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Despite Declining Demand, BASF Increases Sales and Earnings in the Third Quarter of 2014

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

 -- (Marketwired)   

--  Sales EUR 18.3 billion (plus 3 percent)

--  EBIT before special items EUR 1.8 billion (plus 9 percent)

--  Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments improve earnings

--  Earnings dip in Agricultural Solutions segment

--  Outlook 2014: BASF continues to strive for slight increase in EBIT before special items in challenging environment

 Sales of BASF Group grew by 3 percent compared with the previous third quarter, reaching EUR 18.3 billion. A sharp rise in volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector was mainly responsible for this  growth. Income from operations (EBIT) before special items increased by EUR 150 million to around EUR 1.8 billion. The primary contributors to this development were the Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments, together with Other. The increase was dampened by a considerable earnings decline in the Agricultural Solutions segment.

 "The economic environment remained challenging in the third quarter of 2014. Geopolitical tensions and increasing uncertainty about the global economic development significantly dampened demand for chemical products. Nevertheless, sales and earnings of BASF Group increased in the third quarter of 2014," said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.

EBIT grew by EUR 128 million to EUR 1.8 billion compared with the third quarter of the previous year. EBITDA rose by EUR 30 million to EUR 2.5 billion. Income before taxes and minority interests increased by EUR 126 million quarter-on-quarter to EUR 1.6 billion. Because of the higher tax rate and increased minority interests, net income declined by EUR 53 million to EUR 1.0 billion. Earnings per share were EUR 1.14 in the third quarter of 2014, compared with EUR 1.20 in the same quarter of 2013. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share amounted to EUR 1.27, remaining at the same level as the previous third quarter (EUR 1.28).

North America

In North America, sales rose by 3 percent in both U.S. dollars and euros, compared to the third quarter of 2013. "Sales growth is mainly attributable to increases in the Chemicals segment," said Hans Engel, Chairman and CEO of BASF Corporation. At EUR 342 million, earnings decreased by EUR 13 million, due in part to a considerably lower contribution from Agricultural Solutions, versus the same period in 2013.

 Outlook for the full year 2014

For the fourth quarter of 2014, BASF does not anticipate an upturn in demand. The company has adjusted its expectations for the global economy in 2014 as follows (previous forecast in parentheses):

--  Growth of gross domestic product: 2.3 percent (2.5 percent)

--  Growth in chemical production: 4.0 percent (4.4 percent)

--  An average exchange rate of $1.35 per euro (unchanged)

--  An average oil price (Brent) for the year of $105 per barrel ($110 per

   barrel)   

Bock: "We assume that the environment will remain volatile and challenging. We nevertheless still aim to slightly raise our EBIT before special items for the year 2014." Sales are likely to decrease slightly as a result of the divestiture of the gas trading and storage business planned for this year in addition to negative currency effects.

Strategic sales and earnings targets for 2015 

At the telephone conference, the company gave an update on the "We create chemistry" strategy and the related financial targets for 2015, which were originally published in 2011. 

From today's point of view, BASF will not achieve its ambitious financial targets for 2015 (sales: EUR 80 billion; EBITDA: EUR 14 billion). The growth rates for gross domestic product, industry and chemical production for 2010 to 2015 are lower than originally expected:  

--  BASF now expects the average annual growth of global gross domestic product to be about 0.8 percentage points lower (prior assumption: 3.4 percent p.a., current assumption: 2.6 percent p.a.).

--  Growth of industrial production is now assumed to be 3.4 percent p.a., versus a previous assumption of 4.6 percent p.a.

--  The company now assumes the growth of chemical production to be 4.0 percent p.a. instead of 4.9 percent p.a. -- still growing well above GDP and industrial production.

 Bock: "The reasons for this weak global economic development are obvious: reduced growth dynamics of emerging markets and a delayed recovery in the European economy." In addition, there has been higher than expected margin pressure for some basic products and partially in the Performance Products segment. This is why BASF has initiated a restructuring program in this segment, which will contribute about EUR 500 million to earnings from 2017 onwards. 

For 2015, BASF now expects sales and EBITDA to be in line with market expectations. For EBITDA, they are between EUR 10 billion and EUR 12 billion. As usual, the company will provide an outlook for 2015 at its Annual Press Conference on February 27, 2015, and give an update on its long-term targets. 

Bock: "With regard to our strategic direction, we are on track. Even in this somewhat more difficult environment, we will continue to grow profitably." 

The operational excellence program STEP is ahead of schedule. "By the end of 2015, we now aim to achieve improvements of EUR 1.3 billion, EUR 300 million more than initially planned," said Bock.

New set-up of global research platforms

Innovations are an essential pillar in the "We create chemistry" strategy. In 2020, BASF aims to generate EUR 30 billion of sales with products that will have been on the market for less than 10 years. The basis for these innovations is effective and efficient research and development. To achieve this ambitious goal, BASF is further developing the research organization and bundling its competencies in three global platforms:

--  Advanced Materials & Systems Research with headquarters at BASF's Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Shanghai by 2016

--  Bioscience Research headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, starting January 2015

--  Process Research & Chemical Engineering headquartered in Ludwigshafen

The stronger presence outside of Europe will create new opportunities for building up and expanding customer relationships and scientific cooperations. All three research platforms will be established globally to support the R&D needs of BASF's customers. This will strengthen the R&D Verbund and also increase BASF's attractiveness as a partner and an employer in the regions.

Business development in the segments in the third quarter

Sales in the Chemicals segment matched the level of the previous third quarter. The market environment in Asia was difficult; in Europe sales volumes declined. There was sharp volumes growth in the Petrochemicals division in North America. With EUR 616 million, earnings in the segment exceeded the prior third-quarter level by EUR 89 million, mainly due to higher margins in the Petrochemicals division.

 Sales reached the level of the previous third quarter in the Performance Products segment. Volumes and sales prices remained stable while currency effects were negative. Volumes increased significantly in the Performance Chemicals division. In the Paper Chemicals division, however, lower volumes led to a considerable

decline in sales. Fixed costs were reduced, thanks in part to restructuring measures. Earnings of EUR 376 million matched the level of the previous third quarter.

In the Functional Materials & Solutions segment, sales exceeded the level of the third quarter of 2013 by 2 percent. Prices could be raised in most business areas, more than compensating for negative currency effects. Demand remained strong from the automotive industry, especially in the Catalysts division. Earnings increased by EUR 10 million to EUR 310 million, mostly through considerably higher contributions from the Coatings and Catalysts divisions.

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, sales were 3 percent below the level of the third quarter of 2013. Continuously falling crop commodity prices and  correspondingly cautious purchasing behavior were noticeable in nearly every market. Price increases in all regions were unable to compensate for a drop in sales volumes. Earnings -- in a generally seasonally weak quarter -- fell by EUR 129 million to EUR 43 million. In addition to lower volumes, this was largely a result of weaker margins due to a less favorable product mix as well as increased expenses for research and development, production, and distribution.

 Sales in the Oil & Gas segment grew by 17 percent compared with the previous third quarter. This was primarily attributable to sharply increased volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector. Sales growth was slowed by lower oil and gas prices. Earnings rose by EUR 82 million to EUR 504 million thanks to a higher contribution from the Natural Gas Trading business sector. 

Sales rose by 3 percent in Other, mainly through increased raw materials trading. EBIT before special items improved by EUR 98 million to minus EUR 7 million. Valuation effects for the long-term incentive program played a significant role here; the foreign currency result also improved.

Business development in the regions in the third quarter

Sales at companies located in Europe grew by 3 percent compared with the previous third quarter. This was mainly because of the considerably higher volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector; sales volumes in the Chemicals and Agricultural Solutions segments declined. Sales and volumes increased considerably in the Catalysts division. In the Petrochemicals division, lower plant availability dampened sales. EBIT before special items rose by EUR

202 million to EUR 1.1 billion, primarily due to considerably improved contributions from Chemicals, Oil & Gas, and Other.

Sales in Asia Pacific increased by 4 percent in both local-currency and euro terms, predominantly on account of higher volumes, especially in the Catalysts and Performance Chemicals divisions. Slightly declining sales prices and negative currency effects weakened sales growth in the region. At EUR 173 million, earnings were EUR 33 million below the level of the third quarter of 2013.

This was largely the result of considerably lower earnings from basic products in the Chemicals segment.

 In South America, Africa, Middle East, sales grew by 8 percent in local-currency terms and 4 percent in euro terms. Negative currency effects could be more than compensated for, mainly through higher prices. Particularly in the Oil & Gas segment, price increases led to a considerable rise in sales. Sales volumes improved considerably in the business with crop protection products in the third quarter. Earnings declined slightly, dipping EUR 6 million to EUR 197 million.

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, earnings fell considerably as a consequence of weaker margins and strong competition from generic insecticides.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $19.3 billion in 2013. For more information about BASF's North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

At BASF, we create chemistry -- and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world's leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about

EUR 74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

CVS Health and Direct Relief Partner to Donate $1 Million in Flu Shot Vouchers to Uninsured Patients of Community Health Clinics

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

CVS Health and Direct Relief announced today that they have partnered to provide $1 million in flu shot vouchers to community health clinic patients in underserved communities who lack health insurance. Nearly 100 participating clinics will identify uninsured individuals from their existing patient populations and provide them with a flu shot voucher that is redeemable at any CVS/pharmacy® or MinuteClinic® location.

"Cost should not be a barrier to receiving important preventive health care such as a flu vaccination. While most insurance plans fully cover the cost of a flu shot, our partnership with Direct Relief will help ensure that thousands of uninsured patients will have access to a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic at no cost to them," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health.

Direct Relief's network of more than 1,200 community health centers and clinics nationwide enables CVS Health's generous contribution to reach people who need help.

"While flu shots offer the best protection against influenza viruses, too many families with low incomes and without insurance are unable to afford the vaccination," said Damon Taugher, director of U.S. programs at Direct Relief.  "Direct Relief is delighted to work with CVS Health to help protect thousands of people who are in tough financial situations access a flu shot at no cost to them this season."

Community health clinics that received flu shot vouchers are located in the following metropolitan areas:

  • Boston, MA

  • Chicago, IL

  • Dallas, TX

  • Detroit, MI

  • Houston, TX

  • Los Angeles, CA

  • Miami, FL

  • New York City, NY

  • Newark, NJ

  • Orlando, FL

  • Philadelphia, PA

  • Phoenix, AZ

  • Tampa, FL

  • Trenton, NJ

A list of select participating locations at which flu shot vouchers are now available for uninsured patients of the health clinics may be found at http://www.cvshealth.com/flu-shot-vouchers-participating-clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone ages six months and older get an annual flu shot. All CVS/pharmacy and all MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores can administer flu vaccinations every day with no appointment needed, including evening and weekends.*

For more information on the vaccines offered by CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, please visit www.cvs.com/getvaccinated or www.minuteclinic.com/services/vaccination.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a global nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of people affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. The only U.S. nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor© (VAWD) certification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Direct Relief is among the largest medical suppliers to safety-net facilities throughout the U.S. and the world. A winner of the CECP Director's Award, the National Association of Community Health Centers' Power of Partnership Award, the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, and the Esri President's Award for GIS Mapping, Direct Relief maintains a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information, visit www.DirectRelief.org.

*Certain immunizations have age and location restrictions. Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last.

AdvanceTec Industries Announced That It Will Be Participating at the NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Industry Day and Expo 2014

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

(Marketwired)  AdvanceTec Industries, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance product solutions, today announced that it will be participating at the NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Industry Day and Expo 2014 Table 124. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Cruise Terminal #3, Port Canaveral, FL.

The NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business Industry Day and EXPO trade show is sponsored by NASA/KSC Prime Contractor Board, 45th Space Wing, and the Port Canaveral Authority, and features approximately 150 businesses and government exhibits.

AdvanceTec Industries will be showcasing its AdvanceCase Charger, a versatile 6 and 12 bay 12-24VDC powered Charger/Conditioner in a MilSpec Case. It offers robust multi chemistry battery reconditioning/charger housed in a waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof carrying case. The AdvanceCase Charger is perfect to be applied on natural disaster preparedness, command vehicles, desert training, extreme weather, agency training exercises, and worldwide deployment among other heavy-duty applications.

Established in 1987, AdvanceTec Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance solutions. AdvanceTec's private label and OEM solutions are trusted by thousands of clients in telecommunications, public safety, emergency response services, military and government agencies, oil and gas companies, transportation, security agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. AdvanceTec's products have been proudly made in the USA for over 25 years. For further information, visit www.advancetec.com

AdvanceTec is a trademark of AdvanceTec Industries, Inc. All other trademarks or service names are the property of their respective owners.

AdvanceTec Industries Announced the Initiative to Assist Answering the Predicament of Public Safety

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

(Marketwired) - AdvanceTec Industries, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance product solutions, today announced the initiative to assist answering the predicament of public safety. In 2009, according to a report from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program on property crimes (including the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson):


--  There were an estimated 9,320,971 property crime offenses in the Nation.
--  The rate of property crime was estimated at 3,036.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
--  Larceny-theft accounted for 67.9 percent of all property crimes.
--  Burglary accounted for 23.6 percent and motor vehicle theft for 8.5 percent.
--  Property crimes resulted in losses estimated at 15.2 billion dollars.


Are we safer today? How can we be proactive when comes to public safety? These are questions that most American business owners, company decision makers, and professional security personnel ask every day.

We at AdvanceTec Industries took the initiative to assist answering this dilemma that affects all of us by manufacturing the AdvanceCallT Box system, a One-Touch Cellular Communication device, requiring only
activation on the carrier network, and is simple to install or relocate (only 4 screws and an AC power outlet). High gain antenna (included) provides improved reception in low reception areas.

For qualifying educational institutions the AdvanceCall Box may be E-Rate and Homeland Security fundable. It is perfectly applied to Banks, Schools & Campuses, Offices, Manufacturing Facilities, Golf Courses, Hotels & Casinos, Parking Lots, Malls, Homes, Access Gates and Commercial Security Environments.

For further information visit: http://goo.gl/f42Lxg

Established in 1987, AdvanceTec Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance solutions. AdvanceTec's private label and OEM solutions are trusted by thousands of clients in telecommunications, public safety, emergency response services, military and government agencies, oil and gas companies, transportation, security agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. AdvanceTec's products have been proudly made in the USA for over 25 years. For further information, visit www.advancetec.com

AdvanceTec is a trademark of AdvanceTec Industries, Inc. All other trademarks or service names are the property of their respective owners.


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Rainforest Communities Seek Criminal Investigation of Chevron CEO Watson Before International Court

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Rainforest communities in Ecuador today requested that an international court open a criminal investigation of Chevron CEO John Watson and other high-level officers of the company over their role in violating international humanitarian law by obstructing a court-mandated clean-up of toxic contamination in the Amazon, putting thousands of lives at risk.

The complaint was submitted to the International Criminal Court in the Hague on behalf of approximately 80 indigenous and farmer communities by Eduardo Toledo, an Argentine law scholar; and Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the affected communities who in 2011 won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for deliberately discharging billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and contributing to the disappearance of two ethnic groups.

Chevron has refused to pay the court judgment – which has been affirmed unanimously by two appellate courts in Ecuador after two decades of arduous litigation -- even though the company had promised to abide by the court decision as a condition of the case being moved out of U.S. federal court to the South American nation. Chevron’s dumping in Ecuador has caused the deaths of thousands of people due to cancer and other oil-related diseases, according to evidence before the Ecuador court.

Instead of complying with the Ecuador court order in its preferred forum, Chevron under Watson’s personal direction launched multiple collateral attacks against the judgment and the lawyers who represented the affected communities, according to the complaint. Watson and other high-level Chevron executives have promised the affected communities a “lifetime of litigation” and said they would fight the case “until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice.”  Watson also discussed his personal involvement in the strategy in various earnings calls with investor analysts and in a sworn deposition, according to the complaint.

“In the context of international criminal law, the decisions made by Chevron’s CEO, John Watson, have deliberately maintained – and contributed to – the polluted environment in which the people of the Oriente region of Ecuador live and die every day,” according to the complaint, which was submitted to Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (The court’s member states plus Bensouda have the power to refer cases or initiate criminal investigations.)

The complaint added that Watson, Chevron General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate “and other high-ranking officers [at Chevron] have deliberately maintained the situation of contamination in the Oriente and the deathly health effects caused.” (“Oriente” is the term used in Ecuador to describe the Amazon region of the country.)

The complaint cited evidence and findings by three layers of courts in Ecuador that Chevron built its vast network of oil production facilities in the delicate ecosystem with the intent to discharge toxic waste as a way to increase its profits. It was clearly foreseeable such intentional practices would subject the local population to life-altering conditions, including cancers and other diseases, according to the document.

“The health conditions imposed on the indigenous and farmer communities that live in the Oriente constitute a serious and sustained attack on the population that has lived there peacefully for centuries,” said the complaint. “The damages, which have been documented and confirmed in countless inspections conducted for the Ecuadorian case, brought various consequences, including water contamination, ground contamination, cancer, forced displacement, extermination of two ethnic groups, and many other disastrous conditions that are described in the annexes to this communication.”

The complaint also notes that under international law an “attack” against the civilian population can be non-violent in nature. Analogizing to the apartheid system in South Africa – a form of societal governance that was declared a crime against humanity in 1973 – the complaint alleges that simply “exerting pressure” on a civilian population comes under the definition of a crime against humanity if the consequences are massive and systematic, as they are in Ecuador, said Fajardo.

Fajardo, a recent recipient of the Goldman Prize (known as the “Nobel” of the environment), was blunt about the goal of the communities in requesting the investigation.

“The filing of this complaint indicates we will continue to do all we can to hold accountable those individuals within Chevron responsible in whole or in part for the deaths and destruction that continue to afflict a vulnerable civilian population on a daily basis,” he said. 

“The evidence as found by the courts of Ecuador clearly shows that thousands of people have died or are at imminent risk of contracting life-threatening diseases due to Chevron’s deliberate toxic dumping and Mr. Watson’s refusal to abide by court orders,” Fajardo added.

The ICC, which was founded in 2002 based on a treaty signed by 122 nations, has jurisdiction under international law to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. The theory of the Ecuadorian communities is that Watson’s conscious efforts to undermine the legitimate Ecuador judgment in the face of such mortal danger to thousands of villagers is the equivalent of a “generalized and systematic attack against the civilian population” and therefore rises to the level of a crime against humanity under international law.

Ecuador is a party to the treaty creating the ICC, giving the communities jurisdiction to seek the investigation. The U.S. is not a party to the court.

Expert evidence submitted by the communities, based on several peer-reviewed studies, concluded that upwards of 10,000 individuals in the affected area have either died or will contract cancer in the coming years due to Watson’s failure to clean up the company’s pollution. That evidence, in the form of an expert report based on data generated by several peer-reviewed studies, can be seen here.

Fajardo said individual accountability was vital to the outcome of the litigation. The villagers are currently pursuing Chevron’s corporate assets in Canada, Brazil and Argentina to force the company to pay for a clean-up.

“We must remember that Chevron is not a nameless and faceless corporate entity,” Fajado added. “Watson is at the very top of the pyramid and he has been deeply involved personally in the strategy to maintain this illegal pressure on the civilian population of Ecuador. It is critical that all legal mechanisms be fully utilized to put an end to what is effectively impunity for a major American oil company that is committing human rights crimes against vulnerable populations.”

The U.S.-based non-profit environmental group Amazon Watch, which has worked in support of the affected Ecuadorian communities for several years, lauded the filing of the complaint.  “It is important that U.S. companies know that they can be held accountable for human rights crimes through international systems of justice even if they believe they can use their political power and connections to evade accountability in their home countries,” said Paul Paz y Miño, an official with the organization.

For a summary of the various peer-reviewed studies that show high cancer rates in the region where Chevron operated, see here.

For a view of the devastating human toll of Chevron’s contamination in Ecuador see this photo essay by award-winning journalist Lou Demattais. For background on some of the unethical tactics used by Chevron to obstruct the clean-up, see this sworn affidavit and this recent article in the American magazine Rolling Stone.

Wellness Tea Pioneer Traditional Medicinals® Releases Its Second Annual Sustainability Report

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Traditional Medicinals, a pioneer and leading seller of wellness teas for 40 years, today released highlights from its 2013 sustainability report, continuing its commitment to ongoing improvement and transparency around practices in key areas. From organic and ethical sourcing practices to community engagement, highlights from the report include an investment of over $1 million to the Revive! Project, and a maintained commitment to 100 percent Non-GMO Project Verified teas.

Traditional Medicinals, made with certified organic, Fair Trade, and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients, uses over 100 different botanical raw materials that are sourced in over 30 countries. It participates in certification programs like Fair Trade and FairWild that assist communities in economic development and social empowerment, investing in change from poverty to prosperity.

“The entire planet desperately needs business models that are non-exploitive, free of discrimination, socially and environmentally responsible, and have a corporate purpose to make a positive impact on society and the environment,” said Josef Brinckmann, Vice President of Sustainability at Traditional Medicinals. “These values are core to our company, as demonstrated by our sustainability and social responsibility performance, which we are proud to share.”

Developed under the Sustainable Food Trade Association guidelines, Traditional Medicinals’ 2013 sustainability report highlights include:

Community Engagement

  • Surpassed the $1 million milestone in total investment to the Revive! Project, a social business partnership in Rajasthan, India, focusing on reducing poverty and empowering women through organic agriculture. Along with Gravis, a Rajasthan-based NGO, and WomenServe, a Sonoma County-based NGO, the Revive! Project has implemented many initiatives, including community organization and development, medical support, water and food security, education for children, economic development and women’s empowerment.
  • Thirty-one of the 48 recipients of Traditional Medicinals’ community contributions were local educational and/or social and environmental justice organizations.

Environmental Certifications and Awards

  • As a Certified B Corp, continued to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. 
  • In the category of “Environment”, received the 2013 Top Manufacturers in the North Bay award, presented by the North Bay Business Journal.

Ethical Sourcing

  • Maintained the Non-GMO Project Verified percentage of its herbal tea products at 100 percent.
  • Made a five-year commitment to support the United Plant Savers Adopt an Herb Program by adopting the Native American tree slippery elm. This adoption shows Traditional Medicinals’ commitment to protect native medicinal plants and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply for generations to come.
  • Increased the percentage of herbs used that are both organic and fair to 34.6% (certified organic and either Fair Trade or FairWild certified and/or are sourced from selected community and social development project sites like the Revive! Project).
  • Increased the organic percentage of its botanical raw materials to 97.7 percent.

Renewable Energy

  • Solar panels provided over half of its total annual electricity use.
  • Some additional electricity use was offset through the purchase of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). 100% offset begins for FY2014.

Sustainable Packaging

  • Tea carton packaging is made from 100 percent recycled paperboard, of which at least 35 percent is from post-consumer waste.

Traditional Medicinals is always working toward increasing ingredient sustainability by purchasing higher percentages of certified organic, Fair Trade, FairWild and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients, as well as looking for biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and responsible packaging materials. 

Click here for Traditional Medicinals’ Sustainability Q&A.

About Traditional Medicinals
Traditional Medicinals, Inc., a Certified B Corporation and California Certified Green Business, is a leading seller of wellness tea in the U.S. and the pioneer of the wellness tea category in the U.S. and Canada. Traditional Medicinals is also the leading seller of both organic tea and Fair Trade Certified™ herbal teas in the U.S. and Canada. The company is passionate about connecting people with plants and sharing centuries-old wisdom of how to use them. Their more than 50 high quality wellness teas are formulated by herbalists using pharmacopoeial grade herbs. This is one of the defining qualities that sets Traditional Medicinals apart from many leading tea brands. Founded in 1974, Traditional Medicinals is an independent company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity, and social and environmental activism. For additional information, visit www.traditionalmedicinals.com

The Shift to Integrated Reporting

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The movement to integrated reporting has seen substantial development, but widespread regulatory intervention has yet to materialize. The forthcoming book, The Integrated Reporting Movement, by Robert Eccles, Michael Krzus, and Sydney Ribot, explains how companies can ensure their own long-term viability by contributing to a sustainable society.

The authors provide guidance to promote wider adoption of the practice and success of the movement, starting with how companies can improve their own reporting processes. Readers will learn how integrated reporting has evolved over the years, where frameworks and standards are today, and effective implementation practices—including information technology’s role in the process.

This free, prerelease excerpt focuses on the second and third chapters of The Integrated Reporting Movement.  The authors discuss how integrated reporting has evolved through four overlapping stages and review the codification of reporting practices and challenges for institutionalizing integrated reporting.

Download your copy of the excerpt now.

 

About

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.

The Evolution of LED Lighting Charges Forward with Ellipz Lighting

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Lemnis Lighting Asia Pte Ltd, an innovation company producing next-generation LED lighting, announces that it has adopted Ellipz Lighting Pte Ltd (“Ellipz Lighting”) as its new name. Accompanied with fresh corporate branding, Ellipz Lighting has also unveiled its website: www.ellipzlighting.com

The rebranding is a positive outcome of the company’s broadening success, year-after-year growth, and increased recognition for creating safe, energy efficient, socially responsible and reliable lighting solutions.

Inspired by the knowledge that humanity uses 20 percent of the Earth’s electricity for lighting and that at least half of that is wasted on inefficient lights, the Ellipz brand name and logo – like an ellipse circling the Earth – stand for the company’s vision of protecting the planet for future generations through energy and material savings.

Founded by Frans Otten, a great-grandson of Philips founder Anton Philips, Ellipz Lighting has grown in the recent years to establish offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Ellipz Lighting is also announcing a new North American office in Los Angeles, California, Ellipz Lighting USA, which will focus on introducing Ellipz technology to the American commercial sector. The USA branch is a Public Benefit Corporation and will also be spearheading international marketing and educational campaigns for Ellipz Lighting.

As Ellipz Lighting reinforces its presence worldwide, it continues to invent and produce LEDs based on John Rooymans’s patents and insights that achieve superior energy saving standards and deliver vastly better light quality than conventional LED lights. Ellipz Lighting advocates that the quality of nighttime human vision should not be reliant on lux levels, a measurement based on just photopic light. Instead, the company designs and manufactures lighting products based on photopic and scotopic light that mimic the optimal functioning of the human eye’s cones and rods. This helps people to see at lower light levels both outdoors and indoors. “Making light without understanding how the human eye works is really outdated. We match biology with lighting technology,” says Rooymans.

Chairman Frans Otten emphasizes, “Ellipz Lighting is an innovation company first and a lighting manufacturer second, and is dedicated to staying on the cutting edge of energy-saving technologies currently based on LED. Even as LED is developing into a mature technology, we believe that the real understanding of what can be achieved with LED technology is still to come. Ellipz Lighting wants to play an important role in that development.”

At its very core, Ellipz executives, and the Asian and US Board of Directors, strictly maintain that sustainability principles and practices be included in all Ellipz Lighting operations, including manufacturing, company culture, philanthropy, and local for local country agent and distributor business models.

Otten, who attended the World Economic Forum when the company was nominated as a Technology Pioneer, orchestrates Ellipz Lighting, orchestrates Ellipz Lighting with the circular economy in mind: “Our past efforts as humans have created quite a mess in the world, from climate change challenges to pollution to diseases to famine and unemployment. An economic system based on more production for more consumption leading to more profit is no longer realistic. The good news is that the steps we take today can create a better and sustainable future. The new circular economy is betting on heightened, cross-sector collaboration.”

Find out more about Ellipz Lighting at www.ellipzlighting.com

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

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

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.

Certification:

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.

Modules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who should attend:

CSR Professionals

 Public Relations Communication and Marketing Managers

 Human Resources Managers

Sustainability and Environmental professionals

General Managers

GRI (G4) Certified Training on Reporting

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

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.

Certification:

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

Modules:

  •  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

Corporate Philanthropy Institute

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

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!

 

Build a Responsible, Resilient and Secure Value Chain

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

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.

Companies & Causes Canada

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Companies & Causes Canada will be held on October 28th at the Toronto Board of Trade. This inaugural event is a powerful forum bringing together the professionals who will shape the future of socially responsible commerce in Canada and a chance to learn from, share and nurture corporate initiatives combining profit and purpose.

Founding corporate sponsors include Manulife, Shoppers Drug Mart, CIBC, TELUS, ScotiaBank and RBC. Keynote speakers include Unilever Canada, Children’s Miracle Network Canada, TELUS, Canadian Tire,DoSomething.org and TerraCycle. You’ll find the full program here.

 

Register here

Renewable Energy Markets (REM)

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

For nearly 20 years, the annual Renewable Energy Markets (REM) conference has been the leading forum for the clean energy marketplace. Attracting participants from around the globe who share an interest in and commitment to promoting clean energy, REM remains the only conference of its kind focusing on national and international markets for renewable energy. Organized by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and co-sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this annual meeting of clean energy stakeholders includes generators, marketers, utility representatives, purchasers, policymakers, and regional stakeholders, and sets the agenda for the year to come.

This year's conference will be held December 2–4 in Sacramento, CA.

Register here

GreenBiz Forum 2015

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

GreenBiz Forum 2015 brings together an unprecedented partnership between GreenBiz Group, The Sustainability Consortium, and The Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives, a unit of the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University, to give attendees an unparalleled in-depth look at the key challenges and opportunities facing sustainable business today.

Framed by GreenBiz's 2015 State of Green Business report, the high-wattage stage presentations, workshops and networking opportunities will make GreenBiz Forum 2015 an unforgettable event.

Join us at GreenBiz Forum (Feb. 17-19) and save 10% when you use our discount code GBF15CSR

VERGE San Francisco

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

VERGE focuses on the technologies and systems that accelerate sustainability solutions across sectors in a climate-constrained world.

It focuses on transformative but practical, scalable, solutions-oriented exchanges through six program tracks:distributed energy systems,next-gen buildings, resilient cities,sustainable mobility, smarter supply chains, and food and water systems.

Participants come from a broad range of sectors and job functions, including buildings and facilities, fleets, IT, energy, sustainability, strategy, policymakers and the public sector.

Join us at VERGE San Francisco on October 27-30 using our special 10% off discount code VSF14CSRW here

How Business Can Tackle Deforestation

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

‘How business can tackle deforestation’ will be a two-day conference, with interactive working groups that discusses the latest trends, debates the issues, connects the key players and drives change.

Offering their views will be senior representatives from the likes of Wilmar International, Unilever, Ikea, Mars, New Britain Palm Oil, M&S, Nestle, McDonald’s and many more.

Innovation Forum would like to offer you a 15% discount on the ticket price. Just quote CSRW15 when registering or get in touch with Innovation Forum directly – charlenne.ordonez@innovation-forum.co.uk.

Ebola Outbreak Coordination Conference Call

CSRwire - Fri, 10/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center (CCC) will host a conference call on Friday, September 26 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Over the past six months, an Ebola outbreak has affected five countries in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sierra Leone). The current outbreak is unprecedented in scale and geographical reach: the present West Africa outbreak has a higher caseload than all other previous Ebola crises combined.

Worse yet, the United Nations reports that the outbreak continues to accelerate, with almost 40% of the total cases occurring in the past 21 days. CCC’s Ebola coordination conference call will provide updated information on the humanitarian response and the efforts to contain the disease. It will also detail ways that the business community can help.

Dr. Beth Bell,Director of National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Joe Ruiz, Director, UPS Humanitarian Relief Program, The UPS Foundation

Rabih Torbay, Vice President of International Operations, International Medical Corps

Ken Isaacs, Vice President of Programs and Government Relations, Samaritan’s Purse United Nations

Register here

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