classic products combine the craft of a personal, well-made beverage with the simple functionality of a well-designed product. To learn more about Gamila Products, visit www.gamilacompany.com. To learn more about Aly and Beth's work in design innovation, visit www.designbox.us.

Contact Information

CONTACT:
Brandi Thomas
Seventh Generation
bst@seventhgeneration.com
(802) 658-3773 ext. 760

SCS Global Services Releases Updated Recycled Content Certification Standard

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

SCS Global Services Releases Updated Recycled Content Certification Standard

EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 28, 2014) - SCS Global Services (SCS), a leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, announced today the release of its updated (Version 7.0) Recycled Content Certification Standard.

The SCS Recycled Content Certification Program has helped manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to conserving natural resources, support corporate sustainability goals, and meet customer specifications for recycled products since 1990. The SCS Kingfisher Recycled Content label has been applied to products in a wide range of industries, such as textiles, carpet, packaging, building and interior products, wood and paper, insulation, jewelry, precious metals and more.

"Recycled Content Certification is a flagship program at SCS that verifies the pre-consumer and post-consumer recycled content claims of manufacturers around the world," said Alicia Godlove, Manager of Materials Services at SCS. "Our updated standard includes important changes developed with input from our clients and stakeholders, and will solidify SCS' position as the certifier of choice for recycled content claims."

The SCS Recycled Content Certification process ensures that recycled material is derived from verifiable sources, that thorough material tracking procedures are in place, and that production data produces accurate claims about the recycled content of final products.

The Version 7.0 additions to the SCS Recycled Content Standard include:

  • A new "made with" certification option for a material or product that contains recycled ingredients. For example, "made with 100% post-consumer recycled PET resin." This claim provides an opportunity for Recycled Content claims to be more easily passed along the supply chain. SCS will continue to offer the traditional minimum content claim based on the entire product.
  • New criteria for vendor selection and formula control have been added to improve and streamline the material qualification process, along with other steps to streamline the review.
  • A new Reclaimed Silvicultural Fiber claim, which had been under the umbrella of the Recycled Content Standard, will be replaced by a new certification program, to be developed by the SCS Natural Resources team. This program will include criteria for recovered wood, as well as minimum legal requirements for reclaimed wood and wood fibers.
  • For recycled precious metals and 3T metals (tin, tungsten, tantalum), the manufacturer shall demonstrate the implementation of a "Know Your Customer" procedure.

The V 7.0 Recycled Content Standard can be found at http://scsglobalservices.com/files/standards/scs_stn_recycledcontent_v7-0_070814.pdf

About SCS Global Services

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Programs span a cross section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, and more. Now in its 30th year, SCS is a Certified B Corporation™, reflecting its commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practice.

Contact Information

Media Contact:

Lawrence Nussbaum
lnussbaum@scsglobalservices.com
510.452.6821

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Announces $200,000 Gift From ServiceMaster

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

  

Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Announces $200,000 Gift From ServiceMaster

 

The Donation Will Be Presented During a Ceremony at Le Bonheur Today

 MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - August 22, 2014) - Le Bonheur Children's Hospital is pleased to announce a $200,000 gift from ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc., a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services. The generous contribution will be paid over a four-year term and will be donated on behalf of ServiceMaster employees to one of the leading children's hospitals in the United States.

 "We deeply appreciate ServiceMaster's generosity," said Meri Armour, MSN/MBA, president and chief executive officer, Le Bonheur Children's Hospital. "We value our partnership with ServiceMaster and are honored that they continue to support Le Bonheur and our mission to give children a chance to grow up healthy, strong and safe."

The donation will be presented during a ribbon-cutting ceremony today. The gift coincides with ServiceMaster's annual We Serve Day, where more than a thousand ServiceMaster employees will participate in volunteer efforts across the country -- including several projects which will benefit Le Bonheur Children's Hospital.

 "Le Bonheur Children's is a cherished friend and partner of ServiceMaster in the Greater Memphis community," said Rob Gillette, ServiceMaster's chief executive officer. "Hundreds of our associates' children have received treatment and care from the hospital, and this gift is meant to demonstrate our continued commitment to the patients, staff and mission of Le Bonheur."

In recognition of this gift, the 12th floor family room for transplant, diabetes and gastroenterology patients and families will be named for the Memphis-based company. It will be stocked with books, toys and games that visitors and family members can enjoy during their stays at the hospital and take with them when they return home.

Le Bonheur is verified by the American College of Surgeons as a Level 1 pediatric trauma center and is the only Level 1 pediatric trauma center in the region.

 About Le Bonheur Children's Hospital
Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., treats more than 250,000 children each year in a 255-bed hospital that features state-of-the-art technology and family-friendly resources. Nationally recognized, Le Bonheur has been named by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children's Hospital. Serving as a primary teaching affiliate for the University Tennessee Health Science Center, the hospital trains more pediatricians than any other hospital in the state. For more information, please call (901) 287-6030 or visit www.lebonheur.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/lebonheurchild or like us on Facebook atfacebook.com/lebonheurchildrens

 About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Terminix (termite and pest control), American Home Shield (home warranties), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), Furniture Medic (furniture repair) and AmeriSpec (home inspections). The company serves approximately 5 million residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go towww.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.

 

Northern Chef first to offer ASC certified tilapia in the United States

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

  

  

 Northern Chef first to offer ASC certified tilapia in the United States

Utrecht, 20 August 2014 – Seafood consumer in the United States (US) can now enjoy responsibly farmed tilapia that has been certified to the ASC standard for responsible aquaculture.

Tai Foong USA is the first company in the US to source and sell ASC certified tilapia under its Northern Chef brand. Its Northern Chef Tilapia Fillets 10 oz product have been on sale since mid-May this year across the country in Sprouts Farmers Market, Ingles Markets, Tops Friendly Markets, Lucky's Markets, Nugget Markets, Fresh Thyme Farmers Markets, and through the Harvest Meat Company. Tai Foong USA expects to distribute to an additional 5,000 stores this year alone.

 Davy Lam, President Tai Foong USA, said that the ASC certified tilapia has become the number one seller in the Northern Chef fin fish line of products due its high quality, clean taste and responsibly farmed attributes. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers responsibly farmed tilapia,” Lam said. “The ASC logo on the pack ensures that the fish has been certified against the most robust standard in the market. Tai Foong is committed to promoting environmental and social responsibility. The ASC program supports our responsible sourcing policy and provides our customers with a greater choice. Therefore, we also plan to offer ASC certified shrimp in the US market once it is available.”

 “I am delighted that the first product with the on-pack ASC logo is now available in the United States,” said Chris Ninnes, ASC’s CEO. “Thanks to Tai Foong’s commitment and vision to provide US consumers with responsibly farmed Tilapia, consumers are in turn rewarding the commitment of the farms through their seafood purchases.”

 “It is encouraging to see new countries enter the ASC program. The US is a leading global market so this marks a major milestone for the ASC. I look forward to more US companies sourcing ASC certified products and the ASC program expanding further in this important market in the years to come.”

 Helping consumers make responsible choices

 The on-pack ASC logo helps consumers make an informed choice when shopping for seafood. Products carrying the logo reassure customers that the fish is sourced from a farm that minimizes its environmental and social impact.

When shoppers buy ASC labelled products the certified farms receive the market recognition they deserve. Farms must meet the strict requirements set out in the ASC standards showing that they are well managed, use responsible farming methods and are socially responsible.

As a result, ASC certified farms deliver a cleaner seabed, cleaner water and healthier fish. They can also demonstrate that they are preserving the diversity of the species and wild population, adhering to strict feed requirements and ensuring social responsibility.

Companies in the supply chain that wish to sell their products as ASC certified must pass a rigorous Chain of Custody third party audit by an independent accredited certifier. The companies must demonstrate that they have solid traceability systems in place to guarantee that no product mixing or substitution can occur.

Certified companies are subject to annual surveillance audits, unannounced audits and product trace backs.

  

 Tai Foong USA

Tai Foong USA, Inc. offers all natural seafood and Asian cuisine products to retail and foodservice operators. Tai Foong USA, Inc is a leading importer and distributor of seafood and other food items. Founded in 1958, Tai Foong USA, Inc is a private family-owned business based in Seattle, Washington. You will find their brands (Royal Asia and Northern Chef) on grocery store shelves across North America. Tai Foong USA, Inc is committed to supplying their customers with the finest, highest quality food products in the world.

 About the ASC

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization co- founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) in 2010 to manage the certification of responsible fish farming across the globe.

 The ASC standards require farm performance to be measured against both environmental and social requirements.

Certification is through an independent third party process and (draft) reports are uploaded to the public ASC website.

The on-pack ASC logo guarantees to consumers that the fish they purchase has been farmed with minimal impacts on the environment and on society.

For more information about ASC please visit www.asc-aqua.org.

 

 

ServiceMaster Employees Preparing for Ambitious Volunteer Effort

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm
ServiceMaster Employees Preparing for Ambitious Volunteer Effort    "We Serve Day" Celebrates Legacy of Service in Communities All Over the U.S.   MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwired - August 20, 2014) - ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, announced that more than a thousand of its employees will undertake simultaneous volunteer efforts across the country in celebration of the company's second annual We Serve Day on Friday, August 22. Employees from all ServiceMaster business units will engage in community projects in cities and town across the United States, including Memphis, Tenn.; Dallas, Texas; Phoenix, Ariz.; Tampa, Fla.; Carroll, Iowa; Cross Plains, Wis.; LaGrange, Ga.; and Norcross, Ga. "At ServiceMaster, service is more than just a responsibility and a commitment to our customers -- it's the heart of our business," said Rob Gillette, ServiceMaster's chief executive officer. "Service is part of our name and community service is one of our most cherished traditions. We Serve Day is an important symbol of living our legacy." Examples of volunteer service as part of this year's We Serve Day include:
  • Joining Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis in a beautification and revitalization effort that will include painting, neighborhood clean up and landscaping
  • Putting finishing touches on the new ServiceMaster Family Room at the Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis and stocking the room with games, toys and arts and crafts for patients and their families
  • Operating the hospitality cart and coffee carts at LeBonheur, passing out breakfast and coffee to families, and shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and other necessities that out-of-town patients and their families may have left behind
  • Painting school rooms, providing new tables, chairs and play equipment for the Carroll Area Child Care Center in Carroll, Iowa
  • Helping stock the Ronald McDonald House in Madison, Wis., with cleaning products, puzzles, games, movies and toys
  • Assembling 400 care packages for the homeless at the Phoenix Rescue Mission in Phoenix, Ariz.
  • Assisting the National Civil Rights Museum staff in moving offices and relocating retail space into the newly renovated Lorraine Motel, the historical civil rights landmark in Memphis
  • Baking treats and assembling welcome bags and craft kits for families staying in the Tri-Delta Place while visiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis
Other efforts include projects to support the Mid-South Food Bank, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Junior Achievement, Tri-Delta Place, Youth Villages and the Kate Bond Middle School, all based in Memphis; the Florence Hand Home, Twin Fountain, Harmony House, Emmaus House LaGrange, West Georgia Health System -- Hospice and LaGrange Personal Aide, all based in Georgia; and Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa. About ServiceMaster
ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 7,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes Terminix (termite and pest control), American Home Shield (home warranties), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), Furniture Medic (furniture repair) and AmeriSpec (home inspections). The company serves approximately 5 million residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo. Image Available: http://www.marketwire.com/library/MwGo/2014/8/19/11G020218/Images/We_Serve_LOGO-866544717407.JPG   Contact Information
  • For further information contact:

    Media:
    James Robinson
    (901) 413-6269
    Email contact

EBOLA CRISIS FUND LAUNCHES

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

  

EBOLA CRISIS FUND LAUNCHES

 Fund seeks to raise money to stem the spread of the virus and alleviate victim suffering 

The Ebola Crisis Fund seeks to raise $1 million over the next three months as an immediate response to help stop the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. As donations are received, the Ebola Crisis Fund will fast-track funds to vetted organizations in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria as soon as a matter of days. Over the next few weeks, as more funds are available, grants will be provided to organizations in the surrounding countries to address the Ebola crisis and stop its spread.

Ebola, a contagious and highly lethal hemorrhagic fever, is sweeping through West Africa and continuing to worsen, according to the World Health Organization. The viral disease is spread easily through touch, and the best way to limit its reach is to quarantine the infected. Ebola’s early symptoms are similar enough to other tropical diseases like malaria that patients often aren’t quarantined quickly enough. Furthermore, misconceptions make containing the virus difficult. Many villagers suspect aid workers of bringing in the disease, prompting the formation of militias in some rural communities to prevent health workers from accessing many at-risk groups.

Major barriers to containing the outbreak include the inability to educate communities in Africa about Ebola, identify suspected cases, expedite isolation and treatment of suspected cases, and execute tracing of those who have come into contact with infected patients. The fund’s granting will therefore focus on raising awareness of the virus and building the capacity of nonprofit and aid organizations based in the affected and at-risk regions.

For more details, and to see examples of the organizations that have been identified to receive funding, please visit www.ebolacrisisfund.org. The fund has been established by Capital for Good, partially funded by the Legatum Foundation, and is being managed by Geneva Global.

About Capital for Good

Capital for Good is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to connecting donors and grantmakers with the most effective international and domestic non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Our mission is to alleviate poverty and suffering and advance the health, education, prosperity and well-being of poor, vulnerable and marginalized people in the United States and around the world. For more information about Capital for Good please visit www.capitalforgood.org.

About Legatum Foundation

The Legatum Foundation is the development arm of the Legatum Group, a multibillion dollar investment firm. Drawing on Legatum’s investment heritage, the Foundation allocates capital at the bottom of the Prosperity Ladder™ to projects, people and ideas that create enduring prosperity. The Legatum Foundation invests in projects to help the most disadvantaged in society and has funded more than 1,400 organisations, impacting over 64 million lives throughout the developing world. Examples include investing to eradicate Neglected Tropical Diseases through the END Fund, end slavery through the Freedom Fund and help children get back to school through Speed Schools in Africa. The Foundation has a preference towards funding local, community based organisations, where in many cases, a modest grant produces an outsized impact. The Legatum Foundation is a founding donor of the Ebola Crisis Fund. For more information about Legatum Foundation please visit www.legatum.org.

About Geneva Global

Geneva Global is an innovative social enterprise that works with clients to maximize the performance of their global philanthropic and social impact initiatives. On behalf of its clients, Geneva Global's work has directly benefited more than 60 million people through 1,500 projects in over 100 countries. Geneva Global provides strategic advice, independent research, active program and grant management as well as impact measurement. Its international network of on-the-ground experts provides community-based approaches catalyzing positive social change. For more information about Geneva Global please visit www.genevaglobal.com.

 

Media inquiries:

 Ava Lala, Marketing Director Geneva Global +1 (610) 254 0000 alala@genevaglobal.com   Ebola Crisis Fund inquiries:  Shira Gitomer, Program Director Geneva Global+1 (610) 254 0000  sgitomer@genevaglobal.com

 

  

Barrick Responsibility Report Now Available

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

Barrick Responsibility Report Now Available

TORONTO —Barrick Gold Corporation has published its latest annual Responsibility Report, which provides a detailed overview of the company’s corporate responsibility performance. The report is available at barrickresponsibility.com. This is the 12th year that Barrick has published a Responsibility Report.

“Barrick’s priority is to achieve operational excellence, and that goal extends to every area of the company, especially to operate safely and responsibly,” says Peter Sinclair, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs. “We know that a culture of innovation, transparency and continuous improvement is essential to achieve this priority, and this report provides an important way to communicate our performance and progress in this regard.”

Highlights from the 2013 Report include: 
 
 COMMUNITY

  • Significant economic contribution to host countries and communities. In 2013, this contribution totaled $15.2 billion, including $11.1 billion in the purchase of local and national goods and services, $1.7 billion in taxes and royalties, and $2.3 billion in wages and benefits.
  • $7.1 billion of the company’s total economic contribution went to developing and emerging countries in 2013, providing significant economic opportunities to these countries and host communities.
  • $81 million invested in community development initiatives and programs to improve health, education, and infrastructure.
  • In the past six years, Barrick has contributed nearly $25 million for scholarships, creating important educational opportunities for more than 21,000 students around the world.

    Learn more: http://barrickresponsibility.com/2013-performance/community-engagement/

  HUMAN RIGHTS

  • Progress continued on the implementation of Barrick’s global human rights compliance program, consistent with the company’s emphasis on respecting human rights everywhere it operates. Advances in 2013 included human rights-related training of more than 12,000 employees, strengthened due diligence in hiring practices and the completion of third-party human rights assessments at six sites.
  • In 2013, we continued to work with the Danish Institute for Human Rights in support of its Human Rights and Business Country Portal. We also continued our partnership with White Ribbon, a non-governmental organization focused on preventing gender-based violence through education and engagement with men and boys. The partnership is initially focusing on operations and host communities in Zambia, Papua New Guinea and Nevada.

    Learn more: http://barrickresponsibility.com/2013-performance/human-rights/

Boston Scientific tackles widespread disparities in healthcare with its Close the Gap program

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

In America, heart disease [1] is the #1 killer, taking more lives each year than all cancers combined.  And although disease prevalence is similar across genders and ethnicities, awareness of risk factors and disparity in treatment rates are not. Close the Gap, a Boston Scientific educational initiative, was established in 2006 to address disparities in cardiovascular care for the underserved patient populations of women, African Americans, and Hispanic/Latino Americans.  Initially focused solely on cardiovascular health, Close the Gap recently expanded its mission to address healthcare disparities that exist in other disease states, including asthma, colon cancer and pancreatic cancer.[2-5]

As a developer and manufacturer of innovative medical devices, Boston Scientific is dedicated to transforming lives and improving the health of patients around the world. “We care about the patient journey. And we want to do our part to help ensure everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity or primary language, receives optimal health care,” said Mariana Rodrigues, Program Director for Close the Gap. Managed by a small, dedicated team of four who coordinate events and work with Close the Gap partners, the program has become a staple of Boston Scientific’s corporate citizenship efforts.

Tackling such a wide-reaching issue necessitates the use of partners in the healthcare profession. “Boston Scientific can’t do this work alone. We need healthcare professionals to partner with us to help reach our target audiences,” said Rodrigues. This approach helped Boston Scientific to determine the focus areas of the program. The founding group of physicians felt that in order to make an impact, efforts of the program needed to educate both the patient as well as the healthcare provider. “Educating the patient leads them to seek care, and educating the healthcare provider helps the patient get access to the guideline-based care they need,” Rodrigues stated.

In order to educate at-risk patients, Boston Scientific had to find ways to reach them. Close the Gap partners with several national patient advocacy organizations and minority associations who help deliver its message. These organizations share Boston Scientific’s mission of reaching underserved patients that traditionally lack access to the care they need.

Ultimately, the program’s success is not only measured by the number of people reached, but also by the impact along a continuum of awareness-to-action. In addition to educating communities on ways to reduce health risks, Boston Scientific strives to inspire them to do something about it. Rodrigues said that “over time, we want to see a steady reach with a deepening level of impact where we see more patients and healthcare professionals taking action each year.” Rodrigues and her team continually assess the impact and reach of the educational activities to maximize their effect on the communities that Close the Gap serves.

 Footnotes

1.American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2010 Update. Available at www.americanheart.org.

2. Center for Disease Control. Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities. "Eliminate Disparities in Cardiovascular Disease".  Accessed 01.14.11.

3. Mosca L., Linfante AH, Benjamin EJ, et al. National study of physician awareness and adherence to cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines. Circulation 2005; 111: 499-510. Available at:http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/111/4/499. Accessed March 1, 2011.

4. American Heart Association. Heart and Women Health Groups Hail Legislation to Help End Healthcare Disparities Among Women and Minorities. Available at http://newsroom.heart.org/news/heart-and-women-health-groups-235776. Accessed September 3, 2013.

5. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Disparities in Premature Deaths from Heart Disease – 50 States including the District of Columbia. 2001 CDC MMWR Weekly, February 20, 2004. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5306a2.htm. Accessed March 1, 2011.

 

MCDONALD’S “BEST OF GREEN” REPORT RECOGNIZES ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

McDonald’s “Best of Green” report Recognizes ENVIRONMENTAL

Innovations from Around the World

Corporate employees identify and activate strategic plans to help advance company goal of making a positive difference in society

 OAK BROOK, ILL., (August 12, 2014) – McDonald’s Corp. today announced its biennial summary of innovation in the 2014 Global “Best of Green” report. “Best of Green” is a collection of best practices that illustrates progress in five categories – energy, recycling and waste, sustainable sourcing, engagement and greening the restaurants/workplace.

“The success of McDonald’s is built on the talent and ingenuity of the people in our system,” said Ken Koziol, McDonald’s chief restaurant officer. “Many of our best ideas come from company and franchisee employees at all levels, from all areas of the world. They see, first-hand, ways to improve practices that ultimately benefit the environment and the communities we serve.” 

Highlights from the 2014 Best of Green report include:

  • Recycling & waste: McDonald’s Pacific Sierra Region created a waste diversion execution manual enabling restaurants to deploy mixed recycling, organics recycling, or both, by providing checklists, shift huddles, and crew/customer engagement and education materials. The manual was initially piloted in 11 California Bay Area restaurants (Alameda County) resulting in an estimated diversion of 70 cubic yards of waste from landfills each week. The pilot program is being replicated in additional restaurants throughout the Pacific Sierra Region.  
  • Sustainable sourcing: McDonald's USA, McDonald's Canada and their franchisees are investing more than $6 million in a farmer technical assistance program. The initiative includes collaboration with TechnoServe and SCAN (Sustainable Commodities Assistance Network) to provide farmers with assistance and training to produce coffee in a more sustainable manner.
  • Greening our restaurants: McDonald’s U.K., has launched a program for recycling restaurant employee uniforms. Uniforms will be collected annually by textile recyclers to be ‘recycled or ‘down-cycled’, shredded and used as mattress stuffing.
  • Conserving water: A water reduction strategy in India – where water usage remains an area of concern – that saves an estimated 1.7 million gallons of water annually by installing low-flow urinals in 70 McDonald’s India restaurants. 

Bob Langert, Vice President of Sustainability at McDonald’s said, “We are on a mission to leverage resources and talent across our global system to challenge the status quo and make meaningful, positive changes to the environment.”

“The stakeholders within McDonald’s are identifying practical, scalable and impactful ideas for their system,” said Sonal Pandya Dalal of Conservation International. “These good ideas can be shaped into programs that can make a real difference for people and the planet.” 

 About McDonald’s

McDonald's is the world's leading global food service retailer with more than 35,000 locations serving approximately 70 million customers in more than 100 countries each day. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women. To learn more about the company, please  visit: www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mcdonaldscorp) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/McDonaldsCorp).

 

Contact Information:

 Jon Rump, McDonald’s

 jon.rump@us.mcd.com

 (630) 623-3128

GMP Announces First of Its Kind Solar Project to Increase Resiliency & Improve Safety During Storms

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

GMP Announces First-of-Its-Kind Solar Project to Increase

Resiliency & Improve Safety During Storms

Stafford Hill Solar Farm in Rutland Uses Micro-Grid Technology & Battery Storage to Power Rutland High School as an Emergency Shelter

 RUTLAND, VT--(Marketwired - Aug 12, 2014) - Green Mountain Power began construction today on an innovative new solar project to improve resiliency and safety in communities, by generating clean energy that can be stored and used to power an emergency shelter at Rutland High School during a storm. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is the first project to establish a micro-grid powered solely by solar and battery back-up, with no other fuel source.

Stafford Hill includes 7,700 solar panels that can generate 2 MW of electricity, enough to power about 2,000 homes during full sun, or 365 homes year-round. It also includes 4 MW of battery storage to store solar generation, which will provide many benefits to customers, including allowing the disconnection of an entire circuit from the grid in an emergency and providing critical power for an emergency shelter at the high school.

"Stafford Hill is a major milestone in creating more resilient and strong communities throughout Vermont," said Green Mountain Power President and CEO Mary Powell. "As part of our commitment to provide reliable, clean and cost-effective power to customers, GMP recognizes how important it is to power critical infrastructure such as schools and shelters in an emergency. Stafford Hill is an important part of that effort, as we will use what we learn here in Rutland to improve how we serve all customers. With the frequency of major storms growing, this project is critical and demonstrates how GMP is continuing to lead the way with innovative energy solutions to meet everyday challenges."

Governor Peter Shumlin attended the groundbreaking on the new solar project as part of his Summer Solar tour, and praised GMP for leading with new energy initiatives like Stafford Hill. In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, many communities were left with massive damage and families were displaced for extended periods of time. Governor Shumlin pointed to the clear need to provide new energy solutions to keep the lights on and create self-sustaining micro-grids that can continue to provide power during storms and when there are widespread outages.

"With this project, Vermont remains on the cutting edge of the renewable energy front," Governor Peter Shumlin said. "The clean energy industry creates jobs and is good for the environment. Storing renewable power has always been a challenge, and I'm proud that we're here today to take that next step forward. It's projects like these that continue to make Vermont the leader in green jobs."

Another exciting feature of the project is its unique location. The Stafford Hill Solar Farm is sited at the closed Rutland City landfill, and is the first known solar storage project in the country to repurpose brownfield land once used to bury waste for the siting of renewable energy. 

Stafford Hill is another important step in the partnership to establish Rutland as the Energy City of the Future, where GMP pilots new technology to improve people's lives before spreading initiatives statewide. And the project represents progress towards the goal of making Rutland City the Solar Capital of New England.

"This project represents the kind of public-private partnership that has been so important to Rutland's ongoing revitalization," Mayor Chris Louras said. "GMP's Energy Innovation Center has already breathed new life into our downtown and inspired many of our newest businesses to open. Similarly, this project is creating energy and income for the city on property that has no real development opportunity. Equally important, projects like this are putting Rutland on the map in the renewable energy world. That will have positive long-term impacts on the city and greater-Rutland community."

 Dynapower of South Burlington designed special equipment for the project and the Clean Energy States Alliance helped secure funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. Other partners include Governor Shumlin, Mayor Louras and city leaders, GMP's Energy Innovation Center, Stafford Technical Center, groSolar, the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund, VEIC and the Vermont Department of Public Service.

 "It is so cool to see GMP and these partners help turn our high school into an area to help people by harnessing the power of the sun," said Caitlin Laird, who is going to be a sophomore at Rutland High School this year. "I've seen the impact of these bad storms, and it's great to see GMP providing leadership and creative ideas to help the community I love."

 GMP received a Certificate of Public Good for the project on June 15 and preliminary site work is under way. The $10 million project is expected to be complete in mid-December.

 "Vermont is at the forefront of an energy revolution. Our work to deliver clean energy is comprehensive and coordinated, as you can see from the many stakeholders and leaders involved," Powell concluded. "The future for Vermont is a bright one, in part because we are working together to build a clean energy future with innovative products and services, a more resilient grid, and lower costs."

 To learn more about Stafford Hill go to: www.greenmountainpower.com/innovative/solar_capital/stafford-hill-solar-farm

 About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which was named 2014 Solar Champion by Vote Solar, serves more than 250,000 customers and has set its vision to be the best small company in America.

 Contact Information

Contact:
Kristin Carlson
Green Mountain Power
(802) 229-8200

Social Venture Network Announces 2014 Innovation Award Winners

CSR Wire - Tue, Sep 02, 2014 - 02:40 pm

Social Venture Network Announces 2014 Innovation Award Winners

 Meet the Next Generation of World-Changing Entrepreneurs

 

SAN FRANCISCO – Deforestation. Pollution. Soil degradation. Poverty. These are just a handful of the critical social and environmental problems Social Venture Network’s 2014 Innovation Award winners are addressing through groundbreaking business practices. From stoves that save 10 tons of firewood each year to a pioneering training program for low-income entrepreneurs, the SVN Innovation Awards program recognizes companies and organizations that are changing the way the world does business.

Now in its 27th year, SVN serves as the leading peer-to-peer network of influential, values-driven entrepreneurs and investors worldwide. This year’s Innovation Award winners have the unique distinction of being the standouts of the next generation of socially responsible business leaders. Coast to coast, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bay of Bengal, SVN Innovation Award winners are working in diverse and cutting edge ways to solve the most pressing social and environmental problems. Their backgrounds and approaches may not look the same, but the common thread that binds them is their shared imperative to leverage business to build a more just, humane and sustainable world.

Expert Judges
The 2014 Innovation Award winners were selected by a panel of 16 expert judges, including Leigh Buchanan of Inc. magazine, Neil Grimmer of Plum Organics, Jean Oelwang of Virgin Unite, Jorge Calderon of Impact Strategy Advisors and Ed Dugger of the National Institute for a Sustainable Economy. The entrants were judged on their use of innovation, impact and ability to scale.

The Winners
 
Craig Wichner, Farmland LP: The demand for organic foods continues to grow exponentially, but the availability of organic farmland and raw materials lags far behind. With more than $50 million of acreage under management, Farmland LP demonstrates that sustainable agriculture at scale is economically superior to conventional agriculture, which relies on agrochemicals and commodity crops due to the high cost of land. Farmland LP provides investors with the opportunity to own high quality farmland, while the company’s land management practices increase investor cash flow by using sustainable crop and livestock rotations. By providing access to high quality, organic, sustainable acreage, Farmland LP enables organic farmers and progressive ranchers to focus on the crops and livestock they produce best.

Shannon Dosmegan, Public Lab: A broken CD, an old VHS player and an inexpensive webcam. These three items usually end up as trash, but the innovators at Public Lab have turned them into a low-cost, do-it-yourself alternative to the traditional spectrometer – a tool used to detect neurotoxins and ordinarily costs thousands of dollars. This innovation is just one example of Public Lab’s unique approach to addressing environmental issues. Public Lab makes inexpensive and accessible do-it-yourself techniques available for underserved communities by applying open-source techniques to the development of tools for environmental exploration and investigation. In addition, Public Lab generates knowledge and shares data about community environmental health, while focusing on locally relevant outcomes that emphasize human capacity and understanding.

Alfa Demmellash, Rising Tide Capital: From poverty and isolation to opportunity and innovation, Rising Tide Capital believes that the best way to revitalize local economies is to support and grow the entrepreneurial energy and talent that exists in every neighborhood. Rising Tide Capital works with a community of emerging entrepreneurs to equip them with the tools, skills and access to funding they need to grow successful businesses. When these entrepreneurs are empowered to succeed, they not only generate income for their families, they create a ripple effect that catalyzes the social and economic development of their local community.

Svati Bhogle, Sustaintech India: Severe respiratory disease, unsustainable CO2 emissions and indoor air pollution are grave concerns facing India as a direct result of traditional cooking stoves. Sustaintech India is a social enterprise that manufactures and sells sustainable energy products, including fuel-efficient commercial cook stoves, designed to improve the health of underserved populations, reduce firewood consumption, slow deforestation and contribute to India’s climate change mitigation efforts. Sustaintech’s smoke-free PYRO stoves provide a path out of poverty for street food vendors along with substantial environmental benefits: each stove in its lifetime conserves two acres of open forests and saves 10 tons of firewood per year.

SVN 2014 Innovation Award Benefits

This year's award winners were judged based on the innovation and impact their businesses demonstrated in solving social, environmental and economic problems. The winners will be formally recognized at SVN's 2014 Fall Conference to be held October 23-26 in Greenwich, CT, where they will present their pioneering work to an audience of more than 400 CEOs, investors and social entrepreneurs. They will receive two years of SVN membership, support and advisory services from SVN members and extensive media promotion. Sustaintech India will receive support from both SVN (www.svn.org) and SVN India (www.svnindia.org).

Social Venture Network’s 2014 Fall Conference

SVN's Fall Conference unites these emerging innovators with pioneers like Linda Mason of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Nikki Silvestri of Green for All, Daniel Lubetzky of KIND Healthy Snacks and Baratunde Thurston of Cultivated Wit. The conference will be held October 23-26 in Greenwich, CT, and focuses on building valuable connections and collaborations among high-impact, innovative business leaders. More information on guest speakers and registration is available at www.svn.org/fall2014.

About SVN 
Since 1987, Social Venture Network (SVN, www.svn.org) has been the leading network of entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the world does business. SVN connects the leaders of socially responsible enterprises to share wisdom and resources, form strategic alliances and explore new solutions that build a more just and sustainable economy.

Contact

 

Donna Daniels

Social Venture Network

203-453-5693

donnad@svn.org

 

Isaac Graves

Social Venture Network

415-561-6501 x 11

isaacg@svn.org

 

Leslie Campisi

Hotwire PR

415-840-2790

SVN@hotwirepr.com

 

 

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