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Consumers Energy Seeks Public Input in Developing Long-Term Energy Plan

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:20

Consumers Energy is taking input from the public as it develops a long-range plan that will help ensure Michigan continues to be powered by affordable, reliable and clean energy.

Consumers Energy is developing an Integrated Resource Plan that will serve as a valuable guide for actions for the next 15 years.

The energy provider expects to submit the plan to the Michigan Public Service Commission by mid-year, as part of the energy law that Michigan lawmakers approved in late 2016. The commission will have about a year to review the plan.

“This process will help set the foundation for serving Michigan, its customers and guiding key decisions for our company in the coming years,” said Brandon Hofmeister, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president of governmental, regulatory and public affairs. “We’re committed to aligning our focus on people, planet and prosperity with this future energy plan. Our goal is a strategic vision that makes sense for our company, our customers and Michigan.

Consumers Energy serves about two thirds of Michigan’s residents, providing electricity and/or natural gas to homes and businesses in every Lower Peninsula county. Upcoming public sessions this month and next in East Lansing and Grand Rapids will give community members an opportunity to learn about Consumers Energy and to provide thoughts on how to meet Michigan’s future energy needs.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Media Toolkit

Consumers Energy will seek public input as it develops a long-range Integrated Resource Plan.

An open house is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Jan. 29 at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, 219 S Harrison Road in East Lansing.

A second open house is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Consumers Energy’s Russell Leadership Center,  120 Front Ave. SW in Grand Rapids.

No registration is necessary for either event.

About Consumers Energy

See more information about Consumers Energy’s commitment to a sustainable future:


Media Contacts

Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Katie Carey, 517-788-2395

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media





Corporate Sustainability Efforts Redouble, Says New Report

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 06:20

The rollback of America’s environmental regulations and international commitments has galvanized companies around the world to extend or redouble their efforts, according to a new report.

State of Green Business 2018,” published by GreenBiz Group in association with Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices, is the 11th annual assessment of the progress by companies around the world in addressing their energy, waste, water, greenhouse gas and other impacts, and in increasing their sustainability investments, transparency and other leadership activities.

The report assesses the sustainability performance of the leading U.S. companies in the S&P 500 index as well as a global pool of the largest and most liquid companies in the S&P Global 1200.

“The double-barrel impact of the Paris climate agreement and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, both enacted in 2015, is finally being felt as companies begin to align their sustainability goals and, ultimately, their operations with these global commitments,” said GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower, the report’s lead author. “And even though the United States government remains on the sidelines of both efforts, the private sector — allied with states, cities and other nations — is marching forward. If not in lockstep, at least in the same general direction.”

Among the findings included in the report:

  • Corporate greenhouse gas emissions continue to decrease, reaching the lowest level in the past five years. The 1,200 largest companies in the world emitted 12 percent less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2016 than they did in 2012, while the 500 leading U.S. companies emitted 4 percent less. This is mainly a result of lower GHG intensity in fuels used in companies’ direct operations.

  • The amount of waste generated decreased by 22 percent compared to 2012 for the 1,200 largest companies in the world. However, waste generation increased by 13 percent for the leading companies in the U.S.

  • The share of global and U.S. companies having GHG and water-reduction targets grew by roughly 10 percent over the last five years. In 2016, about 60 percent of global companies set a GHG reduction target, while 25 percent of global companies set a water reduction target.

  • Current carbon targets contribute just 20% of the reductions needed by the top 1,200 global companies to align with the Paris Agreement 2°C goal

“Many of these impacts are embedded in the supply chains of companies rather than their direct operations,” said Richard Mattison, CEO of Trucost, part of S&P Dow Jones Indices. “This poses serious risks for companies as carbon pricing regulation strengthens and climate-related impacts such as droughts disrupt supplies of water-intensive commodities. So, it is positive that more companies are disclosing supply-chain carbon emissions and water use.”

The report also names 10 sustainable business trends for 2018, including the rise of environmental, social and governance data among large, mainstream investors; the growth among companies of science-based targets; the recent rise of financial products and services aimed at supporting renewable energy and other green initiatives; and the increased role of artificial intelligence and synthetic biology to take on seemingly intractable sustainability challenges.

The free report can be downloaded at

VolunteerMatch and Forward It On Partner to Bring Meaningful Volunteer Opportunities to Corporate Employees

Tue, 01/16/2018 - 05:20

VolunteerMatch, the web’s largest volunteer engagement network, and Forward It On, a web-based corporate giving platform, announce today a partnership to engage companies and their employees to drive social change through volunteerism.

VolunteerMatch and Forward It On believe that individuals, including corporate employees, will benefit by engaging in volunteerism in a direct and authentic way. Since volunteering is often a deeply personal and individual experience, the two organizations value each employee’s volunteer journey being just as unique and personal.

By connecting Forward It On’s corporate client base with VolunteerMatch’s massive network of volunteer opportunities – with openings for 3.2 million volunteers on any given day spanning a range of causes, time commitments, and skills – the organizations aim to increase the prevalence of meaningful volunteer opportunities for employees, and in turn, meaningful real-time community impact for nonprofits.

“We are excited to offer our corporate clients the ability for their employees to further increase their impact in the communities they serve,” says Walker Morrow, founder and CEO of Forward It On. “Our partnership with VolunteerMatch enables us to do just that – on a national level. Now, corporations can easily search, find, schedule and manage volunteer events with a few clicks of a mouse button.”

“Our vision is to create better ways to connect the talent of the business sector with the needs of the social sector, one volunteer at a time,” says Greg Baldwin, president of VolunteerMatch. “We are pleased to be working with Forward It On to help all of their clients make a real difference in the communities they care about most.”

This partnership is made possible by VolunteerMatch’s network integration feature. Corporate giving platforms, such as Forward It On, can easily wrap VolunteerMatch’s massive network of volunteer opportunities directly into their own technology.

Clients of Forward It On who would like to have access to the VolunteerMatch network for their employees should email Forward It On at

About VolunteerMatch

VolunteerMatch believes everyone should have the chance to make a difference. As the web's largest volunteer engagement network, serving over 113,000 participating nonprofits, 150 network partners and 13 million annual visitors, VolunteerMatch offers unique, award-winning solutions for individuals, nonprofits and companies to make this vision a reality. Since its launch in 1998, VolunteerMatch has helped the social sector attract more than $11.8 billion worth of volunteer services. Learn more about VolunteerMatch at, and follow @VolunteerMatch.

About Forward It On

Forward It On offers a cloud-based platform designed to connect and engage corporations, employees and non-profits to drive workforce giving and cultural initiatives. They are headquartered in Nashville, TN and serve corporate clients across the United States.

Davos Attendees Can Cut 3 Million Tonnes of CO2 by Switching to Low-Emission Fleets

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 08:18

(GlobeNewswire) - The organisations attending the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos this month have the potential to erase three million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) by switching to low-emission fleets. That's one of the key findings in the first annual Sustainable Fleet Benchmark published today by LeasePlan Corporation N.V., a global leader in fleet management and driver mobility. 

The new Benchmark also underlines the significant contribution that corporate fleets can make in the fight against climate change, and highlights those organisations that are already making a difference by switching to sustainable fleets.

Highlights include: 

  • The 1,808 organisations attending the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters have an estimated 813,000 vehicles in their fleets, which collectively emit approximately 3.09 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.

  • Fleets are gradually moving towards alternative powertrains, primarily battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as awareness builds. The proportion of vehicles with alternative powertrains in corporate fleets rose from 3.3% in 2015 to 4.3% in 2017.

  • Continued action is required as average CO2 emissions rose slightly in 2017 for the first time since 2012. This is due to increased uptake of petrol vehicles, as well as the first rise in average mileage since 2013. 

  • The Benchmark identifies 3 profiles for sustainable fleets: Starter, Transformer and Leader. The technology sector contains the highest number of companies with a Leader profile.

  • Companies with a Leader profile include Baidu, EDF Group, IKEA Group and Royal HaskoningDHV

Tex Gunning, CEO of LeasePlan, said:

"Companies attending Davos could erase 3 million tonnes of CO2 simply by choosing a low-emission fleet - and that's just the start. LeasePlan's Sustainable Fleet Benchmark shows how all corporate fleets can make a difference in the fight against climate change.

Climate change, and how to prevent it, is one of the major topics at this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos. Around half the cars on the road today belong to companies and a move towards cleaner fleets would be one of the best ways to reduce global emissions. Corporate fleets must be a part of this conversation.  It is as simple as a decision from top leadership saying 'we will make the switch', and that can happen today. LeasePlan is committed to helping any organisation that wants to make a positive contribution to this historic challenge." 

Notes to editors

  • The Sustainable Fleet Benchmark 2017 is available to download at

  • The Benchmark's findings are based on an analysis of LeasePlan's database of over 500,000 vehicles across 32 countries, operating in sectors ranging from healthcare to technology

  • Road transport accounts for approximately 20% of the EU's total emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2):

  • The 48th WEF Annual Meeting takes place in Davos-Klosters from 23rd January until 26th January.

  • EV100 is a global business initiative designed to fast-track the uptake of electric vehicles (EV) and infrastructure. This is the only initiative of its kind to encourage global business commitments on electric transport, with members committing to transition their petrol and diesel fleets to electric vehicle fleets by 2030. LeasePlan is one of the ten founding partners of EV100. More information about LeasePlan's involvement with EV100 is available here:


Media contact:
Samantha Chiene
Tel.: +31 6 10 88 68 31

About LeasePlan
LeasePlan is one of the world's leading fleet management and driver mobility companies, with 1.7 million vehicles under management in over 30 countries. Our core business involves managing the entire vehicle life-cycle for our clients, taking care of everything from purchasing, insurance and maintenance to car re-marketing. With over 50 years' experience, we are a trusted partner for our corporate, SME, private and mobility service clients. Our mission is to provide what's next in mobility via an 'Any car, Anytime, Anywhere' service - so you can focus on what's next for you. Find out more at

Shaping a Future of Sustainable Trade: The Foreign Trade Association Becomes amfori

Mon, 01/15/2018 - 05:18

The Foreign Trade Association is now amfori, the organisation for trade with purpose.

As the world continues to change faster and more fundamentally than ever before, expectations toward businesses are increasing. It’s no longer enough to deliver high-quality products at low prices with good availability. They need to be delivered in a way that does no harm – either to people or the environment.

Building on 40 years of experience, and with this understanding of the current landscape and the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, the organisation developed a bold long-term strategy to be future-fit, Vision 2030, and evolved into amfori to support it.

As well as providing everyday support, amfori enables businesses to monitor performance across their supply chain; empower them and their suppliers with a range of educational tools to improve; and engage globally and locally to shape a policy environment where sustainable trade can flourish.

Being the association for open and sustainable trade, amfori believes in a world where all trade delivers social, environmental and economic benefits. Its mission is to enable businesses to enhance human prosperity, use natural resources responsibly and drive open trade globally. This is what it calls ‘trade with purpose’.

Among amfori’s strategic priorities for the year ahead are:

  • Open and sustainable trade: to demonstrate its benefits and working against the global rise in protectionist tendencies

  • Vulnerable workers: to continue our work on responsible recruitment and address key issues such as forced labour, human trafficking and women’s empowerment

  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: to continue offering services and tools which enable businesses to improve social and environmental aspects in their supply chains and contribute to the SDGs 

amfori will offer an exciting platform to discuss these issues in depth at its Unleash Opportunity Conference on 13-14 June in Amsterdam.

More information can be found at
For further information, please contact: 
Ana María Martín
amfori Media Relations and Editorial Planning Coordinator
Tel: +32 (0)2 739 48 22
About amfori: As the leading global business association for open and sustainable trade, we bring together over 2,000 retailers, importers, brands and national associations representing a combined turnover of more than one trillion euros.

We offer our members a practical framework and world-class tools that enable them to manage the social and environmental performance of their supply chains and anticipate trends. We also advocate for progressive policy and collaborate with high-level stakeholders to achieve common aims.

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Cause Coin Creates a New Global Currency and Sustainable Economy for Nonprofit Engagement

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 11:15

Created to support a massive global marketplace for Nonprofits, this ecological token will empower the masses to do good and be rewarded for their participation.  It is intended as a social support and tangible engagement asset, as it is the first and only currency of its kind. Passion driven organizations, such as nonprofits, require the hands of people helping people to reach social goals beyond monetary contributions.  

“Cause Coin  is not about donations, as today there are pledges amassed at nearly 1 trillion US dollars to incentivize cause engagement. It is more about awareness, beginning in elementary schools and continuously serving throughout retirement.”  CEO, Kevin McAhren 

Cause Coin has partnered with iCause, an App for nonprofits. iCause is an event solution designed for many participants in cause. It begins with an all events platform and highlights events including those represented by nonprofits. This is where awareness for the masses begins and where Corporate Social Responsibility is realized in the form of an opportunity for engagement. At the Hub are essential components such as ratings and reviews, a powerful reward system, and a community service and volunteer hour tracking system. Millions of users will connect to millions of events worldwide. The end result is a powerful gauge of influence, earned and leveraged by both individuals, nonprofits and the multitude of participants within the various organizations. Through this awareness and engagement comes a new form of community and the growth of multiple communities within the ecosystem.

Cause coins will be a powerful currency for nonprofits impacting social good and the importance of this impact to society.  Within this new “cause currency” economy, nonprofits will thrive and be sustainable in a way that has never been achieved before.

About Cause Coin and iCause: this combination of marketplace and incentive-based engagement will offer philanthropic foundations a new avenue for trusted incentivization  while at the same, rewarding individuals for volunteering around the world.

“The impact of the Cause Coin will be immediate and dramatic, improving Nonprofits reputations and fueling their abilities to serve their purpose”  states Kevin McAhren

The Cause Coin ICO token sale will begin March 2018.

Visit to be added to our VIP insiders list.
Cause Coin ICO Page:

Learn more about iCause:.
iCause Company Page:

Consumers Energy Provides $10 Million To Help Michigan Families Stay Safe and Warm

Fri, 01/12/2018 - 08:15

Consumers Energy announced today that it’s donating $10 million that will go directly to helping people in need with their energy bills – assistance that will help thousands of families to stay safe and warm through this cold Michigan winter.

“We are committed to serving our Michigan communities, which includes our most vulnerable residents, such as seniors and families that may be facing challenges in paying their energy bills,” said Brian Rich, Consumers Energy’s senior vice president for customer experience. “With temperatures below freezing, we want people to know that help is always available and is just a phone call away.”

Consumers Energy is encouraging people who are facing hardship to call 2-1-1, a free service in all Michigan counties that connects people with resources in their community.

People who call 2-1-1 might be referred to six nonprofit organizations that are receiving the $10 million from Consumers Energy. They are:

  • Michigan Community Action

  • The Salvation Army

  • The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW)

  • TrueNorth Community Services

  • Society of St. Vincent DePaul

  • United Way of Jackson County

The $10 million contribution also will help enroll as many as 10,000 additional households in the CARE (Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy) program, which includes monthly credits toward energy bills as well as assistance on past-due balances. Qualified participants also receive access to energy-saving tools, including in-home energy efficiency upgrades.

Consumers Energy mailed postcards in mid-December to 90,000 customers who were behind on their bills, reminding them that assistance is available. Consumers Energy does not perform energy disconnections when temperatures are below 15 degrees.

“It’s important that people do not wait to fall behind on their bills before seeking help,” Rich said. “Assistance is available today, and people can take steps to ensure they stay warm even on Michigan’s coldest days.”

Consumers Energy’s contribution is in addition to nearly $90 million in federal and state heating assistance funds that are available to nonprofit agencies across Michigan.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

Help is available

Call 2-1-1:
Dial 2-1-1 first to find out what resources are available in your community. Learn more at

CONSUMERS ENERGY: Learn about Consumers Energy's CARE program:

LEARN MORE: Check out winter safety tips and ways to use less energy when it's cold:

# # #

Media Contacts:

Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545, or Debra Dodd, 517-545-8711

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to

Check out Consumers Energy on social media:





Points of Light Honors the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Through National Day of Service

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 13:14

 Points of Light, with support from KPMG Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service, will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15 by engaging more than 90,000 individuals in acts of service through 1,575 service projects and civic dialogue events in more than 50 communities in partnership with local Points of Light affiliates and nonprofits across the country. MLK Day marks the beginning of the service year as hundreds of thousands of individuals will honor the memory of Dr. King by contributing their time, talent and voice to improve their communities.

Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” His message and his work left a mark on many aspects of our society and resonate today just as much as they did 50 years ago.

Calling together its community of changemakers, Points of Light encourages people to reflect on gains won during the Civil Rights Movement and to address contemporary issues facing our nation through volunteer service.

“Each year, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life on his birthday through a national day of service. This year, we are also marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination and, in doing so, we are calling on everyone to ignite their passion to serve our communities and redouble our efforts to make his dream of a better world a reality,” said Natalye Paquin, CEO of Points of Light.

Businesses, community leaders, parents, youth, educators and everyday citizens can connect to meaningful service opportunities through, where they will be encouraged to get involved in one of two ways:

  • Volunteer in Your Community – Individuals can search for local service projects, joining the hundreds of thousands of Americans nationwide who will make MLK Day a day on, not a day off.

  • Host a Sunday Supper – Inspired by Dr. King's vision that people of diverse backgrounds would come together to discuss injustices of the day and create a plan for action, Sunday Suppers call people to engage in dialogue about issues affecting their communities. Individuals who pledge to host a Sunday Supper will be sent Points of Light’s exclusive facilitation guide.

Rob Arning, KPMG vice chair of market development who also chairs the KPMG Foundation, said “one of KPMG’s core values is giving back to the communities in which we live and work so it’s fitting that KPMG volunteers are taking action to honor Dr. King as part of this national day of service. As head of the KPMG Foundation, it’s also gratifying to see how Foundation support is enabling our firm’s volunteering spirit and continued commitment to inclusion and diversity to make a real impact on these communities. We congratulate all of the volunteers, the Points of Light, and our fellow sponsor, the Corporation for National and Community Service.”

Volunteers Unite Across the Country

With a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light is supporting MLK Day volunteer activities run by eight nonprofits that will engage more than 70,000 volunteers across the country. Highlights include:

  • Hands On Atlanta is organizing “50 Acts of Service”, convening 1,500 volunteers at 50 projects throughout metro Atlanta, beginning on MLK Day and running through April.

  • Chicago Cares is hosting 11 projects in January to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The projects will be held at community partner sites and clustered mostly on Chicago’s south side, including the neighborhood where Dr. King lived in 1966.

  • Global Citizen is bringing together more than 5,000 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in 150 projects. The 23rd annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service focuses on the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign.

  • Hands On Birmingham is hosting a civic dialogue in downtown Birmingham with more than 500 University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lawson State and Miles College students. Additionally, the nonprofit is mobilizing volunteers to organize neighborhood clean-ups and passing out financial literacy documents to low-income neighborhood residents.

  • Lake County Cares will host more than 500 volunteers in a variety of projects benefiting several area nonprofit organizations, including making English/Spanish flashcards for students in underserved schools, assembling personal care kits for low-income individuals in shelters, and making fleece scarves for military veterans.

  • Leadership Memphis is mobilizing volunteers to coordinate 50 FAFSA and financial literacy sessions for high school seniors.

  • OneOC is organizing a series of volunteer projects during MLK Day weekend, including a signature project at the Orange County Food Bank warehouse where volunteers will assemble and pack food boxes to be delivered to families and seniors in need throughout the community.

  • Volunteer Center of Greensboro is organizing a clean-up on Saturday, Jan 15, as well as partnering with the Center for Creative Leadership on a large service project involving 200 youth in its Golden Leaf Scholars program. Additionally, the nonprofit is hosting two community resource fairs benefiting financially insecure residents in Guilford County. Participants will gain access to career and education resources, free tax and insurance assistance, healthy food and more.

  • Volunteer Fairfax is honoring the MLK Day of Service though its Give Together: A Family Day of Service program, designed to gather families with elementary school-aged children to work on five service projects that support local charitable efforts. Give Together provides parents the opportunity to teach the values of volunteering and giving back to the community.

Scores of other nonprofits and community organizations will activate volunteers in partnership with Points of Light during the King Holiday.

  • In Washington, D.C., Points of Light will partner with the Project Management for Change on the fourth annual DC Regional Project Management Day of Service. During this marathon-style service event, project managers will provide pro bono speed consulting to nonprofit leaders, with the end result being a well-defined scope of work and project plan that nonprofits can then use to address specific challenges. Through the event, more than 200 volunteers will contribute more than 1,200 hours of direct service to more than 40 area nonprofits, making a collective contribution of more than $150,000 worth of business consulting in a single day.

  • generationOn, Points of Light’s youth division, created fact sheets to help youth understand more about key historical figures in the social justice movement and youth participation in social movements, as well as a family project guide, and four project guides for kids and teens. Additionally, generationOn created a lesson plan for youth development professionals and educators to help them incorporate civil movements and social justice into lessons. All materials are available online at

To learn more, find volunteer opportunities and pledge to host a Sunday Supper, please visit

# # #

About MLK Day

Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This federal holiday was first observed in 1986. In 1989, President George H. W. Bush, accompanied by Dr. King’s widow Mrs. Coretta Scott King, signed the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday Commission Extension Act. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort.

About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to


KPMG is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, providing innovative business solutions and audit, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s largest and most prestigious organizations.

KPMG is widely recognized for being a great place to work and build a career. Our people share a sense of purpose in the work we do, and a strong commitment to community service, inclusion and diversity, and eradicating childhood illiteracy.

KPMG LLP is the independent U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s independent member firms have 197,000 professionals working in 154 countries. Learn more at

About the Corporation for National and Community Service

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and the Social Innovation Fund, and leads President Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. CNCS leads the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service and supports grants to mobilize hundreds of thousands of Americans in service on MLK Day. Visit our website at

Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children Recognizes the Closure of the Donaldson Adoption Institute

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:14

Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children celebrates the Donaldson Adoption Institute’s (DAI) legacy of research and advocacy, and recognizes everyone involved in promoting the Institute's mission for more than 20 years. 

“We appreciate the many contributions DAI provided to the adoption community through research, advocacy, and education. Spence-Chapin has been an advocate for DAI from the beginning, when the Institute was established by our Board. With DAI’s closure, we will continue to champion the values that motivated DAI,” says Spence-Chapin President & CEO, Adam Cotumaccio.

DAI was founded in 1996 after Spence-Chapin identified the need for an independent adoption research, education, and advocacy organization to address the needs of the extended adoption community. Originally DAI was named in honor of Evan B. Donaldson, who was a committed member of the Spence-Chapin Board of Directors for nearly 20 years. Spence-Chapin remains committed to the 1996 founding values: promoting policies and practices that support all members of the adoption community. Spence-Chapin continues to invest in program evaluation to assess outcomes and promote the best in modern adoption practice.

DAI's commitment to original and objective research is a core component of their legacy. Their published research advanced the professional understanding of open adoption, adoptee identity, and public opinion surrounding adoption. 

As leaders in options counseling and family services, Spence-Chapin shares DAI’s belief that open adoptions promote healthy identity development and strong family connections. Spence-Chapin will continue to share their historic knowledge and experience to advance sound policies that support all families.

About Spence-Chapin Services to Families & Children

Spence-Chapin is an adoption and family service organization bringing 110 years of experience in finding families for children. Spence-Chapin’s fundamental belief is that Every Child Deserves a Family. Today, Spence-Chapin is proud of their role as a prominent voice and leading advocate for adoption, and of their commitment to the wellbeing of all members of the adoption community.  For further information, please contact: Katie Foley, 212-369-0300 or

Discovery Education and 3M Recruit America’s Next Top Young Scientist in Annual Middle School Competition

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 08:13

3M (@3M), a leader in Materials Science, and Discovery Education (@DiscoveryEd), the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms across the country, today announced the opening of the annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The Young Scientist Challenge is the nation’s premier science competition for middle school students. Through the program, aspiring young innovators and scientists have the unique opportunity to work with a 3M scientist mentor, be named America’s Top Young Scientist and take home a $25,000 prize.

The Young Scientist Challenge encourages fifth through eighth grade students to use their scientific insight to create solutions to everyday problems in their local, national or global communities. Last year’s winner, 11-year old Gitanjali Rao, was awarded the challenge’s grand prize for her prototype of Tethys, a sensor-based device designed to detect lead in water faster than current techniques.

“The Young Scientist Challenge is a great opportunity for any middle school student to apply their interest in science to creating an innovation that helps improve the lives of others,” said Rao. “Being paired with a 3M scientist as my mentor was especially helpful when I was stuck on a problem or needed to talk through an idea.” 

Middle school students are invited to submit their own entries to this year’s challenge by creating a one-to-two-minute video that explains the science behind their idea, and how it can improve lives by solving an everyday problem. Submissions will be judged based on creativity, scientific knowledge, persuasiveness and overall presentation. Ten finalists will then be selected to participate in a one-of-a-kind summer mentorship program with 3M scientists’ and eventually go on to compete for the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, including an October 2018 trip to 3M’s World Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota.

All video entries must be submitted online at no later than April 19, 2018. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras.

“These brilliant, hardworking students combine a sense of wonder about the world around them with the absolute belief that they can make it a better place,” said Paul Keel, senior vice president of Business Development and Marketing-Sales at 3M. “It’s our privilege at 3M to work with them as they grow as scientists and bring that potential to life.”

Launched in 2016, Young Scientist Lab is an interactive portal for scientific exploration and home to the award-winning Young Scientist Challenge. It is a one-stop STEM destination for educators, students and parents, offering engaging K-8 activities, lesson plans and interactive teaching tools to stimulate budding scientists. Students can also find inspiration on how innovation can solve problems across industries – including manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation and more. The Young Scientist Lab also provides users with recent science news, Virtual Field Trips and new blogs about the Young Scientist Challenge.

“Discovery Education is proud to support 3M and their work to ignite students' creativity and support the wonder of the next generation of scientists," said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “The Young Scientist Challenge has inspired thousands of innovators, dreamers and doers to solve real-world problems and demonstrates the real power of science to improve the lives of everyone, everywhere, every day."

Since its inception, the Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes, paired students with exceptional scientists, and provided science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. In 2017, six girls and four boys were chosen as the top 10 finalists.

“As educators, we are always striving to enrich students with the skills they need to solve problems facing their family, local or global community,” said Francie Snyder, Manatee County elementary school educator. “The Young Scientist Challenge not only stimulates scientific exploration, but also gives young people an opportunity to bring their imagined concepts come to life.”

For more information on the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, including submission guidelines, tips from previous winners and complete rules, please visit Stay connected with Discovery Education on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.


About 3M

At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 90,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M's creative solutions to the world's problems at, or on Twitter @3M or @3MNewsroom.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at

Certified Sustainability Practitioner Program, Advanced Edition 2018

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 07:13

This challenging two-day training offered by CSE aims to give you all the latest practical tools and resources required to implement or upscale corporate sustainability in order to drive your initiatives to the next level by generating value and creating effective strategies.

What you will get from the program:

  • Two days of instruction Become a CMI member for free (Membership cost 200$). 

  •  Certified Learning materials (hard copy) and training guide (electronic copy) 

  • Updated case studies from companies such as Apple, Ikea, Unilever and more. 

  • Informative videos from leading sustainable organizations 

  • Sustainability reports related to your sector Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Certification

In Canada, Chevron Trying to Block Ecuadorians From Using U.N. Declaration to Support Historic Pollution Case

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 14:12

In a Canadian court, Chevron is trying to block submission of a legal brief over how the company’s attempt to evade paying a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador violates both Canadian and international law regarding the rights of indigenous peoples.

In a submission before the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto, Ecuadorian rainforest communities cite the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in support of their lawsuit to collect the Chevron debt in Canada. The judgment against Chevron was affirmed unanimously in 2013 by Ecuador’s highest court.

A hearing over Chevron’s attempt to block the new argument is scheduled for January 16 before the Ontario Court of Appeal in Toronto. If the submission is allowed, the Ecuadorians plan to use the U.N. Declaration during a critically important appellate hearing scheduled for April that will help determine whether they can seize the assets of a Chevron subsidiary in Canada to force the company to comply with the Ecuador judgment.

“Chevron’s attempt to deny the latest legal petition concerning indigenous rights from being heard is gutless and a sign of the company’s increasing desperation,” said Patricio Salazar, the lead Ecuadorian lawyer for the affected communities.

“The arguments that Chevron is trying to suppress outline in clear terms the numerous ways in which the company has violated international law by polluting indigenous ancestral lands and then deliberately obstructed legitimate efforts to seek compensation through the courts,” said Salazar.

In the legal brief, the Ecuadorian communities cite several provisions of the United Nations Declaration to support their lawsuit to seize Chevron assets in Canada. These include “the right to … prompt decisions through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts” and “fair and equitable compensation” for their territories that have been damaged by oil extraction and other environmental harms. 

The U.N. General Assembly approved the Declaration On The Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 by the overwhelming vote of 144-4. The document since has been adopted as domestic law by both Canada and Ecuador, but it obviously did not exist for several years after the litigation against Chevron began in 1993.

Chevron, which sold its assets in Ecuador during the trial, recently had its General Counsel threaten the Ecuadorian communities with a “lifetime of litigation” if they persist in pursing their claims. The case has lasted a whopping 24 years largely because of Chevron’s forum shopping and use of at least 60 law firms and 2,000 legal personnel to file thousands of procedural motions to delay the process at almost every important juncture.

Chevron’s attempt to deny the Ecuadorians the right to file arguments based on indigenous rights – as distinct from simply filing its own legal brief to oppose it – is unusually aggressive, although not surprising given the company’s long record of trying to undermine the claims of the communities. Chevron was found guilty by three layers of courts of Ecuador of having deliberately dumped billions of gallons of toxic oil waste as a cost-saving measure, causing a spike in cancer rates and creating a public health catastrophe. Conditions are so bad that locals call the area the “Amazon Chernobyl”.

For more than two decades, Chevron has tried to block the Ecuadorian communities who live in the Amazon from pressing their claims. The latest Chevron maneuver is to assert that its assets in Canada are immune from collection because they are held by a wholly-owned subsidiary. The communities won the judgment after a hard-fought trial that lasted from 2003 to 2011 and produced 105 technical evidentiary reports relied on by the court to confirm Chevron’s responsibility for the dumping of toxic waste.

Given that Chevron only operates in Canada through its wholly-owned subsidiary, the company is effectively trying to block the indigenous groups from collecting their judgment on a technicality that could negatively impact indigenous rights throughout the world, said Luis Yanza, a community leader in Ecuador and one of the architects of the lawsuit.

“People should justifiably be horrified at the implications of Chevron’s arguments, which could lead to corporate impunity for acts of environmental destruction the world over,” said Yanza, who works with the Front for the Defense of the Amazon, the group that brought the lawsuit on behalf of the dozens of affected Ecuadorian communities.

The latest legal submission cites the U.N. Declaration to argue that if Chevron escapes liability by placing its assets in a subsidiary, then all 400 million indigenous peoples on the planet would effectively have their rights curtailed when they try to obtain compensation from private companies for environmental harms. Chevron operates its oil production operations only through 1,500 wholly-owned subsidiaries around the world.

The submission by the Ecuadorians also cites recent decisions by Canada’s Supreme Court that provide constitutional protection to indigenous rights in the country. “The special relationship of indigenous peoples to their lands has been recognized repeatedly by Canadian courts,” according to the submission.

Canadian indigenous leaders, including former National Chief Phil Fontaine and Grand Chief Ed John, met in September with community leaders in Ecuador's Amazon and toured Chevron’s former production sites before condemning the company for failing to address its pollution problem and for trying to delay the justice process. They also laid a wreath and said prayer at the gravesite of legendary local nurse Rosa Moreno, who recently died of cancer due to exposure to pollution after treating hundreds of local residents for oil-related illnesses over a three-decade career.

Greenpeace co-founder Rex Weyler, who also visited the affected area, sharply criticized Chevron for its failure to address the concerns of the communities in Ecuador where it operated. Chevron in recent years was found to have fabricated evidence to evade paying the Ecuador judgment, leading to a criminal complaint being filed before the United States Department of Justice. (See this article on the case by Weyler.)

Chevron repeatedly has been accused of calculating that it is cheaper to pay hundreds of lawyers to extend the litigation rather than pay for a comprehensive clean-up of the damage it caused to the indigenous and farmer communities in the rainforest, said Salazar.

OppenheimerFunds Supports Dallas Community During Distribution Symposium

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 11:12

OppenheimerFunds employees supported the local community in Dallas this week during the firm’s Distribution Symposium, a semi-annual conference for more than 250 members of the firm’s Distribution team. Attendees helped with hurricane relief and math literacy efforts by volunteering with Trusted World and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. OppenheimerFunds also provided both organizations with a $10,000 grant.

“For the past seven years, our employees have rolled up their sleeves to help support the cities that host our Distribution team conferences,” said John McDonough, Head of Distribution and Marketing at OppenheimerFunds. “This year, we are proud to partner with Trusted World and Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas to help advance the positive contributions they make in these local communities and beyond.”

Trusted World is a global non-profit organization that provides free resources to both local and national organizations serving individuals and families in need. Attendees assisted in packing 4,000 meal kits that will be distributed to families recovering from recent natural disasters. In addition, the firm donated 16,000 meal kits to the organization.

“We are pleased to partner with OppenheimerFunds to help those affected by recent hurricanes,” said Michael Garrett, CEO for Trusted World. “Each package assembled during the firm’s Distribution Symposium can help families by providing them with six nutritionally complete meals."

Attendees also supported Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas by assembling 60 Robotics IQ Kits for use in their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics program. In addition, the firm donated 115 Robotics IQ Kits to the organization.

“Math literacy is a crucial skill for our Club members to develop throughout their education,” said Charles English, President & CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. “The school supplies and robotics kits donated by OppenheimerFunds will help our clubs achieve this goal.”

To further support math literacy, OppenheimerFunds also partnered with WorldVision to host a SchoolTools event where conference attendees filled 200 backpacks with school supplies and personalized notes. The backpacks were donated to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas.

The firm’s corporate philanthropy and community initiatives include its 10,000 Kids by 2020 program, which aims to introduce 10,000 students to math literacy programs over the next few years through nonprofit partnerships and active employee volunteerism. The firm works closely with organizations including the National Museum of Mathematics, Boys & Girls Club, MATHSWORLDUK and Cross-Cultural Solutions, which provides impactful and sustainable service opportunities and skills based volunteer programs.

OppenheimerFunds is one of the world’s leading global asset managers, with nearly 2,000 employees and more than 170 investment professionals in offices including New York, Dallas, Denver, London, Rochester and Seattle. In 2012, OppenheimerFunds established its Dallas location through its acquisition of SteelPath, an innovator in developing midstream energy investment products as one of the first firms to market with MLP-focused open-end mutual funds.

OppenheimerFunds Distribution Symposium Volunteer Highlights





Amount Donated

January 2011

Dallas, TX

Dallas Children’s Hospital

Created murals for hospital walls


August 2011

Chicago, IL

Chicago Cares to benefit Woodson South Elementary School

Refurbished local school facilities


January 2012

Fort Worth, TX

USO Dallas

Assembled and donated backpacks for troops


August 2012

Salt Lake City, UT

Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salt Lake

Built and donated bicycles


January 2013

New York, NY

Breezy Point Relief Fund

Assembled and donated care packages


August 2013

Laguna Nigel, CA

Las Palmas Elementary School

Refurbished local school facilities


January 2014

Dallas, TX

Flood victims

Provided various types of assistance


August 2014

Washington, DC

Boys Town

Made campus improvements, organized donated items, created backpacks, repaired kitchen facilities


January 2015

Atlanta, GA

USO Council of Georgia

Gathered and donated care packages for troops


August 2015

San Diego, CA

Support the Enlisted Project (STEP)

Built 75 wheelchairs for donation


August 2015

San Diego, CA

Ronald McDonald House

Stuffed ~100 teddy bears for children


January 2016

Atlanta, GA

Hands On Atlanta

Assembled 600 snack packs and hygiene essential kits


July 2016

Boston, MA

Boston Cares

Constructed 30 toddler beds and packed 100 blankets and 100 superhero capes


January 2017

Atlanta, GA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta

Assembled and donated 300 College Bound Care packages


August 2017

San Diego, CA

Operation Homefront

Created 400 baby care packages for local military families


August 2017

San Diego, CA

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego

Helped build 20 model solar cars with children from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego and donated 100 model solar car kits to the organization’s STEM program


January 2018

Dallas, TX

Trusted World

Attendees packed and donated 20,000 meal kits to be distributed to families recovering from recent natural disasters.


January 2018

Dallas, TX

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas

Assembled and donated 175 Robotics IQ Kits for the organization’s STEM program.




 #  #  #

About OppenheimerFunds

OppenheimerFunds, Inc., a leader in global asset management, is dedicated to providing solutions for its partners and end investors. OppenheimerFunds, including its subsidiaries, manages more than $249 billion in assets for over 13 million shareholder accounts, including sub-accounts, as of December 29, 2017.

Founded in 1959, OppenheimerFunds is an asset manager with a history of providing innovative strategies to its investors. The firm’s 16 investment management teams specialize in equity, fixed income, alternative, multi-asset, and factor and revenue-weighted-ETF strategies, including ESG offerings, and is a signatory of the UN PRI. OppenheimerFunds and its subsidiaries offer a broad array of products and services to clients, who range from endowments and sovereigns to financial advisors and individual investors. OppenheimerFunds and certain of its subsidiaries provide advisory services to the Oppenheimer family of funds, and OFI Global Asset Management offers solutions to institutions. The firm is also active through its Philanthropy & Community initiative: 10,000 Kids by 2020, reaching children with introductions to math literacy programs.


Shares of Oppenheimer funds are not deposits or obligations of any bank, are not guaranteed by any bank, are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency, and involve investment risks, including the possible loss of the principal amount invested.

Before investing in any of the Oppenheimer funds, investors should carefully consider a fund’s investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Fund prospectuses and summary prospectuses contain this and other information about the funds, and may be obtained by asking your financial advisor, visiting or calling 1.800.CALL OPP (225.5677). Read prospectuses and summary prospectuses carefully before investing.

Oppenheimer funds are distributed by OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc.

225 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281-1008

© 2018 OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc. All rights reserved.

Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Names New Chair and Vice Chair

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 10:12

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption announced today that Mary Schell,  chief public affairs officer for The Wendy’s Company, has been elected as chair of its board of trustees. Todd Penegor, president and chief executive officer of The Wendy’s Company, has been elected vice chair.

Schell, who has been a member of the board since 2001, has been with The Wendy’s Company for more than 22 years. A graduate of Miami University of Ohio, she also serves on the boards of directors of National Council of Chain Restaurants at National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute and Miami University Dolibois European Center.

“Mary’s commitment to the Foundation’s mission and the children and youth that we serve is both sincere and passionate,” said Rita Soronen, president & CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. “Her service to the board has been instrumental to the Foundation’s success thus far and we look forward to her leadership into 2018.”

“I am honored to serve in this new capacity,” Schell said. “The Foundation has dedicated itself to focused, strategic growth in the coming years in order to fully achieve its mission of dramatically increasing adoptions from North America’s foster care systems. It is a privilege to serve at this critical time.”

Penegor, who has been a member of the board since 2016, has been with The Wendy’s Company since 2013 and the president and chief executive officer since 2016. Previously, he held several key leadership positions at the Kellogg Company, including vice president of Kellogg Company and president of U.S. Snacks. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and also serves on the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business financial advisory board.

“Todd’s deep organizational leadership experience and his commitment to financial stewardship are incredibly valuable to this board position,” Soronen said. “He also remains personally dedicated to the work that Dave Thomas started and actively contributes to carrying it forward.”

“It is a privilege to serve on this board,” Penegor said. “As the CEO of The Wendy’s Company, I can think of no better way to honor Dave Thomas’ legacy, than to serve in this role. All children deserve a loving home and a permanent family, and I’m honored to work with Rita and the entire board to achieve the critical and life-changing mission of the Foundation.”

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, through its signature programs and strategic awareness efforts addresses the needs of children in foster care waiting to be adopted while driving adoptions for the longest waiting children. 

About us: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a national nonprofit public charity dedicated exclusively to finding permanent homes for the more than 150,000 children waiting in North America’s foster care systems. Created by Wendy’s® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven national service programs, foster care adoption awareness campaigns and innovative grantmaking. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

Leveraging Technology for Financial Wellness

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 09:12

Join us for a webinar hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and supported by JPMorgan Chase & Co., where representatives from University of North Carolina Center for Community Capital and nonprofit Leaders in Financial Technology (nLIFT) will discuss the potential for technology innovation in the financial services sector – fintech – to increase financial inclusion in the United States.

"Leveraging Technology for Financial Wellness" will explore key trends in fintech investment and adoption – including barriers to adoption – among low- and moderate-income consumers, and the roles that financial institutions, fintech companies, and non-profit intermediaries can play in meeting the needs of underserved consumers.

The webinar will also feature new work from nLIFT around nonprofits leadership in fintech innovations to help facilitate financial inclusion. Register for the webinar today!

3 McKinney Capital & Advisory Team Members Join San Diego Chapter of Mona Foundation

Wed, 01/10/2018 - 06:12

Late in the summer of 2017, McKinney Capital & Advisory partnered with Mona Foundation to host the Aloha Sunday Fundraiser at the San Diego Surf Polo Club. This event was the “coming out” party for the San Diego Chapter of Mona Foundation and was focused on providing those in attendance an opportunity to become better acquainted with the Foundation. With three members of the McKinney team now as members of the new San Diego Chapter (Lori McKinney, CFO; Nour-Dean Anakar, Director, International Business Development; and Diana Baker, Culture & Operations Manager), there are already talks of partnering for more exciting fundraising events for 2018.

Nour-Dean Anakar, current board director of the San Diego Chapter of Mona Foundation, shares, “I decided to support Mona Foundation any way I can because children’s education in underdeveloped countries is an essential building block for positive change. Mona has clearly demonstrated that through the Foundation’s support, global impact on access to education for young girls, and gender equality is undeniable.”

Lori McKinney was nominated to be the Treasurer of the San Diego Chapter of Mona Foundation in 2017. The most recent member to join Mona Foundation from McKinney, Diana Baker, was attracted to the Foundation initially based on what they stand for: that the key to alleviating global poverty and achieving sustained community transformation lies in universal education and gender equality . Diana truly connected with the Foundation because of the selflessness of its board members and advocates, the professionalism of the operations, and their vision for the future. She had been looking to join a philanthropic organization that she felt truly reflected her own values but also had the operational foundation to succeed. Having worked in start-ups in the past, Diana built a keen sense for what needs to be present in an organization to be successful and she saw all those attributes within Mona Foundation. As a member of the San Diego Chapter, Diana is enthusiastic about the future of the children of our world because she can see the impact the foundation has already had and will continue to have in the years to come.

About Mona Foundation:
Mona Foundation was founded in 1999 by a small group of people committed to making life better for all of our children. The Foundation supports grassroots educational initiatives that provide education to all children, increase opportunities for women and girls, and emphasize service to the community. Its goal is to alleviate global poverty and support community led transformation such that no child ever goes to bed hungry, is lost to preventable diseases, or is deprived of gift of education for lack of resources. 

About McKinney Capital & Advisory: 
McKinney Capital & Advisory is an all-in-one commercial real estate wealth management firm. We create opportunities for investors, companies, and owners to maximize their value and return on investment. Our mission is to inspire strategic transformation in our world through commercial real estate investments, brokerage, and asset management.

Speaker Proposals Now Being Accepted for COMMIT!Forum 2018: Brands Taking Stands – The Long View, Oct. 23-25 in Washington

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 06:11

The Corporate Responsibility Association and CR Magazine are now accepting presenter proposals for the 2018 COMMIT!Forum conference to be held at MGM National Harbor Oct. 23-25. Submission deadline is March 15.

The theme for COMMIT!Forum 2018 ( is “Brands Taking Stands -- The Long View,” focusing on strategies adopted by the many companies now looking past short-term, quarterly, share-boosting practices that long have dominated corporate culture.  

“Corporate responsibility practitioners are well positioned as companies build for the future, but there is an acute need for peer-to-peer support, research and practical tools to emphasize an environmental, social and governance (ESG) agenda amid relentless pressure from shareholders to to prioritize profit today,” said Dave Armon, CEO of the Corporate Responsibility Board, which publishes CR Magazine, manages the Corporate Responsibility Association and produces COMMIT!Forum.

Proposals from prospective speakers, presenters, panelists and other thought leaders should be completed via the COMMIT!Forum site or emailed to for review. Access the Presenter Prospectus hereSubmissions are due by March 15.

Key themes for COMMIT!Forum 2018 conference include:

– Corporate Responsibility No Longer Optional: Best-in-Class Innovation and Business Practices
– Leadership Requirements: The Corporate Vision, Voice and Influence
– Tilting on the Fulcrum: Balancing Short Termism with the Long View
– Corporate Responsibility Brand vs. Corporate Brand
– From Measurement to Meaning: The Timestamp of Corporate Responsibility Outcomes
– Emerging Issues & Emerging Voices
– Connective Issues: A Focus on the Issues Companies Face Regardless of Industry or Sector

COMMIT!Forum will feature two days of dynamic and engaging speakers, panelists, conversations and interviews. In addition, many presenters will use the conference to announce new corporate initiatives or release significant research findings on corporate responsibility, talent acquisition, progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and more. Conference attendees bring an array of corporate responsibility experience and expertise as they seek to learn and engage. To maximize the audience experience, the conference agenda will be fast paced and designed to cover a variety of topics and issues.

A key feature of COMMIT!Forum is the Awards and Recognition Dinner where recipients of the Responsible CEO of the Year Awards will be announced. Nominations for this prestigious award may be submitted here.

We welcome submissions by CEOs, CR practitioners and senior leaders on topics related to Brands Taking Stands. If your proposal is accepted, COMMIT!Forum’s executive producer will work with prospective presenters to identify where topic fits into the agenda and how to best showcase content at the conference, whether a main stage panel discussion, one-on-one interview, “issue table,” break-out session or other format.

View the Presenter Prospectus here. Submissions are due by March 15.

About COMMIT!Forum

Corporate Responsibility Board publishes CR Magazine, manages the Corporate Responsibility Association and produces COMMIT!Forum. The company is a unit of 3BL Media of Northampton, Mass., formed in 2009 to serve corporations, nonprofits, NGOs and service providers active in corporate citizenship and sustainability initiatives. In addition to the 3BL Media news and content distribution platform, the company also operates TriplePundit, CSRwire, Ethical Performance, Justmeans, ReportAlert and Social Earth.

Under CEO Armon, the Corporate Responsibility Board team also includes Lynne Filderman, SVP, Business Integration + Strategic Partnerships and Executive Producer of COMMIT!Forum; John Howell, VP Content for CRA; Jen Boynton, Editor-in-Chief, CR Magazine; Craig Rossein, Business Development Director; and Margie Kuchinski, Events and Marketing Manager.

Financing the SDGs

Tue, 01/09/2018 - 06:11

The green bond market is worth $100bn, but $1trn is needed to fund the low-energy transition by 2020. Ethical Corporation recently commissioned a briefing into the growing state of green finance, which goes into depth on the important role it has to play in tackling climate change and assesses what it will take to move the global financial system on to a more sustainable footing.

Click here to download the complimentary briefing

Key themes of the briefing include:

  • What needs to be done for green finance to go mainstream

  • How fintech is financing the SDGs

  • Innovating to make an impact – green finance disruptors

  • Turning risk into climate rewards for developing countries

  • The role forests have to play in limiting climate change and the lack of current funding to end deforestation

Click here to download the complimentary briefing

Smithfield Foods Achieves Industry-Leading Animal Care Commitment, Unveils New Virtual Reality Video of Its Group Housing Systems

Mon, 01/08/2018 - 08:10

SMITHFIELD, Va., January 8, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Smithfield Foods, Inc. is proud to announce that it has fulfilled its industry-leading commitment of providing group housing systems for pregnant sows on all company-owned farms in the United States. Smithfield also released a 360-degree, virtual reality video that transports viewers to a company sow farm. The video can be viewed at

“Smithfield’s leadership in animal care is reflected in today’s landmark announcement,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. “Achieving this goal is a testament to the fact that, at Smithfield, we keep our promises. We stand committed to continue leading the industry in both animal care and transparency.”

In 2007, Smithfield became the first company to commit to group housing systems. Since then, the company has invested more than $360 million to complete the transition.

In addition to the efforts on U.S. company-owned farms, Smithfield recommends that all of its contract sow growers in the United States transition to group housing by the end of 2022. Smithfield is providing guidance and expertise to contract growers when requested to help them through the conversion process.

Worldwide, Smithfield has pledged to convert all company sow farms by 2022. Operations in Poland and Romania have already completed their conversions to group housing systems, and Smithfield’s joint ventures in Mexico are currently working toward the 2022 goal.

For more information on sow housing at Smithfield, please visit

About Smithfield Foods

Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including SmithfieldⓇ, EckrichⓇ, Nathan's FamousⓇ, FarmlandⓇ, ArmourⓇ, Farmer JohnⓇ, KretschmarⓇ, John MorrellⓇ, Cook'sⓇ, GwaltneyⓇ, CarandoⓇ, MargheritaⓇ, Curly'sⓇ, Healthy OnesⓇ, MorlinyⓇ, KrakusⓇ and BerlinkiⓇ. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit