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APRIL continued destroying high conservation rainforest up until January pledge

Mongabay Rainforest News - Mon, 04/21/2014 - 12:27am
Plantation giant Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) continued to source fiber produced by destruction of high conservation value forests in Sumatra right up until it committed to a new forest conservation policy, according to an investigation by Eyes of the Forest, a coalition of environmental groups in Riau.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Advancing STEM Skills: Can Professional Training Be The Missing Key To Turn Mobile Technology Into Educational Tools?

CSRwire - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 6:15pm

 Recent data show there is a significant demand for workers trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and that currently, too few students are pursuing degrees in STEM areas to meet the demand. 

How can companies with know how, expertise and scale address the gap and attract more students to explore a career in STEM? Join CSRwire and Verizon for a live roundtable discussion to address the need to increase student interest in STEM subjects, as well as how mobile technology could positively impact student achievement when used effectively. [Take a look at Verizon's 2013 CSR Report]

When:  Wednesday, April 23, 2014: 12:30pm ET/10:30am MT/9:30am PT            

Register here: http://bit.ly/stemtechno 

Joining CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh will be education technology leaders from STEMConnector, the International Society for Technology in Education and Verizon. Among the topics they will explore:

  • How the integration of mobile technology in the classroom is addressing the enormous challenge of improving student interest and performance in STEM subjects.
  • The need to provide teachers with on-going training [professional development] to employ mobile technology effectively to improve student outcomes.
  • Best practices to train teachers to harness the power of mobile technology to address the 21st century education agenda.

More on our panel:

Ted Wells is chief strategy officer at STEMConnector, a one-stop online destination on STEM information. He will share insights on the importance of leveraging accessible and familiar technology to engage students in high impact inquiry-based learning programs and how mobile technology can be a vehicle for students to gain technological fluency that is critical for all workforce levels as well as how competitions like the Verizon Innovative App challenge are encouraging students to use their mobile devices to learn programming skills.

Dr. Wendy Drexler is chief innovation officer for the International Society for Technology in Education, a premier nonprofit organization for educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. She will share her views about technology as a catalyst for connecting and empowering students and teachers to transform learning, and best practices for training teachers to maximize the use of mobile technology in their lessons.

Rose Stuckey Kirk is the president of the Verizon Foundation and vice president of global corporate citizenship at Verizon. She will share results of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program in partnership with ISTE. The program, in its second year, has provided on-going training [professional development] to teachers in 24 schools to help them effectively and innovatively integrate mobile technology into the classroom to enhance student achievement.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations. These webinars and chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Learn more by emailing aman@csrwire.com.

Kohl's Cares Offers Exclusive RIO 2 Merchandise for Just $5

CSRwire - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 4:15pm

Kohl’s Department Stores (NYSE: KSS), in partnership with Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products, is inviting families to bring the magic of the movies home this summer with exclusive merchandise from RIO 2 for just $5 through the Kohl’s Cares merchandise program. Blu and fan-favorite characters Gabi and Luiz from RIO 2, now in theaters, are venturing into Kohl’s stores nationwide to create lasting memories with children and parents alike. Through the Kohl’s Caresâ program, 100 percent of the net profit from this collection supports children’s health and education initiatives nationwide.

The Kohl’s Cares collection includes the following merchandise:

  • RIO 2 Blu’s Wild Journey storybook
  • Blu, Gabi, and Luiz plush toys
  • Family-style jigsaw puzzle featuring artwork from RIO 2

For adults, the Kohl’s Cares collection also includes the Woman’s Day Easy Everyday Dinners cookbook, available for just $5, which will quickly become a go-to cookbook for creating quick and simple meals for families on the go.

Kohl’s Department Stores is committed to giving back to the communities it serves by supporting kids' health and education nationwide, women's health and the fight against breast cancer, through its philanthropic platform Kohl’s Cares. Since 2000, Kohl's has raised more than $257 million for kids health and education initiatives through the Kohl's Cares cause merchandise program, recognized more than 19,500 outstanding kids through the Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program and donated more than 2.7 million hours of volunteer time through the Associates in Action volunteer program. 

For more information on Kohl’s Cares, visit www.Kohls.com/Kids.

About Kohl’s
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., Kohl’s (NYSE: KSS) is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. With a commitment to environmental leadership, Kohl’s operates 1,162 stores in 49 states. In support of the communities it serves, Kohl’s has raised more than $257 million for children’s initiatives nationwide through its Kohl’s Cares® cause merchandise program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit www.Kohls.com, join the discussion on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Kohls) or Twitter (http://twitter.com/Kohls) or get inspired on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/Kohls) and Instagram (http://instagram.com/Kohls).

About RIO and RIO 2
From Twentieth Century Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios – the creators of Ice Age, Epic and Robots – the musical animation adventure comedy RIO tells the story of how rare blue macaws Blu and Jewel meet and fall in love in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. The entire cast of the animated smash RIO returns in RIO 2, and are joined by a new flock of top actors and musical talents.

Rich with grandeur, character, color and music, RIO 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving domesticated life in a magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Oscar® nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy®/Tony® winner Rita Moreno, Grammy® winner Bruno Mars and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth. Rio 2 also features new Brazilian artists and original music by Janelle Monae and Wondaland. For more information visit www.riomovies.com.

About Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products
A division of 21st Century Fox and recognized industry leader, Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products licenses and markets properties worldwide on behalf of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Television and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as third party lines. The division is aligned with Twentieth Century Fox Television, the flagship studio leading the industry in supplying award-winning and blockbuster primetime television programming and entertainment content.

Behind the scenes of Showtime's blockbuster series on climate change

Mongabay Rainforest News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 2:11pm
For years climate change activists and environmentalists have been clamoring for a high-profile, high-impact TV series about climate change to make Americans more aware of an issue that will affect billions of people around the globe in coming decades. This week they finally got it when Showtime released the first episode of Years of Living Dangerously, a big-budget TV series featuring a number of Hollywood's biggest stars as reporters and corespondents.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

RBS Remains Leading Lender to Renewable Energy Projects

CSRwire - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 12:15pm

RBS has released its 2013 Sustainability Review today. The Review details the progress the company has made during 2013 towards becoming a more responsible and sustainable bank, which includes sustaining its position as the UK’s number one lender to UK renewable energy projects*.

RBS’s Review aims to give an open and honest account of the steps being taken to fix past legacy issues. It also details the progress made during 2013 to rebuild trust in the organisation, from how it serves customers to how it is building a stronger, values-based culture.

As well as meeting its commitment to develop financial services that support sustainable development, in 2013 RBS:

  • Lent £2.8 billion to first-time buyers in the UK;
  • Grew mobile access to banking with 2.7 million mobile banking app users in the UK;
  • Became the first bank to receive a five star award from the Fairbanking scheme;
  • Implemented two new environmental, social and ethical risk lending policies;
  • Received the Platinum rating by Opportunity Now for gender equality;
  • Volunteered 170,000 company-hours in the community and supported almost 50,000 children in 22 countries with education, as part a campaign to invest in women of tomorrow.

In 2014, RBS will appoint a Chief Sustainability Officer, with a remit to work with the Board to embed sustainability into corporate strategy.

The Bank is also strengthening its environmental, social and ethical risk policies to focus more on issues affecting all business sectors, such as human rights and climate change.

Andrew Cave, Head of Sustainability at RBS said:

“Our 2013 Sustainability Review aims to give an open account of RBS’s performance in what was another difficult year for RBS and the banking sector. Our Review outlines how we intend to fix our legacy issues and how we are reshaping RBS to become and more sustainable organisation. We recognise that rebuilding trust will depend on us becoming a more responsible and sustainable bank.”

RBS has over 20 years of experience in financing renewable energy projects across a range of sectors, and has been publishing a report outlining energy financing since 2011.

See the full RBS Sustainability Review 2013 and Financing of the Energy Sector Report online at rbs.com/sustainable.

*According to Infrastructure Journal RBS was the #1 lender to UK renewable energy projects from 2011–2013.

About RBS sustainability
RBS has been publishing a sustainability report since 2005, which outline the bank’s approach to managing key sustainability issues. Sustainability is governed by a Board-level Sustainability Committee which also runs a progressive stakeholder engagement programme.

RBS is a signatory to a number of voluntary sustainability commitments and standards, including the Equator Principles (EP) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).

RBS has been included in FTSE4Good Index Series, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI) and the CDP.

About RBS
RBS is moving from a bank with seven divisions and seven support departments to a bank with three customer businesses – personal, commercial, and corporate – supported by one shared support structure. By removing complexity and connecting the businesses we will be able to improve the things that matter to customers.

Personal & Business Banking
This business brings together personal customers with smaller business customers, so that we can better serve their needs. This will see business managers back on the high street.

Commercial & Private Banking
We are the biggest bank for UK business, and our ambition is to be the best. We know how important businesses and business owners are to the UK economy. They create wealth and jobs and we are placing them together to allow us to meet the financial needs of both.

Corporate & Institutional Banking
In recent years we have narrowed the focus of our markets business. We now have a range of products that are well placed to serve the needs of our largest corporate and institutional clients, both in the UK and internationally. This brings UK corporate, international banking, and markets customers together in one place.

Next big idea in forest conservation? Maps for the masses

Mongabay Rainforest News - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 10:04am
Mark Mulligan makes maps for the masses. In his work on tropical forests, Mulligan uses GIS, modeling, remote sensing, and lab experiments to turn research into datasets and policy support systems, which are available online for use in development, decision-making, and education.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Is Aru safe? Indonesia suspends plan to clear half the islands' forests

Mongabay Rainforest News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 4:55pm
Aru, an area made up of about ninety-five low-lying islands in the Maluku province of eastern Indonesia, has suspended a plan to clear half of its total forest cover for sugar cane. However, the island paradise is still not safe from large-scale deforestation, according to a report from Mongabay-Indonesia.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Accelerating Sustainability: Energy and Water In Your Operations and Supply Chains

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:15pm

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on May 6th for its fourth annual environmental forum, Accelerating Sustainability: Energy and Water in Your Operations and Supply Chains.

This event will bring together leaders from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors to explore enhanced, scaled collaboration and sustainability-driven innovation. Businesses and communities utilize these approaches to solve pressing energy and water challenges while creating shared value.

Session topics include:

  • Accelerating sustainability goals through employee and stakeholder engagement
  • Successes and challenges of pre-competitive and non-traditional partnerships
  • Innovative platforms for reducing shared water risk
  • Catalyzing business investment in natural infrastructure

And more!

Through visionary speakers and action-oriented sessions, you will work with your peers to build partnerships, tools, and techniques to accelerate your sustainability work. Don't miss your opportunity to join sustainability leaders on May 6 in Washington, D.C. Early bird rates end on March 31! Register today! http://ccc.uschamber.com/event/accelerating-sustainability

Legal logging concessions drive illegal logging in Peru, threatening forests and indigenous people

Mongabay Rainforest News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 2:06pm
Nearly 70 percent of "officially inspected" logging concessions in Peru have had their permits canceled or are under investigation for major breaches of forestry laws, finds a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Worryingly, the research also concludes that forestry permits are being widely used to launder timber illegally logged from outside concession areas.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

MGM Resorts International Recognized for Lighting Innovations

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 12:15pm

The Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign has recognized

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) for its dedication to sustainability and energy-efficient lighting.

The company was recently honored with two Campaign awards: “Highest Absolute Annual Savings in a Retrofit at a Single Parking Structure” for a major lighting retrofit at MGM Grand Detroit, and “Largest Percentage of Facilities Upgraded (minimum of five facilities)” for MGM Facilities in Michigan and Nevada.

LEEP is co-sponsored by the Business Owners and Management Association, Green Parking Council, International Facility Management Association and Better Buildings through the US Department of Energy.

“Our outdoor lighting projects are truly transformational and have been undertaken to further position MGM Resorts as a thought leader in sustainability,” said Cindy Ortega, Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “Both, the Detroit project and the Las Vegas parking lot upgrades have allowed for other markets to follow in making advancements in lighting efficiency.”

The LEEP Campaign held an awards recognition event on April 15, 2014 at the IFMA Facility Fusion Conference and Expoii, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Washington, D.C.

"Through the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking campaign, the Department of Energy is working with organizations committed to more energy efficient exterior lighting technologies and systems," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency, Kathleen Hogan. "These highly innovative and cost-competitive lighting solutions are helping transform how our nation lights its parking lots and garages."

In 2013, MGM Grand Detroit completed the light-emitting diode (LED) lamp retrofit of its 61-acre parking garage. Cited as one of the nation’s largest LED parking garage makeovers, the three-month installation boasts 3,117 LED lamps and will reduced the garage’s annual energy use by 80 percent.

Also in 2013, MGM Resorts upgraded 13 of its facility sites in Michigan and Nevada. The project covered more than 8 million sq. ft. and will reduce annual energy usage by 70 percent.

For more information about MGM Resorts International’s environmental sustainability programs, please visit: www.mgmresorts.com/csr.

About LEEP

The LEEP campaign makes it easier for building and parking facility owners and managers to find information, resources, and technical assistance to save money and energy through high efficiency parking lot and parking garage lighting. The Energy Department’s Better Buildings Alliance has provided technical assistance for LEEP participants and co-organizers since September 2012 and will continue the campaign through June 2015.  For more, visit the LEEP campaign, for a suite of tools including industry-developed specifications, a lighting incentives database and links to qualified products lists, a retrofit financial analysis tool, and case studies.

About MGM Resorts International

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is one of the world's leading global hospitality companies, operating destination resort brands including Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. The Company also owns 51% of MGM China Holdings Limited, which owns the MGM Macau resort and casino and is in the process of developing a gaming resort in Cotai, and 50% of CityCenter in Las Vegas, which features ARIA Resort and Casino.  For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company’s website at www.mgmresorts.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Okapi-killing warlord shot dead in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Mongabay Rainforest News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 11:37am
The head of an informal militia and poaching group, Paul Sadala a.k.a. 'Morgan,' was killed on Monday after surrendering himself to the army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). A well-known elephant poacher and terrorist, Morgan became most famous for leading an attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve station in 2012.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Greens celebrate as Caroline Lucas cleared over fracking protest

Business Green - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:23am

Green MP vows to continue campaign to bring an end to fracking in the UK


Categories: Climate Change News

Advancing STEM Careers Through Mobile Technology: The Critical Role of Professional Development

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:15am

 Recent data show there is a significant demand for workers trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and that currently, too few students are pursuing degrees in STEM areas to meet the demand. 

How can companies with know how, expertise and scale address the gap and attract more students to explore a career in STEM? Join CSRwire and Verizon for a live roundtable discussion to address the need to increase student interest in STEM subjects, as well as how mobile technology could positively impact student achievement when used effectively. [Take a look at Verizon's 2013 CSR Report]

When:  Wednesday, April 23, 2014: 12:30pm ET/10:30am MT/9:30am PT            

Register here: http://bit.ly/stemtechno 

Joining CSRwire's Editorial Director Aman Singh will be education technology leaders from STEMConnector, the International Society for Technology in Education and Verizon. Among the topics they will explore:

  • How the integration of mobile technology in the classroom is addressing the enormous challenge of improving student interest and performance in STEM subjects.
  • The need to provide teachers with on-going training [professional development] to employ mobile technology effectively to improve student outcomes.
  • Best practices to train teachers to harness the power of mobile technology to address the 21st century education agenda.

More on our panel:

Ted Wells is chief strategy officer at STEMConnector, a one-stop online destination on STEM information. He will share insights on the importance of leveraging accessible and familiar technology to engage students in high impact inquiry-based learning programs and how mobile technology can be a vehicle for students to gain technological fluency that is critical for all workforce levels as well as how competitions like the Verizon Innovative App challenge are encouraging students to use their mobile devices to learn programming skills.

Dr. Wendy Drexler is chief innovation officer for the International Society for Technology in Education, a premier nonprofit organization for educators and education leaders committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. She will share her views about technology as a catalyst for connecting and empowering students and teachers to transform learning, and best practices for training teachers to maximize the use of mobile technology in their lessons.

Rose Stuckey Kirk is the president of the Verizon Foundation and vice president of global corporate citizenship at Verizon. She will share results of the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program in partnership with ISTE. The program, in its second year, has provided on-going training [professional development] to teachers in 24 schools to help them effectively and innovatively integrate mobile technology into the classroom to enhance student achievement.

About CSRwire's Stakeholder Engagement Campaigns

CSRwire regularly conducts webinars and Twitter chats with its member organizations. These webinars and chats, developed as facilitated conversations, are aimed at taking a pulse of our community, sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Learn more by emailing aman@csrwire.com.

Nordic Investors & Organizations Support 2nd Impact & Sustainable U.S. Commerce Certified Trade Mission May 12-16 2014

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:15am

Nordic investors and local associations plan to gather and to meet at the 2nd U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Impact and Sustainable Trade Mission to the Nordics, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassies across the region including Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, May 12-16 2014.

The U.S. Department of Commerce in partnership with Watershed Capital Group is organizing the trade mission to the Nordic Region.

Supporters of the mission include:

  • SITRA – Finland
  • Impact Scandinavia – Sweden
  • VOXTRA – Norway
  • Den Sociale Kapitalfond – Denmark
  • Forum for Social Innovation – Sweden
  • Deloitte – Denmark
  • Vinge – Sweden
  • AmCham – Norway
  • Swedish Trade & Investment Council – Sweden
  • AdeB – Norway
  • Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center

"This Trade Mission is a good opportunity to share experiences on growing impact investing markets both in the US and Nordics," expressed Sami Tuhkanen Director at Sitra.

“The growth of social enterprise in Scandinavia has been significant in the past few years, and the flow of capital to support these entrepreneurs is starting to catch up. While we have seen the number of interested investors grow, good examples are still hard to find in locally. We’re excited to welcome the US Trade Mission and Watershed Capital's impact funds from the US, as we will now be able to point to several good examples that demonstrate strong impact investment deals in this area. We are confidant this will only strengthen the case for impact investing in Scandinavia,” stated Shawn Westcott, Co-Founder and Chairman, Impact Invest Scandinavia.

"Using the power of finance and markets to tackle the most difficult social and environmental problems has the potential to transform our societies. The Nordics offer a great source for impact investment and social innovation, and this Trade Mission is an important step to converting ideas into concrete actions and investment,” said Mette Lingaard, Partner & Global Public Sector Social Innovation Lead, Deloitte Denmark.

“The timing for the mission could not be better. Though Norwegian investors have long been active within socially responsible ventures, a mission probing actual impact – and real returns – is just now an acceptable point of departure,” said Jason Turflinger Managing Director at AmCham Norway.

“Sweden and the U.S. alike are at the forefront of sustainable business. There is however still much progress to be made within this critical area, and the work of mainstreaming impact investing is an important vehicle. This trade mission, enabling an exchange of impact investing insights, trends and developments between Swedish and U.S. stakeholders, is a great initiative as part of driving this progress,” said Vivianne Gillman, Head of Business Sweden in New York.

“As a certified trade mission, our aim is to work with Watershed Capital Group to present to international investors the great opportunity to invest with impact in the United States. Five years ago, there were not many impact investing fund managers. Today, there are hundreds. This trade mission allows the rest of the world to see the great diversity of impact investment strategies in the United States,” said Paul Thanos, Director, Office of Finance and Insurance Industries at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Impact investing is an idea whose time has come. We look forward to having the US-based fund managers join us to share their experiences,” Pål Dale Managing Director at Voxtra Oslo Norway.

"We see a substantial increase in interest from US funds and investors towards Norway and the Nordic countries in general, and as the trade mission focuses on Impact Investing, we are sure that the trade mission will attract lot of interest,” said Per André Dagslet, Head of M&A in Arntzen de Besche.

”The US trade mission on Impact Investing presents an exciting opportunity for knowledge exchange and collaboration between the Nordic Countries and the US. The impact investing markets and their drivers are very different but the objective to actively invest in ventures that have a positive impact on society and at the same time providing a financial return is the same,” stated Camilla Backström, Senior Advisor Forum for Social Innovation.

“We are very pleased to see that Impact Investing is creating a lot of interest in the Scandinavian countries. As we look forward, this trade mission will no doubt be an important catalyst to solving some of the world’s thorniest and persistent societal problems,” expressed Anders Aabo senior associate Sorenson Global Impact Investing Center.

“As investors see the diversity and strong track records of the fund managers who were part of this U.S. delegation, investors are realizing they can both achieve their return targets and have a positive impact. This realization is the start of Impact Investing moving from a niche sector into the mainstream,” said Michal Whelchel, Co-Founder of Watershed Capital Group.

“We have amazing group of people come together to make this mission a great success, which include our local supporters, local embassies in the region and the US Department of Commerce,” said Shawn Lesser Co-Founder Watershed Capital Group.

The Trade Mission will take place in the Nordic Region with delegation meetings in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. The trade mission delegation will include approximately ten US-based impact and sustainable fund managers who will meet with Nordic, family offices, foundation asset managers, pension funds and investment firms.

The objectives of the mission are to foster relationships between Nordic investors and U.S fund managers and to present to Nordic institutional investors a representation of the diverse fund strategies within Impact Investing in the U.S. This event is a great opportunity for investors to learn about the growing field of impact investing

If you would like to attend and you are an investor, please apply/register here.

If you would like more information, please contact Shawn Lesser at shawn@watershedcapital.com.

About Impact & Sustainable Private Equity Certified Trade Mission
The trade mission organized by Watershed Capital Group in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Commerce, features U.S.-based private equity and venture capital firms representing the United States as a compelling destination for foreign alternative investments. U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service support the goals of this event, but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organizations. The government of the United States, particularly the United States Department of Commerce and U.S. Embassies, are not involved in selecting or recruiting for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer.

About Impact Investing
Impact Investing is an emerging investment strategy that seeks to generate positive financial, environmental and social returns. JP Morgan’s survey indicates a growing market for impact investing, with respondents planning to commit USD 9 billion to impact investing in 2013, up from a total commitment of USD 8 billion in 2012.

About Watershed Capital Group
Watershed Capital Group is a specialty consulting firm assisting sustainable companies and fund managers raise capital and execute M&A transactions. Watershed assists clients in raising capital, executing mergers and acquisitions, and in evaluating strategic financial options. A new model of value creation is emerging deploying capital in strategies that recognize the inherent link between natural, social and financial capital. Watershed’s clients are entrepreneurs, companies, and fund managers scaling sustainable solutions that lead to competitive advantages and long-term value creation. Learn more at watershedcapital.com.

This is not a conference. Rather it is a trade mission certified by the United States Department of Commerce and carried out by Watershed Capital Group, LLC, the mission organizer.

Due to applicable securities laws, there will be no solicitation of investments or sale of investments during the presentations, which will be limited to qualified, accredited attendees. The events are educational only. No securities are offered or sold. U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service supports the goals of this event, but does not endorse the specific products or views of the participating organizations. The government of the United States, particularly the United States Department of Commerce, and U.S. Embassies, are not involved in selecting or recruiting for this mission. Such selection and recruitment is strictly left to the mission organizer.

Natalie Allen, CNN International Anchor and Correspondent, to Host 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:15am

The MGM Resorts Foundation is proud to welcome Natalie Allen as host of the 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference. The non-profit event will be held at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV Aug. 6 and 7.

As host of the conference, Ms. Allen will preside over the two-day event designed to inspire and encourage women to achieve success in their personal and professional lives. The 2014 Women’s Leadership Conference theme is “Women Inspiring Women.”

The conference will offer a wide range of learning opportunities, career guidance and personal growth tools, including:

-Exposure to diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models

-Two days of career-oriented workshops that will give women hands-on opportunities to develop skills based on their career needs

-Three distinct learning tracks for women who are Emerging Leaders, Emerging Executives and Executives

-Workshops for entrepreneurs who are well-established or just thinking of starting their own businesses

An award-winning journalist, Ms. Allen has 25 years of experience in broadcast news. Before becoming an anchor and correspondent for CNN International, Ms. Allen was an anchor for CNN from 1992-2001. She also served as news anchor for MSNBC.

Ms. Allen started her career at WREG-TV in Memphis, Tenn., becoming the first newsroom intern elevated to General Assignments Reporter while still a student. Three years later, she was named Co-Anchor of WREG'S 10 p.m. News.

In 2011, Ms. Allen videotaped, produced and wrote a three-part “Freedom Project” special for CNN International on child trafficking from Vietnam and Cambodia, primarily focusing on one community in the Mekong Delta. As a correspondent for NBC, she appeared on "The Nightly News," "The Today Show" and CNBC.

Beginning in 2007, Ms. Allen served as The Weather Channel's first full-time environment and climate correspondent. As Primary Anchor for the network's weekly news program, "Forecast Earth," she traveled the country interviewing environmental pioneers and leaders in sustainability. 

The conference is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor. Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.

The early registration fee is $275 through May. Regular registration will be $350 from June to Aug. 7. Registration includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand.  Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other women attending while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other resorts of MGM Resorts International.

Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. For more information about the Women’s Leadership Conference, please visit www.mgmresorts.com/womensleadershipconference.

About The MGM Resorts Foundation
The purpose of The MGM Resorts Foundation is to collect and distribute monies and assets donated by employees of MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM) for the aid and support of qualified community nonprofit programs, agencies or organizations designated exclusively by MGM Resorts employees. In addition, the Foundation collects and distributes donations to the Foundation by third-party non-employees to support charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities approved by the Foundation's Board of Directors and organized by MGM Resorts employees to benefit qualified non-profit charitable organizations designated by the Foundation's Board.

Pinchot, a University For the Common Good, Launched by the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Organization Systems Renewal

CSRwire - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 10:15am

The Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a pioneer in sustainable business and leadership education, broadens its educational reach by co-founding Pinchot, a university for the common good. Under this new institution, BGI will be one of several schools including Organizational Systems Renewal, Pinchot Edge and the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

This new organizational structure is designed to give future Pinchot students a wider range of options to address the world’s most challenging problems. “Sustainability has a much broader definition than it did 20 or even 10 years ago.” Said John Gardner Provost and Dean of Academic Affairs. “If we are going to prepare our students to cause the disruptive shifts the world needs, we need to give them not just the right skill-sets but develop them as agents of change.”

The expansion into Pinchot will provide future students with a new variety of educational choices to address a wider range of issues. MBAs are offered in Sustainable Business and Sustainable Systems as well as a Master’s in Organizational Leadership through Organizational Systems Renewal. Non-degree seeking students will also have access to courses and seminars through Pinchot Edge for professional development, personal mastery and trade specific skill building opportunities.

Meet Pinchot from BGI on Vimeo.

“Education is about more than just a piece of paper,” said BGI and Pinchot co-founder Gifford Pinchot III. “Graduates need the ability to do business in a way that brings about the changes they hope to see in the world. To do this they need a holistic combination of financial acumen, sales skills, marketing savvy, sustainable operations and leadership skills.”

Pinchot offers a unique structure and curriculum that focuses on engaging students’ passion for beneficial change and giving them the tools to execute it. Students have a range of options to study from home, work in close-knit cohorts, and attend weekend long intensives. Pinchot is used as an incubator for students who hope to drive change from within major corporations and organizations, or become social entrepreneurs. This unique structure is designed to take students beyond the conceptual level to have in-depth first hand experience.

Pinchot’s new structure is also a platform designed for future growth. As the needs of Pinchot’s students and the needs of the communities they work in change, Pinchot can add or partner with schools, centers and programs to address the most pressing issues and continue its mission of education for the common good.

Pinchot, a university for the common good, is a pioneer in sustainable business and transformational leadership. Housed under Pinchot are both the Bainbridge Graduate Institute and Organizational Systems Renewal schools as well as the Pinchot Edge school of professional development and Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship.

A recognized leader in building collaborative learning environments, Pinchot offers hybrid format programs with robust digital and in person learning with campuses in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island, WA. Pinchot builds on the intellectual capacity of its home region to shape change agents, from startup entrepreneurs to leaders of the world’s largest organizations, who drive a conversation committed to the common good.

[UK] Final member of boiler room scam gang jailed

REDD Monitor - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:57am
Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, 14 April 2014 | A salesman who took part in a boiler room scam which fleeced investors out of more than £4m was today jailed for three years today (MON). John Curtin, 38, sold worthless shares for up to four times the agreed value and then siphoned off the profits as part of the scam run by American Brian O’Brien and his British wife Lynne D’Albertson. O’Brien and D’Albertson, who used to live in Westfield, were also jailed for their role in the scam. D’Albertson’s son Damien Smith, of Eversfield Mews North, St Leonards was jailed for three years and four month... Prosecutor Amanda Pinto QC said: “Between 2005 and 2007 the defendant was a sales manager involved in the fraudulent sale of company shares at vastly inflated price. “The defendant would call potential investors and over a couple of months £4m was acquired..."
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Brazil looks to swap World Cup publicity for carbon credits

REDD Monitor - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:47am
By Marcello Teixeira, Reuters, 15 April 2014 | Brazil, looking to offset the carbon emissions generated by construction, travel and other activities related to hosting the 2014 Soccer World Cup, said on Tuesday it wants holders of United Nations-backed carbon credits to swap them for publicity during the games. The World Cup begins June 12 and Brazil's Environment Ministry said it has launched a program to convince owners of credits to exchange them for publicity in official documents of the event. The country, which is spending 26 billion reais ($11.6 billion) to prepare for the world's top soccer tournament, has no plans to buy offsets in the market, even if carbon prices are at historical lows. "We talked to some holders of credits and they were receptive to the idea of donating the credits", said Eduardo Valente, an official working with the program. The government will accept only certified emission reductions (CERs) from Brazil-based projects of the U.N.'s CDM.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

Biodiversity Boom Bolsters Peruvian Forests (And REDD) Ahead Of Year-End Climate Talks There

REDD Monitor - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:44am
By Lauren Cooper, Ecosystem Marketplace, 15 April 2014 | A new survey, by UC Berkeley, SIU-Carbondale, and Illinois Wesleyan University is bringing some much-needed positivity in global biodiversity news. Despite species and biodiversity figures dropping all over the world, Manu National Park of southern Peru has surpassed its own record for species biodiversity. The park continues to hold title as the richest biodiversity hotspot in the world for reptiles and amphibians. Located in the Department of Madre de Dios in southern Peru, Manu Park is already a world-renowned attraction for “eco-tourists” – specifically bird watchers, scientists, and conservationists. The World Heritage List in 1987. The nearly 1.5 million protected hectares hosts a variety of ecosystems, including lowland moist Amazonian rain forest, high-altitude cloud forest, and Andean grasslands.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests

New Study: Global Paper Company Makes Progress, but Continues to Face Challenges in Ensuring Legality of Land Holdings in China

REDD Monitor - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 7:42am
Rights and Resources Initiative press release, 15 April 2014 | Despite headway in addressing land rights violations made in recent years, Stora Enso has yet to fully ensure legality of all lands acquired in the past. A new report reveals that Stora Enso Oyj (Stora Enso), one of the world’s largest pulp and paper companies, has made substantial progress in reviewing the legality of its land acquisitions in China, but has not yet fully ensured respect for local land rights in their operations. These challenges continue despite important steps by the company since 2009 to improve its land acquisition practices against the backdrop of China’s ongoing nationwide forest tenure reform.
Categories: REDD and Rainforests
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