Caterpillar Foundation and Global Communities Launch $4.4 Million Partnership to Improve Job Prospects for Youth in Middle East and North Africa
The Caterpillar Foundation and Global Communities today announced a $4.4 million, three-year partnership to prepare youth in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen for the labor market and job placement. The Middle East and North Africa Youth Empowerment Strategy (MENA-YES), which targets young people aged 15-29, will place special emphasis on disadvantaged youth, low- to medium-level skilled individuals, women, rural youth, and individuals working in hazardous environments.
MENA-YES will emphasize building solid linkages with the private sector and potential employers to determine the precise nature, scale and timing of needed skills to ensure placement of trainees. By building upon its 18-year presence in the region, Global Communities will provide up to 1,920 youth with demand-driven training to prepare them for labor opportunities. At least 60 percent of those placed in internships/apprenticeships or receiving technological training will be on track to be employed or to pursue further training 180 days after completion of program activities.
Additionally, more than 1,000 youth will receive training in financing, market development and business management skills to help them develop entrepreneurial skills. Of these, at least 230 youth will be linked with banks and credit opportunities.
The program is critically important given that the region has the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, estimated in 2010 at 25 percent, and 30 percent for young women alone. “Given the size of rural populations in the region, illiteracy rates, underemployment, and employment that is transient, cyclical and short-term, these estimates are probably low,” says David Weiss, President and CEO of Global Communities.
“The numbers are likely to worsen over the next decade, given the high number of youth entering the labor markets,” says Weiss. “These problems make the Middle East North Africa region ripe for this kind of partnership, which directly helps those most affected by the dire labor market and ensures that they have the training and jobs to support themselves and their families.”
“The Caterpillar Foundation is delighted to partner with Global Communities to address one of the most pressing needs facing the Middle East and North Africa. This is a forward-looking, regionally focused program, which will leverage public and private sector expertise to bring about the greatest positive impact on community needs,” said Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan.
The MENA-YES program is the first multi-country initiative that Global Communities and the Caterpillar Foundation have launched in the region. Global Communities has been active in the Middle East since 1995. Its work has included U.S. Department of Labor funded programs in Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, which facilitated the provision of formal and informal education and vocational training to children at risk of entering child labor and children withdrawn from child labor.
About the Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $500 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/foundation.
About Global Communities
Global Communities (formerly CHF International) is an international non-profit organization that works closely with communities worldwide to bring about sustainable changes that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Global Communities believes that the people who understand their needs best are the people of the community itself. Learn more at www.globalcommunities.org.
Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI), a global diversified company in the building and automotive industries, today announced that RobecoSAM, a sustainability investment firm, has recognized the company as a 2013 Bronze Class Sustainability Leader in its annual Sustainability Yearbook. In collaboration with KPMG, an audit, tax, and advisory firm, RobecoSAM annually rates companies based on their sustainability performance.
Johnson Controls was one of two companies recognized with RobecoSAM’s Bronze Class sustainability rating and one of four companies recognized as a sustainability leader in the Auto Parts & Tires sector. Companies receiving a score within a range of 5 percent to 10 percent of the Sector Leader receive the RobecoSAM Bronze Class distinction. The company has received Gold Class ratings in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and a Silver Class rating in 2012. Johnson Controls is the only North American firm among the sustainability leaders in its sector.
“We are honored to be recognized again by RobecoSAM,” said Charles A. Harvey, vice president of Diversity and Public affairs at Johnson Controls. “Our longstanding commitment to sustainability is driven by our vision and values and is an integral part of Johnson Controls’ businesses and is embraced by our 170,000 employees around the world.”
Each year, the world’s largest 3,000 companies, as reflected in the Dow Jones Global Total Stock Market Index, are invited to participate in SAM’s Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Only the top-scoring 15 percent of the companies in each of the 58 sectors assessed are eligible for inclusion in The Sustainability Yearbook. The RobecoSAM results provide the basis for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes.
The sector-specific environmental criteria used for the Auto Parts & Tires ranking include climate strategy, emission products, environmental policy/management system, and CO2 from logistics. The ranking also include human capital development, stakeholder engagement, standards for suppliers and talent attraction and retention.
For details about the Sustainability Yearbook visit http://www.robecosam.com/en/sustainability-insights/library/the-sustainability-yearbook.jsp.
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #5 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com.
RobecoSAM is an investment specialist focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing. Its offerings comprise asset management, indices, private equity, engagement, impact analysis and sustainability assessments as well as benchmarking services. Together with S&P Dow Jones Indices, RobecoSAM publishes the globally recognized Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). RobecoSAM was founded in 1995 out of the conviction that a commitment to corporate sustainability enhances a company’s capacity to prosper, ultimately creating competitive advantages and stakeholder value. Headquartered in Zurich, RobecoSAM employs over 100 professionals. As of December 31, 2012, RobecoSAM’s assets under management, advice and license amounted to a total of USD 11.4 billion. www.robecosam.com
Some of the world’s most successful and forward-thinking business leaders, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders will convene for Conscious Capitalism 2013 in San Francisco on Friday & Saturday, April 5 & 6, 2013 to share stories and best practices for putting Conscious Capitalism to work.
The two-day event is designed for business owners, executives, non-profits and students who want to understand the principles of Conscious Capitalism and how to apply them to business, at all levels, to activate and engage employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders, leading to long term success. Conscious Capitalism 2013 will feature dozens of speakers and workshop leaders from some of the world’s most dynamic and innovative companies that practice Conscious Capitalism.
“Conscious Capitalism focuses on higher purpose and creates value for all stakeholders, including investors, customers, employees, vendors and communities,” observed Kip Tindell, Chairman and CEO of The Container Store. “Everyone wins. It’s simply a better way of doing business.” Tindell is presenting on stakeholder relations on both days of the event.
“The prospering companies of tomorrow will lead with mindfulness and compassion,” commented Patagonia CEO, Casey Sheahan. Sheahan will be speaking on Conscious Leadership at the conference, as well as conducting a workshop with his wife, Tara Sheahan, of Conscious Global Leadership.
According to Fedele Bauccio, CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company, “With the Conscious Capitalism model, we have deeply engaged and inspired employees, as well as strong relationships with all of our stakeholders, including farmers, farmworkers, and the communities in which we work. The result is that we have built an incredibly healthy restaurant company.” Bauccio will share his insights and experience on Friday, April 5th in a segment on Purpose.
Day One will feature talks by CEOs, founders and executives from companies such as Whole Foods Market, The Motley Fool and method that apply the four principles of Conscious Capitalism in their businesses. Day Two will offer 32 hands-on workshops facilitated by many of the presenters from Day One and other experts, including collaborating organizations The Drucker Institute, B Lab and Net Impact.
Day One (April 5) of Conscious Capitalism 2013 will take place at the Masonic Auditorium and Day Two (April 6) at the InterContinental Hotel, both in San Francisco. More information is available at http://consciouscapitalism.org/cc2013. Tickets (for Day One only) start at $295, and are available at http://ccspringconference.eventbrite.com/#. Attendance at Day Two is only available for people who attend Day One. A “team Package” rate is available for groups of five or more, and special pricing is offered to Solo Entrepreneurs, Non-Profit, Academics and Students.
About Conscious Capitalism
Founded in 2005, Conscious Capitalism, Inc., is a non-profit organization, and is presenting and producing Conscious Capitalism 2013. More information is available at http://consciouscapitalism.org/.
For more information, or to receive a Media Kit about Conscious Capitalism 2013, or to request an interview with a Conscious Capitalism representative, please contact Kevin Sanchez of Hollenbeck Associates at 415-227-1150 ext 110 or email@example.com.
Whether you’re an electric utility asking people to use less energy or a grocery store encouraging people to buy healthy food, businesses play a key role in driving social change.
A new report released by the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS), a research group based at the Richard Ivey School of Business, has revealed the three components that companies can use to drive positive behavior change. Based on a review of 123 studies from the last 20 years, this report is a handbook for any business interested in cause marketing, social innovation or responsible consumption.
“There is no single body of work on business-driven social change: This report breaks new ground,” says lead author Dr. Ute Stephan from the University of Sheffield’s Management School. “By providing a framework for businesses to understand what and how to drive social change, this report offers the tools necessary for businesses to effectively achieve change.”
The framework provides an overview of the 19 mechanisms companies can use to drive positive behaviour change (e.g. providing feedback and changing people’s environment) and how change efforts should be managed.
Businesses are uniquely positioned to change people’s behaviour in order to benefit society. Forward-thinking business leaders see that these social innovations can also add value to organizations by raising their profile, attracting new customers or identifying new markets or opportunities. This report is a key tool for managers who want to spark positive change among people and organizations.
This report addressed one of the 2012 Top 10 Canadian business sustainability challenges identified by NBS’s Leadership Council – an exclusive group of 18 Canadian organizations recognized for their leadership and commitment to business sustainability.
Join us Tuesday, March 5 at 1 p.m. EST for a free webinar as professor Ute Stephan discusses her research findings and shares examples from Unilever, Home Depot, Walmart, Tim Hortons and Danone. Share this opportunity with colleagues inside and outside your organization.
For more information, please contact Jessica Kilcoyne, Communications Coordinator, NBS at 519-661-2111 x88932 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Network for Business Sustainability
The Network for Business Sustainability is a Canadian not-for-profit organization that connects thousands of researchers and business leaders worldwide, with the goal of creating new, sustainable business models for the 21st century. NBS receives funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario, École des Sciences de la Gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal and industry partners.
NBS Leadership Council Members
BC Hydro, BlackBerry, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, Environment Canada, Home Depot of Canada Inc., Holcim (Canada) Inc., Industry Canada, LANXESS Inc., LoyaltyOne, Inc., Pembina Institute, SAP Canada Inc., Suncor Energy Inc., TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS Corporation, Tembec Inc., Tim Hortons Inc., Unilever Canada Inc.
The University of Sheffield
Each year nearly 25,000 of the brightest students from 125 countries come to the University of Sheffield to learn alongside 1,181 of the world’s best academics at one of the UK’s leading universities. Staff and students at Sheffield are committed to helping discover and understand the causes of things - and propose solutions that have the power to transform the world we live in.
A member of the Russell Group, the University of Sheffield has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007), recognising the outstanding contribution by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
One of the markers of a leading university is the quality of its alumni and Sheffield boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students. Its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.
For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk.
Recently the smart grid is no longer a novel idea. Rather, it is a large global commercial venture that needs to prove its value (in concrete and financial terms) to the full range of stakeholders.
As the industry matures, efforts are increasing to evaluate the progress made in reaching the lofty efficiency, cost savings, and optimization goals set forth by utilities, vendors, and consumers. China is also the largest smart grid player in Asia representing 70% of the Asian smart grid market, offers broadest market opportunities to smart grid players.
It is predicted that the volume of smart meters per year is likely to range from 40 to 50 million units over the next 5 years, which also make it the next destination for the smart metering and smart grid industry. China made a great leap in investing on smart grid in its 12th five year plan as:
- About 250 billion US$ investment on smart grid within 5 years.
- China will build 20-30 special smart grid technology demonstration projects, 3-5 smart grid integrated demonstration projects, 5-10 smart grid demonstration cities and 50 smart grid demonstration parks during this period.
- Introduction of nine key tasks to achieve the smart grid goal Challenges and opportunities are coaxial.
Smart grid China has some major challenges to be tackled, ranging from the level of technology, energy storage technology and complex information processing technology. The few number of demonstration smart grid projects, weak smart grid regulatory and standardization issues are also hindering this industry.
To address these key bottle neck challenges, The 3rd Annual Smart Grid Conference China 2013 will provide a platform by gathering diversified senior expert speakers from more than 20 countries around the world.
This conference will demonstrate some of the cutting edge technologies from the latest pioneers of smart grid. WSGC China Week will discuss:
- Future energy plan focusing on smart grid China
- Next generation utility business model & implementation
- Recent issues on smart grid standards
- Grid Operation & Grid Efficiency
- Smart concepts: Smart community & smart building
- AMI and Smart Metering
- Renewable energy generation, integration & Micro grid
- ICT, energy storage and EV
This 2-day conference will accommodate more than 300 senior executives from around the world, which will allow you the plenty of time to fulfill the needs of each other. Through well structured topics, panel discussion and comprehensive case study the key questions will be answered with the most innovative ideas and solutions.
On behalf of the organizing committee, we would like to invite you and other senior executives to attend The 3rd World Smart Grid Conference China, which will be held in Beijing, China from May 9th-10th, 2013. With your attendance in 3rd WSGC China, we believe it will enhance the profile of your firm in smart grid industry and potentially bring more profitable business to your company.
The 2nd World Smart Grid Conference Middle East, April. 22th - 23th, 2013, Abu Dhabi, UAE
The 3rd World Smart Grid Conference India Week, Sep. 10th - 12th, 2013, New Delhi, India
Mission Markets, Inc. announced the relaunch of its newly enhanced services platform today. This announcement follows an expansion of its management team in 2012 and the establishment of a new broker-dealer relationship with Hexagon Securities, LLC in January.
The new website features a clear explanation of the Mission Markets business model, gathers relevant sustainable market news, details the process for launching a community portal, and provides accredited investors access to the proprietary MMX platform for private placement offerings. Mission Markets plans to offer additional features throughout the year.
The MMX platform not only allows accredited investors to search for listed offerings that match their individual investment criteria, but also simplifies document review. The platform is supported by Hexagon Securities, LLC, which entered into an agreement to provide broker-dealer services for Mission Markets and its clients in January.
In December, Ken Marienau was appointed as the new CEO of Mission Markets. Ken has prior leadership experience in financial services with Bendigo Partners, LLC and E*TRADE Financial Corporation (ETFC). Joining Ken on the Mission Markets team is Dawn Edwards, Senior Managing Director of Institutional Investor Services, and Dave Bernat, Director of MMX Market Operations. Each brings over 20 years of financial services industry experience.
Mike Van Patten, Founder and President of Mission Markets, commented: “These new additions to our management team strengthen our knowledge base and expand our network of investors in the sustainable capital field. In addition, they bring strong execution expertise at a time of growth.”
Ken Marienau added, “The new Mission Markets platform offers financial tools which enable capital to flow into sustainable and local community organizations. I believe these investments will accelerate lasting, positive change, while creating financial returns for investors.”
About Mission Markets, Inc.
Mission Markets is leading sustainable capitalism by connecting communities of investors to sustainable organizations through proprietary portal technology. The company helps mission-focused organizations grow by supporting a broad range of financial products, from donations to debt and equity investments. Securities products and services are offered through Hexagon Securities LLC (member FINRA/SIPC). More information is available at www.missionmarkets.com.
FEBRUARY: BUSINESS ISSUES & INNOVATIONS IN 2013
Rich Cooper, Vice President of U.S. Chamber Foundation's Forum for Innovation, will join Bill Shireman, CEO of Future 500, and Jeff Lundy, Ph.D., Research Manager of U.S. Chamber Foundation's BCLC, for a conversation on business issues and innovations in 2013.
During the free live webcast and coordinated tweetchat, sponsored by CSRwire and moderated by Editorial Director Aman Singh, they will discuss upcoming opportunities for business innovation and weigh-in on how much public opinion around key issues this year will matter. Follow hash tag #BCLConCSR.
“In 2012 we looked back and celebrated 20 years of inspiring Canadians to achieve their best health. Now, in 2013 – we’re looking forward to inspiring other businesses to create healthy, positive and sustainable change” – Stewart Brown, Founder and CEO
Genuine Health has joined a league of corporations redefining the way the world does business - as a Certified B Corporation™. As the first Natural Nutritional Supplement Company to receive this designation, Genuine Health joins a community that uses the power of business to solve and mitigate social and environmental issues.
What is a B Corp?
B stands for ‘Benefit’ – getting back to basics of responsible business operations.
A B Corp is a “Benefit Corporation”, an idea sparked by the desire to return to the purposes of early business – to serve public purposes while maintaining a meaningful and successful operation. Along the way, businesses norms were swayed by the dominant vision of profit maximization at the cost of social justice and environmental preservation and protection.
B Corporations are a new kind of company which use the power of business to help solve social and environmental problems. As a B Corp, Genuine Health has committed to adhering to and continuously creating new business operations that benefit people and the planet – just as Genuine Health has always done and always will.
Why did Genuine Health becoming a B Corp?
Because we have always believed in sustainable health & happiness for everyone – and that means transparent accountability in everything we do. The philosophy of considering social and environmental implications of our business is not new –we have always practiced advocacy in conducting ethical business with these values at our core. The B Corp certification simply standardizes and identifies our values and actions to our customers and consumers, differentiating us from pretenders and those who rely on “green washing”. B Corps performance standards are comprehensive and transparent: measuring our company’s impact on its employees, suppliers, community, and the environment.
As a B Corp – we commit to preserving the integrity of our mission for health and happiness for the people and planet – taking a simple idea to act with unlimited potential!
Why do B Corps matter?
It means more than a certification and a promise – it means us continuously doing better!
B Corp certification holds businesses accountable to walk the talk – B Corp provides regular reports on how we operate holistically in regards to social and environmental impacts using established third-party standards.
B corps matter because standards matter. B Corp status allows consumers to have transparency in the choices they make every day, identifying businesses committed to social change and separating them from green washing” and diluted social responsibility initiatives. With established standards in place there is greater potential to leverage change and redefine the way other conduct business – inspiring everyone to do their best for the world.
B Corps redefine responsible and successful business operations, influencing customers, consumers and other companies – with the potential to the way the world does business!
Genuine Health (www.genuinehealth.com) worked closely with Conscious Brands through the B Corp certification process. Conscious Brands is a boutique sustainability firm and a founding Canadian B Corp with a core purpose of Activating Sustainability (www.consciousbrands.com). One of their key services is to support prospective B Corps to make the leap through coaching, liaising and challenging continuous improvement through the B Corp certification process and this is exactly how they added value to Genuine Health.
For 20 years we have valued not only growing as a business, but benefiting people and the planet in the process, and as the first Natural Supplement Company to receive this certification – we look forward to continuing to influence the industry and all businesses to join the movement alongside of us to seek to ‘B’ the change we seek in the world.
Learn more about Genuine Health commitment to quality, efficacy, and sustainability and B Corp certification at: http://www.bcorporation.net/community/directory/genuinehealth.
1% for the Planet and the Mad Marathon are joining forces to host the first marathon dedicated to sustainability. The marathon will showcase and support local and regional environmental non-profit partners and takes place July 7th, 2013 in the Mad River Valley, Vermont.
Dori Ingalls, Race Director for the Mad Marathon, created the “World’s Most Beautiful Marathon” in Waitsfield and Warren two years ago. Since then runners from 48 states and 12 countries have come to Vermont to participate. “The marathon is special because it celebrates our beautiful community and environment” Ingalls notes. “Our partnership with 1% for the Planet with it’s mission to create a healthy planet ensures that the marathon stands for something more.”
Headquartered in the Mad River Valley, 1% for the Planet is a growing global movement of hundreds of member companies all around the world that donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. The organization has partnered with the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust to increase environmental philanthropy in New England. “The marathon offers a way to celebrate our local community, our global member businesses and the good work of New England non-profit partnerships that keep the area so beautiful,” says Barbara Friedsam, 1% for the Planet’s Sr. Director of Marketing and New England.
Ingalls has been involved with big races, such as the Ironman and Xterra for years. “I wanted to create an friendly local race experience in the valley I call home. Runners always want to run for a cause and this has been a green course from the beginning. Solidifying the partnership with 1% for the Planet allows the legacy of local environmental stewardship to live in a larger way. We will still continue to support fundraising efforts by runners for other non profits like the Hannah House and the Stern Center but we are sharpening our focus on the nonprofits that keep this region so beautiful.” says Ingalls.
This year, the Mad Marathon has added options for participating with “Take it Easy or Take It Tough”, making the race accessible to teams and families as well as challenging for seasoned marathon runners. “These opportunities align with the message of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Running the marathon alone or on a team is just one of many ways to do so,” says Friedsam. “We see this partnership as a way to engage people to support environmental organizations and come see why this region is so unique. We're excited to raise awareness and have a lot of fun along the way."
About 1% for the Planet
Started in 2002 by Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, and Craig Mathews, owner of Blue Ribbon Flies, 1% for the Planet is a platform of credibility and engagement for environmentally conscious brands that are truly committed to making a positive impact with their business. This global movement of more than 1000 member companies in 45 countries donate one percent of annual sales directly to approved environmental organizations worldwide. To date, our network has achieved over 100MM in cumulative giving. 1%FTP annually reviews financial records to certify that member businesses meet their commitment. To learn more go to: www.onepercentfortheplanet.org.
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
What are your options with dealing with fire safety in your supply chain?
Is it Auditing?
Root cause analysis?
Worker/ community engagement?
Can we do all three effectively?
Fire safety continues to be an important topic that is quite high on everyone’s radar right now. As a result, the Ethical Sourcing Forum team is enhancing the interactive workshop session to give you direct access to pointed conversations on options that may work best for your organization.
So roll-up your sleeves alongside your colleagues in a deep-dive learning session.
The Tipping Point: The Tazreen Tragedy
What can you do?
The attendees at ESF all come from different places with varying company resources and capabilities. Yet, we are all somehow dealing with the recent fire tragedies that have permanently changed the game be it sourcing directly in vulnerable countries, new global requirements posed by your own customers or pressure from other stakeholders to address the problem. What should your practical action plan be to this sometimes overwhelming issue? This interactive workshop will build upon the foundations presented in the main plenary session on Factory Fires to allow participants to discuss in small groups real examples of possible solutions to figure out what may work best for your individual company or situation.
Workshop Moderator: Greg Gardner, President and CEO, Arche Advisors
Capital Link in Cooperation with NYSE Euronext Hosting "CSR & IR-Maximizing Shareholder Value" Forum, March 13, 2013, New York City
Capital Link, an International Investor Relations and Financial Communications firm in cooperation with the NYSE Euronext (NYX), parent company of the New York Stock Exchange, is organizing the annual "CSR & IR-Maximizing Shareholder Value" Forum, at the Metropolitan Club, NYC on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. (There is no fee to register for non-service providers).
Capital Link's Forum focuses exactly on how CSR impacts a company's valuation and cost of capital. In this context, the Forum will focus on three major topics:
- From the corporate perspective it explores how CSR can impact the valuation and cost of capital for private and publicly listed companies as investors and financiers may perceive them as safer and more sustainable financing and investment choices.
- From the investors' point of view it explores how CSR integrates among the investment criteria, what Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is all about and its comparative return performance.
- The alignment of the CSR, IR and the overall corporate communications strategy, message and function. Also, the developments in the area of Integrated Reporting Standards and updates on Reporting Solutions, standards and guidelines
The Forum features a distinguished list of CSR, IR and Investment Professionals from the following institutions who will share their experience in investing and covering the industry:
Alcoa (NYSE: AA)
Banco Santander (Brazil) SA
Boston Provident Hedge Fund
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB)
The Carbon Disclosure Project
Clinton Global Initiative
Consolidated Edison, Inc.
Deloitte & Touche LLP
The Domini Funds
Domini Social Investments
The Earth Institute, Columbia University
Global Reporting Initiative USA (GRI)
Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.
Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES)
Johnson & Johnson
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (NYSE: KKR)
Lazard Asset Management, LLC
NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX)
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights
UBS Investment Bank
UBS Wealth Management Americas
The World Bank
Panel discussions will explore:
- Valuing Companies Beyond Financial Metrics-CSR, Finance & Capital Markets
- CSR & Shareholder Value-Optimizing Valuation & Returns
- CSR and IR, Aligning Strategy & Communications
- Integrated Reporting and Updates on Reporting Solutions, Ratings Standard & Guidelines
- CSR & investing-The Investor's Point of View-What Matters?
- Sustainable Investing & Created Shared Value
- Public Private Partnerships/Global CSR
The Forum will target top senior executives from the corporate (Fortune 500), financial and investment communities in addition to the major financial media. As CSR spreads across several corporate functions, our Forum targets executives from various departments, such as Corporate, Finance, Marketing, Procurement, Communications, Investor Relations, Human Resources/Personnel and Corporate Social Responsibility departments. Also targeted are government and non-government agencies, associations Foundations and media focused on CSR.
To register to attend this event:
For more information visit:
About NYSE Euronext
NYSE Euronext (NYX) is a leading global operator of financial markets and provider of innovative trading technologies. The company's exchanges in Europe and the United States trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income and exchange-traded products. With approximately 8,000 listed issues (excluding European Structured Products), NYSE Euronext's equities markets – the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Euronext, NYSE MKT, NYSE Alternext and NYSE Arca – represent one-third of the world's equities trading, the most liquidity of any global exchange group. NYSE Euronext also operates NYSE Liffe, one of the leading European derivatives businesses and the world's second-largest derivatives business by value of trading. The company offers comprehensive commercial technology, connectivity and market data products and services through NYSE Technologies. NYSE Euronext is in the S&P 500 index. For more information, please visit: http://www.nyx.com.
Sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue today announced the addition of a new service to its Advisory Services offerings—a standardized packaging design assessment. Companies interested in designing more sustainable packaging can now take advantage of this service to receive an environmental life cycle profile of new packaging formats or an overall assessment of their current packaging portfolios in order to identify opportunities for improvement. GreenBlue will leverage its COMPASS® (Comparative Packaging Assessment) software tool to perform these assessments.
“While companies can purchase COMPASS licenses for use by their internal design teams, this new Advisory Services option offers a convenient alternative to companies that do not have large packaging portfolios or do not have internal life cycle assessment capabilities but want to take a holistic approach in their design decision making,” said Katherine O’Dea, GreenBlue’s Senior Director of Advisory Services and Innovation.
The new package design analysis service is being offered for primary or secondary packaging options. Using validated, generic industry life cycle data, the assessment will account for environmental impacts associated with the materials and processes used to bring packaging to market, while allowing decision makers to incorporate environmental parameters alongside economic factors. The confidential assessment will be based on a set of consumption, emissions, and packaging attribute metrics. The report generated, which will include a brief comparative sustainability assessment with dashboard graphics of up to four proposed designs, will provide an excellent tool to educate customers about a company’s sustainability efforts.
“The COMPASS assessment method and data have been thoroughly vetted by independent verification and member companies of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition, and are supported by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. COMPASS helps incorporate life cycle thinking into the packaging decision process,” said Minal Mistry, GreenBlue’s Senior Manager for Sustainable Solutions and the tool’s primary architect.
GreenBlue Advisory Services helps business leaders embrace sustainability by applying a deep understanding of sustainability to each company’s particular needs to develop innovative yet practical sustainability solutions. Launched in 2010, Advisory Services complements GreenBlue’s sector approach to making product’s more sustainable. While that industry approaches allows GreenBlue to drive broad change, its Advisory Services engagements allows the organization to deepen its impact on industry by providing one-on-one sustainability guidance to companies. Under O’Dea’s leadership, Advisory Services clients to date have included major brands like Clorox, Coca-Cola, NASA, Nike, and SC Johnson.
Companies interested in learning more about this new packaging design assessment service should contact Katherine O’Dea at email@example.com or 434.817.1424 ext. 329. This service will be available starting February 25, 2013.
GreenBlue® is a nonprofit that equips business with the science and resources to make products more sustainable. GreenBlue currently works in three program areas: chemicals, packaging, and forest products, as well as working one-on-one with companies through GreenBlue Advisory Services. The organization’s initiatives include the Sustainable Packaging Coalition®, CleanGredients®, Forest Products Working Group, Environmental Paper Assessment Tool® (EPAT), COMPASS®, and the Paper Life Cycle.
COMPASS (Comparative Packaging Assessment) is a design-phase web application that provides comparative environmental profiles of packaging alternatives based on life cycle assessment metrics and design attributes. COMPASS helps packaging designers make more informed material selections and design decisions early in the development process. The tool can compare up to four primary and secondary packages and packaging systems, with quick visual guidance on a common set of environmental parameters. COMPASS assesses packages on resource consumption, emissions, and other attributes such as material health, recycled or virgin content, sourcing, and solid waste. COMPASS was developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a project of GreenBlue. The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is an industry working group with over 200 members from across the packaging supply chain, many of whom contributed expertise to the development of COMPASS.
In honor of International Women's Day the Center for Corporate Citizenship will be hosting a webinar that explores the ways in which companies engage and develop the women leaders in their companies.
For the first time in American history, women make up a greater percentage of the workforce in professional jobs than men, and earn well over half of all University degrees. However, only 3% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Recent research and writing on the topic of women in the workplace seem to suggest that women still face immense challenges in the workplace, and may opt to leave firms rather than languish in stalled careers or face ever-increasing social pressure to be everything to everyone.
Gender diversity is a critical factor in improving business leadership and decision-making, but it is also essential for the overall financial environmental, governance performance, and long term sustainability of a company. Studies suggest that the presence of women at the top positively affect all areas of business practice and success, and that companies that place explicit emphasis on gender diversity tend to perform better in general.
So how can you keep qualified, talented women at your company, develop them as leaders, and reap the benefits all around?
Join us on March 6th at 12 p.m. for a discussion with two member companies; Fidelity & PwC, and find out how they are taking steps to address these important questions and reap the social and business value of women leadership.
Häagen-Dazs and General Mills to Help Smallholder Vanilla Farmers Increase Yields and Improve Sustainability Practices in Madagascar
General Mills and Häagen-Dazs today announced an initiative designed to foster greater economic vitality for smallholder vanilla farmers in Madagascar and ensure the availability of high quality vanilla for future generations.
Häagen-Dazs, the world’s leading brand of super-premium ice cream, with the General Mills Foundation, will invest $125,000 over two years to benefit villages in Madagascar’s Sava region, home of the world’s highest quality vanilla. The commitment builds upon General Mills century-long history of working closely with farmers around the world to promote sustainable agriculture.
The new program will leverage the strengths of three global partners to help promote sustainable vanilla farming in Madagascar: General Mills will leverage its extensive supply chain and agronomic knowledge; vanilla supplier Virginia Dare will leverage its deep understanding of the vanilla market; and international humanitarian organization CARE will leverage its extensive expertise fighting global poverty.
“At General Mills, our mission is Nourishing Lives,” explained Jerry Lynch, vice president and chief sustainability officer at General Mills. “Working to improve the lives of smallholder farmers by helping them accrue a greater share of the benefit from the crops they produce will also help ensure a sustainable and quality supply of vanilla for the future.”
The sustainable vanilla sourcing program is part of a larger, more comprehensive sustainable sourcing plan being advanced by General Mills. In 2011, General Mills completed an extensive global assessment of the ingredients and materials it sources, developing an overall global sustainable sourcing model. Vanilla is one of 10 ingredients General Mills has prioritized to source sustainably. The company is now advancing sourcing strategies on each of the 10 priority ingredients where the greatest impact can be achieved.
Program to bring social and environmental benefits to Malagasy vanilla farmers
The Madagascar vanilla program will provide training and education to several hundred smallholder vanilla farmers focused on producing a more sustainable and higher quality vanilla crop. The training will teach value-added production techniques, including yield improvement and vanilla curing. By adding value at the farm level, vanilla growers should be able to significantly increase their incomes, which should benefit entire communities in the region. The program also will focus on building vanilla curing and storage facilities.
“Häagen-Dazs prides itself on using only the finest ingredients, including the highest quality of a very select breed of vanilla from Madagascar,” said David Clark, president of Häagen-Dazs, the global super-premium ice cream brand owned by General Mills. “Operating sustainably and ethically goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to deliver the quality, super-premium products consumers expect from Häagen-Dazs.”
Madagascar is the world’s leading producer of vanilla, responsible for more than 80 percent of the world’s production. For a majority of the estimated 80,000 Malagasy farmers, the vanilla crop is their only source of income. General Mills relies on the Sava region of Madagascar for the high quality vanilla used in Häagen-Dazs ice cream. (Nestlé licenses the Häagen-Dazs brand from General Mills, and operates the business separately in the U.S. and North America.)
“Contributing to the viability and sustainability of vanilla farming could have a significant impact on the lives of Malagasy growers, their communities, and the environment,” said Steve Peterson, director of sourcing sustainability at General Mills. “Vanilla is integral to their way of life. From our knowledge of the region, we have come to understand that our ability to share our agronomic and supply chain expertise, while leveraging our financial resources, could help create a better, stronger, more sustainable supply of high quality vanilla, while raising living standards for the farmers who grow this important crop.”
General Mills also has worked to deepen the world’s understanding of the vanilla plant, which should additionally help benefit growers in Madagascar. For example, the company is funding cutting-edge research to map the vanilla genome. This unprecedented research, already under way at the University of California–Davis, will help lay the foundation for natural and conventional breeding improvements to increase yields, strengthen disease resistance or even to enhance flavor. Scientists from the J. Craig Venter Institute (USA), CIRAD (UMR-PMVBT La Réunion), the University of Antananarivo (Madagascar) and INIFAP/SAGARPA (Mexico) are all involved in the effort.
General Mills’ Commitment to Small Farmers
The new vanilla initiative is one of several General Mills programs directly benefitting smallholder farmers around the world. In Mexico, for example, General Mills and its Green Giant team of agronomists are working with broccoli and cauliflower growers to encourage adoption of drip irrigation practices, which can significantly reduce water usage. General Mills is providing interest-free loans to farmers for the purchase of drip irrigation equipment in the Irapauto region of Mexico, which has accelerated the adoption of drip irrigation in the area. General Mills estimates that 1.1 billion gallons of water are being saved annually as a result.
In China, small farmers in the northeastern village of Yongqing have increased their household income four- to eight-fold by growing corn exclusively for General Mills’ Bugles corn snacks. By contracting directly with General Mills, more than 750 farmer households receive seeds, other inputs, agronomic guidance, and two unique guarantees: a price that’s higher than the market price and a promise to buy their entire crop. Since the advent of the corn initiative in 2003, signs of the farmers’ new higher standard of living are prominent, ranging from new homes and new farm equipment to improved diets and living standards.
In Africa, through the General Mills nonprofit Partners in Food Solutions, company scientists, engineers and technicians are working with more than 40 food processors on 140 projects to improve and increase food production in Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi. As these small African food processors grow, they are able to hire more workers and source more materials from local smallholder farmers. The farmers, with their additional income, can send their children to school, get better medical care or even start new businesses.
General Mills is also partnering with CARE International and Merck in fighting poverty and empowering women and girls in Africa through a program called Join My Village. Through the program’s 350 village-based savings and loan associations, over 3,000 small business loans have been administered, positively impacting hundreds of women and families involved in food production in Malawi.
The efforts by General Mills to operate sustainably and ethically have been recognized by third-party groups such as Forbes and Corporate Responsibility magazine, Lynch acknowledged. “But we know there is much more to be done. Even as we launch this new initiative in Madagascar, we know we must remain diligent and committed to elevating our sustainability efforts even further.”
About General Mills
General Mills is one of the world’s leading food companies, operating in more than 100 countries. Its brands include Cheerios, Fiber One, Häagen-Dazs, Nature Valley, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Old El Paso, and Wanchai Ferry. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., USA, General Mills had fiscal 2012 worldwide sales of US $16.7 billion.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year CARE worked in 84 countries and reached 122 million people around the world. To learn more, visit www.care.org.
About Virginia Dare
Virginia Dare is a Brooklyn, N.Y. based flavor and extract company founded in 1923. Today the company creates and supplies flavors to the food, beverage, nutritional and pharmaceuticals markets. An industry recognized vanilla specialist, Virginia Dare uses an extensive network in Madagascar to procure the highest quality vanilla beans to produce extracts and vanilla flavors. As the world’s leading industrial extractor of vanilla beans, Virginia Dare actively purchases this raw material from all producing countries and has been a pioneer in launching vanilla related sustainability initiatives.
Featuring Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, and Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google Giving
Join us for the NYU Social Innovation Symposium 2013: Rethinking Impact – a collaboration between the Social Enterprise Association at Stern, Bridge at Wagner, and LSEA at the Law School. This year’s fantastic keynote speakers are Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, and Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google Giving. The event will also include a networking lunch with panelists, alumni, faculty, and professionals; interactive workshops with mini-case studies; a new speaker series entitled "10 Minutes to Change the World" featuring bold ideas on how different industries are rethinking impact; and an evening cocktail reception.
WHEN: Friday, February 22, 2013, 8:30AM-6:30PM
WHERE: NYU Stern School of Business, 44 West 4th Street, Paulson Auditorium
TICKETS & INFORMATION: https://nyustern.campusgroups.com/sea/rsvp?id=135051
- Coleman Bigelow, Global Sustainability Marketing Director, Johnson & Johnson
- Alex Counts, President and CEO, Grameen Foundation
- Alnoor Ladha, Partner & Head of Strategy, Purpose
- Jeffrey Brown, Division Chief, USAID Development Innovation Ventures
- Rosedel Davies-Adewebi, Impact Investing and Social Enterprise Consultant, United Nations Global Compact
- Brinda Ganguly, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation
- Lyel Resner, Co-Founder, StartUpBox.SouthBronx
- Sadna Samaranayake, Consultant, World Bank
- David Sengeh, Founder, Innovate Salone
- Zeke Vanderhoek, Principal, The Equity Project Charter School
- Aleem Walji, Director, World Bank Institute Innovations Lab
- Stacie Zellmer, School and Faith Liaison, charity: water
Course provides comprehensive foundation in the GRI reporting process
The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship is proud to be a certified training organization for the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This course is an important extension into the reporting segment.
This 2-day program provides a comprehensive foundation in the elements of a GRI report, the GRI reporting process and in-depth exploration of key reporting activities. Unique to the Center's program is the real-life, practical component we bring into the room as current practitioners share their perspectives and lessons learned in their GRI journey.
This course will equip you with the knowledge necessary to start your company's first GRI report or transform your existing CSR report into the GRI format. It is designed for anyone involved with any facet of the reporting process for their company. Individuals who provide quantitative and/or qualitative data, engage with stakeholders, or communicate the company's economic, social or environmental impacts will benefit from this program.
Learn more and register for Sustainability Reporting: A GRI Certified Program.
Accenture Exceeds Goal of Equipping 250,000 People by 2015 with the Skills to Get a Job or Build a Business
Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced it has exceeded its original Skills to Succeed goal of equipping 250,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. As a result – and to increase its impact in communities worldwide – the company has set a higher goal: by 2015, it will equip 500,000 people globally with these workplace and entrepreneurial skills.
The company surpassed its original goal, which it set in 2010, by working with global and local nonprofit partners that deliver measurable employment and entrepreneurship outcomes at scale. Accenture has already equipped more than 320,000 people with skills that enable them to participate in and contribute to the economy.
“Skills are a key driver of economic empowerment, leading to greater innovation, increased competiveness and rising standards of living in both mature and emerging markets,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman & CEO. “Through Skills to Succeed, our people are inspired to put their skills and interests to work creating sustained impact in communities around the world. This continued dedication will help us achieve our increased goal of equipping half a million people with skills by 2015.”
Watch our Skills to Succeed advertisement, which will debut during the 2013 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship on February 20.
Skills to Succeed draws on one of Accenture’s core competencies – training talent – to help address the need for skills that open doors to employment. The initiative harnesses the powerful combination of financial support and the pro bono contributions of time and Accenture employee skills.
Accenture is collaborating with nonprofits on more than 200 Skills to Succeed initiatives, which focus on making a sustained impact around the world, including:
- Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute – enabling the organization to train 7,500 new patient navigators and expand its skills-building and job readiness program in 35 locations across the United States
- Junior Achievement and Junior Achievement Young Enterprise – helping to equip young people with workplace and entrepreneurial skills in more than 19 countries
- Plan International – providing training and career opportunities to approximately 7,100 underprivileged young people in Thailand and Indonesia in industries such as information technology, customer relations, business process outsourcing and electronic repair
- Save the Children – helping provide approximately 7,000 disadvantaged and at-risk young people in Egypt, Indonesia and the Philippines with vocational and life skills that assist them in securing lasting employment
- Youth Business International – working to equip the organization’s global network of nonprofit affiliates – such as Conexão in Brazil – with improved tools, funding, mentoring and training to help 33,500 disadvantaged young people around the world become thriving entrepreneurs
“We have witnessed the profound effect skills training has on people, businesses, industries, markets and communities,” said Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer. “We now have the opportunity to continue combining the passion, dedication and resilience of our people and our strategic nonprofit partners to increase the impact of Skills to Succeed around the world.”
About Skills to Succeed
Skills to Succeed is Accenture’s global corporate citizenship initiative, which focuses on advancing employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in both mature and emerging markets. By 2015, the company is committed to equipping 500,000 people around the world with the skills to get a job or build a business. To achieve this, Accenture will continue to work with strategic partners that share its skills-building goals. Current partners include organizations such Junior Achievement, Plan International, Save the Children, and Youth Business International, among others. Additionally, the company offers its people volunteering and pro-bono opportunities and expands its impact by replicating and scaling successful initiatives. Accenture and the Accenture Foundations will contribute more than US$100 million by the end of 2013 to support the company’s corporate citizenship efforts, through global and local giving, as well as pro bono contributions of time and Accenture employee skills.
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with 259,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Through its Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship focus, Accenture is committed to equipping 500,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The company generated net revenues of US$27.9 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2012. Its home page is www.accenture.com.
(Marketwire) - The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Event Series at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada's (PDAC) annual convention will bring together experts in mining and sustainable development for what is becoming a key event for the industry to learn about and discuss CSR issues.
"The CSR Event Series is seeing increased interest because exploration and mining companies have recognized that CSR plays a central role in all their business operations," says PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger. "Companies are keen to learn from people who are engaged in CSR on a daily basis and who speak from direct experience."
The CSR sessions provide a forum for learning and discussion, and cover a range of issues related to sustainable development in the mineral exploration and mining industries. Last year's sessions had standing room only, and interest in the series is expected to be high again this year.
Attendees will hear from the Responsible Jewellery Council, Solidaridad, the International Financial Corporation, the Government of Canada, Resource Initiatives, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), among others.
ICMM's CEO Panel, now in its second year at the CSR Event Series, will focus on the contribution of the mining and metals industry to sustainable development. Over 300 mining executives and investors are expected to attend the session, where five panellists will explore the benefits, costs, and risks and responsibilities relating to mining and metals in today's world.
"ICMM and its members are proud to support and participate in the CSR series," says ICMM President Anthony Hodge. "The PDAC Convention is the biggest in the mining calendar. It is a great opportunity for ICMM to engage constructively with practitioners in the sector to explore mining's contribution to sustainable development."
The CSR Event Series is open to convention delegates and the public, and is free to attend. Registration is not required. For more information, visit www.pdac.ca.
About the PDAC
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry with over 10,000 individual and corporate members. The PDAC Convention – the mineral industry's largest annual event – takes place March 3 – 6, 2013, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
In a significant tactical retreat that likely will hurt its efforts to resist international enforcement actions, Chevron has told a New York judge that it is withdrawing its claim that the $19 billion Ecuador judgment was the result of “sham” and “objectively baseless” litigation and is in effect conceding that there is evidence that the company caused pollution in the country.
The formal withdrawal of Chevron’s “objectively baseless” litigation claim – made in a recent procedural filing (also see here) to New York federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan – represents a key retreat in that it was the linchpin of the company’s defense to enforcement actions brought by the Ecuadorians targeting billions of dollars of assets in Canada, Brazil, and Argentina.
“This move severely weakens Chevron’s ability in enforcement actions to attack the Ecuador judgment, which is premised on extensive evidence the oil company committed massive contamination in Ecuador,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer of the dozens of indigenous and farmer communities that brought suit against Chevron.
The “sham litigation” argument also was the centerpiece of Chevron’s so-called fraud and racketeering case in New York, which is slated for trial in October. The latest procedural retreat is certain to weaken Chevron’s claims in that case as well, said Craig Smyser, who represents the Ecuadorians in that action.
(Chevron has been hit with counterclaims in that case from New York attorney Steven R. Donziger and Stratus, a Colorado-based group that does environmental consulting. Some of the counterclaims allege Chevron committed environmental crimes in Ecuador and then tried to cover it up with a fraudulent remediation and by trying to spy on and intimidate the lawyers representing the rainforest villagers.)
Chevron’s decision to narrow its claims comes on the heels of a series of courtroom setbacks in recent months on Argentina, where an appeals court upheld a freeze order against the company’s revenue stream, and the U.S., where the Supreme Court and five separate federal appellate courts have rejected or refused to adopt the company’s claims that the trial was tainted by fraud.
Chevron withdrew the “sham” and “objectively baseless” litigation claim at the suggestion of Judge Kaplan as a way to avoid having to release internal documents during discovery in New York that might prove it engaged in an elaborate ruse to cover up evidence of its own pollution. Judge Kaplan repeatedly has been accused of bias against the Ecuadorians and of trying to engineer a verdict in Chevron’s favor. See here and here.
“Chevron’s withdrawal of this claim underscores the lengths the company will go to suppress the truth about its environmental crimes even though that truth obviously exists in its own internal files,” said Humberto Piaguaje, who coordinates the litigation for the 80 indigenous and farmer communities who lives in an area contaminated by Chevron’s operations.
“The change reflects an adjustment to Chevron’s trial strategy to avoid having the jury hear and see evidence of its contamination of the rain forest and use of substandard drilling practices,” said Smyser, who represents the Ecuadorians in the New York action.
Before its latest retreat, Chevron had maintained that the underlying lawsuit had no valid scientific basis to support the claims of pollution to the land, water, and lives of those in the Amazon rain forest living where Chevron drilled under the Texaco brand for more than 30 years. Chevron made this claim despite the fact its lead executive in Ecuador, Rodrigo Perez Pallares, admitted that company had dumped more than 16 billion gallons of benzene-laden toxic formation water into the Amazon when it operated in the country from 1964 to 1992.
Chevron sought the change after the Ecuadorians filed discovery requests that Chevron produce documents about the more than 300 wells and 900 open toxic waste pits it abandoned in 1992. Chevron objected to producing any documents about its drilling practices and withdrew any allegation that the rain forest was not polluted to avoid the jury receiving evidence of those facts, said Smyser.
The Ecuadorians and their counsel also requested that Chevron produce all records of the operations of its well sites in Ecuador, the company’s internal audits and inspection reports about the pollution, and any information the company had hidden from its own experts who testified on behalf of the company during the trial.
When Chevron filed the New York racketeering case in 2011, it alleged more than 20 times in its lawsuit that the Ecuadorians “initiated a sham litigation… to remediate alleged petroleum contamination in Ecuador’s Oriente region” or that the case was “objectively baseless, improperly motivated sham litigation.”
The “sham” and “objectively baseless” litigation claim also has been used by Chevron’s six public relations firms to try to taint the Ecuador judgment, which the plaintiffs always have maintained was based overwhelming on scientific evidence as affirmed unanimously on appeal in Ecuador. A summary of that evidence can be found here.
Now that Chevron has simply dropped much of its claim to avoid its discovery obligations, Judge Kaplan has asserted that the only issues left in the U.S. trial concern whether the Ecuador proceeding was conducted in a fair manner in accordance with Ecuador law – an absurdity if there ever was one, said Fajardo.
“This is another example of U.S. judicial arrogance coming from Kaplan’s courtroom,” said Fajardo, noting that Kaplan already was reversed unanimously by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals for trying to impose a global injunction barring the Ecuadorians from enforcing their judgment in any country in the world.
“The notion that a U.S. trial judge is going to determine whether Ecuador conducted a trial that was fair according to its own rules when Ecuadorian courts already have ruled on the issue has no basis in the law, and likely will backfire against Chevron in international courts,” he added.
In reference to Chevron’s latest maneuver to evade its discovery obligations, Fajardo said: “When it was time for Chevron to put up or shut up about its own claims, it shut up and covered up.”
Campaigns supporting veterans, rainforests and micro-entrepreneurs were among the 40 finalists announced today in the Cause Marketing Halo Awards.
Business initiatives designed to “do well by doing good” in 10 competitive categories were revealed by David Hessekiel, founder and president of **Cause Marketing Forum, Inc.,* parent of the 11-year-old competition. Gold and Silver Halos will be bestowed on the winners at *CMF’s annual conference* to be held in Chicago this May.
Leading the field with three finalist nominations was “Going Beyond Ourselves,” a multi-faceted campaign by Brawny Towels and the Wounded Warrior Project to raise funds to help injured veterans.
The Cause Marketing Halo Award finalists are:
Best Transactional Campaign Finalists
- Pay-What-You-Want Campaign: Humble Bundle & American Red Cross
- Going Beyond Ourselves: Listen Up Español & buildOn
- Inner Strength: Brawny Towels & Wounded Warrior Project
- Million Moment Mission: LL Bean & National Park Foundation
Best Social Media Campaign Finalists
- Inner Strength: Brawny Towels & Wounded Warrior Project
- Connect for Good: AT&T & Several Nonprofit Organizations
- Mom's the Word!: Johnson & Johnson, Mattel & Save the Children
- Phones for Good: TELUS + Free The Children Campaign
Best Message-Focused Campaign Finalists
- Give, Get & Save the Rainforest: Macy's & The Nature Conservancy
- Let's Solve This: ExxonMobile & Several Nonprofit Organizations
- Fight Childhood Cancer One Cup at a Time: Toys"R"Us, Inc. & Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
- Time Warner Cable Brings Space Shuttle Endeavour Home: Time Warner Cable & California Science Center
Best Video Creative Finalists
- Just a Little Heart Attack: American Heart Association & Several Sponsors
- Warriors in Pink: Ford Motor Company & Several Nonprofit Organizations
- We Can Be Heroes: Warner Bros. Entertainment & Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps
- The Valspar Color Project: Valspar & Habitat for Humanity
Best Health-Related Campaign Finalists
- Help Save Lives Where We Live: Ross Stores & American Heart Association
- Do It For The Girls!: P&G’s GIVE Hope & The National Breast Cancer Foundation
- Muscle Up: Jiffy Lube & Muscular Dystrophy Association
- Every Step Counts: Kohl's Department Stores & Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Southeast Wisconsin
Best Environmental or Animal Campaign Finalists
- Take a Load Off: Procter & Gamble & Alliance to Save Energy
- 2012 Best of Groupon Grassroots Campaign: Groupon & Vested Interest in K9s, Inc
- Million Moment Mission: LL Bean & National Park Foundation
- TD Forests: TD Bank Group & Nature Conservancy Canada
Best Business Model Integration Finalists
- Warby Parker
- Humble Bundle
Best Social Service Campaign Finalists
- Building Community: ARAMARK & Families International
- Run10, Feed10: Women's Health & FEED Projects
- Brewing the American Dream: Samuel Adams Brewing & ACCION U.S. Network
- A Very Special Christmas: Big Machine Label Group, Clear Channel Communities & Special Olympics International
Best Education Campaign Finalists
- Turning Agents into Educators: Horace Mann & DonorsChoose.org
- Tools for Classrooms: Chase, Clear Channel & DonorsChoose.org
- Kohl's Cares Scholarship Program: Kohl's Department Stores
- Investing for Good: Capital One & The Heart of America Foundation
Best Print Creative Finalists
- Inner Strength: Brawny Towels & Wounded Warrior Project
- Run10, Feed10: Women's Health & FEED Projects
- Give, Get & Save the Rainforest: Macy's & The Nature Conservancy
- We Can Be Heroes: Warner Bros. Entertainment & Save the Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps
A total of 20 awards will be given out to programs judged the best cause marketing campaigns of 2012 at the 11th Annual **Cause Marketing Forum Conference* at the JW Marriott Chicago on May 30.