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Women Criticize NOW For Taking Money from Chevron In Ecuador Pollution Case

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

The legal arm of the National Organization for Woman (“NOW”) is under attack from rainforest indigenous villagers and their allies for accepting a large donation from Chevron and then filing a legal brief in favor of the oil company in its campaign to evade an Ecuador court judgment ordering it to clean up extensive oil contamination in the Amazon. 

The NOW legal group never disclosed its financial ties to Chevron in the “friend of the court” brief filed recently before the United States Court of Appeals in New York, raising ethical concerns and infuriating women in Ecuador who have battled for two decades to hold Chevron accountable for dumping billions of gallons of toxic waste onto their ancestral lands.

“This is a very disturbing example of how NOW’s legal advocates are both deceiving courts and openly betraying the women of Ecuador who have suffered hugely at the hands of Chevron,” said Mariana Jimenez, a resident of Lago Agrio, a small town in the rainforest that served as the headquarters of Chevron’s operations in the country from 1964 to 1992.

NOW’s legal arm -- which used to be known as the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund but now goes by the name “Legal Momentum” -- received a major donation from Chevron and a separate donation from Chevron’s lead outside law firm just months before filing a surprise legal brief in favor of the oil giant in the U.S. portion of the Ecuador case. (By rule, an amicus brief comes from a disinterested party that offers information that bears on the issues being decided by the appellate court.  The rules bar payments by a party for an amicus brief.)

Both Chevron and the outside law firm, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, each gave the organization between $25,000 and $50,000 sometime in the fiscal year ending in 2013, according to Legal Momentum’s website. Only three entities (two of them foundations) donated more money to the organization than Chevron, which was the only oil and gas company listed among Legal Momentum’s contributors.

Pablo Fajardo, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities, called on both Chevron and Legal Momentum to disclose the exact amount and dates of all contributions made by the oil company or any of the estimated 60 outside law firms it has used to defend the Ecuador case. Legal Momentum’s website does not disclose whether Chevron continues to contribute to the organization.

“It is critical that both Chevron and Legal Momentum need to come clean to the court about the full extent of their financial relationship,” Fajardo said. 

“It certainly appears that Chevron has paid for a legal brief while trying to make it seem to the court like it came from a disinterested party,” he added. “Those of us who are deeply involved in the Ecuador litigation know that pay to play is a normal practice for Chevron. As a civil rights group, NOW should not enable such a practice by any entity, much less a corporate polluter that has caused a public health catastrophe affecting thousands of people.”

Chris Gowen, a legal ethics professor from the Washington College of Law who is part of the trial team representing the villagers, said Legal Momentum appears to have a conflict of interest that should immediately be disclosed to the federal appellate court.

“Legal Momentum should disclose its financial ties to Chevron because it greatly affects the court’s ability to assess the organization’s credibility as a so-called disinterested party,” Gowen said.

In 2011, after an eight-year trial that produced more than 100 technical reports documenting extensive contamination, an Ecuador court found Chevron guilty of deliberately discharging billions of gallons of toxic waste and imposed a $19 billion liability. Five justices from Ecuador’s Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the judgment last year, but lowered the liability to $9.5 billion by eliminating a punitive penalty. Because Chevron refuses to pay, the villagers have filed collection actions to seize company assets in Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.

Chevron, with the help of NOW’s Legal Momentum, is asking a U.S. appellate court to uphold a ruling from a New York trial judge allowing a private party to enjoin collection of the Ecuador judgment in courts throughout the world based on a novel expansion of U.S. racketeering laws. In the past, NOW has tried to use the same racketeering laws against anti-abortion protestors. Both the U.S. Department of Justice and almost all federal courts to deal with the issue have opposed the use of the racketeering laws by a private party in this fashion, claiming that they violate free speech and were never authorized by Congress. 

The Ecuadorian villagers argue that no U.S. judge has the authority to block a foreign court judgment from being enforced overseas.  An unprecedented decision in 2011 by the same New York trial judge (Lewis A. Kaplan) that purported to block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment throughout the world was unanimously overturned on appeal, dealing a stunning blow to Chevron’s prospects.  Chevron then went back to Kaplan and got the same injunction under the racketeering law.

(Chevron, which transferred the pollution trial from the U.S. to Ecuador in 2002 on the condition that it would abide by any adverse decision, alleges the judgment was obtained by fraud. The villagers and their counsel categorically reject the allegations and say they are a smokescreen invented by the company to hide evidence of its toxic dumping and fraud in Ecuador. For a comprehensive account of the evidence that convicted Chevron as well as the company’s attempts to sabotage the proceedings in Ecuador, read the appellate brief of New York human rights attorney Steven Donziger, available here; and this summary of the evidence).

The filing of the NOW brief on behalf of Chevron angered women in Ecuador who live in the rainforest communities affected by the company’s operations, which took place between 1964 and 1992. Ms. Jimenez asserted that Legal Momentum “has taken a stand in favor of a polluter and against women and children who are suffering from cancer and other grievous harm because of Chevron’s outrageous and reckless behavior."

“We are furious that a major American advocacy group that purports to advocate on behalf of women would sell out the women of Ecuador in this fashion,” she added.

Mercedes Jaramillo, another villager, said she was “astounded” that a women’s group would side with Chevron. “This is a terrible betrayal of female solidarity on a global scale,” she said. “A lot of people down here are suffering from cancer, including women and children. It is shocking to us that NOW would side with Chevron under these circumstances.”

American allies of the Ecuadorian women also weighed in against Legal Momentum’s decision.

“It seems outright unethical for a prominent woman's rights organization to take money from Chevron and then support the company's legal attack against the women the oil giant poisoned in Ecuador,” said Atossa Soltani, the Founder and Executive Director of Amazon Watch, a U.S.-based environmental organization that works with the affected Ecuadorian communities. "We hope that NOW's members will voice their concerns and push back against this clear lapse in judgment." 

“Historically, NOW has done solid legal work but has been justly criticized for ignoring women of color in both its membership and it policies,” said Karen Hinton, an independent blogger who has served as a spokesperson for the affected communities. “The decision to align itself with Chevron suggests an insensitivity to attacks by private polluters on vulnerable women of color across the globe.”

The website for Legal Momentum indicates that Chevron’s donation arrived as it became clear the U.S. appeal would come at a critical juncture in the litigation, which began in 1993. The pending appeal, by Donziger and two of his clients in Ecuador, is considered particularly strong given the obvious animus of Judge Kaplan against the villagers, the lack of jurisdiction, and the fact Chevron paid more than $1 million for key witness testimony, according to this analysis of the case

The relationship between NOW and Chevron also fits into a broader pattern of Chevron hiding its financial ties to non-profit organizations that are filing “friend of the court” briefs on the company’s behalf in the Ecuador case. 

For example, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – which has received millions of dollars in contributions from Chevron in recent years – also filed an amicus brief in favor of the oil company as a supposed disinterested party but did not disclose its financial ties. Nor did the Business Roundtable, which receives substantial contributions from the oil giant but failed to disclose them in its separate amicus brief.

Chevron’s controversial practices with “amicus” briefs also has spread to Canada. 

Just this week, the Canadian Bar Association withdrew its own “amicus” brief in favor of Chevron – one written “pro bono” by an outside law firm used by the oil company for its oil and gas business in Calgary -- after a near revolt by hundreds of CBA members.  That brief concerned issues in the enforcement action brought by the villagers targeting Chevron’s assets in the country, which is being heard by the Canada Supreme Court in December.  Background on Chevron’s growing troubles in Canada can be read here.

While Chevron tried to use the filing of Legal Momentum’s brief as a public relations coup, a vast array of human rights and civil society organizations are supporting the affected communities before the court without any payments at all. More than 35 international law scholars from 11 countries filed a brief in support of the communities arguing that Chevron’s legal position clearly violates fundamental principles of international law.  They also were joined by 17 U.S. advocacy groups, including Amnesty International, Rainforest Action Network, and Greenpeace.

For a summary of the legal support given to the Ecuadorian villagers, see this brief from U.S. civil society organizations; this brief from the international legal scholars; and this letter signed by 43 U.S. advocacy groups criticizing Chevron’s use of the racketeering laws to try to silence its critics.

For general background on the case, see this recent article from Rolling Stone; this report from 60 Minutes documenting Chevron’s deliberate dumping in Ecuador; and this photo essay on the human impact of the pollution that was published on The Huffington Post by award-winning photojournalist Lou Dematteis.

RB achieves Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill in Europe and North America

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

RB, the world’s leading health and hygiene company, achieves ‘zero manufacturing waste to landfill’ in Europe and North America (ENA). Similar achievements are taking place outside of ENA with over 60% of RB’s factories globally achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill.

RB’s sustainability strategy, “betterbusiness”, includes targets to send zero waste to landfill and reduce waste per unit of production by 10% by 2020. RB is quickly making progress towards both targets with ENA sites hitting zero waste five years early and by reducing waste per unit by 7% globally since 2013.

RB’s Global Head of Sustainability, Victoria Wood, said: “Since launching our betterbusiness strategy in 2012, we’ve seen a rapid transition towards zero waste. We’ve gone from 4 to 31 factories achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill status.  This is over 60% of our factories globally. I’m proud of what our teams have achieved in such a short time and how they are hitting our targets early.”

In 2014 RB made waste a focus of RB’s sustainability plan and decided to change the game on it. To accelerate progress and create a culture of zero waste, RB:

  • created a network of waste champions and established a ‘Buddy-Up’ programme, partnering zero manufacturing waste to landfill factories with those that have not yet met the target. This will ensure that knowledge is transferred and the zero waste culture will continue to be embedded across the business.  
  • launched a ‘Race to Zero’ campaign which included  a series of waste events encouraging competition amongst sites
  • issued a global employee challenge to crowdsource innovative waste reuse and recycling ideas
  • completed waste audits

Over the first six months of this year, RB has diverted over 32,000 tonnes of waste from landfill, and reduced the total percentage of waste sent to landfill to 15.6% (H1 2014) vs 19.7% in 2013.  As part of their work to reduce waste to landfill, RB has found a number of alternative revenue streams and disposal options:

  • A very large site, Nowy Dwor in Poland, has seen savings of £300,000 per year from initiatives to achieve zero waste to landfill
  • At RB’s Baddi site in India, Dermi cool talcum powder waste is being used as a raw material for the production of plastic granules
  • At RB’s Bangpakong site in Thailand, wastewater treatment sludge is being turned into concrete blocks used in local schools

Amedeo Fasano, EVP global supply, said “When you consider the complexity and the scale of our manufacturing processes and the variety and volume of our raw and packaging materials – our rapid progress is a testament to our team’s focus. Our next challenge will be to share best practice amongst sites to get to 100%.”

About “betterbusiness”, RB’s sustainability strategy
RB is a business inspired by a vision of a world where people are healthier and live better. The company focuses on maximising its positive effects on health and hygiene behaviour of the world’s citizens through education, innovation and philanthropic support, and on reducing negative environmental and social impacts across the value chain.

RB is targeting a 1/3 reduction in water impact, 1/3 reduction in carbon and to have 1/3 of its net revenue coming from more sustainable products by 2020. It is also the Save the Children charity’s largest FMCG global partner, with a new partnership vision to radically reduce the world’s second biggest killer of under-fives, diarrhoea.  Overall RB wants to reach 200 million people to improve their health and hygiene behaviour.  

RB’s sustainability strategy and latest sustainability report can be found at www.rb.com/sustainability

About Zero Manufacturing Waste to Landfill:
RB defines zero manufacturing waste as “zero manufacturing waste disposed directly to landfill”.  The boundaries are the point where a recycling, treatment or disposal facility accepts RB’s waste. Sending waste to incineration without energy recovery is counted as diverting the material from landfill – for this small volume of waste we are actively seeking alternative waste treatment options.

About RB:
RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser)* is the world’s leading consumer health and hygiene company. The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs approximately 37,000 people worldwide.

With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 20 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Today it is the global No 1or No 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global Powerbrands including Mucinex, Nurofen, Strepsils,  Gaviscon, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Veet, Harpic, Finish, Vanish, Air Wick. At the start of 2014 RB had 43% of its core revenues coming from its 2 emerging market Areas and 57% from its developed market Area; 72% of core revenues came from the health and hygiene categories of the portfolio.

Fuelled by a new breed of talent who blend intellectual curiosity with commitment to the highest quality standards, RB is set to redefine the world of consumer health and hygiene. RB people and its culture are at the heart of the company’s success. They have an intense drive for achievement and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in sustainability.

*RB is the trading name of Reckitt Benckiser group of companies

For further information:

Visit: www.rb.com

Sustainable Brands Releases 2015 Global Event Calendar

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Sustainable Brands® recently announced its 2015 global events calendar. Nominations for dynamic business leaders challenging current paradigms on topics related to sustainability and brand innovation are now being accepted for several upcoming 2015 events. Companies looking to advance their sustainability agendas are encouraged to sponsor community engagement activities at each of these events.

SB’15 Bangkok      March 18-19, 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand

SB’15 Barcelona      April 27-28, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain

SB’15 Istanbul     May, 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey

SB’15 San Diego     June 1-4, 2015, Paradise Point Resort & Spa, San Diego, CA

SB’15 Rio     August 25-27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

SB’15 Buenos Aires     September, 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina

New Metrics ’15     October 5-8, 2015 in Boston, MA

SB’15 Kuala Lumpur     October 12-13, 2015, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Additional locations with events pending in 2015 include Copenhagen, Denmark; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Sydney, Australia. The Corporate Member Network will also hold quarterly member meetings focused on challenges and solutions around ‘Making the Business Case for Sustainability’, ‘Communications and Consumer Behavior Change’, and ‘Innovating for Sustainability’. Individual dates for these events are still to be determined. 

Sustainable Brands events are designed to spark new ideas and initiate action by connecting people from different perspectives and disciplines with each other in an optimistic and collaborative environment. Conferences began in 2007 in the U.S. and the flagship event has since grown to nearly 2,000 participants. By the end of 2015, the global conference network will have grown to include events in 10 cities around the world including Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, South America and the U.S.   

Additional information about each of these events is available through www.SustainableBrands.com, via email at connect@sustainablebrands.com or by calling 1.415.626.2212. 


About Sustainable Brands
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

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

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

5 Continents, 30 Countries, 5000 Executives have experienced CSE's sustainability training.

Now, CSE will host this course in Dubai and invites you to be a part of it.

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

Key issues to be covered:

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

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


Upon successful completion of the course, trainees will be able to submit a 2-year sustainability action plan that will enable them to earn the globally recognized certification as CSR Practioners. Attendees will also update their CSR knowledge, successfully implement and upscale sustainability strategies taking place within their organization and network with other professionals in the field.


1. Sustainability (CSR) and the Business Case for Adoption

2. Current Global & Local Legislation for CSR and GHG Emissions

3. Sustainability (CSR) Strategy and Related Global Standards and Guidelines

4. The Importance of Sustainability (CSR) in Supply Chain and Carbon Footprint Reduction

5. Sustainability (CSR) and Integrated Reporting based on GRI and IIRC Guidelines

6. External Assurance and How to Communicate and Gain Credibility in Your Report

7. The Role of the Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner / Future Trends and Practitioner Assignment

Who should attend:

CSR Professionals

 Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers

 Human Resources Managers

Sustainability and Environmental professionals

General Managers

GRI (G4) Certified Training on Reporting

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

CSE is offering the Certified GRI Training program for the effective creation of CSR/ Sustainability Reports in alignment with the new GRI G4 Guidelines.

Key issues to be covered:

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

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

The Certified Training Program aims to disseminate knowledge on sustainability reporting around the world. It has been developed especially to help report makers and users to more effectively use the GRI Framework and utilse GRI reports.


Upon successful completion of the course, trainees are able to apply their knowledge in all levels of CSR and Sustainability Reporting according to GRI G4 guidelines and will receive course certificates directly from GRI confirming their acquired knowledge on Reporting. 


  •  Planning and coordinating the GRI sustainability reporting process Identifying and managing  relationships with stakeholders 
  •  Deciding on report content, concept and reporting process 
  •  Conforming with internal procedures  
  •  Assuring quality of information, data and deciding on application lever 
  •  Selecting and prioritizing material issues 
  •  Conforming to environmental, economic and social performance indicators 

Who should attend:

  •  CSOs Sustainability 
  •  CSR Directors 
  •  Health Safety and Environment Managers 
  •  Public Relations, Communications Managers 
  •  HR Managers Supply Chain
  •  Operations managers 
  •  Environment Executives 
  •  Sustainability Consultants

DCP Midstream, Helmerich & Payne, Occidental Petroleum and PaperWorks Industries, Inc. among Companies Awarded for Excellence at the Sustainable Performance Forum Americas

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Enablon, the world's leading provider of sustainability management software, publicly announced today the names of the four 2014 Enablon Excellence Awards recipients. The Enablon Excellence Awards recognize companies that go beyond communication and leverage technology to deliver real achievements in sustainability, risk and EH&S management. The recipients were recently recognized at the Enablon Awards ceremony that was held during the 6th Annual Sustainable Performance Forum (SPF) Americas in Chicago on September 25th and 26th.

With more than 500 professionals from many of the world’s leading companies, SPF is the largest EH&S, Sustainability and Risk Technology conference in North America. The conference brought together business leaders and industry experts to discuss how to leverage people, processes and technology to drive sustainability, minimize risk and maximize business performance.

For close to ten years, the Enablon Excellence Awards have recognized organizations that are leading the way within their industry and that effectively leverage technology to achieve superior results in sustainable performance. The 2014 winners were selected from Enablon’s customer base of more than 1,000 global companies and joined the prestigious list of previous award recipients which includes companies such as Aleris, American Airlines, Amgen, Anglo-American, Ball Corporation, Enbridge, Goldcorp, Hospira, Hydro-Québec, Lend Lease, PepsiCo, Portland General Electric, Sherwin Williams, Sodexo, Timberland, UBS, UPS and Volkswagen. The 2014 Award Recipients are:

-        Excellence in Operational Risk Management: Helmerich & Payne

-        Excellence in EHS Performance Management: Occidental Petroleum

-        Excellence in EHS & Risk Technology Innovation: DCP Midstream

-        Excellence in Regulatory Compliance Management: PaperWorks Industries, Inc.

The Enablon Excellence Awards winners are leading their industries in leveraging technology to minimize operational risks, maintain compliance across operations and ultimately deliver superior business and financial performance,” stated Phil Tesler, CEO, Enablon North America. “Together they form a great coalition of innovators and visionaries that are transforming the business landscape for the better.”


About Enablon
Enablon is the world's leading provider of Sustainability Management solutions. More than 1,000 global companies and one 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

For more information about SPF Americas: www.sustainableperformance.com

Farmerline Joins the Business Call to Action with Commitment to Provide Mobile Communication Services to Rural Farmers

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Leading Ghana-based technology provider Farmerline has announced plans to join the Business Call to Action. The company plans to empower 500,000 small-scale farmers by 2019 in West Africa to advance their livelihoods by accessing information that helps them to improve their harvests. The company also plans to provide a specialized mobile communication and data-collection platform to 5,000 development organizations and agribusinesses in the next five years.

Headquartered in Ghana, Farmerline is a technology and content company that builds supply-chain and value-chain solutions targeting smallholder farmers and their stakeholders. By utilizing mobile phones, the Farmerline technology provides a valuable link for farmers to better access markets, financing, weather forecasts and agricultural services. Farmerline’s mobile messaging platform allows governments, development partners and businesses to provide farmers with crop management updates faster and at low cost through outgoing messages (Voice/SMS) and mobile surveys to ensure that they receive the right knowledge for increasing yields.

The company is working to bridge the information gap that many farmers face in accessing expert agricultural information and real-time data support. Farmerline provides outbound messaging and seasonal subscription services that offer smallholder farmers individualized messaging via their mobile phones as well as a dedicated support line to answer specific questions.

“Our commitment to the Business Call to Action underscores our interest in promoting greater information for the agricultural sector and providing more reliable services and technology to meet the needs of rural farmers, most of whom are women,” stated Alloysius Attah, CEO of Farmerline.

To assist small farmers in improving their yields and enhancing productivity, Farmerline’s voice messaging and mobile technology inform farmers of best practices in areas like product storage, reducing pest infestations and bringing products to market. The company aspires to expand its services across Africa – and with 75 percent of farmers now owning mobile phones, the company aims to reach an estimated 2 million farmers by 2024.

According to Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager of the Business Call to Action, “Greater access to agricultural information using the mobile phone is a vital instrument for farmers in key underserved markets in Africa, and opening up crucial access to real-time information helps farmers increase their productivity.”

The company has recently announced plans to target low-income illiterate communities – especially small-scale farmers – with information about the dangers associated with contracting the Ebola virus. In addition, Farmerline is in the midst of creating new ICT tools that can support health workers in Africa. 


The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global corporate leadership platform, with over 100 member companies that are incorporating inclusive business approaches in their operations to help advance the MDGs.  As innovators in this space, BCtA member companies are advancing the inclusive business agenda by creating novel business models, sharing lessons learned, and forging partnerships to improve scale and increase development impact.  The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development (DFID), US Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Global Compact to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis.  @bctainitiative   

About Farmerline:
Farmerline is a mobile-messaging platform that allows businesses and development partners to instantly communicate and gather data from rural communities, especially small-scale farmers, in their local language through outgoing voice messages, SMS and mobile surveys. Today, the Ghanaian company is leading an ICT approach to Ebola education with its chain of mobile communication and data-collection technologies.

Co-Founders Alloysius Attah and Emmanuel Owusu Addai have recently been named 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellows for their innovation and vision. To read more about Farmerline and its efforts to empower small-scale farmers, visit its website at http://www.farmerline.org

Wyndham Worldwide Named Sustainability Leader by Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Carbon Disclosure Project

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

(Marketwired) - Building on its track record of industry-leading sustainability best practices and social
performance, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's largest hospitality companies, was recently named to four top sustainability leadership indices: the Dow Jones North America and World Sustainability Indices, and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)  Climate Disclosure and Climate Performance Leadership Indices.

"Our commitment to sustainability as one of our top strategic priorities is critical to the long-term success of our business and our ability to meet our customers' increasing needs for efficient,
environmentally-friendly hospitality accommodations," said Stephen P.  Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "We are proud to be included on such esteemed Indices, but more importantly, excited that our commitment to sustainable growth includes aggressive measurement and transparency that benefits shareholders, customers and employees alike."

In its second consecutive year on the Dow Jones North American Index, and the first time on the World Index, Wyndham Worldwide showed strong performance across the assessed criteria, specifically in the areas of its Environmental and Economic programs. The fifteen year old S&P Dow Jones Sustainability Index is one of the most recognized sustainability performance rating tools, with the Index identifying leaders in the areas of sustainable economic, environmental and social performance.

Additionally, the Company was also recognized by CDP, the world's largest global environmental disclosure system. Wyndham Worldwide raised its Climate Disclosure Leadership Index performance score – a measure of a company's transparency on climate-related disclosures -- to an all-time high, receiving a score of 97. This is the first time that the Company has achieved a position on the Climate Performance Leadership Index, which evaluates how companies are managing and reducing their carbon footprints.

In 2013, Wyndham Worldwide reduced its operationally controlled asset carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline, bringing the Company closer to its goal of reducing GHG emissions by 20% by 2020, based on energy per square foot.

As part of its overall Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  strategy, Wyndham Worldwide aligns business performance with a responsible approach in its operations around the world.

"Through engagement of stakeholders, including employees, suppliers,  and customers, we have not only improved, but also moved our businesses forward by leveraging our CSR focus areas, which includes sustainability, diversity and inclusion, community support, and human rights and ethics," said Mary Falvey, executive vice president and chief human resource officer, Wyndham Worldwide.  

"We are proud to be recognized once again for our diligent and focused work in sustainability and our overall CSR efforts, which is a reflection of our dedicated teams and partnerships that deliver improvements across a broad range of meaningful sustainability objectives in each of our business units and in the countries in which we operate," said Faith Taylor, senior vice president,
sustainability and innovation, Wyndham Worldwide. "It is a clear validation that our accomplishments in a wide range of CSR areas,  from environmental sustainability to corporate citizenship, are recognized."  

To learn more and read about Wyndham Worldwide's corporate social responsibility program, please visit wyndh.am/2013grireport.  

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties, Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,500 franchised hotels and 650,200 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops,  markets, and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer

financing to owners through its network of over 200 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific.  Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately
32,800 associates globally.  

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

About the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices were launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmarks. The indices are offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices. The family tracks the stock performance of the world's leading companies in terms of economic,  environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices. For more information, please visit http://www.sustainability-indices.com/.

About the CDP
CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure,  disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 767 institutional investors with assets of US$92 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them.  CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate-change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please visit www.cdp.net or follow us @CDP to find out more.

World's Leading Producers of Beer, Wine, and Spirits Launch International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD)

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

(Marketwired) - Today the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) announced that Ann Keeling will serve as CEO of the new organization established as a result of the ICAP-GAPG merger.  

In addition, today it was announced that the new organization's name will be the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD).  IARD will work to help reduce harmful drinking and promote responsible drinking through research, programs, and balanced debate around the world. 

Also central to IARD's mission will be supporting and accelerating implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (www.producerscommitments.org). The organization will promote effective policies and programs, as well as contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science. 

Ann Keeling is currently serving as United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative Pakistan. Her 30-year career includes deep experience with social development and non-communicable diseases in national and international agencies, and NGOs. Keeling previously served as Chief Executive Officer of the International Diabetes Federation, and is Founding Chair of the NCD (Non-Communicable

Diseases) Alliance, where she successfully led a campaign for a UN High Level Summit on NCDs. Keeling's first day as CEO will be January 1, 2015. 

"Ann will bring to IARD a strong track record in working to solve complex challenges in both developed and developing nations around the world," said Rick Wilson, IARD  Chairman and Senior Vice President, External Affairs & Corporate Responsibility,

Bacardi-Martini, Inc. "Under Ann's leadership, IARD will continue to build on last year's Commitments launch, enabling member beer, wine, and spirits producers to make even more rapid, focused progress in promoting the responsible use of our products." 

"Harmful drinking is a serious global public health issue. We need new thinking and urgent action to identify effective solutions and save lives. The world's governments have committed to targets on reducing harmful drinking and agreed to involve all sections of society in achieving those targets," said Keeling. "Public, private, and non-governmental sectors must all be part of the solution. I look forward to leading IARD as a new alliance dedicated to reducing harmful drinking, and am optimistic IARD will make a positive difference." 

The formation of IARD is an extension of member companies' work over the last two decades to build the evidence base, inform decision-makers, and advance hands-on programs to reduce harmful drinking. The organization will:


  • advocate for the most effective policies and programs,
  • communicate the views and perspectives of member companies, and
  • serve as a single global point of contact for international and    national agencies, member states, NGOs, and other stakeholders.

Member companies announced in April 2014 their plan to merge ICAP and GAPG into a new single global organization. IARD headquarters will be in Washington, D.C., where ICAP's headquarters have been located since its founding in 1995.

Marcus Grant will continue to serve as interim CEO of IARD until his previously-announced retirement at the end of 2014. Mark Leverton will continue to serve as Director General of GAPG through 2014. Both have agreed to serve in an advisory capacity thereafter. 

Provisional board members of the new organization include: Anadolu EFES; AB InBev; Asahi Breweries; Bacardi; Beam Suntory; Brewers Association of Japan; Brown-Forman Corporation; Carlsberg; Constellation; Diageo; Heineken; JSLMA; Kirin; Moet Hennessy; Molson Coors; Pernod Ricard; and SABMiller. 

For editors:

The International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) and the Global Alcohol Producers Group (GAPG) have merged to form the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD). Continuing and expanding ICAP's work, IARD will support implementation of the Beer, Wine and Spirits Producers' Commitments to Reduce Harmful Drinking (www.producerscommitments.org), promote understanding of the positive role of alcohol in society, and contribute to an informed debate by providing balanced and evidence-based science.


1225 19th Street NW, Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20036 USA 

Tel: +1.202.986.1159

Fax: +1.202.986.2080 -- www.icap.org

Angel, 12, Hopes to Become the Youngest Girl to Reach the Top of Mount Aconcagua While Raising Money for Children International

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Angel, 12, hopes to become the youngest girl to make it to the top of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina this December while raising $100,000 for Children International’s youth programs. After visiting Children International programs in Guatemala, Angel was inspired by the youth that she met there, and she is determined to help them get the resources they need to achieve their dreams.  

At 22,837 feet, Mount Aconcagua is the tallest peak in all of the Americas, as well as the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Angel will set out on her journey to reach the summit starting December 13. In the meantime, she has been training by climbing peaks like Mount Whitney and Mount Dana. The outstanding climber already broke a record when she became the youngest girl to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at age 10. Angel also trains by swimming long distances in open water. This past summer, she broke three swimming records. For one, she was the youngest person to successfully take on “Swim Around the Rock,” where participants swim from San Francisco to Alcatraz, swim around the island, and then return to San Francisco. On top of all that, she has completed multiple bicycle tours of more than 50 miles.    

Angel started a fundraiser on Crowdrise leading up to her climb in order to raise money in support of Children International youth programs, which prepare youth to break out of poverty. The programs teach youth living in impoverished communities the skills they need to stay safe and healthy, complete school and job training, find gainful employment and become self-reliant, contributing members of society. These programs include Sports for DevelopmentSocial and Financial Education, and Into Employment, just to name a few. Children International’s youth programs are critical for youths’ success, because while Angel’s climb will be difficult, it doesn’t compare to the challenges that poor children and youth face when trying to break out of poverty.

When asked why she chose to raise money for Children International’s youth programs, Angel said, “When I visited Children International in Guatemala, it changed my life. I saw kids who barely had money for food and clothes, who didn’t have safe places to play or hang out with their friends. As you can imagine, it would be hard to be inspired to think that you can achieve any goal if you lacked all of those things. But the kids that Children International serves are similar to me. They have big dreams, and they work hard to achieve them. We’re not really that much different from each other at all. It’s just that I have more resources than them. So if we can work together and help them get the resources they need, then we can all be equal, and we can all get a chance.”

Learn more about Children International’s youth programs.

Make a donation to Angel’s fundraiser, and check out her blog for updates.

About Children International
Children International prepares children and youth to escape the traps of poverty by supporting their critical needs, building resilience and engaging them in transformative activities. Children International accomplishes this by providing crucial benefits and compassionate care through easily accessible, modern community centers. Children International’s presence, programs and supporters have a positive impact on children, youth, families and communities; provide protection; encourage self-sufficiency; and serve as catalysts for change.

For more information about Children International, visit www.children.org.

Follow Children International on Facebook and Twitter.

Kohler Co. Becomes First Two-Time Winner of EPA's Sustained Excellence Award

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

For the second year in a row, the Environmental Protection Agency has honored Kohler with its Sustained Excellence Award, recognizing the company's continuing dedication to the development and promotion of water-saving products and the education of consumers on water conservation issues. A pioneer in the kitchen and bath industry, Kohler Co. has long been dedicated to producing efficient, cutting-edge products that are at the forefront of the industry.

Kohler has been honored with multiple awards by the EPA and in 2008 was the agency's first recipient of its WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award. The company received the award again in 2009, and was recognized with WaterSense Excellence Awards in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Kohler was honored as the EPA's Manufacturer Partner of the Year, and last year, the company was recognized with the agency's inaugural Sustained Excellence Award.

"To win this award for the second time is evidence of our continuing efforts in the area of water conservation and our strong, long-term association with the EPA," says Rob Zimmerman, senior channel manager of sustainability for Kohler Co. "We have embraced the WaterSense initiatives since the very beginning and its goals have been adopted as part of our corporate identity as a leader in this area."

The WaterSense label helps consumers identify Kohler plumbing products that use less water but still deliver the operational superiority they expect from the Kohler brand. Since WaterSense was introduced in 2006, Kohler has engineered nearly all of its toilets, bathroom faucets, urinals, and many of its showerheads to use far less water. The labels make it easy for consumers to identify and purchase products that are efficient while maintaining the performance excellence and sophisticated design for which Kohler has long been renowned.

The EPA notes in that its WaterSense program has recognized Kohler for numerous industry-leading innovations, including the company's development of a dual-flush trip lever for tank-type toilets. This unique lever makes selecting a dual-flush toilet easier for consumers accustomed to using traditional flush levers, and allows dual-flush to be an accessible technology for those with dexterity challenges.

In addition, Kohler collaborated with multiple WaterSense partners to promote the performance of WaterSense-labeled products during the "Trust the Flush" mobile marketing campaign. A cross-country bus tour showcased WaterSense-labeled toilets at more than 185 events. The agency also singled out Kohler's marketing and social media presence via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, noting that these efforts have contributed to the sale of millions of WaterSense-labeled toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads in 2013.

EPA also noted myriad ways in which Kohler has demonstrated its commitment to developing water efficiency and sustainable building practices. Kohler staff has collaborated with the U.S. Green Building Council to train and certify 280 individuals as LEED® Green Associates. The company also provided WaterSense-labeled products to the Green Builder Media's VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Walt Disney World's Epcot® in Orlando, Florida, which was visited by more than 200,000 people. In addition, the company donated WaterSense-labeled products as well as design support to the California Institute of Technology's application for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge," which funds projects that address health and sanitation issues in developing countries.

"Continuing to develop efficient products and engineering new ways to protect our global water supply is a long-term project for Kohler and part of our DNA as a company," says Zimmerman. "WaterSense has been an excellent way for us to educate consumers, challenge ourselves and build on our heritage as a pioneering business." 

About WaterSense
WaterSense, the EPA's voluntary public-private partnership program, seeks to protect the future of the nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs and practices. Since the program began in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 757 billion gallons of water and more than $14.2 billion in water and energy bills.

About Kohler Co.
Kohler Co. has a long history of supporting water efficiency and sustainability in products as well as processes. Aligning with organizations and programs like EPA WaterSenseAlliance for Water Efficiency, and U.S. Green Building Council, Kohler has positioned itself as a sustainability leader in the plumbing industry with educational programs, awareness campaigns, and water-saving products. In recognition of these efforts, Kohler has been awarded seven consecutive awards from the EPA WaterSense program.

Kohler Co. offers products that are designed to conserve natural resources while remaining true to a singular quality level of performance and design. Whether specifying plumbing products that help buildings earn LEED® water-efficiency points, reducing facility operating costs or accommodating the preferences of homeowners, the water-saving KOHLER fixtures and faucets address the challenging demands of customers and preserve one of our most precious natural resources. 

Visit www.SaveWaterAmerica.com for more information about Kohler's water-saving products and its continuing efforts to help drive conservation.

The Role of Sustainability in Enterprise Risk Management

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Enterprise risk management and sustainability are quickly becoming top priorities for corporate boards. Incorporating sustainability issues and ERM into a company's overall business strategy promotes faster growth and reduces risk—benefiting the company and its stakeholders.

This free white paper from Workiva, The Role of Sustainability in Enterprise Risk Management, explains the benefits of developing a business strategy that focuses on these two principles. Authors James Lam and Francis Quinn provide their industry pioneering insights on how embracing these two topics as a single strategy is good for any company's bottom line.

This white paper explains how to integrate sustainability into the Lam ERM framework in the following areas:

  • Governance
  • Risk assessment and quantification
  • Risk Management
  • Reporting, monitoring, and feedback

Download your copy of the complimentary white paper now.


Workiva, formerly WebFilings, is a leading provider of complex business reporting solutions and is used by more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500. The company’s Wdesk cloud-based product platform brings ease and control to compliance, management, risk, and sustainability reporting. It combines documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that link your critical business data in one place. See what we can do for you at workiva.com. 

Holland America Line Donates $25,000 to Seattle Children’s Hospital as Part of the ‘K’s for Kids’ Program with the Seattle Mariners

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Holland America Group CEO Stein Kruse presented a check for $25,000 to Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Uncompensated Care Fund Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, at the Seattle Mariner’s home game at Safeco Field. The company made the donation as part of its partnership with the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team and their “K’s for Kids” program that debuted during the 2014 baseball season.

With “K’s for Kids,” each strikeout (represented as a “K” on the score card) recorded by a Mariners pitcher at Safeco Field throughout the season earned a cash donation from the cruise line to Seattle Children’s. Kruse was joined on the field during the check presentation by 14-year-old Seattle Children’s patient Jake Finkbonner and his family and the Seattle Mariner’s Major League Baseball All Star and Cy Young award-winning pitcher Félix Hernández.

“It is rewarding to partner with the Seattle Mariners, who prioritize giving back to the community as we do, and we’ve eagerly been following the season in anticipation of today’s presentation,” said Kruse. “The Seattle Mariners earned this donation for Seattle Children’s with 667 strikeouts at home this season, and it was an honor share the field with a young man as courageous and inspirational as Jake.”

For the past three years, Holland America Line and the Mariners have maintained a partnership that, in addition to a corporate sponsorship, includes community-based programs. The cruise line sponsors “Get Well Tours” to area hospitals and donated two cruises for raffle at the annual Fan Appreciation Night, on Friday, Sept. 26.

“Holland America Line has been a tremendous supporter over the past three years, and their “K’s for Kids” donation is a very special and meaningful piece of the partnership,” said Bob Aylward, executive vice president of corporate business for the Seattle Mariners. “We know that Seattle Children’s will greatly benefit from the generous donation made during Saturday’s game.”


Holland America Line Get Well Tours
Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the Seattle Mariners Get Well Tours, visits to area hospitals by Mariners players and the Mariner Moose where children receive photos and autographs. They also get a Holland America Line–branded sports bag filled with Mariners and baseball-related items such as replica baseballs and a Mariners Moose toy.


Holland America Line Fan Appreciation Night
Holland America Line is the presenting sponsor of the annual Fan Appreciation Night celebration at Safeco Field. This year the event was held at the Sept. 26 home game. Fan Appreciation Night is a celebration of the loyalty and support of Mariners fans with random drawings for prizes throughout the game. As part of its sponsorship, Holland America Line provided two cruises which were given away to lucky fans.

EmblemHealth Supports Medically Underserved Young Adults Through Partnership with Children’s Health Fund

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago


For Tuesday, October 14 at 12:00 pm


A special event will be held to celebrate EmblemHealth’s support of Children’s Health Fund’s mobile medical program. Through CBS EcoMedia’s WellnessAd program, EmblemHealth will provide health care services to 250 medically underserved children in Harlem and Queens. EmblemHealth’s support will result in approximately 450 health care visits over the next year.

Following remarks at EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care in Harlem, EmblemHealth employees will volunteer at the Streetwork Project’s Harlem Center where they’ll distribute care kits and serve lunch to the youth at the Center. Children’s Health Fund created its first innovative model decades ago by building a doctor’s office on wheels that could bring healthcare to homeless children in New York City. Today, its national fleet of mobile medical clinics – the largest mobile pediatric service in the country – visits hundreds of schools and pre-K centers to provide primary care, dental services and mental health support to students who otherwise may not see a doctor or a dentist. The mobile clinics are fully equipped with examining rooms, waiting areas, a nurse's station, and a room for medical procedures.

WHEN:           Tuesday, October 14 at 12:00 pm

WHERE:         EmblemHealth Neighborhood Care

                       215 W 125th Street New York, NY 10027

WHO:             Ydanis Rodriguez, City Council Member, District 10

                       Paul Polizzotto, president and founder of CBS EcoMedia

                      David Flemister, director, brand strategy and community marketing, EmblemHealth

                      Karen Redlener, executive director, Children’s Health Fund



Corporate Philanthropy Institute

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Mark your calendars for November 12!

Corporate Philanthropy Institute
(agenda below, in local time PDT)
Registration & Networking  7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
CPI Program 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

This year's Corporate Philanthropy Institute (CPI), presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Northern California Grantmakers, is designed for professionals that are looking for forward-thinking ideas to help them create meaningful impact in the world—now and in the future.

The full-day conference will examine changing expectations of corporate citizenship, strategic local and global philanthropic programs, addressing business challenges through social responsibility efforts, creating corporate collaboratives, and assessing the impact of community investments. We are pleased to announce that Matthew Bishop, Globalisation Editor at The Economist, will serve as our opening plenary speaker.

In addition, more than 20 speakers and panelists have been confirmed and will provide perspectives in breakout sessions, focusing on topics such as Measurement and Evaluation, Global Philanthropy, Storytelling, and Social Entrepreneurship. Please join us and gain insight from leaders in our field including: Dotti Hatcher, Executive Director of P.A.C.E. Global Initiatives, Gap, Inc; Farron Levy, President, True Impact; Ken McNeely, President, AT&T California; Nicole Robinson, President, Mondelez International Foundation; and Andrew Wilson, Director, Corporate Citizenship.

Registration for CPI will also include attendance to the 15th annual Powered by EF awards reception which will be held after the conference. This special event brings together close to 200 leaders in the corporate citizenship community to celebrate successes of the past year. This year, we will honor five companies and individuals for their impactful work in corporate responsibility. We hope to see you on Nov. 12!


3BL Media Appoints David Connor As Director of CSRwire – The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

3BL Media announced today the appointment of David Connor as the Director of CSRwire – The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire.  CSRwire was acquired by 3BL Media this past September following its previous acquisitions of Justmeans and SocialEarth.  Additionally, in his role, David will be helping to oversee the Sustainability Services division for 3BL Media with a focus on product development and service implementation.

CSRwire has been providing CSR and sustainability-focused press release distribution services since 1999.  As one of the preeminent voices in the corporate responsibility industry, CSRwire will be receiving investment and resources from 3BL Media.  In his position as Director, David will be helping to set strategy, expand the audience, readership and user base of CSRwire content and advance the editorial function.  David will work with the 3BL Media executive team to coordinate the brand positioning for CSRwire as part of the 3BL Media family.  Additionally, he will lead the new product/service development (non-technical) for CSRwire. 

“It is an honour to be offered such an exciting opportunity to explore how we accelerate the responsible business agenda powered by the already robust assets of 3BL Media, especially CSRwire.

I’ve watched the values-driven business sector mature beyond many people’s expectations in recent years, with both CSRwire and 3BL Media playing pivotal roles in the distribution and engagement of news and opinion.

I’m looking forward to being part of the development of this next stage of pioneering innovative services and lasting meaningful relationships with all the key facilitators of social and environmental change, and invite those committed to all better business models to engage with us”, commented David Connor.

David has a 17-year history working in the CSR and sustainability field, initially in community engagement at Everton Football Club where he spent eight years.  Following his work at Everton, David founded Coethica, a consultancy focused on communications and strategic development including engagements with some of the world’s leading companies including Microsoft, Timberland, L’Oreal, UBM, Diageo, Societé General and SAP. David has also actively supported and campaigned for social change with numerous non-profit board level positions. David worked with 3BL Media during the initial launch of the company in 2009.

“I am confident that with David’s guidance, we will be able to build on the strengths and legacy of CSRwire.  We have only begun to realize the opportunities to work with sustainability driven companies in the US and abroad and look forward to continuing to raise awareness for the progressive and important work being done by leading organizations”, said Greg Schneider, CEO of 3BL Media.

Based in Liverpool, England, David will also work to enhance 3BL Media’s global brand position by delivering an increased presence at international events, forming international partnerships and expanding our international client base.  

Global Sustainable Brands Community Leaders to Gather in London for Purpose-Driven Brand Innovation Conference

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Sustainable Brands® recently announced program details for its pan-European conference to be held at the Lancaster London, November 3-5. SB’14 London will bring together hundreds of influential brand leaders and cutting-edge practitioners of environmental and social innovation who are driving business success towards a regenerative economy.

Over 60 global thought leaders will lead interactive discussion groups, breakout sessions, plenary presentations, deep-dive workshops and networking activities. Every session is specifically designed to allow forward-thinking executives the opportunity to explore the implications of sustainability innovation in the context of creating, measuring and communicating brand value.

Distinguished faculty and highlights include:

  • New research by Wolff Olins, GlobeScan, Salt, Forum for the Future and others covering latest intelligence on consumer attitudes and behavior, global consumption patterns and the public’s reaction to the sharing economy and circular business models.
  • Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer will outline their current sustainability priorities, as well as key tactics for implementing those priorities across a number of initiatives, partnerships and corporate departments.
  • Paul Dickinson, Executive Chairman, CDP will launch new data and insights focused on risk and innovation opportunities around water. The 2014 Global Water Report will reveal how the world’s largest organizations are managing their water resources.
  • Markus Laubscher, Project Manager, Circular Economy at Philips along with Tom Francken, Chief Financial Officer at Desso will discuss the business case for circular models.
  • Karen Little, Director of Development at Kiva, Pia Garcia, Global Client Strategist at Edelman and Ann Ewasechko, Global Manager at HP will share practical tools for employee engagement and culture change through HP’s Matter to a Million partnership program.
  • Achieving success in marketing sustainability will be presented by John Isherwood, Head of Sustainability at Pret A Manger. John will discuss Pret’s sustainability strategy and share how it is visibly tied to its brand and product portfolio.

“Companies who are developing innovative and adaptive products and business models are not only responding to today’s social, environmental and economic challenges, but are preparing for tomorrow’s business opportunities,” states KoAnn Skrzyniarz, founder of Sustainable Brands. “Every session and activity at SB’14 London will demonstrate how embedding sustainability into the core of a brand’s value proposition can lead to enhanced business and brand value AND contribute to our flourishing future. We are proud to be showcasing these forward-thinking Sustainable Brands community members in London this year.”

This premier gathering of business leaders is supported by participating sponsors and partners including: Guardian Sustainable Business, BASF, HP, Forum for the Future, SustainAbility, Triple Pundit, Future 500, Business in the Community and others. Further information, including a complete list of speakers and sponsors for the conference taking place on November 3-5 at the Lancaster London, can be found at www.SB14London.com. Registration is open and space is limited. Engagement opportunities are still available for companies looking to further their sustainability initiatives. Contact Jonathan Reese at jreese@sustainablebrands.com to discuss available options.

About Sustainable Brands

Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide. Since 2006, our mission has been to inspire, engage and equip today’s business and brand leaders to prosper for the near and long term by leading the way to a better future. Digitally published news articles and issues-focused conversation topics, internationally known conferences and regional events, a robust e-learning library and peer-to-peer membership groups all facilitate community learning and engagement throughout the year. Sustainable Brands is a division of Sustainable Life Media, headquartered in San Francisco, CA.

Does Investing in Access to Essential Services Lead to Social Impact?

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Bamboo Finance, a leader in impact investment recently announced its 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to move the field of impact investing towards a better understanding of how investing in companies that create access can lead to positive social impact by measuring outcomes in addition to people reached and jobs created. 

The field of impact investing has made significant strides towards measuring the goods and services produced and delivered as well as jobs created, but the question of the effect of the product or service on a client’s life has yet to be answered.

 “As impact investing evolves, it’s increasingly important to understand the effect of the product or service on the client’s life so that our intention to measure and track facilitates the allocation of capital towards models that have the greatest potential for impact as well as risk-adjusted returns,” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel. “Further, we believe that recent innovation in pay-for-success models are demonstrating that it is possible to move towards investing based on outcomes through data sharing and partnerships with third-party evaluators.” 

Bamboo Finance currently manages a portfolio of 46 investments that provide access to essential goods and services to low-income communities, and these companies operate in more than 30 frontier market countries. Bamboo has consistently applied a proprietary impact output measurement and management system to these investments and has ranked in the top quintile of all rated funds in 2013 and 2014 by the third-party leader in impact measurement, GIIRS (Global Impact Investment Rating System).  The annual impact report produced by Bamboo Finance represents the best practices in private equity impact measurement today.

“For the second consecutive year we have published an impact report in line with our intention to invest in companies that create measurable social impact. In it you will find how we define impact and what we are doing to measure it. The report demonstrates our ongoing engagement to improve the collective knowledge of what constitutes effective impact investing.” said, Ximena Escobar de Nogales, Head of Social Performance and Impact Management.

Highlights from the 2014 report include:

  • The total number of clients served by our Financial Inclusion Fund portfolio companies has grown to 8.5 million, a 10% increase since the previous report;
  • The total amount of savings deposits has reached $3.2 billion, creating a more stable capital structure and addressing the challenges faced by end-users; 
  • The latest investment into a network of primary care clinics in India has grown from 22 to 29 clinics in just six months, serving approximately 22,000 patients quarterly;
  • Greenlight Planet, one of our energy sector investments, sold over 2 million solar products and has employed 3,962 direct-to-village business associates.

The full Bamboo Finance 2014 Impact Report can be downloaded here.

It is important to note that these metrics do not reflect the full scope of the impact of the investments. In order to understand the positive impact of the portfolio companies, it is necessary to look beyond output numbers. An improved understanding of the usage of products and services helps to increase capital efficiency and ultimately improve the positive impact on the end-customers. This is why Bamboo Finance believes outcomes are key to mapping the impact of the goods and services provided. This will distinguish our investment approach from others focused on job creation and other income segments.


About Bamboo Finance
Bamboo Finance is a commercial private equity firm specializing in investing in business models that benefit low-income communities in emerging markets with offices in Luxembourg, Geneva, Bogota, Nairobi and Singapore. Bamboo Finance uses a market-oriented approach to deliver social and environmental value and provide attractive financial returns to investors. Bamboo Finance launched in 2007 with a goal to demonstrate that private capital can be profitably deployed as a tool for effective change. Bamboo Finance manages 250M USD; representing two global funds and a combined portfolio of 46 investments operating in 30 frontier market countries. Bamboo has a track record of demonstrated commercial returns, and a portfolio of investments that have provided 16 million clients with access to services and created more than 20,000 jobs.


Media Inquiries:
Bamboo Finance                    
Tracy Barba                           
Chief Marketing Officer        
Tel: +1 415-933-1304


Impact Measurement Partnership Inquiries:
Bamboo Finance
Ximena Escobar de Nogales
Head of Social Performance and Impact Management

SF Event to be 100% Powered by Renewable Microgrid

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

VERGE San Francisco, a four-day conference focusing on the intersection of technology and sustainability, will be powered by a fully functional, replicable, renewably-powered microgrid, demonstrating the power of distributed energy solutions on the market today.

VERGE SF, October 27-30, is the flagship of a global event series produced by GreenBiz Group. The event focuses on how technology accelerates sustainability solutions across industries and cities in a climate-constrained world.

The microgrid, constructed in less than one day to power the four-day-long event, will feature battery storage and power generation from solar and biomass gasification.  It models resilience, interoperability, radical efficiency and other key VERGE themes. 

"Microgrids are a key element of emerging resiliency strategies for cities and large energy consumers embracing renewable distributed energy systems," said Eric Faurot, CEO of GreenBiz Group.  "We are very excited to be working with a variety of leading edge companies, spearheaded by Spirae, to demonstrate how this technology is not only available today, but can be built in a day.”

VERGE microgrid sponsors include Leidos, NRG Energy and Oracle. The microgrid will feature a biomass generator provided by ALL Power Labs, battery storage provided by Stem, a biodiesel generator provided by Cresco Rentals, and the "brains" of the microgrid, the microgrid control platform provided by Spirae.

"We're extremely excited to be deploying the Interconnect microgrid with leading partners such as ALL Power Labs and Stem at VERGE SF. This year, Spirae is deploying our next gen platform to manage the 100% renewable microgrid system that will power the entire conference," said Sunil Cherian, Founder and CEO of Spirae. "The VERGE microgrid uses a system and resources that are already in operation around the world. We are showing that these are not fringe technologies of the future, but proven solutions that are reliable, scalable and economically viable today. The VERGE microgrid shows the future is now." 

In addition to powering the live event, the microgrid will be the backbone of VERGE Interconnect, an interactive vendor and technology exhibition that demonstrates energy efficiency and distributed energy systems in action.  Interactive displays in VERGE Interconnect will include EV charging, a popup parklet, a solar array, a "Food Tech Snack-down," 3D printers, drones and virtual reality tools.

The nearly 100 sessions in the VERGE SF program focus on distributed energy systems, next-gen buildings, sustainable mobility, food and water systems, smarter supply chains and resilient cities.  Featured speakers from the more than 200 confirmed to participate include Lisa Jackson of Apple, Chris Anderson of 3D Robotics, Joe Gebbia of Airbnb, John Lauckner of GM, Robb Fraley of Monsanto, author and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, biomimicry guru Janine Benyus and senior executives from Autodesk, Facebook, HP, Ford, GE, SDG&E, Google, IBM, Southern California Edison, Microsoft, NRG Energy, Jones Lang LaSalle, Yahoo!, PG&E, Volvo, Boeing, Qualcomm, Kaiser Permanente, PepsiCo and Walmart. 

Public-sector speakers represent the cities of Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco; the state of California, the federal Department of Energy, General Services Administration, NOAA and the White House.

For more information about VERGE San Francisco, visit GreenBiz.com/VERGE.

**Register and get 10% off when you use the code VSF14CSRW**

Build a Responsible, Resilient and Secure Value Chain

CSRwire - 7 hours 45 min ago

Back for the 9th year, The Sustainable Supply Chain Summit is the world's leading meeting place for senior executives looking to put sustainability at the heart of their supply chains and wider value chains.

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