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EarthShare Fellowship Established to Support Students Studying Sustainable Design in the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

An EarthShare Fellowship fund has been endowed within the Architecture Foundation of Georgia (AFGA) to support graduate students studying sustainable design and construction within the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).

Marci B. Reed, former Executive Director of the Architecture Foundation of Georgia, and Robert E. Reed III, her husband and a graduate of the Georgia Tech Architecture Program, wish to support the work of AFGA while also furthering Georgia Tech’s effort to educate future leaders in sustainable design and construction.

“Buildings account for a large portion of energy consumption and environmental impact affecting the health of people and communities,” said Mrs. Reed. “Educating design and construction professionals to be part of better building solutions is an investment in a sustainable future.”

Mrs. Reed, while Board Chair of EarthShare, a national nonprofit organization supporting environmental charities, received an annual stipend during her three-year term of service to donate to the charity of her choice; hence, her decision to identify the endowment as the EarthShare Fellowship fund.

“We are so appreciative of Marci and Robert’s generosity and vision in endowing this fund to support graduate students in architecture at Georgia Tech,” said George Johnston AIA, Professor and former Chair of the School of Architecture at Georgia Tech, and board member of AFGA. “I know the stewardship of this award will be in good hands with the Architecture Foundation of Georgia.”

“Marci’s service on the EarthShare board has been marked by the ability to leverage opportunities to the benefit of multiple stakeholders. It’s no surprise she’s created a win-win-win for EarthShare, AFGA and Georgia Tech with this gift,” said Kalman Stein, President and CEO of EarthShare.

The first round of funds will be awarded upon finalizing the selection criteria and process, possibly by fall, 2014.

About AFGA
Formed in 1971, the Architecture Foundation of Georgia, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, exists to improve and enhance educational opportunities in the field of architecture, and to communicate and support the value of architecture in the community. For more information and to donate to this fund, visit www.architecturefoundationofgeorgia.org.

About EarthShare
EarthShare is a national non-profit federation with more than 25 years of experience in connecting people and workplaces with effective ways to support critical environmental causes. Thanks to EarthShare supporters, more than $300 million has been raised for nearly 600 international, national and state-based charities that protect our air, land, water and wildlife. For more information, visit www.earthshare.org.

About the College of Architecture at Georgia Tech
The College of Architecture at Georgia Tech is an internationally recognized center for design thinking and pedagogy that takes full advantage of its location in a leading technological university. The College is playing the leading role in the development of an Institute-wide interdisciplinary initiative that fosters design thinking and innovation across the campus. For more information, visit www.coa.gatech.edu.

Veritable Vegetable, Organic Produce Distributor, Joins Growing Community of Certified B Corporations

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

San Francisco-based Veritable Vegetable, an organic produce distributor, is pleased to announce their recent certification as a B Corporation. Founded to support small to mid-sized farmers and independent retailers, Veritable Vegetable’s success speaks to their commitment to high integrity relationships, quality products, minimal environmental impact and active involvement in the community. Veritable Vegetable’s certification as a B Corp formally recognizes its ongoing commitment to operate their business based on values, rather than the bottom line, and provides a formal assessment tool for monitoring their progress moving forward.

“As a leader in the organic produce industry, Veritable Vegetable is an example of a rapidly growing part of the economy – the social enterprise,” says Bu Nygrens, Co-Owner. “By using business strategy to forward social and environment objectives, we hope to help bring about meaningful change for society, including a sustainable food system where the true cost of growing and moving food is understood.”

B Corporations are a new kind of company that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. Currently, there are 1000 certified B Corporations in 33 countries, from over 60 industries; all share one common goal: to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

About Veritable Vegetable
With forty years of leadership, Veritable Vegetable (VV) distributes high quality, organic produce to independent cooperatives, retailers, restaurants, schools, corporate campuses and wholesalers. VV supports small to mid-sized organic growers by providing broader access to the marketplace and maximizing the return farmers receive for their product. Based in San Francisco, their distribution area includes California, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada and New Mexico.

As a social enterprise, Veritable Vegetable lives its values and serves as a model for other businesses. Their award winning green fleet and 99% waste diversion program demonstrate a deep commitment to reducing energy consumption and waste. Veritable Vegetable strengthens communities through strong collaborations and deep relationships with their customers, growers, and community partners. They honor labor by paying workers above living wage, offering an extensive benefits package, and cultivating a fair and dynamic workplace. VV contributes over 10% of annual profits to community organizations and schools to build awareness of, and support for, a sustainable food system. Veritable Vegetable is a women-owned business that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental challenges.

To learn more about Veritable Vegetable, visit www.veritablevegetable.com. VV’s B Corp profile page can be viewed at www.bcorporation.net/community/veritable-vegetable. Learn more about B Corporations and their anthem by watching the “B The Change” video. To view the B Corp community, visit www.bcorporation.net.

IKEA Completes Near-Doubling of Maryland’s Largest Rooftop Array, on Distribution Center in Perryville, Making it One of The Largest Such Installations in U.S.

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, today officially plugged-in an expansion of the solar array completed last April atop its Perryville, Maryland distribution center, the state’s largest such solar energy system. Installation of the new panels began Fall 2013, and since then have nearly doubled the size of the original project, which already was the state’s largest rooftop array.

The 467,618-square-foot solar addition consists of a 2.2-MW system, built with 7,337 modules, and will produce 2,695,355 kWh of electricity annually. Including the existing system, this distribution center’s total 4.9-MW solar installation of 25,913 panels now will generate 6,092,533 kWh of clean electricity yearly, the equivalent of reducing 4,299 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), eliminating the emissions of 896 cars or powering 591 homes (calculating clean energy equivalents at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html).

For the development, design and installation of the Perryville distribution center’s original and expanded solar power system, IKEA contracted with Inovateus Solar LLC, an industry-leading solar power distributor and integrator specializing in large-scale solar installations.

Last year, IKEA achieved its goal of completing solar installations atop nearly 90 percent of its U.S. buildings (39 out of 44 locations), with a generation goal of 38 MW. IKEA owns and operates each of its solar PV energy systems – as opposed to a solar lease or PPA (power purchase agreement) – and globally has allocated $1.8 billion to invest in renewable energy through 2015. This investment reinforces the company’s long-term commitment to sustainability and confidence in photovoltaic (PV) technology. Consistent with the goal of being energy independent by 2020, IKEA has installed more than 550,000 solar panels on buildings across the world and owns/operates approximately 157 wind turbines in Europe and Canada.

“We are fortunate to have the roof spaces and corporate commitment to nearly double the energy being generated by this facility,” said Steffen Daab, distribution center manager. “We are proud to make this investment and to grow our local sustainable footprint.”

IKEA, drawing from its Swedish heritage and respect of nature, believes it can be a good business while doing good business and aims to minimize impacts on the environment. IKEA evaluates locations regularly for conservation opportunities, integrates innovative materials into product design, works to maintain sustainable resources and flat-packs goods for efficient distribution. U.S. sustainable efforts include: recycling waste material; incorporating key measures into buildings with energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems, recycled construction materials, warehouse skylights and water-conserving restrooms; and operationally, eliminating plastic bags from the check-out process, phasing-out the sale of incandescent light bulbs, facilitating recycling compact fluorescent bulbs and by 2016 selling only LED bulbs. IKEA U.S. has solar arrays atop 90% of its locations, has announced plans to purchase 49 wind turbines in Illinois and has rolled-out EV charging stations at 13 stores.

Constructed on 278 acres in the community of Perryville, in Northern Maryland’s Cecil County, this 1.7 million-square-foot IKEA distribution center began operations in 2002, employs approximately 550 coworkers, and currently helps provide inventory to many U.S. IKEA stores. This amount of solar power will allow the facility to mostly use its own energy.

About IKEA
Since its 1943 founding in Sweden, IKEA has offered home furnishings of good design and function at low prices so the majority of people can afford them. There are currently more than 350 IKEA stores in 44 countries, including 38 in the U.S. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment. For more information, see IKEA-USA.com, @DesignByIKEA or IKEAUSA on Facebook, youtube.com/IKEAUSA, instagram.com and pinterest.

Points of Light Civic Accelerator Invests $50,000 Each in Two Startups: Piggybackr and Project SYNCERE

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The Points of Light Civic Accelerator will invest $50,000 each in Piggybackr and Project SYNCERE, one for-profit and one nonprofit startup selected by their social enterprise peers.

The Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator and investment fund in the country focused on “civic ventures” – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The goal of the accelerator is to equip each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations.

The investment announcement came at the end of the fourth 12-week boot-camp style program,

founded with support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation. Additional funders include the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, SAP and official hotel sponsor Hilton Worldwide. The accelerator has graduated a total of 48 teams of entrepreneurs.

This past spring, the Civic Accelerator convened 14 teams over 12 weeks with three in-person weeklong sessions in Seattle, New York City and Atlanta, in addition to a virtual curriculum. The participating ventures themselves selected the two ventures that will receive $50,000 investments.

Piggybackr, a for-profit venture based in San Francisco, teaches teams of all ages and experience levels how to crowdfund. Andrea Lo, CEO and co-founder of Piggybackr, and her team will use the investment to reach more young people across the nation. Lo credits the Civic Accelerator with helping her gain clarity and focus at a critical point in her venture's growth. “The accelerator helped us build a network of like-minded peers across the country and provided us access to relevant mentors, partners and potential clients,” Lo said.

Project SYNCERE, a nonprofit based in Chicago, is a STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) enrichment program for underrepresented students in grades four through 12. "This investment will go a long way in helping us achieve our mission of empowering the next generation of future engineers and innovators,” said Executive Director and co-founder Jason Coleman.  “We were honored by this vote of confidence by our peers.” 

Ayesha Khanna, President of the Civic Incubator at Points of Light, said, “We are thrilled to be working with so many teams solving complex social issues while disrupting what it means to be an engaged citizen. Much of the program’s success is due to engaged corporate partners, faculty and mentors who stay connected with the entrepreneurs long after the class ends.”

The Civic Accelerator has begun to focus on going deeper in several key regions, including the Southeast, Khanna said. This cohort included several Atlanta-based ventures, and the accelerator co-sponsored with Grok Ventures a pilot fast pitch for Atlanta startups.   

Now entering its third year, the Civic Accelerator has committed to invest $500,000 in U.S.-based social entrepreneurs and has paired the 48 teams with more than 150 mentors and advisers. Ventures in the Civic Accelerator portfolio have generated more than $5 million in revenue and are directly engaging 150,000 people in solving critical social issues.

The participating ventures in the spring 2014 class include:

  • Accountability Lab (Washington, D.C., nonprofit) empowers citizens to fight corruption and promote accountability though media and innovation in the developing world.
  • Catalysts by Design (St. Louis, nonprofit) is a network of social design organizations that partner with communities and organizations to resolve critical social challenges. 
  • City Pioneers (Atlanta, hybrid) strengthens cities by connecting local public organizations with hometown talent to solve city challenges and to create an ecosystem of public entrepreneurs.
  • Code2040 (San Francisco, nonprofit) creates pathways to success for blacks and Latino/as in the innovation economy, with a focus on the critical transition from learning to earning.
  • Edgeflip (Chicago, for-profit) uses technology and analytics to accelerate the influence of nonprofits, advocacy groups and other social good organizations.
  • Food Recovery Network (College Park, Md., nonprofit) empowers students to recover food from colleges that would otherwise be wasted and donate it to hungry Americans.
  • Linkedcause (Minneapolis, for-profit) provides charities a platform to develop branded, transactional campaigns that engage and provide value to business donors.
  • Piggybackr (San Francisco, for-profit) teaches teams of all ages and experience levels how to crowdfund.
  • Project SYNCERE (Chicago, nonprofit) is a STEM enrichment program for underrepresented students in grades four through 12.
  • SEMADevelopment (Atlanta, hybrid) sells community-created mobile app games to raise money for nonprofit organizations.
  • tinyGive (Washington, D.C., for-profit) is a micro-philanthropy platform that enables individuals to support causes and social good organizations through simple, social and meaningful actions.
  • UrbnEarth (San Francisco, for-profit) makes guided gardening kits that empower everyone to experience the health benefits of homegrown food.
  • WorkReadyGrad (Atlanta, for-profit) enables students to proactively acquire the right skills, experiences and mentors to reach their career potential.
  • Zealous Good (Chicago, for-profit) connects people and companies with excess items to local charities with matching needs.

The Civic Accelerator will begin accepting applications for the fall 2014 class today. Interested applicants can apply at www.pointsoflight.org/CivicX.

About the Points of Light Civic Accelerator
The Points of Light Civic Accelerator is the first accelerator program and investment fund in the country focused on "civic ventures" – for-profit and nonprofit startups that include people as part of the solution to critical social problems. The three-month, boot camp-style program convenes 10-15 teams in person and online with the goal of equipping each startup to seek investments and scale their social innovations. The Civic Accelerator was launched in 2012, in partnership with Village Capital, and receives generous support from PwC Charitable Foundation and Starbucks Foundation, both founding partners, and from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, SAP and the official hotel sponsor, Hilton Worldwide. For more information, go to www.civic-x.org and follow @PointsofLight #CivicX.

About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. 
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.

About The Blackstone Charitable Foundation
The Blackstone Charitable Foundation directs its resources and applies the intellectual capital of the firm to foster entrepreneurship and job creation in select geographic areas across the United States and globally.

Nestlé in the United States Reports on Nutritional, Social and Environmental Progress

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Nestlé in the United States, which represents seven operating companies across the country, today released its Creating Shared Value (CSV) report, the first expanded effort to highlight U.S.-specific milestones and achievements tied to Nestlé’s global sustainability principles and commitments. As the world’s largest food and beverage company – serving 97 percent of American households – Nestlé’s mission is to lead the industry in nutrition, health and wellness and to create a more sustainable future. To that end, the new report documents the company’s nutritional, social and environmental progress from the past year, as well as provides updates on the company’s U.S. progress toward Nestlé’s global commitments.

“We know that for Nestlé to continue to be successful in the long term, we have to create value not only for our business, but also for everyone we touch – our consumers and their pets, our employees, the communities where we operate and society as a whole,” stated Paul Grimwood, Chairman of Nestlé’s operations in the U.S. and CEO of Nestlé USA, the largest of Nestlé’s seven U.S. operating companies. “This report underscores that fundamental belief.”

The new report shares specific sustainability commitments and progress in the categories of nutrition, environmental impact and water use, social impact, rural development and responsible sourcing. Highlights from this year’s report include:

Nutrition, Health and Wellness
  • Portion guidance – Nestlé rolled out new portion guidance tools and launched an educational campaign, Balance Your Plate, to help consumers build nutritious, delicious and convenient meals that meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • Reducing sodium – Nestlé reduced sodium in many of its most popular brands, such as Stouffer’s® and DiGiorno®, and committed to further reduce sodium content by 10 percent in products that do not meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation[1] criteria by the end of 2016.
  • Reducing sugar – Ninety-six percent of Nestlé’s children’s products[2] met the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation’s criteria for lower sugar, and by the end of 2014, 100 percent of children’s products will meet these criteria.
  • Removing trans-fat – Nestlé committed to reaching zero food and beverage products with trans-fat originating from PHOs used as functional ingredients by 2016.
Environmental Impact
  • Reducing waste – As part of its commitment to eliminating all forms of waste, Nestlé reduced 44 percent of waste per ton of product since 2010 in the U.S. Five factory locations (Anderson, IL; Freehold, NJ; Waverly, IA; Jacksonville, IL; and Medford, WI) reached zero waste to landfill status by the end of 2013.
  • Responsible packaging – Nestle Waters North America led the U.S. bottled water industry in lightweighting packaging, in part by reducing the plastic content of its PET ½ liter bottles by 60 percent since 1994. Since 2003 alone, more than 3.3 billion pounds of plastic have been saved by the company.
  • Adopted responsible sourcing – Nestlé Purina PetCare implemented Responsible Sourcing Guidelines for seafood that align with Nestlé’s global Responsible Sourcing Guidelines, working with experts to track suppliers and contribute to healthier ecosystems. In 2013, Nestlé also reached an important target for palm oil, with 100 percent of palm oil now Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified.
Social Impact in 2013
  • Supported local communities – Nestlé in the U.S. donated more than $2.3 million to support local United Way organizations.
  • Provided disaster relief – Nestlé Waters donated more than 685,000 bottles of water and Nestlé Purina contributed more than 60,000 pounds of pet food and 41,000 pounds of cat litter to local shelters across the U.S. for disaster relief.
  • Grew supplier diversity – Nestlé works with over 4,100 small, minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses, helping to spur local economies.

Paul Bakus, President of U.S. Corporate Affairs, added, “We believe that transparent, honest reporting is essential if businesses want to effectively engage with stakeholders. Nestlé’s U.S. CSV report and our expanded presence in Washington, D.C. represent an important step forward in our commitment to doing more and having an open dialogue.”

To learn more about Nestlé’s 2013 Creating Shared Value report, visit www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.

About Nestlé in the U.S.
Committed to being recognized and trusted as the leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, Nestlé in the United States provides nutritious, healthful food for every member of the family at every stage of life: infants and toddlers, families, mature adults/grandparents and pets. Nestlé in the United States consists of seven main businesses: Nestlé USA, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company, Nestlé Waters North America, Nestlé Nutrition, Nestlé Professional, Nespresso and Nestlé Health Science. Together, these companies operate in more than 120 locations in 47 states and employ over 51,000 people. The United States is Nestlé S.A.’s largest market, with combined product sales in the United States totaling more than $25 billion in 2013. For more information, visit www.nestleusa.com/creating-shared-value.

[1] The Nestlé Nutritional Foundation criteria are based on nutrition science and U.S. dietary guidelines. Our products are evaluated against these criteria, using the Nestlé Nutritional Profiling System, which determines their nutritional value and whether they meet the Nestlé Nutritional Foundation targets.

[2] Children’s products are defined as products for which 50% or more consumers are below 12 years of age, or are designed for or perceived as being designed for this age group.

Sustainable Brands '14 London

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

A thriving global economy is upon us and global brand leaders see regenerative business models as successful steps toward this delightful future. The international SB community follows up in London this Fall to reimagine what's possible and look for opportunities to redesign every aspect of their business.

Sandoz Joins Forces With United Nations to Combat a Leading Cause of Child Mortality Worldwide

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm
  • Sandoz makes long-term commitment to support UN initiative on child mortality
  • Commitment to UN Every Newborn Action Plan involves development and supply of recommended WHO formulation for treating childhood pneumonia
  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death globally among children under five[1]

Sandoz today announces a long-term commitment to help prevent the deaths of millions of children worldwide by supplying a key antibiotic formulation, as part of the United Nation’s new Every Newborn Action Plan.

The commitment involves providing long-term global supplies of amoxicillin 250 mg dispersible tablets (DT) to developing countries via the UN Commission for Lifesaving Commodities.

Sandoz announced the commitment on the same day that the UN launched the Every Newborn Action Plan in Johannesburg, South Africa -- the world’s first comprehensive plan to eliminate preventable deaths of newborn and stillborn babies. More than five million children under five are estimated to die worldwide every year, mainly in Africa and Asia, and nearly a quarter of those deaths are due to pneumonia alone, making it the single largest killer in that age range2.

“Sandoz is proud to be jointly leading the response to the growing global need for this new formulation of a critical anti-infective”, said Nick Haggar, Head of Western Europe, Middle East and Africa for Sandoz. “We are committed to working in partnership with all concerned to help prevent the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of children every year. In our first year of supply, we hope to reach at least 500,000 children worldwide.”

Amoxicillin is a penicillin-class, broad-spectrum antibiotic, commonly prescribed to children for treatment of pneumonia and other illnesses including bacterial infections of the ears, sinuses, throat, urinary tract, skin, abdomen and blood; it is also often used as part of the treatment regime for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).  In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its recommendations for home treatment of pneumonia, establishing dispersible amoxicillin as the newly-recommended first line treatment for pneumonia in children under five.

This commitment continues a long history of Novartis supporting child health. As part of our Malaria Initiative, Novartis and partners developed the first artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) specifically designed for children. Since 2009, more than 200 million pediatric antimalarial treatments have been delivered without profit to 40 countries. The Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development supports the WHO and Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in developing e-learning tools to scale-up maternal and child health training for health workers. Novartis Social Ventures, business models that bring access to healthcare, medicine and health education to families in rural areas of Asia and Africa, focus on maternal and child health. Learn more by visiting Novartis.com.

Disclaimer

This press release contains express or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “commitment,” “growing,” “committed,” “hope,” “continues,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.

About Sandoz

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the generic pharmaceutical sector. Sandoz employs over 26,500 employees and its products are available in more than 160 countries, offering a broad range of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. With USD 9.2 billion in sales in 2013, Sandoz has a portfolio of approximately 1,100 molecules, and holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars as well as in generic injectables, ophthalmics, dermatology and antibiotics, complemented by leading positions in the cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and hormonal therapeutic areas. Sandoz develops, produces, and markets these medicines, as well as active pharmaceutical and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of Sandoz's portfolio is in differentiated products, which are defined as products that are more difficult to scientifically develop and manufacture than standard generics.

In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has benefitted from strong growth of its acquisitions, which include Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

Novartis Investor Relations

Samir Shah +41 61 324 7944

Pierre-Michel Bringer +41 61 324 1065

Thomas Hungerbuehler +41 61 324 8425

Isabella Zinck +41 61 324 7188

North America:

Stephen Rubino +1 862 778 8301

Susan Donofrio +1 862 778 9257

[1], 2 UNICEF, Committing to Child Survival, A Promise Renewed Progress Report, 2013.   

Responsible Forest Management Drives Economic Wellbeing in Costa Rica's Cordillera Central Mountains

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

(Marketwired) - A collaborative forest management project has earned certification under the prestigious Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard, based on an independent assessment conducted by SCS Global Services (SCS). The 7,000 hectares of high-elevation tropical forest are maintained by 130 landowners under the leadership of NGO, Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Cordillera Volcánica Central (FUNDECOR). FUNDECOR's management ensures that landowners receive tax benefits for forest conservation, government subsidies for protecting crucial ecosystem services, and steady income from timber operations and small-scale farming on designated areas.

"FUNDECOR's pioneering responsible forestry model features a key element for long-term viability -- a mechanism for economic development and financial stability for the community," said Robert J. Hrubes, Executive Vice President at SCS Global Services. "SCS' assessment included a thorough review of activities in the forest management zones as well as the protected areas," he explained.

Landowners involved in responsible forest management and conservation can receive payments from the Costa Rican government for maintaining ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water purification, erosion control and biodiversity protection. FUNDECOR provides resources and guidance to this group of landowners and also supports a smallholder system run by the Institute of Agrarian Development, where farmers can lease 20-hectare tracts of land and earn income from produce and timber sales.

"We in FUNDECOR strive to achieve a sustainable development model that is socially inclusive," said Felipe Carazo, Executive Director of FUNDECOR. "Our work approach fosters the development of a business model for a wide array of landowners, assuring that benefit sharing is effectively obtained."

The Cordillera Central Mountains is an environmentally sensitive area that has historically been threatened by deforestation, but thanks to FUNDECOR's biological monitoring and stewardship efforts spanning the last 15 years, biodiversity has been maintained. Part of the FSC certified forest includes responsibly managed plantations of teak and oak coral, a plant species known to have antibacterial, antifungal and cancer-fighting properties. The region is home to several plants listed on the IUCN RED List for Endangered species.

SCS Global Services has been providing global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for nearly three decades. Its programs span a wide cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, retail, and more. SCS provides accredited services under a wide range of internationally recognized certification programs. Learn more at www.scsglobalservices.com.

FUNDECOR has a more than a 20-year record of promoting innovative resource management practices that provide value to forest resources and services across a functional landscape. This "breathing lab" has served as an experiment that has been scaled up, helping Costa Rica double its forest cover from 23% to 53% in a 25-year period. Learn more at http://www.fundecor.org/en.

KaBOOM!, Morgan Stanley and Volunteers Help Give Newark Kids a Healthy Start with Play

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Children in the city of Newark will now have the opportunity to get a healthy start to a balanced and active childhood filled with play they need to thrive, thanks in part to a brand new community playground at Babyland Family Services. In less than eight hours, more than 200 resident volunteers from the city of Newark and Morgan Stanley will join organizers from KaBOOM! to build the new kid-designed playspace, which will provide more than 1,800 Newark children with the core resources to provide them with a healthy and successful start in life.

Today’s playground build at Babyland Family marks the kick-off of Healthy Cities in Newark, the Morgan Stanley-sponsored program to spark innovation in delivering wellness, nutrition and play resources to children in underserved communities. Newark marks the third city to participate in the Healthy Cities program, joining the cities of Oakland and Chicago, both of which were announced earlier this month.

“A child’s well-being, education and health are at the very core of Babyland’s mission,” stated Wesley N. Jenkins, Executive Director of Babyland Family Services. “We are all excited and look forward to seeing our children experience the gift of fun, happiness and continued good health that this playground from KaBOOM!, Morgan Stanley and the hundreds of volunteers have afforded the Babyland families.”

Building on Morgan Stanley's Global Alliance for Children's Health, the program will connect Newark-based non-profit organizations to create a coordinated network providing the fundamentals that can underpin a child’s healthy start in life.

Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy at Morgan Stanley, said, “We are proud to be working with our partners across the Newark community to provide children in need the building blocks for a healthy childhood. Healthy Newark is an important step in Morgan Stanley’s 40-year-plus commitment to children’s health.”

"Nothing is more essential to a child’s health and happiness than safe places to play and grow where they can imagine, explore and create," said Darell Hammond, Founder and CEO of KaBOOM!. “We are thrilled to partner with Morgan Stanley for this new program to help give the children of Newark the childhood they deserve by working with cities to increase healthy resources and play opportunities for kids and families."

Babyland Family Services, Inc.
Babyland Family Services, Inc. is a private non-profit organization dedicated to meeting the needs of inner-city children and families in Newark, and Essex County. Babyland firmly believes that to change the world we must start with the child. Babyland's mission is to nurture and educate children, to strengthen family life and to empower each to live a full and productive life. Please visit www.babylandfs.org.

Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries. Through its Global Alliance for Children's Health, the Firm is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of the world's youngest citizens. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.

KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to the bold new goal of ensuring that all children, particularly the 16 million American children living in poverty, get the balanced and active play they need to thrive. KaBOOM! has been a powerful champion for play since its founding in 1996, working with partners to build, improve and open more than 15,000 playgrounds, engage more than 1,000,000 volunteers and serve more than 6,600,000 children. KaBOOM! creates and catalyzes great places to play, inspires, empowers and leads play advocates, and educates and elevates the societal conversation about the importance of play in children’s lives. For more information, visit kaboom.org/act or follow the conversation on why #playmatters at twitter.com/kaboom or facebook.com/kaboom.

SCS Global Services Accredited by The Responsible Jewellery Council to Certify Responsible Practices Throughout the Jewelry Supply Chain

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

(Marketwired) - SCS Global Services (SCS), a leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, announced its accreditation by the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) to certify member compliance with the RJC "Code of Practices" and "Chain-of-Custody" standards for environmentally and socially responsible practices throughout the diamond, gold and platinum group metals (PGM) jewelry supply chain.

RJC is a not-for-profit standards setting and certification organization with over 490 members spanning the jewelry supply chain from mine to retail. All RJC members must be third-party certified to the RJC Code of Practices, which cover a range of environmental, labor and human rights issues for diamonds, gold and PGM (platinum, palladium and rhodium). RJC also administers an optional Chain-of-Custody certification to verify the tracking of responsibly sourced gold and PGM, which it defines as "conflict free," recycled or previously existing (i.e., grandfathered) sources.

"The Responsible Jewellery Council warmly congratulates SCS Global Services on its accreditation," says Catherine Sproule, RJC's Chief Executive Officer - Interim. "We continue to work to expand the pool of auditors to service RJC's growing membership and are pleased to add SCS to the list of Accredited Auditors."

The scope of the SCS accreditation enables the company to provide certification services for US and Canada-based companies involved in gold refining, trading and hedging; PGM trading and hedging; diamond trading; jewelry manufacturing; and jewelry wholesale and retail.

As in other sectors, businesses throughout the jewelry supply chain have come under increased scrutiny from consumers, regulators and stakeholders for how they manage environmental, social and human rights issues associated with the industry. This has been largely driven by public awareness of so-called "blood diamonds" produced under slave-like conditions in war-torn parts of Africa, mercury and cyanide pollution associated with gold mining activities around the world, and "conflict minerals" derived from areas of armed conflict and known human rights abuses, most notably in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and surrounding countries.

"SCS brings decades of experience to the RJC process along with a commitment to accountability and supply chain transparency," said Alicia Godlove, Manager of Materials Services for SCS. "We are pleased to add RJC certification to the list of certification services that we offer the jewelry industry."

In addition to RJC, other SCS service offerings applicable to the jewelry industry include Recycled Content and Responsible Source™ certification for recycled precious metals and diamonds, Fairmined™ Gold audits for gold sourced from artisanal and small-scale mining operations, Signet Responsible Sourcing Protocol (SRSP) certification for suppliers to Signet Jewelers Limited and Conflict Minerals Report Audits for public companies seeking compliance with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act.

About RJC
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organization bringing together more than 490 member companies committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewelry industry from mine to retail. It is committed to reinforcing consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewelry products.

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

Fishing in a Dead Sea

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Nadya Zhexembayeva, professor and consultant to companies as varied as Coca-Cola, Henkel, and Vienna Insurance, asserts that the future of competitive advantage will come from how companies deal with resource scarcity, not from “blue oceans” of uncontested market space. According to Nadya, the global economy is still structured on a failing system of “use and discard”. With fewer and fewer resources available, the throwaway economy is stumbling to an end. That means we’re on the brink of a sustainability revolution, right? Sustainability professor Zhexembayaeva’s answer might surprise—or shock—you.

In her recent TED x talk, Nadya explains that while many professionals suggest sustainability as the solution to our problematic economy, most sustainable products are undesirable, underperforming, and overpriced. Beyond that, Nadya says there is something “fundamentally wrong with the word” itself. No one considers “sustainable” a compliment—would you call your marriage “sustainable?”? (Nadya hopes not!) Businesses and customers are suffering from an overall “sustainability fatigue”, and new language is required - alongside new models - to provide the energy needed to move forward with better products and practices.

In her new book, Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering Up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World, Nadya offers five key principles for innovating in our “overfished”, resource-depleted market. She draws from companies such as Puma, Microsoft, and BMW to highlight how established companies are successfully navigating the troubled economic seas by creating resource-conserving products, and transferring expertise from physical products to improved services. All of this involves a shift from sustainable jargon to using more consumer-appealing terms (such as “Eco-Superior” and “Resourcefulness Strategy”).

More than anything else, Zhexembayeva wants us to think about wise use of resources as a question of business strategy, not a question of morality or purity. Nadya’s vision is a new economy where we reduce our carbon footprint because it helps us beat the competition—not because we want to be “nice” or “sustainable.”  The advent of this fresh economy is beginning to reward resource-conscious businesses intent on becoming, in Nadya’s own words, “the pioneers, rather than the victims, of the new world.”

Fossil Free Indexes Launches First US Index

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Fossil Free Indexes LLC (FFI), an environmental, social and governance (ESG) index and research company, today released its first index covering the US equity markets, Fossil Free Indexes US (FFIUS). Based on the S&P 500 and screened to exclude the largest oil, gas and coal companies as identified by the firm's proprietary list, The Carbon Underground 200, FFIUS is the first index to leverage the long-term growth of US large cap indices while protecting investors from the risk of a carbon bubble. Over the 10 years ending 5/30/14, the correlation between returns on FFIUS and the S&P 500 has been very high, suggesting that index investors need not sacrifice returns when choosing not to invest in the biggest carbon resource companies.

"Fossil Free Indexes US is a giant leap toward making fossil fuel divestment a practical choice," remarked Chuck Collins, co-founder of Wealth for the Common Good and the Divest-Invest Individual campaign.

FFIUS uses Standard and Poor's Dow Jones Indices as its calculation agent. The index can be used as a benchmark, and an investable product based on the index will be available in the coming months.

Divestment advocacy leader 350.org adopted The Carbon Underground 200 as the official list of the divestment movement.

"FFIUS is the first of its kind in the US. We're primed to give investors a unique opportunity to invest in the broad market while avoiding the increasing risk of long-term investment in fossil fuels," said Stuart Braman, founder/CEO. "The science and effects of climate change are clear. Our products will be common-sense, accessible, low-risk options for institutions and individuals to help protect the planet along with their investments."

Experienced investors increasingly seek to direct their assets to fight climate change. Seattle-based venture capitalist Mike Slade of Second Avenue Partners commented, "Having the proven power of a broad index coupled with the removal of the risk associated with fossil reserves-based companies is a great investment strategy going forward. I plan to invest in the FFIUS index as soon as the investable product is available."

A steady stream of political actions, regulatory announcements, scientific reports and market events, including President Obama's recent 2030 deadline for 30% reduction in carbon emissions by US power plants, highlights the risk of fossil fuel investments. The latest such action is this week's release of "Risky Business," by the Bloomberg-Paulson-Steyer-led group outlining the impact of climate risk on the US.

About FFI
Fossil Free Indexes provides benchmarks and tools for ethical investing with an initial focus on broad market indexes ex-fossil fuels defined exactly in line with the divestment movement. www.fossilfreeindexes.com

StewardChoice Posts Draft Recycling Plan for British Columbia

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

On June 26, 2014, BC-based company StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. publishes their draft stewardship plan for their new EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) service. The plan details its market based approach for expanding producer-funded collection and recycling services for packaging and printed paper in BC.

“We want to provide choice and flexibility for producers, recycling services companies and other stakeholders within the recycling supply chain as we work collaboratively to increase valuable material recovery and reduce overall system costs,” says Neil Hastie, Development Director for StewardChoice Enterprises.

The competitive draft stewardship plan will offer producers an opportunity to fulfill their legal obligations, under the BC Recycling Regulation, to recover at least 75% of their packaging and printed paper in the marketplace.

“We intend to provide producer-funded collection and recycling to those residents who are currently not being serviced; particularly to those living in multifamily dwellings,” says Hastie. “Today, more than 20% of these BC households do not receive a producer-funded recycling service.”

Traditionally, recycling performance in multi-family dwellings has lagged behind single-family households for a few reasons: lack of educational material for residents, inconvenient recycling bin locations and insufficient bin capacity to store recyclables.

“The first phase of our plan is to strengthen consumer awareness and optimize collection methods in order to improve recovery rates and provide better accessibility,” says Hastie.

Prior to submitting the final plan to the BC Ministry of Environment, StewardChoice will engage in public consultation with stakeholders over a minimum 45-day period as required by the Ministry. Once the plan is approved, the new recycling service will commence as early as next year initially in multi-family buildings.

The StewardChoice Packaging and Printed Paper Stewardship Service Plan is available at stewardchoice.ca/plan.

StewardChoice Enterprises Inc. is a subsidiary of Reclay StewardEdge, a North American leader providing packaging stewardship solutions to consumer product goods organizations. StewardChoice is based and managed in the province of BC.

Reclay StewardEdge (RSE) is a leading Canadian-based international stewardship organization that has extensive experience and expertise in sustainability, related to end-of-life management of packaging and products. RSE has provided stewardship solutions to numerous producers across Canada and in 2012, StewardEdge became a part of the Reclay Group enabling them to offer a broader suite of services internationally.

Please visit our website for more information.
www.stewardchoice.ca

CSR Oman 2014

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Bringing together the Omani business community to debate and discuss the changing role of CSR and the value to the sustainable development of the Sultanate.

Attendees to the this timely summit will be part of Oman's first such event that gathers together the full spectrum of stakeholders responsible for leading CSR including government, private sector, NGOs and International partners. Education, Youth Engagement, Job Creation and SME Development will be at the top of the agenda, whilst the group also assesses how to increase the capacity of local NGOs and Charities. This hub of CSR leaders will develop and action plan of how to develop the optimum CSR strategy and incorporate it into the core of the business.

Inspiring Tomorrow's Leaders: Raytheon to Participate in Live Twitter Chat with CSRwire and TriplePundit

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

How does a company link community success to business success?

Ask Raytheon.

From sustainability to supporting its communities, the aerospace and defense technology company is making a tangible impact by aligning its corporate social responsibility initiatives to its business goals.

For instance, how does Raytheon attract world class talent to its ranks amid declining student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)? What does the aerospace and defense industry’s aging workforce and shortage of technical talent mean to Raytheon’s future? What is the company doing to empower the millions of veterans returning to civilian life?

With the release of Raytheon’s 2013 Corporate Responsibility Report, we'll turn to Pam Wickham, vice president of Corporate Affairs and Communications for Raytheon, to provide her insight on topics like these, live on Twitter.

On our agenda:

  • What has been the impact of Raytheon's ongoing investment in STEM education?
  • How does Raytheon motivate its employees to donate hundreds of thousands of hours of their own time to causes it supports?
  • How does a strong supplier pipeline support a company’s sustainability efforts?
  • What role is Raytheon's MathMovesU brand playing in building a pipeline of innovators?
  • How does Raytheon expand its social responsibility efforts to reach a global audience?
  • How is the technology company working with returning veterans to help them pursue meaningful careers that build on their experience and skills?

Join the conversation live on Twitter July 8, 2014 with Pam Wickham along with CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh and TriplePundit Publisher and Founder Nick Aster.

What you need to know:

Date: July 8, 2014

Time: 10am PT/1pm ET

Hashtag: #RaytheonCSR

Panel: @PamWickham1 @AmanSinghCSR @NickAster

To RSVP, send out the following tweet:

I'll join @PamWickham1 @AmanSinghCSR @NickAster 7/8 1pm to hear how @Raytheon delivers values w/actions http://bit.ly/RaytheonCSR #RaytheonCSR

Or email aman@csrwire.com.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations and partner TriplePundit. These chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Whether the topic is sustainable living, shared value, responsible careers or the top trends for 2014, these sessions act as live panels – an hour to demonstrate your authenticity, transparency and efforts to engage on issues that matter. Learn more.

About Raytheon

Raytheon Company, with 2013 sales of $24 billion and 63,000 employees worldwide, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, security and civil markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as cyber security and a broad range of mission support services. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Mass. For more about Raytheon, visit us at www.raytheon.com and follow us on Twitter @Raytheon.

Responsible Business Forum 2014: Building Trust, Reputation and Culture

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The need to rebuild trust and reputation and reinforce transparency and accountability after these challenging times is crucial and values must be placed firmly at the core of every company’s operations. The Responsible Business Forum is Ireland’s largest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) conference presenting leading and inspirational thinking from the world’s largest, most innovative companies and practical workshops on how trust, reputation and culture can be built with key stakeholders.

The Forum is brought to you by Business in the Community Ireland, the country’s dedicated network for CSR. We advise top companies in Ireland on how to implement, measure and report on their sustainable practices and run the Business Working Responsibly Mark, Ireland’s first certified standard on CSR, audited by the NSAI and based on ISO 26000. In April 2014, BITCI worked with The Irish Government on launching the country’s National Action Plan on CSR, which prioritises sustainability for all companies in Ireland from multinationals to SMEs.

This one-day Responsible Business Forum on Tuesday November 11th will address how companies must build a culture of sustainability at the heart of what they do.

Tickets are now on sale online at www.bitcforum.ie or by emailing forum@bitc.ie or telephoning 00353 (0) 1 874 7232.

Follow along on Twitter @BITCIreland and hashtag #rbforum14

RoHS and REACH: No Data, No Market Access

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The European Union’s RoHS and REACH regulations were at the advent of the global substance control directive movement. These regulatory regimes drove a fundamental shift in the way businesses conceptualized product stewardship compliance.

At present, both RoHS and REACH are simultaneously being expanded to include new market restrictions and expanding in scope. Specifically, RoHS is expanding in scope to include new industries and exemptions as of July 22, 2014, and potentially to including new substances. REACH is promulgating a new structured roadmap to advise industry on how rapid expansion of the SVHC and Authorisation lists are expanding. Consequently, enforcement and a dedicated effort toward enforcing the provisions of the law will become the next inevitable focus of the respective regulatory authorities.

This session will be presented by Foresite’s Vice President of Regulatory Services and Business Development, Travis Miller. The covered topics will include:

  • Background on RoHS and REACH
  • Highlights of the Regulations current Status
  • Examples of Expanding Enforcement Activity
  • A review of the Compliance Practices Regulatory Authorities are looking for
  • Solutions to Managing Your Obligations

Sundown at Ecotrust

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

Join us at Ecotrust’s Natural Capital Center, a hub for ideas and urban community,for a unique series of free outdoor concerts on Thursday in July (starting 7/10).

The concerts feature outstanding local performers and streetfair-style booths fostering environmental awareness and community engagement.

On July 10, the theme is Energy and features the Portland Cello Project.

LeaderShip for Sustainability

CSRwire - Thu, 07/31/2014 - 4:15pm

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is excited to offer the LeaderShip for Sustainability training on July 30 – August 1 in Washington D.C.

The three-day training program, developed by Transitioning to Green, is perfect for executives and managers who want to learn how to lead their businesses successfully into a future that’s built on a triple-bottom-line foundation of people-profits-planet.

Training participants will gain practical insights and applications to grow their sustainability initiatives, session topics include:

  • Adopting a systems approach to sustainability that includes leading for triple-bottom-line goals and results.
  • Advice for sustainability: the assessments, metrics, and measurements for building a sustainable business.
  • Understanding inherent ecosystem service resources—air, water, soil, energy, nonrenewable raw and rare earth materials in terms of sustainable business and prosperity.
  • Using the GlobStrat Triple Bottom Line Strategic Business Simulation, leaders develop businesses with a culture and capacity to operate sustainably, and learn ways to incorporate sustainability advantages into the core of their actual businesses.

Early Bird registration ends June 30!

Learn more and register here: http://ccc.uschamber.com/event/leadership-sustainability

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