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Tata Consultancy Services and Discovery Education Announce “Ignite Innovation Student Challenge” Winners

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 10:59

Tata Consultancy Services, (TCS), (BSE: 532540, NSE: TCS) a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, announced the winners of the TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge. Eleven-year-old Ryan H. from The Pegasus School in Huntington Beach, Calif., will receive a $10,000 Grand Prize and virtual mentorship from TCS technology experts. Ryan’s invention, titled Early Wildfire Detection Network enables firefighters to activate an app on their cellphone using a low-cost wireless field module.

“Creativity and curiosity are two of the community values at Pegasus. Ryan embodies both of these traits. We saw this in him at an early age and are thrilled that he has put his knowledge and his values to good use in envisioning such an impactful idea,” said Jen Green, Pegasus Lower School Director.

Pegasus Science Teacher Nadeane Cooper continued, “I am proud of Ryan's passion for science and technology and for his innovative thinking. His success is an example of what Pegasus teachers love to see in students. He took a spark from what he learned in class and grew it into something larger and impactful.”

The TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge encouraged students ages 11-14 to use computational thinking to create digital solutions that solve problems and improve the world. Utilizing TCS’ social responsibility pillars of ‘Planet, Health and Education,’ middle school students from across the country, in teams up to four, were invited to craft a digital concept and submit entries by creating a written description or a one to two-minute video.

In addition to the Grand Prize, nine other student winners have been selected to receive prizes.  Winners of the Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Pillar Prizes, for ‘Planet, Health and Education,’ will receive $7,500, and six $1,000 Winner Circle Prizes will be awarded to the remaining students. Submissions were judged based on creativity, content, persuasiveness and overall presentation.

TCS is dedicated to preparing a new generation of young leaders whose innovations will one day transform society. We are extremely proud of the challenge winners for applying their computational thinking skills to solve some of the most pressing challenges facing our communities,” said Head of Workforce Effectiveness for TCS Balaji Ganapathy. “These students exemplify the pioneering spirit, skillset and mindset essential to thrive in a Business 4.0™ world.”

TCS Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Winners, include:

Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Top ‘Planet, Health and Education’ Pillar Winners:

Award: $7,500 and virtual mentorship from a team of TCS technology experts.

Shraman K., a twelve-year-old from Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, Ky. has been named the Top Our Planet Pillar Winner for his invention titled Mobile App Foodle. Shraman created a software platform to provide accessible food to homeless people.

Gitanjali R., an eleven-year-old from STEM School Highland Ranch in Highlands Ranch, Colo. has been named the Top Health Pillar Winner for the invention titled Early Diagnosis of Opioid Addiction. Gitanjali created a kit that would arm physicians with an easy diagnostic tool to identify patients who are on the verge of addiction.

Alexandria C., a thirteen-year-old from Charles P. Murray Middle School in Wilmington, N.C., has been named the Top Education Pillar Winner for her invention titled Sign Buddy. Alexandria created a cube that translates sign language into spoken English and also translates spoken English into ASL and ESL.

Discovery Education is proud to join forces with TCS to help students and educators revolutionize their learning experiences and prepare them with the tools needed to reimagine learning in classrooms,” said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Discovery Education Lori McFarling. “Together, we are strengthening computational thinking skills and challenging students to think of STEM as a way to help education, health and our environment. We extend our congratulations to the 2019 ‘Ignite Innovation Student Challenge’ winners.”

Ignite Innovation Student Challenge Winner’s Circle:

Award: $1,000 in grants and prizes.

Maura B., a twelve-year old from Plainfield Community Middle School in Plainfield, Ind. has been named a Winner’s Circle Awardee for her project titled Mission Recycle. Maura created an app that encourages recycling by rewarding people with earn gift cards or donations to non-profit organizations.

Liam B.a thirteen-year-old from Emil A. Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, N.J. has been named a Winner’s Circle Awardee for his PillSafe project. Liam created a pill bottle with a lock and timer to monitor opioid use.

Wyatt K., a twelve-year-old from Kiski Area Intermediate School in Vandergrift, Pa. has been named a Winner’s Circle Awardee for his project titled 9-1:1. Wyatt created a 9-1:1 app designed to connect someone in need with the fastest and most helpful medical response.

Krish L., a thirteen-year-old from Emil A. Cavallini Middle School in Upper Saddle River, N.J. has been named a Winner’s Circle Awardee for her project titled SafeSpaceVR. Krish used Virtual Reality (VR) to treat anxiety in teenagers with fun, low cost and easy methods.

Michaelina H., Paulina D. and Tiffany T.thirteen-year-olds from Randolph Community Middle School in Randolph, Mass. have been named Winner’s Circle Awardees for their Responsive Community Mechanics System project. Together, they created a responsive community mechanics system that will improve the way we view and handle education and health safety schools.

Nasr M. and Nikhil J.fourteen-year-olds from Vista Del Sur Traditional School in Laveen, Ariz. has been named a Winner’s Circle Awardee for his Trash Coin project. Nasr and Nikhil created a way for people to earn money while helping the environment.

Launched in 2017, Ignite My Future in School is an initiative that combines the best of digital content, lesson plans, career vignettes, and professional learning to help teachers prepare their students for careers of the future. The initiative offers educators instructional resources and year-round curriculum support to ensure that computational thinking is embedded into core subjects such as math, sciences, arts and social studies. This interdisciplinary approach helps students to obtain the necessary skills required for 21st century careers across all industries.

On a national level, Ignite My Future in School has a goal of engaging 20,000 teachers and one million US students by 2021. Since the program’s launch in 2017, more than 8,000 teachers and 467,000 students, in 81 school districts across all 50 states have benefited from the program. Ignite My Future resources are available at no-cost at


About Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS):

Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization that has been partnering with many of the world’s largest businesses in their transformation journeys for the last fifty years. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive powered, integrated portfolio of business, technology and engineering services and solutions. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development.

A part of the Tata group, India's largest multinational business group, TCS has over 424,000 of the world’s best-trained consultants in 46 countries. The company generated consolidated revenues of US $20.9 billion in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2019 and is listed on the BSE (formerly Bombay Stock Exchange) and the NSE (National Stock Exchange) in India. TCS' proactive stance on climate change and award-winning work with communities across the world have earned it a place in leading sustainability indices such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), MSCI Global Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Emerging Index. For more information, visit us at To stay up-to-date on TCS news in North America, follow @TCS_NA. For TCS global news, follow @TCS_News.

About Discovery Education:

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K., and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at

Piedmont Natural Gas Completes Its Largest Debt Issuance Aided by Disabled-Veteran-Owned Banks

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 08:59

Piedmont Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), has successfully closed a $600 million debt offering – its largest debt issuance in the history of the company and its first since it merged with Duke Energy.

This transaction, which involved three disabled-veteran-owned banks as co-underwriters to sell the notes, aligns with Duke Energy’s practice of routinely involving diversity-owned financial institutions in its capital raising efforts. Over the past three years, the company has worked with firms representing various backgrounds, including women-owned, African American-owned, disabled-veteran-owned and Hispanic-owned banks.

“Our focus on diversity and inclusion is unwavering – from our employees and leadership team to our suppliers, brokerage firms and investors,” said Steve Young, Duke Energy’s chief financial officer. “These partnerships enable us to broaden our investor base and honor veterans while also accessing low-cost capital to invest in important infrastructure for our customers.”

“We are proud to be a part of this historic transaction for Piedmont Natural Gas,” stated Ron Quigley, managing director at Mischler Financial, one of the disabled-veteran-owned banks participating in the transaction. “Not only does this represent another successful collaborative effort within the business community, it also carries more meaning to our firm given the timing of Memorial Day and our commitment to donate a portion of the proceeds from this transaction to causes that are important to our veteran employees.”

Piedmont priced the bonds on May 21 and closed the transaction on May 24. Net proceeds will be used to retire a bank loan, repay other borrowings and other general corporate purposes.

“Everyone benefits when we bring diverse thoughts, perspectives and talents to the table,” said Young. “Together, we have an opportunity to foster more innovation, enhance outreach to customers and investors and increase the business community’s commitment to collaborating with a wide variety of firms.”

Duke Energy
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2019 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

Catherine Butler
24-Hour: 800.559.3853

Fritos® Partners With Carry the Load to Salute Our Nation's Heroes

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 03:59

Fritos®, the flagship brand of PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division, is teaming up with Carry The Load, a non-profit dedicated to providing active, meaningful ways to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by our nation's heroes, to produce nearly 22 million specially marked bags to honor past and present heroes. The number of bags is symbolic in that it represents the total members who have served in the American military throughout history (including active-duty). To further its commitment, the brand will also donate $100,000 to Carry The Load to support its ongoing efforts to provide healing services via non-profit partners for the mind, body and soul of our warriors.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

"There are so many brave men and women who have answered the call to serve our country," said Sadira Furlow, VP of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. "Paying tribute to these heroes is a longtime commitment for Frito-Lay, and we see this partnership with Carry The Load as an opportunity to inspire Americans to join us in honoring their sacrifice."

In addition to the specially marked bags and donation, Fritos is inviting consumers to join in its mission of honoring our country's heroic men and women. Now through July 12th, consumers across the nation can take part in the movement by donating to the cause, posting a photo of their salute on social media using #FritosSalutes, or attending a local event that honors the nation's heroes. Consumers can learn more at and see a complete list of upcoming Carry The Load events at

"Every year, we look to provide Americans with more opportunities to partake in the important act of honoring and remembering our nation's heroes, and this partnership with Fritos helps us better support those who answer the call to serve," said Stephen Holley, president & CEO, Carry The Load.

About PepsiCo 
PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business.  For more information, visit

About Carry the Load 
Carry The Load is a registered 501©3 nonprofit organization founded in 2011 by veteran U.S. Navy SEALs Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley. Carry The Load's mission is to provide an active way to honor and celebrate our nation's heroes by connecting Americans to the sacrifices made by our nation's military, veterans, first responders and their families. Funds raised during Carry The Load's Memorial May campaign allows it to grow its vision and execute its mission, as well as provide existing nonprofit partners with valuable visibility, resources and meaningful connections. For more information, go to

Smithfield Foods Announces Zero-Waste-To-Landfill Initiative, Strengthens Commitment to Environmental Sustainability with Release of 2018 Sustainability Report

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 12:58

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced the company’s commitment to reduce overall solid waste sent to landfills 75% by 2025. This includes certifying at least 35 of its facilities in the United States, or three-quarters of its domestic facilities, as zero-waste-to-landfill by 2025. Through this bold initiative, the company will minimize waste and recycle or reuse materials that were once considered garbage, ultimately reducing waste sent to landfills in numerous communities throughout the country. This initiative is a new target within Smithfield’s industry-leading sustainability program, which also includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025—the first commitment of its kind from a protein company.

“At Smithfield, we continue to make impressive strides toward reducing our environmental impact by regularly evaluating and implementing new sustainability goals and targets,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “Expanding our zero-waste-to-landfill efforts is yet another example of how we think holistically across our business and our supply chain in ways that are responsible and sustainable.”

Currently, Smithfield has nearly a quarter of its U.S. facilities certified as zero-waste-to-landfill and has plans to certify many more facilities within the next few years. For more than five years, the company has worked to meet a rigorous set of criteria for its domestic facilities to be classified as zero-waste-to-landfill, including:

  • Not send any waste to landfill for 12 months;

  • Cut normalized waste by at least 10% from the facility baseline;

  • Reuse or recycle at least 50% of generated waste;

  • Limit incineration without energy recovery to hazardous and medical wastes;

  • Reduce stabilized and landfilled hazardous waste to 0.1% of waste generated;

  • Ensure waste management costs do not exceed 105% of baseline costs; and,

  • Maintain records to be reviewed by staff and/or a third-party auditor.

“As we look to the future and meeting the challenge of feeding 10 billion people, Smithfield is doing its part by searching for innovative ways to use our planet’s resources more wisely,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “This bold new target is a meaningful addition to our comprehensive approach to sustainability across all our operations and helps our communities move closer toward a zero-waste future.”

In addition to this new environmental target, Smithfield continues to make progress toward goals set under each of its key sustainability pillars focused on enhancing care for our animals, improving the environment, ensuring the highest standards of food safety and quality, strengthening the communities we call home, and protecting and engaging our people.

To learn more about Smithfield’s sustainability program, read the company’s recent Sustainability Report or visit

About Smithfield Foods

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

Lisa Martin
Smithfield Foods, Inc.
(757) 365-1980


SC Johnson Latin America Named Best Multinational Workplace for 14th Time

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 07:58

SC Johnson today announces it has been recognized as a Best Multinational Workplace in Latin America by Great Place to Work®. This is the 14th time the company’s Latin America region has been recognized as a Best Workplace, and the fourth consecutive year. SC Johnson Latin America ranked No. 22 on the 2019 list of top places to work in the region.

“It is an honor to receive Best Workplace recognition for a region of the world, and I thank all of our Latin America teams for their focus on offering great work experiences,” said Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson Chairman and CEO.

This regional recognition acknowledges organizations that focus on creating and sustaining high-trust, high-integrity and high-performing cultures for their people. SC Johnson’s recognition is a result of individual Best Workplace awards received for operations in Argentina, Brazil, Central America and Mexico.

Companies appearing on the Best Workplace list in each country are evaluated by Great Place to Work® to determine the top multinational workplaces in Latin America. To be eligible for the Best Multinational Workplace list in this region, a company must have operations in at least three countries, must have at least 1,000 employees globally and 40 percent of its global workforce must work outside the home country.

In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 30 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.

The company also received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index in 2019. This HRC honor marked the 14th time the company earned a perfect score and its 17th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.



SC Johnson Global Public Affairs


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®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 133-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.



PepsiCo Partners With the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to Invest in a Community Collaborative to Train Chicago Youth, Reentry Population for Restaurant Careers

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 14:57

PepsiCo and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced on Sunday a new community collaborative between local restaurants, nonprofits and its Restaurant Ready program to train young people disconnected from the workforce and formerly incarcerated populations in work-readiness skills to prepare them for careers in restaurants and foodservice.

“The community collaborative presents an incredible opportunity to grow the work of the Foundation to serve the local community in Chicago,” said Gifford, Executive Vice President of the NRAEF. “We are ecstatic to bring together these local partners that already effectively train and employ young people who are not currently working and previously incarcerated individuals looking to reenter the workforce.”

The joint initiative looks to bridge the gap between community organizations and restaurant employers to connect career opportunities to the individuals who need it most, leveraging restaurants and foodservice companies as a first-step to employment – and ultimately, serve as a national model to bolster workforce efforts across the country.

“We’re deeply committed to empowering our associates and the communities we serve,” said Merary Simeon, Vice President of Diversity and Engagement, PepsiCo. “Joining forces across nonprofit, public and private sectors is a phenomenal way to drive real change for young people who can thrive in our communities when given the right support.”

“One of the biggest challenges facing Cook County and in particular Chicago is employing underrepresented young adults. Every young adult on every block in the region should be equipped and trained to secure a job where they are earning livable wages. Collaborations between the community, businesses and government are essential to addressing this problem. I am proud that the National Restaurant Association is partnering with the Safer Foundation and PepsiCo to launch the Restaurant Ready program in Chicago that puts young adults on the track to get jobs in the restaurant industry and on the path to independence,” stated Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (D-4). 

With PepsiCo’s funding, the NRAEF will unite the key organizations which serve as experts in successfully training both populations in Chicago, including:

  • The Hatchery, a Chicago non-profit food and beverage business incubator that enables local entrepreneurs to build and grow successful businesses, which create economic growth and new job opportunities;

  • The Safer Foundation, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit providers of services designed exclusively for people with criminal records;

  • Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF), a nonprofit dedicated to building Illinois' hospitality workforce and will identify key employers and connections to industry for disconnected youth and previously incarcerated individuals;

The program will officially begin June 1.

This partnership is another illustration of PepsiCo’s continued commitment to address local workforce needs in the City of Chicago. Last year, PepsiCo partnered with the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC) to create career paths for students in manufacturing, and transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) by providing employment in specialized positions at PepsiCo. Since the launch in March 2018, hiring events have resulted in 36 students being hired for frontline roles including drivers, warehouse helpers, and merchandisers; 14 PepsiCo scholarships were awarded to students at Olive Harvey College who are studying TDL, and students at CCC’s Daley College who are studying Advanced Manufacturing Maintenance; and PepsiCo Beverages North America will host 2 CCC students for a 10-week paid internship to gain meaningful work experience with the Integrated Supply Chain team.  

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $64 billion in net revenue in 2018, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. “Winning with Purpose” reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of the business.  For more information, visit

About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include:  ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program; Restaurant Ready – partnering with community based organizations to provide “opportunity youth” with skills training and job opportunities; Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers; Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees; and, the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship Project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a  hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry.

Visit to learn how to get involved with the NRAEF and its work to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in restaurants and.

# # #

Consumers Energy, Grand Rapids Public Schools Name Finalists for Seventh Annual Student Art Competition

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 09:57

Ten Grand Rapids Public Schools students have been selected from a record number of entries in an annual art competition focused on energy-related subjects. The artwork will be on display this fall during Project 1 by ArtPrize through collaboration with the district and Consumers Energy.

Representatives from the school’s administration, Consumers Energy and ArtPrize gathered today to celebrate a record 81 high school entries in the SmartArt competition, submitted with a theme of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability. Media include oil pastels, pencil/charcoal drawing, painting and mixed media. 

“The students’ artwork shows their knowledge of and commitment to more renewable and sustainable forms of energy,” Chris Laird, Consumers Energy’s executive director of West Michigan electric distribution, told students and others gathered today at the ArtPrize Hub. “Consumers Energy shares that commitment. Our Clean Energy Plan greatly increases the use of renewables and eliminates coal by to generate electricity by 2040.”

This is the seventh year of the SmartArt competition, which stands for Students Making Art with a Renewable Theme.

The 10 finalists were judged by a panel of art professionals from Kendall College of Art & Design at Ferris State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Grand Valley State University. The top winner and the winner of a “people’s choice” online contest will be announced Sept. 7 during the opening ceremony of Project 1 by ArtPrize, sponsored by Consumers Energy.

Project 1, running through Oct. 27, is the first in a series of multi-site public art exhibitions in Grand Rapids. ArtPrize has shifted to a biennial competition to make way for the Project series of citywide art commissions. The two formats will alternate years moving forward, with Project 1 launching this fall.  

The Top 10 entries will be displayed during Project 1 at the JW Marriot. The images will also be on a large banner hanging outside a Consumers Energy electric substation downtown at Fulton Street and Market Avenue.

The 10 finalists, along with their artwork title, grade, and high school are, in alphabetical order:

  • Jaheem Aubrey, Powering the Earth, 10th, Ottawa Hills;

  • Nate Beurkens, Crude, 9th, Museum;

  • Lux Howell, Present Projection, 11th, C.A Frost;

  • Emilia Jasinski, Save, 10th, City;

  • David Johnson, Two Different Worlds, 9th, City;

  • Cindy Mazariegos Barrios, We Are All In This Together, 10th, C.A. Frost;

  • Jack McKellar, What Side Will You Choose?, 9th, City;

  • Ruby Taylor, Fabric of Our Future, 9th, C.A. Frost;

  • Kamryn Wezeman, Energy Conscious, 9th, City;

  • Natalie White, Code Blue, 9th, City

“In the past seven years, SmartArt has provided hundreds of GRPS students the experience of being part of a nationally recognized art competition,” said Teresa Weatherall Neal, GRPS superintendent. “It is impressive to see Consumers Energy blending art with sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

The contest’s top winner will receive a $1,000 college scholarship courtesy of Consumers Energy.

“We're thrilled that SmartArt will be part of Project 1,” said Jori Bennett, ArtPrize executive director. “These creative, thought-provoking works and the students who create them continue to be shining examples of how ArtPrize and Project 1 can serve as a stage to celebrate the creativity and ingenuity of our city’s youth.”

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

# # #

Media Contacts:  Consumers Energy: Roger Morgenstern, 616-530-4364

Grand Rapids Public Schools, John Helmholt, 616-819-2149

ArtPrize: Jaenell Woods, 616-214-7921

# # #

For more information about Consumers Energy, go to

Check out Consumers Energy on Social Media Facebook | Twitter YouTube

United States Tennis Association to Receive Green Sports Alliance Environmental Leadership Award for Efforts in Environmental Responsibility and Stewardship, Greening Programs

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 07:57

On Wednesday evening, June 19, 2019, the Green Sports Alliance will present its annual Environmental Leadership Award to the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The Environmental Leadership Award is among the most prestigious of sports greening awards and is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated extraordinary leadership towards sustainability, environmental stewardship, and community engagement. 

The Green Sports Alliance will recognize tennis legend Billie Jean King, whose trailblazing efforts helped spur on the greening movement at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (home of the US Open), as well as similar efforts throughout tennis and the sports world. Lauren Tracy, the USTA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and current director of the USTA’s greening program, will also be recognized for her work in successfully building the program.

With the development of the “Our courts may be blue, but we’re thinking green” campaign in 2008, the USTA educated fans about environmental stewardship using the faces of legendary tennis players to educate and encourage fans to make eco-friendly choices. Tracy has continued to grow the greening program and is instrumental in the USTA’s success, from implementation to measurement, and beyond.

“It is a great privilege for the USTA to be named a recipient of the Environmental Leadership Award and join an impressive list of past honorees,” said Gordon Smith, CEO and Executive Director, USTA. “As owners and operators of the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, we felt it both an obligation and opportunity to bring about  measureable changes, and  continue to do so across the board -- including at the USTA National Campus.  A special thank you goes to all who have helped the USTA make green the color of choice.”

In 2007, King, along with Pam Derderian and Nancy Becker, founded and launched GreenSlam, an environmental initiative for the sports industry aimed at inspiring sports venues, promoters and manufacturers to declare their commitment and actions to a greener approach.

“With the renaming of the National Tennis Center in 2006, we worked with the USTA to launch year-round greening efforts for the home of the US Open,” said King. “The significant action taken almost 13 years ago has served as a springboard to positively impact the environment for the US Open, and the National Tennis Center, and has set an example for other tennis and sporting events to emulate."

The USTA’s commitment to environmental sustainability is exemplified in all aspects of their work. Key examples include: 

  • Greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by over 100,000 metric tons through waste diversion, recycled paper use, and renewable energy certificates since the US Open Green Initiatives were established in 2008.

  • Since 2008, over 4,500 tons of waste generated during the US Open has been diverted from landfills, saving over 4,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • In 2018, the USTA added a third LEED certified structure at the home of the US Open with Armstrong Stadium receiving LEED Silver status.  It is the first naturally ventilated stadium with a retractable roof in the world.

  • The USTA has been offsetting the energy used on site during the US Open, the carbon emissions generated by the estimated 3.5 million miles the players travel to compete, as well as the miles traveled by the employees to work at the US Open for several years.  For those offsets in 2018, the US Open focused on climate-intelligent humanitarian initiatives by investing in improved cookstoves in Malawi.

  • Since the start of the US Open Green program in 2008, almost 700 tons of food waste has been converted to nutrient rich compost for gardens and farms and over 100 tons of food has been donated to local communities.

  • The USTA has worked with its maintenance companies to develop a green cleaning policy to ensure that at least 50% of all cleaning materials used on site at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center and the National Campus are Green Seal Certified or equivalent.

  • 2018 US Open waste diversion rate of 97% achieved. 

“The Green Sports Alliance is thrilled to present the USTA, Billie Jean King, and Lauren Tracy with this honor. They are exemplary leaders in the sports greening movement and serve as an inspiration to the entire sports industry. We look forward to honoring them at the 2019 Green Sports Celebration at our ninth annual Green Sports Alliance Summit in Philadelphia,” said Roger McClendon, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance. 

Past honorees include:

  • ESPN Corporate Citizenship (2018)

  • Jack Groh, director of NFL’s Environmental Program (2017)

  • Andrew Ference, captain and defenseman, Edmonton Oilers (2016)

  • Doug Behar, New York Yankees vice president of stadium operations (2015)

  • Gary Bettman, commissioner, National Hockey League (2014)

  • Christina Weiss Lurie, owner, Philadelphia Eagles (2013)

  • Allan H. Bud Selig, commissioner emeritus, Major League Baseball (2012)

The award presentation, coupled with the Innovators of the Year awards, are the highlight of the Alliance’s Green Sports Celebration, part of its annual Green Sports Alliance Summit. The awards, now in their eighth year, recognize the best in sports and sustainability. The event is hosted the evening of June 19, 2019, at Lincoln Financial Field and will be coupled with “A Taste of Philadelphia” showcasing innovative concepts in sustainable food and beverage.


Registration is Open for the Summit

The Green Sports Alliance Summit is the most influential convening of key stakeholders from around the sporting world for the purpose of sharing best practices, inspiring positive change, and improving the communities where we live and play. Register and learn more at

About the Green Sports Alliance
The Green Sports Alliance leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities where people live and play. The Alliance inspires professional sports leagues, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices. Alliance members now number nearly 600 organizations and fans representing 15 leagues in 14 countries. Visit for more information.

About USTA

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world. For more information about the USTA, go to or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

UPS Makes Largest Purchase of Renewable Natural Gas Ever in the U.S.

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:57

 UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced an agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) to purchase 170 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas (RNG) through 2026. This is the largest commitment for use of RNG to date by any company in the United States, with a range of 22.5 - 25 million gallon equivalents per year. RNG is a key part of UPS’s strategy to increase alternative fuel consumption to be 40% of total ground fuel purchases by 2025, supporting the logistics leader’s efforts to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of its ground fleet 12% by 2025.

“The world has a trash problem. And the world has an emissions problem. Renewable natural gas, produced naturally from bio sources such as landfills and dairy farms, not only turns trash to gas, but it turns it into clean gas,” said Mike Casteel, UPS director of fleet procurement. “Since RNG is supported by existing national infrastructure used to transport natural gas, it’s a winning solution that will help UPS to reach our ambitious sustainability goals. At the same time, we hope our unprecedented seven-year commitment serves as a catalyst for wider adoption of RNG by other companies.”

UPS has used more than 28 million gallons of RNG in its ground fleet since 2014. This means the company will now be using nearly as much RNG in one year as it has used over the past five years combined. By switching from diesel fuel to RNG, UPS vehicles fueling at 18 company-owned and operated natural gas stations across 12 states will realize a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as much as 1,074,000 metric tons of GHG over the life of the agreement. This is equivalent to planting 17,000,000 trees, removing 228,000 cars off the road or recycling 374,000 tons of waste that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.

UPS fueling stations in Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta, Ga.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Commerce City, Colo.; El Paso, Texas; Fort Worth, Texas; Kansas City, Kan.; New Orleans, La.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Omaha, Neb.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Port Allen, La.; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Antonio, Texas; Shreveport, La.; Sparks, Nev.; Tifton, Ga.; and, Trinidad, Colo., will use the RNG from Clean Energy to operate UPS delivery vehicles. 

Clean Energy, co-founded by T. Boone Pickens and Clean Energy President and CEO Andrew J. Littlefair, is the exclusive provider of Redeem™ RNG, the first RNG made available in commercial quantities. According to Clean Energy, Redeem™ RNG yields at least a 70% reduction1 in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel or gasoline. Also known as biomethane, RNG can be derived from many abundant and renewable sources, including decomposing organic waste in landfills, wastewater treatment and agriculture. It is then distributed through the natural gas pipeline system, making it available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).

“Together, UPS and Clean Energy are moving the industry forward and toward a nation of energy independence by pushing for RNG at scale,” said Tyler Henn, vice president and general manager of Clean Energy Renewables, a division of Clean Energy. “We’re excited to deliver Redeem to a partner with a substantial alternative fleet and an ongoing commitment to RNG. We’re pleased to be able to fulfill the growing demand for RNG as more fleets seek a clean, economical alternative.”

UPS drives more than 6,100 CNG and LNG vehicles which can be powered by RNG in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. More than 22% of the conventional diesel and gasoline fuel previously used by UPS’s ground fleet is now being replaced by alternative fuels including renewable natural gas and renewable diesel. This is significant because of RNG’s staggering reduction in lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional diesel.

Since 2009, UPS has invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles and fueling stations globally. UPS deploys the more than 10,000 vehicles in its Rolling Lab to utilize technologies that work best depending on the needs of the delivery route. From old-fashioned pedal power and electric-assisted bicycles in dense urban areas like Seattle, London and Hamburg to electric and hybrid electric vehicles in the U.S., and natural gas, renewable natural gas and propane globally, UPS puts sustainability innovation into action, all over the world.

For more information on UPS’s sustainability initiatives, please visit

1 Based on weighted average carbon index of Clean Energy’s fuel supply as approved by California Air Resources Board (CARB)

About UPS

UPS (NYSE: UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. UPS is committed to operating more sustainably – for customers, the environment and the communities we serve around the world. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS was awarded America’s Best Customer Servicecompany for Shipping and Delivery services by Newsweek magazine; Fortune magazine’s Most Valuable Brand in Transportation; and top rankings on the JUST 100 list for social responsibility, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient, among other prestigious rankings and awards. The company can be found on the web at or and its corporate blog can be found at The company’s sustainability eNewsletter, UPS Horizons, can be found at Learn more about our sustainability efforts at To get UPS news direct, follow @UPS_News on Twitter.

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Global Compact Network Canada Launches the First Edition of SDGs Emerging Practice Guide

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 06:57

The Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact, Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC), in partnership with Global Affairs Canada, has collected 40 entries from companies and nonprofits in Canada for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Emerging Practice Guide.

The guide is published today and includes examples of initiatives from the following companies and organizations intended to advance action towards each of the 17 SDGs. Download the guide.

“The private sector is the fuel that accelerates sustainable development at the local level. However, many businesses are unsure of where to start and are stalled by challenging obstacles such as aligning the SDGs with their respective business agendas. Therefore, we hope that through the sharing of emerging practices, this guide can inspire and provide guidance to all Canadian companies that are still learning about the SDGs and working on integrating them into the core of their business DNA.”  Ayman Chowdhury, Head of Secretariat, Global Compact Network Canada. 

Through the UN Global Compact’s extensive global network, we also hope that this guide can position the Canadian private sector as a leader in the international dialogue that addresses the issues outlined across the 17 SDGs. 

Today, the GCNC is launching the guide at an in-person event co-hosted by Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. The event will feature some emerging practices from the guide in short ted-talk style presentations. For those who could not join the in-person event, the GCNC will also be hosting an online webinar on May 23rd from 12 PM-1PM EDT. Register for the webinar.

This guide is part of a growing number of tools that the GCNC provides to support the Canadian private sector in embracing sustainable and responsible business practices. Other tools include the Anti-corruption Certificate Program, Guide for General Counsel, OECD Guidelines Handbook for Canadian Companies, and SDG Surveys.

About the Global Compact Network Canada

 The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is spearheading the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Erin Craig, VP, Energy and Climate Practice at 3Degrees, Named in Fast Company’s Annual List of the 100 Most Creative People in Business

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 04:57


Fast Company today announced its 10th annual list of the Most Creative People in Business, honoring an influential and diverse group of 100 leaders from a vast range of global industries including tech, design, entertainment, health care, media, government, nonprofit, finance, food, and more.

The Most Creative People in Business list recognizes individuals whose work might not necessarily be quantifiable by numbers, but who are nonetheless having a measurable impact on the world. These scientists, executives, programmers, comedians, founders, designers, musicians, writers, and activists have accomplished something new this year within their field that’s driving their industries forward and solving global and societal problems in novel ways.

This year’s group represents Fast Company’s hallmark of diversity: 52 are women, 48 are men, with more than 25 hailing from outside the United States, and nearly one-third are people of color.

“For more than 30 years, I have been working with organizations across the globe to improve their environmental performance,” said Erin Craig, VP, Energy and Climate Practice at 3Degrees. “As climate change presents an increasingly urgent challenge, we need lots of creative thinking, charting a way forward even when an easy path doesn’t present itself. In the face of this imperative, I am deeply motivated to find solutions that work. I am honored to be recognized by Fast Company for doing work that I am passionate about and which is making – I believe and I hope – a significant positive impact in the world.”

Erin works with some of the world’s leading corporations to develop and implement climate and renewable energy strategies. She has personally led dozens of renewable energy supply engagements and assisted clients with contracting for over 1 GW of renewable energy. In 2018, Erin supported Apple, Akamai Technologies (Akamai), Etsy, and Swiss Re as they leveraged their collective buying power in the largest aggregated corporate renewable energy transaction to date. 

Fast Company editors and writers spend a year researching candidates for the list, scouting every sector of business: technology, fashion, cybersecurity, biotech, entertainment, beauty, social good, food, data, consumer goods, and more. The people selected have all accomplished something truly innovative within the past 12 months or so that is having a meaningful effect within their industries. They’re also discoveries -- none has ever been profiled in Fast Company before. Taken together, they represent where business is heading right now.

“This year’s edition acknowledges society’s increasingly fraught relationship with technology. It is light on people inventing new apps to sell us more stuff—and mine our personal information—and heavier on leaders trying to protect consumers and companies from unscrupulous actors online,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. 

To see the complete list go to:

Introduced in 2009, the Most Creative People list was quickly established as one of Fast Company's most esteemed franchises. Each year, the magazine's editors present an all-new list of 100 people chosen according to a proprietary methodology.

Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business issue (Summer 2019) is available online now at and on newsstands beginning June 4. Join the Most Creative People conversation using #FCMostCreative.



Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies and thinkers on the future of business. Since 2011, Fast Company has received some of the most prestigious editorial and design accolades, including the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) National Magazine Award for “Magazine of the Year,” Adweek’s Hot List for “Hottest Business Publication,” and six gold medals and 10 silver medals from the Society of Publication Designers. The editor-in-chief is Stephanie Mehta and the publisher is Amanda Smith. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication, Inc., and can be found online at


3Degrees exists for one simple reason – to make it possible for businesses and their customers to take urgent action on climate change. As a certified B Corporation, we provide renewable energy and emission reduction solutions to global Fortune 500 companies, utilities, and other organizations that want to join the fight against climate change. The 3Degrees team has deep expertise in sustainability consulting, environmental markets, renewable energy and carbon project development, and utility renewable energy programs. Together with our customers, 3Degrees helps develop and implement creative solutions that ensure environmental integrity and make good business sense.  The company is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Richmond, Virginia. Learn more at  

The Dawn of Full Impact Reporting: ABN AMRO, Siemens, Metro, CDP Share Strategies

Wed, 05/22/2019 - 02:57

Ethical Corporation is excited to announce the launch of its new and improved Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit (16-17 October 2019). Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure – containing the full agenda, speaker line-up and exclusive discounts.

The importance of sustainability reporting and ESG disclosures is increasing across the globe. Investors, NGOs and other key stakeholders are requesting greater transparency and disclosure on both current and future impacts.

The world’s leading Sustainability Reporting and Communications Summit – moving to its new home in Amsterdam, Netherlands – will focus on how companies can fully assess and report their impacts across their whole operations – both now and in the future. Over 300 CEOs, business leaders, investors, Government representatives and NGOs will share the latest reporting and communications strategies that are shaping the future of responsible business.

Key themes include:

  • Shape future strategies through full-impact assessments:Develop systems and strategies that provide holistic assessments on current and future impacts

  • Investor preference: Report accurate data, demonstrate long-term value and deliver ESG disclosures fit for Investors

  • Robust climate-related disclosure: Engage key stakeholders on future climate risks and opportunities through TCFD-driven reporting

  • Impact-driven communications: Demonstrate leadership and build trust through transparent, impact-driven communications

  • Navigate the reporting maze: Identify which guidelines, indices and frameworks are most important to your key stakeholders

Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure

2019 confirmed speakers include:

  • Richard Flint, CEO, Yorkshire Water

  • Frances Way, Chief Strategy Officer, CDP

  • Richard Batten, Global Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, JLL

  • Thomas Hügli, Chief Sustainability Officer, AXA Switzerland

  • Tony Henshaw, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Group

  • Tjeerd Krumpelman, Head of Reporting & Stakeholder Engagement, ABN AMRO

  • Hilde Blomme, Deputy CEO, Accountancy Europe

  • Janice Lao, Director Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels

  • Vanessa Wright, Group VP Sustainability and Responsibility, Pernod Ricard

  • Andrew Wallis, Deputy CEO, Aroundtown

  • Anita McBain, Head of Responsible Investment, M&G

  • Nicoletta Heilsberger, Senior Manager Sustainability Positioning, Business and Human Rights, Siemens

  • Daria Goncharova, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of Non-Financial Reporting, Polymetal International

  • Ulrika Hasselgren, Global Head of Sustainability & Impact Investment, Danske Bank

Click here to be the first to access the newly released event brochure – containing the full agenda, speaker line-up and exclusive discounts.

For more information about the event contact:

Liam Dowd
Managing Director
Ethical Corporation

Read the Announcement

Save the Redwoods League Grants Nearly $150,000 to Fund Research Impacting Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia Forests

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 21:56

An essential element in the protection of redwood forests lies in the availability of high-quality scientific research. Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s first science-based conservation organizations, announced it has awarded nearly $150,000 in grants for its 2018 cycle. From tracking the biogeography of bat populations to reestablishing a 50-year-old plot-monitoring network among ancient giant sequoia groves, the League has selected six research projects that will contribute to our ever-growing body of knowledge of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. 

Since 1997, the League has awarded more than $4 million to fund studies that have unearthed valuable new information about the relationships between living things in the redwood forest, redwoods’ growth, forest restoration and wildlife habitat. This knowledge then guides the League’s conservation efforts and the work of land managers throughout these forest regions.

“This annual investment by Save the Redwoods League reflects the organization’s longstanding commitment to funding the best, most promising research,” said Kristen Shive, Senior Scientist for the League. “Each project we fund has the potential to help build a more complete picture of what these forests need to thrive. Studies like these contribute to the growing body of redwood research that can guide science-based forest conservation and management.”

 Save the Redwoods League’s 2018 research grant recipients include:


  • Andrew Latimer and Carrie Levine from the University of California Davis: awarded $24,500 to investigate the interacting effects of wildfire, drought and insect outbreak in giant sequoia groves. They will compare forest regeneration, growth and mortality of conifer species inside the groves with the forest surrounding the groves. This information will help forest scientists and managers evaluate the resilience of sequoia groves to the increasing stressors brought by climate change, and it will help prioritize efforts to support restoration in places with the most critical needs.

  • Tony Caprio of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks: awarded $22,745 to reestablish a 50-year-old plot-monitoring network in 11 giant sequoia groves, some of which have experienced wildland or prescribed fire. Data from 100 field plots installed between 1967 and 1969 were recently discovered in park archives. Phase 1 of this project focuses on relocating all 100 plots. Re-measuring these giant sequoia plots will yield valuable information about how the groves have changed through time and the effects of both fire and fire exclusion. Understanding these changes will help inform managers tasked with caring for giant sequoia during a time of such dramatic climatic change.

  • Benjamin Carter and Tracy Misiewicz from San José State University: awarded $20,000 to study the population genetics, ecology and reproductive biology of a rare plant that only grows in old-growth redwood forests, Dudley’s Lousewort (Pedicularis dudleyi). This research will be used by natural resource managers at California State Parks to better manage this rare species and ensure its survival.


  • M. Zachariah Peery, Anna Pigeon and Kristin Brunk from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology: awarded $25,000 to extend their League-funded study examining changes in Steller’s jay populations and the birds’ effects on marbled murrelet conservation. The study can help develop ways to manage the jays, which feed on eggs and nestlings of the endangered marbled murrelet. With the additional year of funding, the researchers will better understand how the Steller’s jay population patterns vary over time. 

  • Chelsea Andreozzi and Adina Merenlender from the University of California, Berkeley: awarded $24,921 to assess differences in bat populations among both old-growth and second-growth stands. They will also assess high and low fog sites to better understand the interaction of climate change (e.g., potential future changes in fog patterns) and forest management. Their study will use novel approaches to understand bat distributions, including audio equipment to record bat calls within redwood canopies. This study can improve understanding of the potential for coast redwood forests to act as a refuge for bat species as the climate changes and how that might be affected by forest management.

  • Joshua Reece from California State University, Fresno and Erik Meyer from Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks: awarded $25,000 to better understand the biogeography of bat populations across Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Their study will document the different species of bats that make their homes in giant sequoia groves, as well as where and when they are observed. This will not only improve understanding of species that are important parts of the food chain, but it will also provide critical baseline monitoring data to document shifts in species distributions as the climate continues to warm. 

The League makes research findings available to the public. Grant recipients provide a final report that the League makes available on its website,

Applications: Save the Redwoods League invites researchers to apply for grants, which are offered annually. Learn more about the research grants program and other League-supported studies.

About Save the Redwoods League

Save the Redwoods League, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations, is connecting generations of visitors with their peace and beauty. With more than 24,000 supporters, the League has protected more than 200,000 acres of irreplaceable forest and helped create 66 redwood parks and reserves. For more information, visit

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Smithfield Foods Showcases Continued Leadership and Transparency in New Sustainability Report, Launches Unique Tool for Today’s Conscious Consumer

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 11:55

 Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of its 2018 Sustainability Report, highlighting key milestones and ongoing efforts to feed the world’s growing population in a responsible way. Smithfield’s robust sustainability program drives all aspects of its business, creating value in the following areas: animal care, environment, food safety and quality, helping communities, and people.

“Our people work hard every day to maintain our position as a leader in sustainability, ensuring that we are fulfilling our mission to produce good food the right way. It is extremely gratifying to lead a team that is so passionate about meeting this responsibility,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “Sustainability is part of our culture. We have seen first-hand how investing in sustainability by setting bold goals and hard targets—and achieving them—is a win-win for our company and our stakeholders, including our animals, employees, neighbors, and planet.”

As part of Smithfield’s ongoing commitment to transparency, the company also has launched an interactive tool that brings to life each stage of its supply chain—from farm to facility to fork—to show where its food comes from and how it gets to consumers’ tables. The virtual tour, which includes videos and case studies on sustainability initiatives that have driven Smithfield to the forefront of its industry, is available at

“We take a comprehensive approach to sustainability throughout our entire supply chain,” said Stewart Leeth, vice president of regulatory affairs and chief sustainability officer for Smithfield. “We are always innovating and looking for new opportunities to push beyond the status quo. Our groundbreaking efforts are making a real difference in the lives of our animals, employees, suppliers, customers, and consumers, and we will continue to take bold steps to deliver on our promise to produce good food in a responsible way.”

Smithfield’s 2018 Sustainability Report highlights performance metrics, accomplishments, case studies, and progress toward a number of sustainability goals and targets, including:

Animal Care:


Food Safety and Quality:

Helping Communities:


To read the company’s 2018 Sustainability Report, visit

About Smithfield Foods

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


In Celebration of National Military Appreciation Month, Walmart Announces the Hiring of Nearly 6,000 Military Spouses Through the Military Spouse Career Connection and a $1 Million Grant to Hire Heroes USA From Walmart Foundation

Tue, 05/21/2019 - 08:55

Walmart today announced the hiring of nearly 6,000 military spouses since launching the Military Spouse Career Connection (MSCC) on Veterans Day 2018. In its sixth month, the MSCC gives hiring preference to military spouses who seek employment with Walmart or Sam’s Club.

This announcement comes at a time when more than 75 percent of our nation’s 500,000 military spouses want or need work, according to theDepartment of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership. The MSCC serves as a natural step for Walmart, as the company’s Military Family Promise, now in its ninth year, also guarantees a job at a nearby store or club for all military personnel and military spouses employed by the company who move to a different part of the country as part of their military service.

“Military spouses are a diverse, adaptable, educated and team-oriented group of men and women,” said Retired Brig. Gen. Gary Profit, senior director of military programs for Walmart. “They have many of the same skills that veterans have, which makes them highly desirable job candidates. It’s our honor to offer them opportunities here at Walmart and beyond.”

“As a military wife, I feel like I served alongside my husband in a lot of ways,” said Katie Tidmore, Walmart associate and first hire through the Military Spouse Career Connection. “It was always so hard to find steady or consistent work. I’m grateful to Walmart for such a wonderful program.”

Beyond today’s announcement of the first hiring numbers for the MSCC, the Walmart Foundation awarded a $1 million grant to Hire Heroes USA to support the expansion of their employment programs and improve data collection and reporting. Notably, a portion of the funding will support a program manager for Hire Heroes’ Serving Spouses, a career coaching program tailored specifically for military spouses who face unique barriers to employment such as frequent moves, childcare challenges while a spouse is deployed, and having to re-obtain certifications that don’t transfer from state to state.

"We are grateful for the Walmart Foundation's continued, generous support of Hire Heroes USA. This investment will help us continue our world-class program delivery for veterans and military spouses who face unique challenges in the civilian job search. Further, the grant will help us conduct critical data collection and analysis that will inform the entire veteran service community," said Christopher Plamp, chief executive officer of Hire Heroes USA. "Through our partnership with Walmart, we will continue to strengthen military families and improve the lives of the men and women who have served our country."

May also marks the sixth anniversary of Walmart’s Veterans Welcome Home Commitment (VWHC) which guarantees a job offer to any eligible, honorably discharged U.S. veterans who separated from active duty since the inception of the VWHC on Memorial Day 2013. To date, 226,637 have been hired and 35,383 have been promoted to roles with higher pay and greater responsibility at Walmart and Sam’s Club. The commitment recognizes the important skills and leadership abilities veterans bring to the civilian 2 workforce, and helps veterans ease the often-difficult transition from active duty to civilian life. Walmart is now more than 90 percent of the way to reaching its goal of hiring 250,000 veterans by 2020.

For more information about Walmart’s commitment to veterans, service members and military families, please visit: and follow Walmart on Twitter @WalmartInc and @WalmartOrg

*Editor’s Note: These projections and reported hires/promotions include veterans hired under our original and expanded Commitment as well as other veterans hired by Walmart in this time frame. While we think it is particularly important to support soldiers as they make the transition to civilian life, Walmart believes all veterans deserve our respect and support, no matter when they left active duty.


Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting, on Facebook at and on Twitter at

About Philanthropy at Walmart represents the philanthropic efforts of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. By leaning in where our business has unique strengths, we work to tackle key social issues and collaborate with others to spark long-lasting systemic change. Walmart has stores in 27 countries, employing more than 2 million associates and doing business with thousands of suppliers who, in turn, employ millions of people. is helping people live better by supporting programs that work to accelerate upward job mobility for frontline workers, address hunger and make healthier, more sustainably-grown food a reality, and build strong communities where Walmart operates. To learn more, visit or find us on Twitter @walmartorg.

About Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA is a veteran service organization dedicated to empowering US military members, veterans, and their spouses as they seek civilian employment. Services include one-on-one coaching, professionally revised resumes, mentoring, workshops, a job board, career fairs and more. Hire Heroes USA is funded exclusively through public donations and private grants, allowing services to be provided at no cost to clients. Hire Heroes USA has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and also holds the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. For more information about our mission, services and how to get involved, please visit and follow us on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Major League Baseball and Discovery Education Invite Students and Educators Nationwide to Participate in the Global Sustainability Challenge

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 07:54

 Major League Baseball® (MLB) and Discovery Education, the leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, invite all students and educators nationwide to participate in the Global Sustainability Challenge. During this unique no-cost event, participants will explore their impact on the environment and learn about the importance of environmental stewardship through a set of flexible digital resources that can either be integrated by educators into classroom instruction or completed independently by students over the summer as part of an enrichment activity.

Through a weekly challenge, participating students will explore different conservation efforts currently ongoing in MLB ballparks across the United States and Canada. Each of the six challenges will be accompanied by a video from an MLB executive that will immerse students in a variety of topics including recycling, local food sourcing, water conservation, and energy efficiency. By learning how various baseball teams address these important sustainability issues, students will be challenged to think about how these topics relate to their own community.

After viewing these videos, students will use an extensive collection of curated resources aligned to each global sustainability challenge area to further investigate each topic. These resources, which include activity sheets, STEM career videos, and more, will help students establish career connections and share their findings with classmates, family, and friends throughout the summer. Additional details and the first week’s Challenge can be found here.

“Major League Baseball is excited to share with students and teachers nationwide the efforts our Clubs are making to be good stewards of the environment in their ballparks,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing for Major League Baseball Barbara McHugh. “By partnering with Discovery Education to present the Global Sustainability Challenge, we are hoping students are inspired by the great work of our Clubs and are encouraged to think about how they can help protect our shared environment.”

The Global Sustainability Challenge is part of an ongoing multi-year partnership between Discovery Education and MLB. Through this collaboration, educators using Discovery Education’s Science TechbooksStreaming Plus, and STEM Connect are empowered to use engaging, baseball-themed digital resources to help students connect America’s Pastime to key science and STEM concepts through real-world data and exciting gameday experiences that drive deeper learning.

“Discovery Education is thrilled to partner with Major League Baseball to launch the Global Sustainability Challenge,” said Discovery Education President of K-12 Education Scott Kinney. “Providing students engaging ways to explore interesting science and STEM topics like sustainability and environmental stewardship during the summer months is a tremendous double-play!”

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital curricular resources and professional learning services, visit and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.


About Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Major League Baseball is the best-attended sport in North America, and since 2004, MLB has enjoyed its best-attended seasons in the history of the game. Led by Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., MLB currently features record levels of labor peace, competitive balance and industry revenues, as well as the most comprehensive drug-testing program in American professional sports. MLB remains committed to making an impact in the communities of the U.S., Canada and throughout the world, perpetuating the sport’s larger role in society and permeating every facet of baseball’s business, marketing and community relations endeavors. With the continued success of MLB Network and MLB digital platforms, MLB continues to find innovative ways for its fans to enjoy America’s National Pastime and a truly global game. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit

About Discovery Education:

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the U.K. and reach over 5 million educators and 51 million students in more than 90 countries. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at

Save the Children Launches New Centennial Initiatives in Collaboration with Global Corporate Partners

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 05:54

 Save the Children today announced new details around its 100th anniversary, inclusive of new private sector partnerships in cause marketing, consumer promotions and co-created products to increase awareness, drive engagement and raise funds for the organization’s work to support the most marginalized and deprived children in the United States and around the world. 

During its Centennial year, Save the Children is cultivating unique collaborations and developing strategic partnerships with corporations that share its vision of investing in childhood to address the complex global development challenges facing children, their families and their communities – consistent with its partners’ business and brand goals. By driving innovation in product, process and services that help ensure children are growing up healthy, educated and safe, Save the Children delivers results at scale. Since its founding in 1919, Save the Children has changed the lives of more than 1 billion children and currently works in 120 countries.

“Global corporate partnerships represent many of Save the Children’s most powerful collaborations to create positive change for children and have been instrumental in helping us reach this extraordinary milestone,” said Dana Langham, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Save the Children. “Thanks to the commitment, leadership and vision of our corporate partners, we are able to renew our commitment to addressing some of the most pressing issues facing many of today’s most vulnerable children far into our future.”

In celebration of 100 years of changing children’s lives, Save the Children is launching several new social impact initiatives and marketing campaigns in partnership with committed organizations to bring about meaningful change for children: 

  • CHANGEMAKERS FOR CHILDREN is a new initiative, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, honoring individuals who have raised their voice and used their influence to drive change for the world’s most marginalized children. Among philanthropists, policymakers, educators, advocates and everyday heroes who have positively changed children’s lives for the better, Save the Children is recognizing extraordinary corporate leaders as changemakers for children from organizations and brands including GSK,, IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelēz International, Nike Foundation, P&G, PayPal, Penguin Random House, Principal Financial Group, PVH Corp., Scholastic Inc., TOMS and Ulta Beauty. 

  • Multiple MOTHER’S DAY activations benefitting Save the Children’s U.S. early education programs including Bvlgari’s release of a new pendant as part of its signature Save the Children jewelry line, PVH’s annual at-register campaign across PVH’s TOMMY HILFIGER, CALVIN KLEIN, and Van Heusen/IZOD outlet stores and Ulta Beauty’s in-store and online promotion. 

  • A new READ A STORY, CHANGE THEIR STORY education campaign features an 100 DAYS OF READING initiative. From June 1 to September 8, International Literacy Day, families are encouraged to log their summer reading minutes at By participating, children and families raise awareness and funds for Save the Children’s early education programs across rural America. The campaign’s inaugural partners include T.J. Maxx along with American Girl, Brightly, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mattel and Penguin Random House.

  • The launch of Save the Children’s BRIDGE CHALLENGE. The new walk series will launch with an inaugural event Saturday, October 12, following International Day of the Girl, at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. The 5K walk and event expo will raise funds to bridge the gap for the world’s girls by addressing three key challenges: education, protection and health. The event is sponsored by MPOWERD, Polar Beverages and Sunrays Citrus and includes opportunities for corporate employee engagement and volunteerism. 

  • Two CENTENNIAL EVENTS will be held this Fall: the Centennial Gala: Changing the World for Children in New York City on September 12 presented by Johnson & Johnson – with sponsorship support from Blackrock, PVH and T.J. Maxx as well as the Centennial Celebration: Once in a Lifetime in Los Angeles on October 2.

  • An exclusive Save the Children Centennial line of shoes will be released October 1 as part of TOMS 2019 Holiday Collection.  The designs are created from children’s artwork from Save the Children programs and will be sold in TOMS retail stores and online. Additionally, Save the Children will launch a new MAKE CHANGE HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN where consumers will be asked to give the gift of a lifetime to children in need through a social unlocking campaign.

  • And all year long, for every quote shared on social media through ‘Wisdom by Kids’, a new initiative that magically turns children’s words into art, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (up to $1 million!) to Save the Children.

“Changemakers brings together the many corporate partners who advocate for the most vulnerable children,” says Sarah Colamarino, Vice President, Corporate Equity, Johnson & Johnson. “Johnson & Johnson is proud to lead this important work. When it comes to advocating for most vulnerable children, private sector leadership is a key driver in reaching success.”

To learn more about Save the Children’s Centennial year, please visit 

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on FacebookInstagramTwitter and YouTube.

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