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Updated: 54 min 53 sec ago

Farming on the Highway Shoulder

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:01

On The Ray’s 18-mile stretch of roadway, maximizing all assets is a key strategy to creating a cleaner, safer highway. One of our largest assets is the land around the interstate, called the right-of-way. This space, designed to be a refuge of safe harbor for drivers in distress, can multi-task and fully utilize the land without threatening its primary purpose to drivers. This month, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Kansas-based Land Institute, and The Ray implemented our newest pilot demonstration on the right-of-way: perennial wheat farming. For the next three years, the pilot project, which uses Kernza® perennial grain, will be monitored by UGA’s Bachelor of Landscape Architecture Program Director and Associate Professor, Brad Davis, as well as a Master of Landscape Architecture student Matthew Quirey.

The College of Environment and Design is proud to partner with The Ray, GDOT, and the Land Institute on this first trial of Kernza in a southern locale,” said Professor Davis, “We are keenly aware of the potential for perennial grains to transform agriculture and fiber farming, and to improve the way we manage millions of acres of land across the nation and around the world. As landscape architects, planners, and historic preservationists, we have long advocated for more sustainable land management practices and we are enthusiastic in our support of the research goals and mission of the Land Institute. We hope this first small trial will prove successful and pave the way for adoption and expansion across the region and to other innovative perennial seed crops in the future.”

This 1,000 square foot pilot project uses Kernza seed from The Land Institute. Kernza plants are a breakthrough from traditional annual wheat grasses and have deep, 10-foot roots that help enrich the soil, retain clean water, and sequester carbon. The Kernza pilot on The Ray is the first in the southeast and the first to be located on a highway roadside.

“Georgia DOT is always improving the management of our roadsides, which are acres of valuable land assets,” said Chris DeGrace, Landscape Architect at Georgia DOT. “Over the past two years on The Ray, we have installed pollinator meadows, bioswales of native grasses, and now a pilot of fiber farming. The opportunity to conduct research on a working roadside with the Land Institute and The Ray is unique and unlike anything in the country.”

“Wheat straw is increasingly used as an alternative to trees, and is a more sustainable fiber source for making many of the highly disposable products we use every day - diapers, paper towels, toilet paper,” said The Ray Founder and President, Harriet Langford. “By growing and harvesting wheat in the right-of-way, we’re creating a new economic opportunity, all while drawing down carbon. I think my dad would say this is ‘so right, so smart.’”

“This Kernza perennial grain collaboration will help establish Kernza’s productive geographic range as demand for the grain continues to grow. We look forward to data from this project and are excited to collaborate with The Ray, Georgia DOT and other partners,” said Tim Crews, Director of Research and Lead Ecologist at The Land Institute.

The Land Institute’s Kernza perennial grain is featured in The New York Times bestseller, Drawdown as a “coming attraction,” for its potential to reduce carbon emission. "Eyes are opening to the power of soil for carbon drawdown – even in unlikely places and especially with deep-rooted, perennial crops like Kernza,” said Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, Senior Writer at Project Drawdown, “The pilot is another exciting step forward for this corridor of testing, learning, and teaching."

This Kernza perennial grain pilot is only the starting point for The Ray. The Ray hopes to expand this project into a vegetative laboratory that would support a variety of pilots over the next several years. These pilots would test different seed mixes for pollinators, weed control strategies, and other innovative agricultural solutions.

About The Ray
The Ray is a proving ground for the evolving ideas and technologies that will transform the transportation infrastructure of the future, beginning with the corridor of road that is named in memory of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a Georgia native who became a captain of industry and was recognized as a leader in green business when he challenged his company, Interface, Inc., to pursue zero environmental footprint. Chaired by Ray’s daughter Harriet Langford, The Ray is an epiphany of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation. Learn more at www.TheRay.org.

About The Land Institute
The Land Institute is a science-based research organization working to develop an alternative to current destructive agricultural practices. Our work is dedicated to advancing perennial grain crops and polyculture farming solutions. Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1976, The Land Institute is committed to researching and developing food production methods that sustain the land and soil, a precious resource in an increasingly precarious state around the globe. Learn more at www.landinstitute.org.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT)
Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways.We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Our transportation network connects our interstates, state highways, county roads and city streets. Georgia DOT is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to its citizens and its nvironment. Learn more at www.dot.ga.gov.

About UGA College of Environment and Design
Through teaching, research, and service in design, planning, and management of the land and its structures, CED will work to improve the environment by providing new and time-tested models for development and preservation. The college will educate the next generation of landscape architects, planners, and historic preservation practitioners to become experts in their areas of specialization with the capacity to collaborate and work effectively across traditional disciplinary and professional boundaries. Graduates of the programs will be equipped to practice in an increasingly complex and changing world characterized by global influences, local needs, and the imperative to create a more sustainable future. Learn more at http://www.ced.uga.edu.

About Project Drawdown
Project Drawdown is a nonprofit research institute that maps, measures, and models the most substantive solutions to reverse global warming and communicates the findings to the world in every way possible. The first generation of this work is captured in the New York Times best-seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global, edited by Paul Hawken. Learn more at http://www.drawdown.org/.

The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox Announce Winner of the 2017 Documentary Film Initiative

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:01

NEW YORK, November 17, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The American Black Film Festival and Lightbox, the award-winning U.S. and U.K. production company, today announced that director Muta’Ali is the recipient of their first annual documentary film development fund. Muta’Ali will work with Lightbox and ABFF to develop his feature documentary Storm Over Brooklyn.

The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Initiative was launched earlier this year to support and foster documentary filmmakers with diverse voices and perspectives and is sponsored by 21st Century Fox and National Geographic.

Muta’Ali’s Storm Over Brooklyn was selected from over 200 submissions for documentary films that covered a wide range of topics that reflect the experiences of people of color today. ABFF and Lightbox hope to get the film funded and finished in time to have its world premiere at the 23rd annual American Black Film Festival in Miami in June 2019.

Storm Over Brooklyn will revisit the story of Yusuf Hawkins, a black American teenager who was shot to death after being trapped by a group of white youths in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, on the evening of Aug. 23, 1989. Hawkins had come to Bensonhurst with three friends that day to look at a used car when they were attacked by the hostile mob, whose members mistakenly believed that Hawkins was dating a neighborhood girl who was white. The incident shocked New York and the nation, and unleashed a torrent of racial tension in an already divided city and led to nationally televised protests and marches led by the Rev. Al Sharpton. The growing unrest indubitably contributed to the ousting of New York City Mayor Ed Koch in favor of David Dinkins, who became the city’s first — and as of now, only — African-American mayor. Hawkins was just 16 years old at the time of his death.

“2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of Yusuf Hawkins’ death and all these years later, it is fair to say, we are still living in very precarious times,” said Jeff Friday, founder and CEO, ABFF. “We were incredibly moved by the relevance and power of this story and Muta’Ali’s vision for the film. The ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative is an extension of what I started with the American Black Film Festival, and I am delighted to be able to provide this new platform in partnership with Lightbox, and we are deeply grateful to National Geographic and 21st Century Fox for standing behind this meaningful initiative.”

Lightbox’s Jonathan Chinn added, “I was immediately impressed with Muta’Ali’s passion and creative ambition for the film. The fact that he has already secured Yusuf’s family’s blessing and their active participation in the film along with the participation of many of the key players in the story points to a film that cannot only enter the ongoing conversation we are still having about racial discrimination in America, but that can do justice to the memory and legacy of Yusuf Hawkins. Lightbox and ABFF are thrilled to be collaborating with Muta’Ali on this important and timely film.”

Lightbox and initiative sponsor National Geographic recently collaborated on the Emmy Award-winning feature documentary LA 92, which used only archival footage to tell the story of the lead-up and conflagration of the civil unrest in Los Angeles in 1992 that followed the acquittal of four white LAPD officers accused of beating Rodney King. LA 92 has recently been nominated for a Cinema Eye Award and two International Documentary Association Awards, including the award for Best Feature.

“National Geographic is thrilled to be part of this year’s inaugural competition, and the selection of Muta’Ali as this year’s winner is a perfect choice,” said Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production for National Geographic Channel. “Nurturing up-and-coming talent is incredibly important to us at National Geographic, and working with Lightbox and ABFF on this initiative and discovering filmmakers like Muta’Ali is really exciting.”

Muta’Ali hails from Westchester County, New York. His debut film, “Life’s Essentials With Ruby Dee,” a documentary about his late grandmother, featured notable subjects including Harry Belafonte, Alan Alda, Phylicia Rashad and Spike Lee. His goal is to have his artistic body of work be wholly focused on what he calls “Love, Art & Activism.” In response to winning the ABFF Lightbox Documentary Film Initiative, Muta’Ali stated, “I am thrilled to have been selected as the first beneficiary of this important initiative. Jeff and Jonathan are the ideal partners to help me take the complex story of Yusuf Hawkins and his killing out of my head and onto screens. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for this opportunity and I look forward to creating a film that is true to who Yusuf was and true to all the people who have fought for equality in his name.”

Join the conversation on social media by visiting ABFF’s multiple social media platforms:

Twitter: @ABFF
Facebook: American Black Film Festival
Instagram: @AmericanBlackFilmFestival
YouTube: American Black Film Festival
Hashtags: #ABFF2018 #WeAreABFF
Website: www.ABFF.com

About Lightbox

Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multinational media company focused on creating high-quality nonfiction programming for film, television and digital platforms. It was founded in 2014 by Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers and cousins Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn. Simon and Jonathan’s partnership represents a seamless melding of two distinct but compatible backgrounds and a strongly shared creative sensibility. Since its founding in 2014, Lightbox has produced many notable projects, including documentary films “Atari: Game Over” and “The Thread” for Xbox Entertainment Studios; an ESPN 30 for 30 film about the 2006 Duke Lacrosse scandal titled “Fantastic Lies”; and several series for both the U.K. and U.S. markets, such as “The Traffickers” for Fusion, “Inside British Vogue” for BBC, “The Runner-Up” for Esquire, “War Child” for Channel 4 and the groundbreaking “Captive” for Netflix. Lightbox recently released its first theatrical feature documentary, LA 92, about the 1992 LA riots for National Geographic’s Documentary Films Division, and is currently in production on the first and only authorized documentary about legendary pop icon Whitney Houston, which is slated to hit theaters in 2018. Prior to co-founding Lightbox, Simon Chinn became one of the world’s most successful feature documentary producers with two Academy Award-winning documentaries, “Man on Wire” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” to his credit. His other prior producing credits include “Project Nim,” “The Imposter,” “The Green Prince” and “My Scientology Movie.” Jonathan Chinn co-founded Lightbox on the heels of a successful career as one of the most respected nonfiction television showrunners in the U.S., winning an Emmy for “American High” (Fox/PBS) as well as the Television Academy’s prestigious Honors Award for “30 Days” (FX), which went on to become FX’s highest-rated unscripted series. Other producing credits include “Kid Nation” (CBS), “Push Girls” (Sundance) and “Hotel Hell” (Fox).

About ABFF

The American Black Film Festival is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry and strengthen the black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, film, television and digital content targeted to upscale African-American audiences.

About National Geographic Partners LLC

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 760 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+YouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

About 21ST CENTURY FOX

21st Century Fox is the world's premier portfolio of cable, broadcast, film, pay TV and satellite assets spanning six continents across the globe. Reaching more than 1.8 billion subscribers in approximately 50 local languages every day, 21st Century Fox is home to a global portfolio of cable and broadcasting networks and properties, including FOX, FX, FXX, FXM, FS1, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FOX Sports, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic, STAR India, 28 local television stations in the U.S. and more than 350 international channels; film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film; and television production studios Twentieth Century Fox Television and a 50% ownership interest in Endemol Shine Group. The Company also holds a 39.1% ownership interest in Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company, which serves 22 million customers across five countries. For more information about 21st Century Fox, please visit www.21CF.com.

Contacts

National Geographic
Chris Albert, 202-912-6526
Chris.albert@natgeo.com

U.S.-India CSR Symposium: Making Economies Work for Women and Youth

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 13:01

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and U.S.-India Business Council on April 14 to discuss best practices in promoting economic empowerment for women and youth in India. Sponsors include Abbott, Amway, and Walmart. 

Featured speakers include:

  • Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India

  • Kathy Pickus, Divisional Vice President, Sustainability, Abbott

  • Gautam Kumra, Managing Director, McKinsey & Co., India

  • Siraj Chaudhry, Chairman, Cargill, India

  • Gayatri Subramaniam, Chief Programme Executive, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India

  • Reema Nanavaty, Secretary General, SEWA, India

  • Namita Vikas, Group President & Global Head, Climate Strategy & Responsible Banking, YES BANK 

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with stakeholders from the Indian private sector, government and NGOs, and more. Topics to be covered include:

  • The Business Case for Women’s Economic Empowerment

  • The Power of Partnerships and Creating Shared Value

  • The New Corporate Citizenship Landscape in India

  • And more!

Registration for the event is free. For more information, visit: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/us-india-csr-symposium-making-economies-work-women-and-youth.

Dr. Erin Anastasi Honored With the 2017 UNFCU Foundation Women's Empowerment Award for Her Work to End Fistula

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:01

The UNFCU Foundation awarded Dr. Erin Anastasi, coordinator of the Campaign to End Fistula being led by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, with its 2017 Women’s Empowerment Award. Dr. Anastasi was recently recognized at a reception hosted by the UNFCU Foundation at the Columbus Citizens Foundation in New York. The mission of the UNFCU Foundation is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to improve the human condition globally.

“Reaching the poorest women with life-changing health care and accelerating their transition to decent work are essential to eliminating poverty,” said Pamela Agnone, president and director of the UNFCU Foundation. “Erin’s achievements embody action for a new global agenda grounded in principles of rights, inclusiveness, and equality.  We recognize Erin for her leadership, enabling women to overcome a devastating condition known as obstetric fistula, and join in the effort to rebuild more lives.”

Watch this video to see how UNFCU Foundation’s support of the UNFPA-led campaign is transforming lives.

“To be honored for my efforts is to note the source of my inspiration -- the transformative work of surgeons, nurses, midwives, social reintegration experts, policy makers, fistula campaign partners, and advocates around the world - of course, in addition to the women and girls themselves,” said Dr. Anastasi, who was instrumental in launching the United Nations goal to end fistula within a generation. “In the face of extreme poverty, it takes a visionary and collaborative approach to achieve our goal. In accepting this award on behalf of UNFPA and the Campaign to End Fistula, I celebrate the spirit of passion, perseverance, and partnership.”

In receiving the UNFCU Foundation Women’s Empowerment Award, Dr. Anastasi joins the First Lady of the United Nations Madame Ban Soon-taek for her lifetime of service; Pulitzer Prize-winning author and humanitarian Sheryl WuDunn; as well as Ritu Sharma, author and gender equality advocate.

Dr. Anastasi’s extensive career in maternal/newborn health spans projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. She rose from Technical Specialist, Obstetric Fistula at UNFPA's Maternal Health Thematic Fund to her current role in headquarters in 2014. Dr. Anastasi previously served Doctors Without Borders as Principal Investigator in the urban slums of Lagos, Nigeria and in northern Uganda. Her other honors include a Fulbright Scholarship with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.

Dr. Anastasi holds a Doctor of Public Health degree in maternal and newborn heath from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, as well as a Master of Health Sciences degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a native of Rockville, Maryland.

#  #  #

About UNFCU Foundation

UNFCU Foundation is a New York-based, non-profit corporation established by the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) with a mission to sustain the path out of poverty through healthcare and education for women and children. Since its launch in 2015, the UNFCU Foundation has benefitted more than 15,000 women and youth across nine countries through the provision of access to critical healthcare, basic education, and livelihoods training. To learn more, visit www.unfcufoundation.org and follow UNFCU Foundation’s progress on Twitter at @UNFCUFoundation and on Facebook at facebook.com/unfcufoundation.

Press Contacts: Elisabeth Philippe, UNFCU Foundation, ephilippe@unfcufoundation.org, Tel. +1 3476866776; Mobile +1 3475104036

Lothar Mikulla, UNFPA, mikulla@unfpa.org, Tel. +1 212-297-2629

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and SCORE Announce Pioneering Partnership to Provide Critical Mentoring Services to Inner-City Businesses

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 07:01

 Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a national nonprofit research and advisory organization, and SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, announced today a unique partnership that will provide critical mentoring services to inner-city businesses throughout the U.S. A first-in-the-nation partnership, SCORE’s more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters will be made available to participants and alumni of ICIC’s Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) program, which helps small businesses in economically-distressed areas build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. 

The partnership was announced at ICCC’s culminating conference at Time Inc. in New York, where many of the 800 businesses owners participating in 2017 convened for educational content and opportunities to pitch to potential investors. During the announcement Steve Grossman, CEO of ICIC, said, “We are thrilled to have SCORE as a partner, providing support for inner city businesses that helps them raise capital, grow revenue, and create good-paying jobs. With SCORE on board, ICCC alumni will have continuous access to these valuable resources, even after they’ve completed our program,” he said. 

“This agreement with ICIC will allow SCORE to expand our successful mentoring services to more small businesses while supporting the continued economic development of our inner city communities,” said Steve Records, vice-president of field operations at SCORE. “These business will continue to benefit from ICIC’s training and programming to create access to capital infusion; but, with the addition of SCORE’s ongoing, long-term client support, the partnership will create even stronger, more profitable businesses and will help support the creation of more jobs within these communities.”

ICCC is the country’s only program that educates inner-city small businesses about different types of capital and matches them with appropriate capital providers. Since 2005, 1,659 participants have raised nearly $1.5 billion in debt and equity capital, created 16,000 jobs, and had average revenue growth of 172%.

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About Initiative for a Competitive Inner City

ICIC is a national nonprofit research and advisory organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC's mission is to promote economic prosperity in America's inner cities through private sector investment that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. The organization supports urban businesses through a wide variety of Urban Business Initiatives. More information about ICIC and its ICCC program is available at www.icic.org and www.icic.org/inner-city-capital-connections/. 

About SCORE

Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE’s 10,000 volunteer business experts provide 350,000+ free small business mentoring sessions, workshops and educational services to clients in 300 chapters nationwide. In 2016, SCORE volunteers provided 2.2+ million hours to help create more than 55,000 small businesses and 130,000 full-time, part-time and contractor jobs.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, visit SCORE at www.score.org. Follow @SCOREMentors on Facebook and Twitter for the latest small business news and updates.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Hannah Roccki

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City

hroccki@icic.org

617.238.3010

Nearly DKK 10bn for the Green Transformation in 10 Hours

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 06:01

Investor demand was massive when Ørsted yesterday launched its first green bonds. In just 10 hours, the bonds were sold for EUR 1.25 billion, almost DKK 10 billion. The money will be invested in new and existing offshore wind power projects, the conversion of CHP plants from coal to sustainable biomass, energy saving projects and energy storage.

Issuing green bonds is yet another step forward in our transition to green energy.

Henrik Brünniche Lund, Head of Investor Relations, says:
“At Ørsted, we want to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. We need to transform the way we power the world; from black to green energy. This is also reflected in our investments. For 2017 we expect them to amount to DKK 18-20bn in wind power, biomass conversions and the installation of remote-read power meters. With green bonds, we invite investors to join us in the green transformation.”

Earmarked towards green projects
Green bonds are like any other regular bond but with one key difference: the proceeds raised by the issuer are earmarked towards green investments, ie environmentally friendly assets or business activities. These projects must promote the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth and a sustainable economy.

Our Green Bonds Framework, which is developed in alignment with the Green Bond Principles 2017, has been reviewed by the not-for-profit research institute Center for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). CICERO allocated the framework a Dark Green Shading, which is the highest grading a green bond issuer can receive.

About CICERO:

As an independent, not-for-profit research institute, CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo) provides second opinions on institutions’ and businesses framework and guidance for assessing and selecting eligible projects for green bond investments. CICERO also assesses the framework’s robustness in meeting the institutions’ and businesses’ environmental objectives.

The second opinion as well as our Green Bonds Framework is publicly available on our website.  An annual investor letter and the opinion of an external auditor will also be publicly available on our website. 

FSC Announces the Bonn Initiative at COP23

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 10:00

Demonstrating how the private sector can play a major role in mitigating climate change, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) announced today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn the support from IKEA of Sweden and SIG Combibloc aiming to document the positive impacts of wood sourcing and forestry.  

The Bonn Initiative is a joint effort to develop scientifically rigorous methodologies that will help quantify the benefits, such as improved carbon sequestration, that FSC certified forests contribute to mitigate global warming and fight climate change.

This data will allow companies to specifically identify the climate benefits derived from sourcing forest products from FSC certified forests in the fight against global warming. It can also help governments with specific knowledge of the amount of carbon storage in responsibly managed forests, offering them better information on their progress towards meeting their UNFCCC Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) within the framework of the Paris Agreement.

FSC will set up a task force based on earlier work to develop methods that will indicate through scientifically backed data the positive impacts of FSC certification as compared to conventional forest management practices.

“By protecting and restoring forest ecosystems and improving forest management practices, FSC has a direct positive impact on curbing global warming. Specifically quantifying these positive impacts will allow companies and consumers to better understand the importance of responsible forest management in helping to prevent global warming and eventually become a catalyst for increased demand of products that come from these sources,” said Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC International.

Udo Felten, Manager Product Related Global Environmental Sustainability & Affairs at SIG added “We want to be net positive by contributing more to society and the environment than we take out. We call that going WAY BEYOND GOOD. An important part of our net positive commitment is supporting global action on climate change as well as on the regeneration of natural resources. Since 2009, SIG has led the industry in providing FSC-certified carton packs. Today, more than 80 per cent of SIG carton packs are carrying the FSC label. More than 60 billion SIG packs have now been sold with the FSC label. Showing the climate benefits of FSC-certified carton packs in a scientifically robust way will further support our target of 100% FSC labelled packs.”

“In fiscal year 2017 77 percent of the wood used in IKEA products came from More Sustainable Sources (FSC certified or recycled). We have the ambition to reach 100% by 2020. By using about 3% of the global FSC wood available, and through the work with our partners, we have contributed to the certification of about 18 percent of FSC certified forests worldwide. This is what we call the journey to become forest positive. Climate is very strong in our agenda, it is in fact shaping the way we do business today. Therefore a more rigorous estimate of the positive role of responsibly managed forests in climate mitigation will strengthen this commitment,” said Mikhail Tarasov, Global Forestry Manager, IKEA of Sweden.

As important carbon sinks, forests play an essential role in reducing carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Responsible forest management, as embodied by FSC, has the capacity to mitigate global warming through specific measures that aim, among others, to improve forestry practices, reduce forest damage, increase restoration and reforestation or avoid specific negative impacts such as forest fires.

A step beyond the Vancouver Declaration

The Bonn Initiative follows the Vancouver Declaration launched during FSC’s General Assembly held in Vancouver (Canada) in October this year and already supported by over 60 global companies. The Vancouver Declaration recognizes the importance of FSC as a responsible forest management certification scheme and commits the signatories to prioritize sourcing FSC certified forest products on a global scale. 

This new initiative is a next step to specifically quantify the contribution that the signatories to the Vancouver Declaration have in reducing carbon emission through responsible forest management.

The Bonn Initiative will equally be open to companies willing to follow-up on their earlier pledge through the Vancouver Declaration.

More information on the Vancouver Declaration can be obtained by visiting https://ic.fsc.org/en/for-business/vancouver-declaration 

Full text of the Bonn Initiative

“As supporters of the FSC Vancouver Declaration, we believe forest products play an important role in the switch away from use of raw materials based on fossil fuels. We are committed to work for a sustainable future and responsible use of natural resources as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals the UN adopted in 2015

Forest products are an essential part of the goods we produce, and our success is dependent on long term access to those raw materials. Without forest materials we would not be able to serve our customers with products meeting their expectations on functionality, quality, volume, and sustainability performance. Therefore, we recognise the special responsibility we have in ensuring that the world’s forests are managed sustainably. These forests play an essential role in mitigating climate change, protecting biodiversity and providing livelihoods to hundreds of millions of people.

Signatories to the Vancouver Declaration have chosen to give visible and credible assurance of their commitments to customers and other stakeholders by sourcing FSC certified and controlled wood combined with reclaimed material for their products. Together with the other signatories, we commit to do our share by continuing to increase our sourcing of FSC certified materials.

We are already working with partners to document the environmental and social impact of responsible forest management and FSC certification, and as a specific contribution to the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, we will now work with FSC to develop scientifically rigorous methodologies to quantify the climate benefits of FSC certification as compared to Business-as-Usual forest management. We believe that such methodologies will be helpful both for companies sourcing FSC certified materials worldwide and interested in understanding their climate impacts, and for countries as a tool to help them quantify their level of achievement of their NDCs.” – ends

Photo caption: Kim Carstensen, Director General of FSC International (right) and Udo Felten,  Manager Product Related Global Environmental Sustainability & Affairs at SIG during the launch of the FSC Bonn Initiative today at COP23 in Bonn.

Notes to editors:

About FSC

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a global not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically prosperous management of the world’s forests. FSC was created in 1993 to help consumers and businesses identify products from well-managed forests and sets standards by which forests are certified, offering credible verification to people who are buying wood and wood products. Currently 195 million hectares and more than 57,000 businesses worldwide are certified to FSC standards. For more information visit www.fsc.org

About IKEA of Sweden

IKEA Range & Supply, which is a part of Inter IKEA Group and consisting of IKEA of Sweden in Älmhult and IKEA Supply, have the responsibility to develop, design, produce and supply IKEA stores around the world with home furnishing solutions available to the many people. Each year IKEA Range & Supply introduces 2,000 new products in the IKEA stores. The total range is almost 10,000 products.

About SIG
SIG Combibloc (FSCTM trademark licence code: FSCTM C020428) is one of the world's leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry within the field of carton packs and filling technology. In 2016 the company achieved a turnover of 1,724 million Euro with more than 5,000 employees.

For more information, please contact:
Alexander Dunn
Media Manager
FSC International
a.dunn@fsc.org

U.S. Chamber Foundation Announces Winners of 18th Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 09:00

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation last night named the winners of its annual Corporate Citizenship Awards, recognizing businesses for making a significant, positive impact on the communities and societies in which they operate.

“Businesses are a powerful force for good, working to solve challenges facing people across the globe,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president for the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center. “It’s an honor to showcase the significant contributions of companies who have gone above and beyond to create real, lasting change in their communities and around the world.”

The U.S. Chamber Foundation presented awards in eight categories:

  • Best Corporate Steward – Large Business: Intel Corporation
    Intel empowers people through technology to contribute to the well-being of others and the planet. From its dedication to diversity and inclusion in its operations and work to address human rights in its supply chain – to its environmental programs aimed at conserving energy and aggressively decreasing greenhouse gas emissions – the company’s commitment to shared value drives all its efforts.
  • Best Corporate Steward – Small and Mid-Market Business: Antis Roofing Company
    Antis Roofing & Waterproofing’s guiding principle is to “err on the side of generosity’ with all its stakeholders. As a small, single-location business operating in Orange County, California, Antis’ mission is to differentiate itself through corporate citizenship. In 2016, its 90 employees donated 693 hours of labor, performed more than 100 roof leak repairs, and provided 10 large-scale roof maintenance and replacement projects.
  • Best Commitment to Education Program: Cisco
    The Networking Academy applies Cisco’s leading technology and products to develop the skills needed in today’s digital economy and to address human capacity development. With more than 1 million students reached each year globally, the Networking Academy has provided education and career support for 6.9 million students worldwide.
  • Best Community Improvement Program: The John Deere Foundation
    The John Deere Foundation partnered with PYXERA Global to develop the Joint Initiative for Village Advancement (JIVA), a program to help Smallholder farmers in three villages in Rajasthan, India. Since its launch, the average income of farmers has increased by 7.1 percent, and investments in education have increased 10th grade examination passing rates from 30 percent to over 80 percent.
  • Best Disaster Response and Community Resilience Program: The Walt Disney Company
    Disney partnered with the American Red Cross and Save the Children to design interactive, child-friendly tools to promote the importance of disaster risk reduction education and help build the resilience and capacity of children, schools, and communities. To date, this initiative has helped hundreds of thousands of children around the world learn how to be better prepared for disasters.
  • Best Economic Empowerment Program: Nestle Nespresso
    Nespresso created the AAA Sustainable Quality Program to help farmers in Ethiopia and Kenya produce better coffee, earn higher incomes, and protect the local environment. Since 2013, Nespresso employees provided 30,000 farmers with hands-on training from the AAA Academy to increase the production and quality of their crops, record keeping, and financial planning.
  • Best Environmental Stewardship Program: The Renewal Workshop
    Textile waste is the fastest-growing component of landfill, with 10.5 million tons of clothing sent to landfill every year. The Renewal Workshop is the first company to partner directly with brands and retailers to take discarded apparel and turn it into renewed apparel, upcycling materials, or feedstock for recycling. Renewed apparel is sold direct-to-consumer or back to brand partners.
  • Best Health and Wellness Program: UPS
    UPS combined its logistics and technology expertise with partners’ health knowledge to launch a medical supply delivery drone initiative for rural communities in Rwanda. To date, the drone delivery network has made more than 1,400 deliveries, meeting 100 percent of hospital demand of blood, medicine, and supplies to communities across Rwanda—reducing maternal mortality rates and improving women’s overall health.

Additionally, the U.S. Chamber Foundation recognized The Dow Chemical Company, Thor Industries, and Shinola for their efforts to bring jobs and opportunities to communities and cities across the country. The Dow Chemical Company received the Small Community recognition for their work in the Brazosport region of Texas; Thor Industries was recognized as the Mid-Size Community Honoree for their investments in Elkhart, Indiana; and Shinola received the Large Community honor for their work in Detroit, Michigan. Learn more about their work here.

The 18th annual Citizens Awards ceremony took place at the conclusion of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s 2017 Corporate Citizenship Conference in Washington, D.C. More information on this year’s winners is available on the Chamber Foundation’s website

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

General Mills Signs on to World Cocoa Foundation's Joint Frameworks for Action to Combat Deforestation

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:00

General Mills joins leading companies in an agreement to end deforestation, protect national parks from illegal cocoa production and develop alternative livelihoods for affected smallholder farmers in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana. The two countries produce nearly two-thirds of the world’s annual supply of cocoa. The far-reaching joint Frameworks for Action, led by the World Cocoa Foundation, was announced today at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.

Cocoa is one of General Mills ten priority ingredients, which the company has committed to 100 percent sustainably source by 2020. More than 70 percent of the cocoa General Mills buys is grown in West African countries including Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

“Deforestation is a significant challenge, but by aligning and working together, we can help put a stop to it and positively impact climate change by rehabilitating the land,” said John Church, Chief Supply Chain Officer for General Mills. “We also recognize there are systemic labor issues in the cocoa supply chain, and we understand it will take industry-wide collaboration to make improvements. Having the national and local governments, who are key to addressing the issues, at the table from the beginning is key.”

The Frameworks for Action were developed through an extensive, multi-stakeholder process that brought together two national governments, private sector, including farmer and farmers’ organizations, national and international civil society organizations, development partners, and other stakeholders in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, and at the global level.

“The Frameworks for Action announced in Bonn, and signed by visionary companies including General Mills, protect and restore forests that have been degraded, accelerate investment in agricultural productivity and engage communities about the importance of this work to their long-term wellbeing,” said Richard Scobey, President of the World Cocoa Foundation. “Most of the deforestation in the cocoa sector in West Africa is a result of poor farmers trying to earn a living by going into protected areas to cut down trees to grow cocoa. This means that we must focus on community development, community empowerment, and making sure that farmers' livelihoods are taken in to account and respected.”

The Framework is centered around three themes:

  • Forest protection and restoration: this covers the conservation of National Parks and Reserves, improving the forest cover in the rural domain, as well as restoration of Forest Reserves that have been degraded by human activities, in particular encroachment by cocoa farms among other factors;

  • Sustainable production and farmers’ livelihoods: this covers sustainable intensification and diversification of production to increase farmers’ yields and income to reduce pressure on forests; and

  • Community engagement and social inclusion: this covers social safeguards through civil society and community engagement.

“This framework will help advance much of the work that we are already doing in these regions to improve the sustainability of cocoa production and foster greater economic vitality for cocoa-growing communities,” said Church. “It is our view that a greater share of the benefit of more socially and economically sustainable cocoa production practices should accrue to the people who produce the crop. This framework will help better implement that across the region.”

For more information on General Mills’ commitment to sustainably sourcing cocoa, visit its 2017 Global Responsibility Report and Taste of General Mills blog.

About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2017 consolidated net sales of US $15.6 billion, as well as another US $1.0 billion from its proportionate share of joint-venture net sales. For more information about General Mills, visit www.generalmills.com.

Ray C. Anderson Foundation Divests From Fossil Fuel Investments

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:00

November 16, 2017 /3BL Media/ - The trustees of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation have announced that the Foundation’s investment portfolio is now fossil fuel free and divested of investments in oil, coal and gas companies.  The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that honors and shares the values that Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), Founder and Chairman of Interface Inc., set forth when he put his company on a path to sustainability in 1994. The Foundation’s assets total approximately $50 million.

“Fossil fuel divestment is both ethically and fiscally responsible,” said John A. Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation and one of Ray’s five grandchildren. “Investment has consequences, and we intend for our assets to grow by fueling renewable energy and other clean technologies that will combat climate change.”

For 17 years preceding his passing, Anderson challenged his company and others in industry to recognize the fact that sustainability and environmentalism did not have to be exclusive of one another. He proved this fact by transforming Interface into a $1 billion revenue leader in industrial ecology, later earning him recognition as “the greenest CEO in America.” In his 2009 book, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, Anderson said:

“The age of fossil fuels will not end because there’s no more oil, coal or gas to dig up and burn. It will end because the finite supply cannot meet the exploding demand for them at a price--a climate price, a financial price, and a security price--we are willing (or even able) to bear. It will end because better, smarter and more profitable alternatives become available. It will end because enough of us will realize that paying the price for a systemic shift away from fossil fuels is a whole lot cheaper than footing the bill for the status quo.”

The Foundation joins a growing community of investors who are moving away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy investment. A report from Arabella Advisors issued in December 2016 entitled “Measuring the Growth of the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment and Clean Energy Investment Movement” showed that the amount of money represented by people and institutions that have vowed to divest from fossil fuels reached $5 trillion, having doubled between September 2015 and December 2016.

Read the Foundation's official Divestment Statement here.

JPMorgan Chase Announces $900,000 in Sustainable Infrastructure Investments and Branch Enhancements to Support Detroit’s Economic Recovery

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:00

JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $900,000 investment to support sustainable infrastructure projects in Detroit. In addition, the firm is retrofitting over 70 percent of Chase branches in the city with LED lights and new Building Management Systems. As part of the firm’s $150 million commitment to Detroit’s long-term economic recovery and building on its commitment to advance sustainable solutions for clients and across its operations, these investments are designed to boost Detroit’s continued economic recovery.

“Sustainable infrastructure is critical to the efficient and continuous operation of small businesses and to revitalizing commercial activity throughout Detroit,” said Matt Arnold, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, JPMorgan Chase. “We firmly believe that sustainability lies at the heart of long-term economic growth and we are excited about bringing our expertise in advancing environmentally sustainable solutions to Detroit.”

"The City of Detroit Office of Sustainability applauds JPMorgan Chase for its leadership in energy and sustainability through their branch retrofits and support of Detroit non-profit organizations,” said Joel Howrani Heeres, Director of Sustainability, City of Detroit. “By expanding the scope of the green infrastructure and green building practices it is engaged in throughout the city, JPMorgan Chase serves as an example of sustainable business in Detroit making an environmental impact that will benefit all Detroiters.”

Highlights of the firm’s sustainability investments in Detroit include:

  • Branch Retrofit: As part of JPMorgan Chase’s collaboration with Current, powered by GE to conduct the world’s largest LED lighting installation and to install Building Management Systems across branches, the firm is retrofitting 13 branches in Detroit. The retrofits of branches across Detroit will cut lighting energy consumption by 50 percent, electric and gas consumption by 15 percent and water consumption from irrigation systems by 20 percent.
  • Eastside Community Network: To help tackle the lack of affordable move-in-ready retail space for small businesses that struggle to manage pollution from storm water, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the acquisition and rehab of vacant commercial properties along the Mack Avenue commercial corridor to revitalize and expand local retail and commercial businesses and attract new businesses to the area. In addition, JPMorgan Chase is supporting the efforts of Eastside Community Network to utilize the vacant space between commercial properties for the development of green infrastructure that can mitigate drainage fees.
  • The Nature Conservancy: JPMorgan Chase is supporting The Nature Conservancy’s work with the City of Detroit and other partners to create a first-of-its-kind Special Purpose District, akin to a Business Improvement District. The creation of a Special Purpose District would provide more cost effective stormwater management services to local businesses and multiple community and environmental benefits to businesses and residents, therefore supporting business retention, growth and employment generation in the dynamic Eastern Market area of the City.
  • Jefferson East: JPMorgan Chase is working with Jefferson East to accelerate the incorporation of green building practices, such as the completion of new green parking lots in vacant land adjacent to commercial properties, into developments along the Jefferson corridor to create commercial spaces that aid minority small business owners.

“Detroit’s Lower Eastside neighborhoods have benefited significantly from the revitalization of our community’s businesses,” said Donna Givens, Chief Executive Officer, Eastside Community Network. “Thanks to JPMorgan Chase’s ongoing financial support and employee volunteering, we will be able to further expand the scope of our organization’s work to help with the development of small businesses along Mack Avenue.”

Today’s announcement builds on past collaboration between JPMorgan Chase and Eastside Community Network, The Nature Conservancy and Jefferson East through the firm’s Service Corps program, which sends top-performing employees from around the world on assignments that allow them to put their skills and expertise to work on behalf of select nonprofit partners. To date, JPMorgan Chase employees have worked with 21 organizations in Detroit through the Service Corps program.

“We are excited to collaborate with JPMorgan Chase on an initiative that can help ensure the sustainable development of Detroit’s east Jefferson corridor,” said Joshua R. Elling, Executive Director, Jefferson East. “Sustainable infrastructure is key to the corridor’s long-term growth and to the creation of equitable economic opportunities for our residents and businesses.”

In July, JPMorgan Chase announced a commitment to source renewable power for 100 percent of its global energy needs by 2020 and to facilitate $200 billion in clean financing through 2025. This includes retrofitting about 4,500 branches with new technology to cut energy consumption. As part of this commitment, the firm is using its financial resources, insights and expertise to help communities in Detroit and other cities better manage sustainability challenges.

“JPMorgan Chase has been a bedrock supporter for The Nature Conservancy’s work to develop financing structures that deliver environmental and social benefits,” said Valerie Strassberg, Director of Urban Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Michigan. “Building on the foundational guidance we received from the bank’s Detroit Service Corps team last year, this additional support will allow our team to move beyond concept to meaningful analysis and implementation of a stormwater management mechanism at a scale that could be a national model.”

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Ten Emerging Social Initiatives Win 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:00

The J.M. Kaplan Fund, a New York-based family foundation, today announced ten winners of the second J.M.K. Innovation Prize, a grant making initiative that invests in early-stage efforts to address pressing social and environmental issues.

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize provides each awardee with three years of support at $50,000 per year, as well as a $25,000 “bank” of funds for technical assistance or targeted project expenses – a total award of $175,000. The Prize focuses especially on new ideas piloted or prototyped by dynamic visionaries at a stage when they typically struggle to acquire seed funding. This year, applicants responded to rapidly shifting challenges in communities across America through efforts that promise profound social impacts.

“When we envisioned this second round of the Prize, we could not have imagined it would coincide with an unprecedented remaking of America’s political landscape,” said Peter Davidson, Chairman of the J.M. Kaplan Fund Board of Trustees. “Today’s entrepreneurs are sending a clear message that many institutions have failed to solve our most persistent social problems. These innovators are reimagining how to bring change across the country using new technologies, collaboration across sectors, and even socially-minded for-profit tools.”

This year’s pool of 1,193 applications — representing 49 states — addressed an array of needs across the Fund’s three focus areas: The Environment – Reducing the pace and impacts of climate change; Heritage Conservation – Conserving America’s greatest monuments and places; and Social Justice – Supporting common-sense criminal justice and labor reform, as well as humane treatment of immigrants and refugees in the U.S.

The ten 2017 J.M.K. Innovation Prize winners are:

Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, Swapna Reddy & Elizabeth Willis, New York – ASAP uses creative lawyering, an innovative model of remote representation, and large-scale volunteer mobilization to take on and win cases for refugee mothers and their families across the country. See: asap.urbanjustice.org

The California Harvesters, Carmen Rojas, California – The California Harvesters, the nation’s first farm worker trust, allows workers and farm owners to co-create employment standards, provide worker-ownership opportunities, and pave the way for greater economic security for immigrant farmworkers. See: theworkerslab.com

Coral Vita, Gator Halpern & Sam Teicher, Washington, DC and San Diego, CA – Seeking to restore the world’s imperiled coral reefs, Coral Vita is leveraging for-profit tools to build a network of high-tech coral farms. By growing resilient corals and transplanting them into threatened reefs, they aim to preserve ocean biodiversity and support communities. See: coralvita.co

Esq. Apprentice, Rachel Johnson-Farias, California – The high cost of law school has long kept qualified, talented students with low incomes out of the profession. Esq. Apprentice creates a no-cost pipeline for low-income youth of color to become fully licensed attorneys through California’s legal apprenticeship program. See: esqapprentice.com

Get Media L.I.T., Tony Weaver Jr., Georgia – Get Media L.I.T. combats media misrepresentation of minority groups through a media literacy learning tool that empowers African American students to debunk stereotypes and disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. See: lit.weirdenoughproductions.com

Ho'oulu Pacific, David Walfish, Hawaii – Ho‘oulu Pacific aims to improve self-sufficiency and holistic health in the Pacific Islands. Their “distributed agriculture” model uses aquaponic systems at small, household farms to grow fish and vegetables, which are redistributed to local communities in need of affordable, healthy food. See: hooulupacific.org

The Industrial Commons, Sara Chester & Molly Hemstreet, Western North Carolina – In a rural area with a proud but declining manufacturing tradition, The Industrial Commons connects youth retention, cultural heritage, and economic revival by engaging younger worker-owners to preserve the region’s craft-production knowledge before it’s lost. See: theindustrialcommons.org

Jolt, Cristina Tzintzun, Texas – Jolt is pioneering a Latino youth-led movement across Texas to fight for stronger immigrant protections, economic and racial justice, and a more inclusive democratic process for communities. See: jolttx.org

Neighborhood Opportunity and Accountability Board, David Muhammad, California – NOAB proposes a new model of youth justice. Through a system of neighborhood-based boards governed by principles of positive youth development, they seek to re-route resources spent on locking youth up, and instead invest in young people and their communities. See: nicjr.org

Rising Tides, Victoria Herrmann, Washington, DC – Rising Tides brings expertise on climate adaptation and cultural heritage directly to vulnerable communities to save America’s histories, traditions, and cultures. See: thearcticinstitute.org

Photographs and videos of the winners are available on the Fund’s website at jmkfund.org

Follow the Innovation Prize on Twitter and Instagram @TheJMKaplanFund

About The J.M. Kaplan Fund

The J.M. Kaplan Fund, a 72-year-old New York City-based family foundation, champions inventive giving that supports transformative social, environmental and cultural causes. In 2015, the Fund launched The J.M.K. Innovation Prize, seeking to elevate visionary, early-stage innovations. The Prize currently runs on a biennial schedule. For more information, visit: http://www.jmkfund.org/

For interviews or additional information about The J.M.K. Innovation Prize, please contact: Jeff Weintraub, 202-403-7695, jeff@weintraubcomms.com; or Jenny Lawhorn, 202-821-8898, jenny@silverbee.com.

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Contacts:

Jeff Weintraub
Phone: 202-403-7695
Email: jeff@weintraubcomms.com

Jenny Lawhorn
Phone: 202-821-8898
Email: jenny@silverbee.com

SC Johnson Unveils ‘Carnaúba: Tree of Life’ Exhibit at Museum of Industry in Fortaleza, Brazil

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 05:00

For more than 80 years, the carnaúba palm has been a symbol representing the State of Ceará in Brazil, yet for SC Johnson, it also symbolizes the company’s success and long-term commitment to preserving the country’s natural resources. Today, in partnership with the Museum of Industry in Fortaleza, Brazil, Social Service of Industry (SESI) and Federation of Industry of Ceará (FIEC), SC Johnson proudly opened the “Carnaúba: Tree of Life” exhibit highlighting the importance of the carnaúba palm tree in Brazil.

“My grandfather’s journey in 1935 marked the beginning of our company’s relationship with Brazil­­ – a strong bond that continues to this day,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “We are committed to protecting the environment and the sustainability of the carnaúba palm. We are proud to sponsor this exhibit to highlight the history, its importance in the region and our long-standing legacy in Brazil.” 

The “Carnaúba: Tree of Life” exhibit presents the family company’s long history with the region, which began when third-generation leader H.F. Johnson, Jr. traveled to Fortaleza in pursuit of a permanent reserve of carnaúba wax, which was the principle ingredient in the company’s products at that time. The trip originated from SC Johnson’s headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin. Two years after the trip, the company opened a factory in Brazil and became the first company to refine carnaúba wax – and it also became the first manufacturing company in Brazil to fund and encourage research on the carnaúba palm. In 1998, fourth-generation leader Sam Johnson and his sons, including fifth-generation and current leader Fisk Johnson, retraced the original historic expedition.

As the exhibit opens to the public, guests will experience the history of the carnaúba palm, its industrialization and the unique role the company has played to ensure its sustainability for future generations.

“We are honored to partner with SC Johnson,” said Luis Carlos Sabadia, Museum of Industry in Fortaleza (SESI). “The company has been a leader in helping preserve our natural resources for decades, and sponsoring this exhibit showcases their deep ties and continued support for the area.”

A Legacy of Commitment to Brazil

SC Johnson has operated in Brazil for more than 80 years. In addition to a vibrant commercial business regionally headquartered in Rio de Janeiro and a factory in Manaus, the company has been a leader in helping protect Brazil’s environment and resources for decades. For example, the company’s manufacturing plant in Manaus has achieved zero waste to landfill status, a protocol estimated to keep some 91 tons of refuse out of Brazilian landfills each year.  

SC Johnson also contributed to the protection of two reserves in Brazil’s Caatinga ecoregion in the 1990s. The company’s work and contributions to Conservation International (CI) have also conserved more than 100,000 acres of land – much of that in the Amazon region. In October 2017, the company announced, together with CI, its support for the world’s largest tropical reforestation project to restore nearly 70,000 acres in the Brazilian Amazon.

Commercial and Sustainable Impact

SC Johnson has not only played a significant role in protecting the environment in the region, it also increased the export of carnaúba wax to international markets and created a new industry based on the processing of the wax raw materials. Following the original carnaúba expedition in 1935, SC Johnson went on to open a carnaúba processing plant in Fortaleza in 1937 and a plantation at Repose in Ceará in 1938, to serve as a research center for the growing, harvesting and refining of carnaúba and other waxy palms. The 400-acre plantation was later donated to the Escola de Agronomic of the University of Ceará for the continued study of the trees.

SC Johnson’s critical role in modernizing wax extraction and its investment, research and streamlining of the manufacturing process is also documented in this multisensory exhibit, which will feature interactive scenery and explain the carnaúba palm’s important role in the region’s habitat, socio-cultural norms, and its economy.

The “Carnaúba: Tree of Life” exhibit will be open to the public from Nov.17, 2017 through Oct. 2018.

About SC Johnson
SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 131-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

What's Hot - and What's NOT - in Workplace Giving Technology

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 05:00

New research by Deloitte shows that nearly 9 out of 10 working Americans believe that companies that sponsor volunteer activities offer a better overall working environment than those that do not, and 77 percent say that volunteering is essential to employee well-being. But companies by and large are still struggling to get the full benefit from employee volunteering programs. How can we use technology to make it fun, easy and compelling to activate and engage employees in community efforts?

In this 45-minute Q&A format Town Hall, you’ll get a glimpse into what’s happening now in innovative workplace giving technology, plus ask questions and get advice on some of your most pressing technology challenges. You’ll learn:

  • What’s happening in technology today that promises to make it easier to do more good and seamlessly give to more causes than ever before 

  • Fun ideas for managing volunteers, shift schedules, and pre- and post-event logistics (including those much loved / equally hated post-event surveys!) 

  • How advancements in reporting and events management can save program managers up to 1.5 days a week in administrative time

  • Why new ways of thinking about systems are making it possible for small businesses to take advantage of workplace giving and volunteering (finally!) 

Join Laura Plato, President & COO of Causecast, for an engaging shared learning experience featuring real use cases from customers using Causecast’s Community Impact and Impact AI platforms, listed in “HR Technologies to Watch” in 2016 and 2017.

RSVP here: http://bit.ly/2uyfAtd

Bryan Sheehan Is Tapped as Director of Quantis US

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 12:59

The environmental sustainability consulting group Quantis is proud to announce the appointment of Bryan Sheehan as the new Director, Quantis US, effective immediately. In this role, Bryan will pursue the solid growth and expansion of Quantis in the US. He will lead the US branch strategy and team, develop client relationships and solutions, and join Quantis’ Leadership Team.

“Bryan is exactly what Quantis was looking for to fill this key role. He brings a highly valuable set of skills – strategic vision, team leadership, marketing acumen and sustainability expertise – that will only strengthen an already exceptional team of talents in the US,” says Quantis CEO Emmanuelle Aoustin. “We have been on a solid growth trajectory in the US and Bryan is the person who will take us to the next level so we can continue to guide our clients as they build resilient business models.”

Bryan’s experience comes from previous sustainability consulting roles as well as extensive experience in the field of medical technology. He joins Quantis from sustainability consulting firm Pure Strategies where he was a Senior Advisor for the past four years, managing key client relationships and delivering consulting services.

“I am truly honored to join the Quantis team. I was drawn to Quantis because of their impressive foundation in science, their reputation for the exceptional quality of work and client relationships, their international leadership; and, of course, thanks to the passionate, collaborative Quantis spirit,” the newly-appointed US Director Bryan Sheehan says, explaining his move. “I see both a tremendous opportunity and a need for continued advancement of business sustainability in the US. It is clear that industry must take a more science-based approach and aim for even bolder goals to truly achieve resilient, sustainable change. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the outstanding US team in this critical mission.”

Bryan takes the reins of Quantis US from Jon Dettling, who after serving as US Director for the past 10 years, will move to his role of Global Director, Services + Innovation. In this newly created position, Jon will lead the continued development and diversification of Quantis’ portfolio of services and will focus on bringing to market innovative solutions and initiatives that are targeted to sustainability change makers.

"At Quantis, we see innovation as a constant component in pursuing our mission with our clients – to deliver custom solutions adapted to their needs and speeds,” Global Director, Services + Innovation Jon Dettling explains. “Our most ambitious clients are not talking about today – they are focused on tomorrow and beyond. They need more and we’re going to provide them with the innovative solutions - powered by science - that are going to take them further, faster.

Both Bryan and Jon will work together in the Boston office and Bryan will join Jon as a member of the Quantis Leadership Team.

* END *

About Quantis

Quantis guides top organizations to define, shape and implement intelligent environmental sustainability solutions. In a nutshell, our creative geeks take the latest science and make it actionable. Our team of talents delivers resilient strategies, robust metrics, useful tools, and credible communications for a more sustainable future.

A sustainability consulting group known for our metrics-based approach to sustainability, Quantis has offices in the US, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Colombia and has a diverse client portfolio that spans the globe, including AccorHotels, BASF, Danone, the European Commission, GE, General Mills, Intel, Kering, the Kraft Heinz Company, L’Oréal, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, Unilever, Veolia and more.

We are Quantis: sustainability’s scientists, experts, strategists, innovators and visionaries.

(re)discover Quantis at www.quantis-intl.com

Corporate Philanthropy Institute Addresses ‘Purposeful Action in a Changing World' at Feb. 12 Event

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 09:59

On Feb. 12, 2018, the Corporate Philanthropy Institute, presented by Northern California Grantmakers and Silicon Valley Community Foundation, will explore how companies and corporate responsibility professionals can uphold their inherent values during changing times. 

The event, titled “The Value Proposition: Purposeful Action in a Changing World,” will be held at the University of California – San Francisco’s Mission Bay Conference Center. Speakers will include Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream company that catapulted corporate social responsibility into the public eye three decades ago, and representatives from Google.org, the Levi Strauss Foundation and more. The event is expected to attract more than 150 professionals working in corporate citizenship and philanthropy across the globe. Sessions will engage participants in big ideas and then break concepts down into usable strategies, approaches and actionable plans.

Speakers include:

  • Ben Cohen, Co-founder, Ben & Jerry’s

  • Leila Janah, Founder of Samasource

  • Olivia Khalili, Director at Oath for Good (formerly Yahoo!)

  • Daniel Lee, Executive Director at Levi Strauss Foundation

  • Eric Olson, Senior Vice President at Business for Social Responsibility

  • Birger Stamperdahl, President and CEO, Give2Asia

  • Sasha Buscho, Principal at Google.org

  • Nicolette Van Exel, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Intuit

The day’s sessions include:

  • Trends and opportunities in global giving and CSR

  • Threading worker’s rights through the supply chain

  • Living our values in turbulent times

The day’s activities will also include announcement of the 2018 Corporate Responsibility Impact Awards winners. Nominations for this prestigious recognition are being accepted through Jan. 10, 2018. Candidates may be nominated for company of the year, practitioner of the year and/or emerging practitioner of the year recognition. 

The event is open to members of Northern California Grantmakers, member clients of Silicon Valley Community Foundation and non-affiliated corporate funders and CSR professionals. For more information and to register, visit corpphilanthropyinstitute.org.

The Platinum level sponsor of the 2018 Corporate Philanthropy Institute is Verizon. Gold-level sponsors are Gilead, PG&E and Wells Fargo. Genentech and Workday are silver sponsors. Bronze sponsors are eBay, Google and Target. Donor sponsors are Equinix, Kaiser Permanente, Singularity University, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Foundation.

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Silicon Valley Community Foundation advances innovative philanthropic solutions to challenging problems. We engage donors and corporations from Silicon Valley, across the country and around the globe to make our region and world better for all. Our passion for helping people and organizations achieve their philanthropic dreams has created a global philanthropic enterprise committed to the belief that possibilities start here. Learn more at siliconvalleycf.org.

Field to Market Honors Kellogg Company, Syngenta, The Nature Conservancy and Arkansas Rice Farmer Jennifer James With 2017 Sustainability Leadership Awards

Wed, 11/15/2017 - 05:59

Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture last night announced the recipients of its prestigious 2017 Sustainability Leadership Awards. The Alliance honored Kellogg Company, Syngenta and The Nature Conservancy with the 2017 Collaboration of the Year Award and presented the 2017 Farmer of the Year Award to Arkansas rice farmer Jennifer James.

In their inaugural year, the awards—presented as the capstone of the Alliance’s fall meeting—recognize farmers and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding sustainability leadership through their efforts to advance continuous improvement in the sustainability of U.S. agriculture.

Collaboration of the Year
Recognizing outstanding collaboration and cross-sector partnership in advancing continuous improvement in sustainable agriculture at the field and landscape level, this year’s recipients of the Collaboration of the Year Award were honored for their collective efforts to deliver sustainable outcomes for agriculture in Michigan’s Saginaw Bay.

“Field to Market member organizations are continuously seeking better ways to engage and equip farmers and suppliers with resources to make lasting change for agriculture, society and our planet,” said Rod Snyder, president of Field to Market. “Together, Kellogg Company, Syngenta and The Nature Conservancy are working to create a more sustainable supply chain by helping farmers document and demonstrate how conservation practices enhance natural resource management and support water quality both in Saginaw Bay and the larger Great Lakes watershed.”

By coordinating efforts through the Kellogg Origins™ Great Lakes Wheat Fieldprint Project, these partners are taking steps towards helping farmers make their fields more resilient and improve their bottom line, while improving the lands and waters of Saginaw Bay for generations to come.

Farmer of the Year
The Farmer of the Year Award, which is Field to Market’s highest honor for commodity crop producers, recognizes the extraordinary contributions of a farmer who is committed to advancing sustainable agriculture through outstanding conservation and stewardship efforts on their farm and sharing best practices with their peers. This year’s award was given to Jennifer James, a fourth-generation rice farmer from Newport, Arkansas.

“Jennifer manages her family’s 6,000-acre farm with sustainability at the center of her decision making and an eye toward future generations,” said Snyder. “Her leadership and commitment to sustainable agriculture is marked by her steadfast dedication to conserving natural resources and instituting practices that provide wildlife habitat while benefiting soil, water and air quality.”

The winners of the Farmer of the Year and Collaboration of the Year are selected by Field to Market’s Board of Directors and the Alliance’s Awards and Recognition Committee. All recipients demonstrate leadership in the pursuit of continuous improvement, resulting in measurable results and significant impact on both agriculture and the environment.

Learn more about the 2017 Sustainability Leadership Award winners at www.fieldtomarket.org/awards.

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Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture brings together a diverse group of grower organizations; agribusinesses; food, beverage, restaurant and retail companies; conservation groups; universities and public sector partners to focus on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production. Field to Market is comprised of more than 130 members representing all facets of the U.S. agricultural supply chain, with members employing more than 5 million people and representing combined revenues totaling over $1.5 trillion. For more information, visit www.fieldtomarket.org and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/FieldtoMarket.

INDIGENOUS Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Peru, and the World

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 12:57

The global movement toward gender equality is incomplete without addressing the fashion industry’s supply chain violence against women. 75% of garment workers are women, and violence is a widespread epidemic. The right to live free from violence is a basic human right and women across the world are speaking up. Hoping to spread their ethical supply chain values from Peru to the rest of the world, INDIGENOUS is leveraging its top-selling Holiday 2017 styles to benefit Global Fund for Women.

Ten percent of INDIGENOUS’ profits generated from twelve curated styles will go directly to fund Global Fund for Women's new learning collaborative to eradicate violence in the fashion industry supply chain. The initiative, led by Global Fund for Women, C&A Foundation, NoVo Foundation, and Gender at Work, aims to address rampant gender-based violence in traditional fashion supply chains.

According to a recent study, in Bangladesh, up to 75% of women garment workers have experienced verbal abuse, 20% physical abuse, and 30% psychological abuse. In India, 60% of female factory workers have experienced harassment.

C&A Foundation and NoVo Foundation have pledged millions to this initiative, which will find, fund, and strengthen organizations and individuals working to end gender-based violence against women workers in South Asia, with a focus on major apparel sourcing countries including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam. The initiative will support women garment workers to learn about their rights, realize their own power to secure these rights, and become leaders to create systemic change.

INDIGENOUS is at the forefront of the ethical fashion industry, advocating for human rights and environmental preservation for over 20 years. Their non-traditional supply chain is built upon fair trade practices, women-based knitting groups, and programs that lift up artisan communities. A longtime advocate for supply chain transparency, INDIGENOUS is supporting this initiative, believing it to be the most effective and far-reaching way to empower women garment workers across the world. 

“We’re thrilled to have the support of such a reputable fashion brand as Indigenous for our initiative,” said Musimbi Kanyoro, President and CEO of Global Fund for Women. “Ending violence against women garment workers will require collaboration, resources, and passionate new advocates, and Indigenous brings even more.” 

This unique campaign will occur online, and in specialty retail stores across the United States, launching during the holiday season and culminating on Black Friday, 2017. Supporting Global Fund for Women is part of INDIGENOUS’ #HolidayWithPurpose campaign, which encourages consumers to shop and gift items that benefit our planet and communities this holiday season.  

About Indigenous

INDIGENOUS is a leader in ethical fashion, creating modern clothing using natural, organic and sustainable fibers, colored with low-impact dyes or no dyes at all. Since their founding in 1994, INDIGENOUS has worked to forge a better way forward for the fashion industry. Through programs in Peru, INDIGENOUS helps provide housing to victims of domestic violence. Women in these programs receive free job skill training, empowering them with financial independence.

By producing their clothing line with ecologically mindful practices, each year Indigenous saves an estimated 48,450,000 liters of water; keeps 20,750 kg of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere; and prevents 6528 oz of deadly toxic pesticides from entering our environment.

INDIGENOUS’ sustainable fashion clothing line can be found in boutiques across the United States, as well as online at www.indigenous.com

About Global Fund for Women

Global Fund for Women is one of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality, standing up for the human rights of women and girls. It campaigns for zero violence, economic and political empowerment, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Global Fund for Women uses its powerful network to rally advocates, raise money, and get support to where it’s most urgently needed. It funds and partners with women-led groups who are courageously fighting for justice in their own communities. This rights-based approach gets to the root of gender inequality and is the most effective way to create permanent social change.

Since 1987, Global Fund for Women has invested in nearly 5,000 grassroots groups in 175 countries, helping to win rights for millions of women and girls.

Campaign Hashtags: #HolidayWithPurpose #FashionEmpowers #StyleHumanity

Media Contacts:
Scott Leonard, INDIGENOUS CEO and Co-founder | scott@indigenous.com | 800-664-9410
Anna Tenuta, Senior Campaigns & Communications Manager at Global Fund for Women | atenuta@globalfundforwomen.org | 212-419-4467

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