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DKMS Extends International Footprint With South African Partnership

Latest news from CSR Wire - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 08:31

DKMS is pleased to announce a collaboration with The Sunflower Fund in South Africa to provide patients worldwide with a second chance at life.

The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS will begin operations in South Africa today, May 28,

2020DKMS decided to announce the partnership on May 28th in honor of World Blood Cancer Day, a global awareness day to stand in solidarity with blood cancer patients around the world.   

The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS aims to utilize local knowledge and a wealth of expertise to recruit stem cell donors and building an ethnically diverse registry of committed donors from across South Africa, Namibia, Ghana and Nigeria. The Sunflower Fund also maintains a patient support fund to assist patients who are unable to afford costs associated with getting a transplant. 

Patients and donors of South African origin have unique HLA characteristics that are severely under-represented in the global database. Consequently, far too few patients find a matching donor and make it to transplant. “Every five minutes someone in South Africa is diagnosed with blood cancer or other life-threatening blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia. For many of these patients their only hope for a cure is a stem cell transplant from a matching donor,” says Dr. David Brittain, Clinical Hematologist, Albert Alberts Stem Cell Transplant Centre – Pretoria. 

Only one third of patients find a matching donor within their family-- majority must rely on an unrelated donor, whose relevant tissue characteristics, also known as HLA-characteristics,  match those of the patient as closely as possible. Unfortunately, less than 1% of the total population of South Africa are registered volunteer blood stem cell donors, which is significantly lower than many other countries, including the US. 

“Facing the realities of genetic diversification and the subsequent role it will play in cancer treatments, global activities ensure the greatest chance of success for patients whose lives depend on finding a matching donor. Together we want to make a big impact in the lives of patients with blood disorders in South Africa and across the globe,” says Dr. Elke Neujahr, Global CEO DKMS.

“We are very excited about the partnership with DKMS. Growing the diversity of the donor pool is critically important and we see a fantastic opportunity to be able to do this together not only in South Africa but also in other African countries. We want to register as many potential donors to provide as many patients as possible with a second chance at life. This is our common mission,” says Alana James, CEO of the Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS.

The Sunflower Fund and DKMS were both established on the grounds of personal stories – of families who committed to using their experience to champion the cause of stem cell donation to help other families.

The Sunflower Fund, in 1999, was created in honor of the heroic struggle against leukemia of two brave young men, Darren Serebro and Chris Corlett. While he was in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Chris painted a picture, which he titled ‘Sunflowers of Hope’. This painting was the main inspiration for the name of The Sunflower Fund, by Chris’s mom, Tina Botha, the founder of the organization.

The DKMS story began when Mechtild Harf was told that the only treatment for her leukaemia was a bone marrow transplant and that she had no matching family members. At the time, there were only 3,000 potential stem cell donors on the German registry to provide a transplant. Her husband, Peter Harf, founded DKMS in 1991 and within one year, the registry counted 68,000 potential donors. Unfortunately, Mechtild did not survive, but before she passed away, she made Peter promise her that he would not stop fighting until every patient had a matching donor.

In different corners of the world, the fate of these families started a movement, a community of people committed to one cause: fighting blood cancer.

“Diseases do not respect borders, nor can our work be restricted by borders,” adds James.

With 10 million available donors and nearly 85,000 transplants facilitated, DKMS is the largest network of donor centers in the world. The impact of the organization is remarkable, with 40% of all unrelated blood stem cell transplants worldwide made possible by DKMS donors. This collaboration enables DKMS to contribute their experience in raising awareness of blood cancer and blood stem cell transplantation, of running an international registry and providing high quality blood stem cell products bringing hope to people all over the world. 

Contact Info: press@dkms.org 

About DKMS

DKMS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the fight against blood cancer. Founded in 1991 in Germany by

Dr. Peter Harf, DKMS has expanded internationally by establishing entities in the US, Poland, the UK, Chile, together with BMST in India and in South Africa together with The Sunflower Fund partnered by DKMS. Together, they have registered more than 10 million potential blood stem cell donors and have given more than 84,000 patients across the globe a second chance at life by facilitating blood stem cell transplants.

About The Sunflower Fund

The Sunflower Fund is a donor recruitment center and stem cell registry for Africa and is part of a global network, dedicated to creating awareness about blood diseases and stem cell donation, recruiting blood stem cell donors and maintaining a registry of committed donors. 

The Sunflower Fund pays for the cost of the tissue-type testing. This is fundamental to saving the lives of South Africans and patients globally who need a stem cell transplant. The chance of finding a matching donor is 1 in 100,000 – and as ethnic origin plays a significant role in the search for a donor, South Africa’s rainbow nation is at a distinct disadvantage, requiring a large pool of prospective donors.

Biogen and MIT Launch New Virtual Learning Lab for High School Students Historically Underrepresented in Science

Latest news from CSR Wire - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 07:31

 Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) is bringing its well-recognized Community Lab science learning program together with the Lemelson-MIT Program (LMIT) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to launch the new online Biogen-MIT Biotech in Action: Virtual Summer Lab. This virtual lab will offer 400 Massachusetts and North Carolina high school students a first-hand experience in biotechnology and provide the opportunity to learn directly from, and be mentored by, leading scientists at Biogen and MIT. Most of the students are from low-income households and groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“Today, more than ever, we need to encourage, support and inspire young people to better understand and appreciate the link between biotechnology and health outcomes, hopefully igniting curiosity and a spark to learn more,” said Alfred Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Biogen. “While we have always believed that science can be done anywhere, the current public health crisis has pushed us all to consider new ways of learning and to think differently about how we collaborate with others. Lemelson-MIT is allowing us to enrich our Community Lab program so we can continue to foster an appreciation for science, and reinforce the point that science is accessible, even if you’re not physically in a lab.”

“Lemelson-MIT research has validated our beliefs about the importance of teaching STEM through hands-on real-world projects and opportunities to engage with STEM professionals and other adults,” said Michael Cima, Lemelson-MIT Program’s Faculty Director and Associate Dean of Innovation for MIT School of Engineering. “We also know that hands-on doesn’t have to mean in-person, and mentoring can happen effectively using web-based collaboration tools. We are excited to join forces with Biogen and their unique expertise combined with ours to help another generation of students discover their passion for invention in biotechnology and neuroscience.”

Admission to the summer program is free for high school students grades 9 to 12, with preference given to underrepresented students in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Students are also recruited from several Biogen Foundation grant recipient programs, including the STAR Initiative, a program the Biogen Foundation launched in 2018 to help catalyze the development of local STEM ecosystems in Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts.

In addition to the Biogen-MIT Biotech in Action: Virtual Summer Lab, Biogen has worked with many leading institutions to bring scientific content and engaging experiences to students through an online hub called the Virtual Community Lab. Here students, parents and teachers can access and experience free online resources, including tutorial videos of science experiments that can be done at home, plus other educational materials. Regardless of location, anyone can explore STEM topics and participate in these activities.

For 18 years, Biogen’s Community Lab program has been focused on exciting more young people about science and inspiring the next generation of STEM leaders. Students gain a deeper interest in health sciences, biotechnology, and expand their knowledge and laboratory skills in STEM. The Community Lab has physical locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, and has served more than 55,000 students to date.

For 25 years, the Lemelson-MIT Program within MIT has been committed to inspiring the next generation of creative and inventive problem solvers. The program continues to recognize emerging collegiate inventors whose inventions could impact important sectors of the global economy with cash prizes.

For more information on the Biogen-MIT Biotech in Action: Virtual Summer Lab, visit our website biogen.com/communitylab.

About Biogen
At Biogen, our mission is clear: we are pioneers in neuroscience. Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases as well as related therapeutic adjacencies. One of the world’s first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. Today Biogen has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, has introduced the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics and is focused on advancing research programs in multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, neuromuscular disorders, movement disorders, ophthalmology, immunology, neurocognitive disorders, acute neurology and pain.

We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.biogen.com. To learn more, please visit www.biogen.com and follow us on social media – TwitterLinkedInFacebook, YouTube.

About the Biogen Community Lab
The Biogen Community Lab program is a signature example of the company’s commitment to science education. The mission of the Lab is to excite more young people about science and inspire the next generation of STEM leaders. With locations at Biogen’s world headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts and in Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina, the Community Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory classroom where local middle and high school students engage in hands-on biotechnology experiments and interact with scientists and other biotech professionals. It offers free daylong, interactive science activities, rigorous summer programs and teacher professional development. The Cambridge facility started in 2002 and is the longest-running, hands-on corporate science lab in the nation. The Community Lab in North Carolina opened in 2014. Collectively, the Labs have served more than 55,000 students to date.  

About the Lemelson-MIT Program

The Lemelson-MIT Program celebrates outstanding inventors and inspires young people to pursue creative lives and careers through invention. Jerome H. Lemelson, one of U.S. history’s most prolific inventors, and his wife Dorothy founded the Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. It is funded by The Lemelson Foundation and administered by the School of Engineering at MIT, an institution with a strong ongoing commitment to creating meaningful opportunities for K-12 STEM education. For more information, visit Lemelson.MIT.edu.

3BL Media 'Learn From Home' Series Features Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha, June 16

Latest news from CSR Wire - Thu, 05/28/2020 - 05:31

3BL Media, the leader in environmental, social and governance (ESG) communications for the world’s largest companies, will feature Medtronic CEO Geoff Martha on June 16 as part of the “Learn From Home” live event series.

Join TriplePundit senior editor Mary Mazzoni for “Stories & Strategies for Putting People First,” a live interview with the new leader of one of the world’s largest medical technology companies, with 90,000 employees in 150 countries. Register here.

“Geoff Martha took the reins of Medtronic in April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrated bold ESG leadership immediately,” said Dave Armon, CEO of 3BL Media. “We are honored to welcome Geoff as he shares the story with Mary Mazzoni and a live audience.”

3BL Media created the “Learn From Home” series as the U.S. workforce went into self-isolation in March. Leveraging the expertise of TriplePundit, which has been covering sustainable business since 2005, the series focuses on bold and authentic corporate leadership.

In March, Medtronic took the unprecedented step to publicly share the design specifications for the PB560 ventilator, an affordable, portable ventilator that can be used in clinical settings and at home, to enable rapid manufacturing by other companies.

Martha and Mazzoni will discuss how Medtronic has shared technology, worked even closer with partners, and ensured the safety of its global workforce during the pandemic. Live Q&A will follow the interview. Professionals working in corporate responsibility, ESG, sustainability, communications, investor relations, marketing and other senior leadership roles are invited to attend.

Register here.

About 3BL Media
3BL Media delivers purpose-driven communications for the world’s leading companies. Our unrivaled distribution, leadership and editorial platforms inspire and support global sustainable business. Learn more here.

3BL MEDIA CONTACT
Margie Kuchinski of 3BL Media, mkuchinski@3blmedia.com or +1.413.320.4807

CIT Wins Three Stevie® American Business Awards

Latest news from CSR Wire - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 12:29

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) today announced that it has won three Stevie ® American Business Awards for business excellence. The awards include a Gold award for Achievement in Management – Banking, a Silver award for FinTech Solution and a Silver award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year.

“Empowering our customers, employees and communities is a CIT hallmark,” said CIT Chairwoman and CEO Ellen R. Alemany. “We appreciate this recognition as a reflection of our commitment to excellence.”

CIT’s Gold award for achievement in banking management was received for the leadership of CIT’s Power and Energy team in financing renewable power projects and utility-scale battery storage projects across the U.S.

The Silver award for FinTech Solution was won by CIT’s Small Business Solutions unit for its point-of-sale lending platform, a B2B digital solution that offers customers real-time financing for their purchases.¹

CIT’s Silver award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year in the large business category came in recognition of CIT’s One Million Meals campaign, a partnership with Feeding America® that brought customers, employees and social media followers together in the fight against hunger. In its second year, the campaign ultimately exceeded its original target by 50% to deliver 1.5 million meals to people in need.

The Stevie American Business Awards are the premier business awards program in the U.S. More than 3,600 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories.

“Despite the toughest business conditions in memory, American organizations continue to demonstrate their commitment to innovation, creativity, and bottom-line results,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Gallagher. “This year’s Stevie-winning nominations are full of inspiring stories of persistence, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and compassion.  We celebrate all of their stories and look forward to showcasing them during our virtual awards ceremony on August 5.”

About CIT

CIT is a leading national bank focused on empowering businesses and personal savers with the financial agility to navigate their goals. CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with over a century of experience and operates a principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A. (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender). The company's commercial banking segment includes commercial financing, community association banking, middle market banking, equipment and vendor financing, factoring, railcar financing, treasury and payments services, and capital markets and asset management. CIT's consumer banking segment includes a national direct bank and regional branch network. Discover more at cit.com/about.

About the Stevie Awards

Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, the Middle East Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at http://www.StevieAwards.com.

¹Speed and performance are subject to applicant’s local connectivity and other factors outside CIT’s control. 

# # #

Bechtel Again Ranks #1 On ENR List of Top 400 U.S. Contractors

Latest news from CSR Wire - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 12:29

Bechtel, a global engineering, procurement, and construction leader, has ranked No. 1 on the Engineering News-Record list of Top 400 U.S. contractors for the 22nd consecutive year. Engineering News-Record (ENR), the industry’s leading publication, compiled the rankings based on companies’ 2019 construction revenues.

“We thank our customers for trusting us to help them achieve their goals in 2019, and for their continued partnership as we work closely together to navigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said company Chairman and CEO Brendan Bechtel. “This recognition is a testament to the resilience, talent and commitment of our people, who align with our customers to design and build projects that make the world safer, more productive, and more sustainable.” 

Bechtel ranked among the top-performing companies in several market sectors. The company maintained its No. 1 ranking in the Power market sector and improved to No. 1 in both the Industrial and Hazardous Waste sectors. The company improved to second in the Petroleum sector. 

Bechtel also was the No. 1 American contractor working outside the U.S.

Last year yielded significant progress for Bechtel customers whose projects will improve mobility, increase the supply of safe and affordable energy, eliminate hazardous waste, and improve economies. Among the highlights:

New partnerships secured in 2019 position Bechtel for continued growth. Among them:

  • NASA chose Bechtel to design, construct, and commission Mobile Launcher 2, which will be used to assemble and launch the next version of the Space Launch System rocket;

  • The Serbian government selected a Bechtel-ENKA joint venture to build the country’s first 5G-ready motorway;

  • And Bechtel and General Motors began exploring the construction of a national network of electric-vehicle charging stations.

ABOUT BECHTEL

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place.  

Bechtel serves the Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations. www.bechtel.com

The Road to a Vaccine, Ep. 7: What Our “New Normal” Might Look Like Until We Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

Latest news from CSR Wire - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 09:29

This new eight-episode educational video series will examine the latest efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and break down the complex process of developing a vaccine.

Each week our host Lisa Ling will talk to leading scientists and researchers, healthcare workers on the front lines and public health experts around the world working collaboratively to help bring an end to the deadly pandemic.

In Episode 7, Lisa Ling speaks with Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels, M.D., about important advances being made in vaccine development. Former FDA Commissioner Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., discusses what reopening could look like and global health leader Jonathan Quick, M.D., MPH, shares why he believes testing is critical to help manage this pandemic.
What Our “New Normal” Might Look Like Until We Get a COVID-19 Vaccine.

Tune in live at 12 pm EDT Tuesdays on JNJ.comFacebookLinkedIn or Twitter. Come back to this page at any time to watch a replay.

SC Johnson Supports Organizations Across Asia Pacific in the Fight Against COVID-19 with More Than $1 Million in Product and Financial Donations

Latest news from CSR Wire - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 08:29

As communities worldwide continue to be affected by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, SC Johnson today announced a series of donations to organizations across Asia Pacific to assist in their efforts to support pressing public needs and those battling the virus on the front lines. As a global manufacturer of home cleaning and professional disinfectant products, hand sanitizers and other products, the company has stepped up to donate both products and cash to aid in relief efforts.

“Everyone in our SC Johnson family is committed to supporting those on the front lines of this pandemic and the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “We are incredibly proud to support organizations across the globe that are providing immediate resources and help to those who need it, and we remain humbled by their efforts.”

Donations are being made to a range of organizations across Asia Pacific, which are supporting COVID-19 relief efforts. These include:

  • As the epidemic began to take hold in January, donating 1 million yuan in cash and product to the Red Cross in China to aid in its response efforts.

  • Partnering with Save the Children to help educate and enable children and families in China, India, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This new partnership will focus on helping communities respond to this and future public health threats.

  • Launching 2020 SC Johnson’s Youth Action for a Green Life in partnership with Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation, in an effort to help children deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Providing hand sanitizer and soap products to nursery schools and community-focused organizations like the YMCA and NPO Florence in Japan.

  • Donating all-purpose cleaner and bleach to World Vision and ABS-CBN Foundation Hospitals, together with cash donation in the Philippines.

  • Working with humanitarian organization Mercy Malaysia to fund a project providing respiratory aids for intensive care units at hospitals in Malaysia.

  • Donating to three hospital foundations in Thailand to support their efforts in treating people with COVID-19.

  • Donating cleaning products to an Isolation Center in Vietnam where people stay during their quarantine period after returning from other countries.

  • Supporting ACT (Aksi Cepat Tanggap), a charitable organization in Jakarta, Indonesia, by donating product for their disinfection efforts.

  • Providing financial support to the National Relief Fund and PM CARES Fund in India for combat, containment and relief efforts against COVID-19.

  • Funding over 400 nights of safety from domestic violence for women and children in Australia and New Zealand through the local Women’s Community Refuges.

  • Supporting the Peter Doherty Institute in Australia for its trials to find an existing treatment for COVID-19 and to prevent deterioration of patients progressing to intensive care.

The donations across Asia Pacific are part of the company’s $15 million commitment to date to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and to fight the spread of the virus around the world.

For more information on how to help protect your family, please visit www.scjohnson.com/covid19 and the CDC’s website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/ 

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 134-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com.

Tetra Tech Welcomes Our Leadership Academy Class of 2020

Latest news from CSR Wire - Wed, 05/27/2020 - 05:29

Diversity and Inclusion

Tetra Tech recently welcomed our 2020 class to the Leadership Academy, our annual professional development program. Thirty project managers from across Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are engaged in year-long training to expand their understanding of Tetra Tech’s global operations and hone their operational, financial, and interpersonal skills.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have prevented us from meeting in person, but it did not stop us from launching our first module as planned. Participants spent hours together on virtual platforms discussing key hiring strategies, understanding how to give and receive effective feedback, reviewing case studies, and developing group presentations that were delivered to senior leadership.

“The sessions in Module 1 demonstrated how we should be approaching leadership within our work,” says one participant. “Having strong communication skills is a core leadership function, and the benefits of understanding and working with your teams helps you get results.”

Participants interact closely with in-house experts, who ensure the content is tailored to Tetra Tech’s business. Senior leaders from across Tetra Tech’s operations and corporate offices provided lectures, hands-on exercises, and role-playing activities to reinforce the concepts presented.

The Leadership Academy is a cornerstone of Tetra Tech’s platform of Leading with Science®; to provide its clients with industry-leading services. As participants expand their Tetra Tech networks, they can offer their clients additional expertise and local market knowledge, backed by the support and power of a 20,000-person company.

The People Behind Today’s Responsible Brands: Teresa Coles Talks With John Lanier of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation on How One Man’s Conscience Upended an Industry

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 13:28

The environmental climate in the 1990s? A New York Times article summed it up this way: “…midway through, the decade is shaping up as a period of turmoil for the environmental movement. Membership and budgets have dropped for most of the national groups. A well-organized countermovement of landowners, city officials and industrial executives steamed into Washington and halted Congressional work this year on strengthening environmental laws. They argued that environmentalists were exaggerating and using inconclusive data to frighten people and influence lawmakers.”

A sobering reflection, indeed. Yet at the same time, a Georgia-born industrialist was experiencing an epiphany that would change his position from a self-proclaimed “plunderer of the earth” to a global champion of corporate sustainability. It’s the story of Ray Anderson, who in 1973 founded Interface, a carpet manufacturer known for its innovation in commercial tile flooring. Most importantly, he led the company through a soulful redesign beginning in 1994 that transformed its traditional manufacturing operations into a sustainable industrial enterprise with zero negative impact on the environment. Today, Interface is a $1.3 billion corporation that has fulfilled its Mission Zero® commitment, becoming the first global flooring manufacturer to sell all products as carbon neutral across their full life cycle. 

Ray Anderson died in 2011, but his commitment to connecting business to the natural world continues through the work of the foundation formed in his honor. I had the privilege of talking with his grandson, John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, about the work of this environmental pioneer and his vision of a future where business and industry heal the earth rather than harm it.

A LIFE PIVOT 

Teresa Coles, Riggs Partners: Your grandfather described what he called a “spear in the chest” moment in 1994 that woke him up to environmental issues and caused him to lead Interface through a complete systems redesign. What led up to this?

John Lanier, Ray C. Anderson Foundation: The company was starting to get questions from customers about what Interface was doing to help the environment. They formed a task force to start delving into this, and Ray was asked to give a speech to lay out his environmental vision for Interface at a kick-off event. In preparing for the speech, he picked up a book called The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken. He read it in one night, had a personal epiphany, and took Hawken’s challenge of corporate environmental responsibility directly into the task force event. Right then and there, he set the vision for Interface to become not only a sustainable, but eventually regenerative company — one that returns more resources to the earth than it takes out.

TC: What was it about the book that stood out to him?

JL: A concept around biodiversity loss that Hawken referred to as the “the death of birth” was the game changer for Ray. It’s tied to an ecological phenomenon called overshoot and collapse, which happens to every species when it overshoots the carrying capacity of its ecosystem. Ray realized just how applicable it was to all of humanity, and he began to have an appreciation for the degree to which humans were overshooting their carrying capacity through the extraction of excessive amounts of materials from the earth.

TC: How was Ray able to get other leaders of the company on board with his sweeping vision, especially at a time when there was very little environmental awareness in manufacturing?

JL: As CEO and majority shareholder of the business, Ray had the ability to set a bold vision and the wherewithal to make certain things happen. But he knew to achieve real change, he had to explain WHY he believed so strongly in transforming Interface into an organization that did no harm to the environment. So he very patiently began sharing his idea and instructing his leadership team to gather the resources necessary to make this change. He did this with the authenticity and charisma that was unique to him. When he spoke, people listened.

THE CLIMB TO SUSTAINABILITY

TC: Ray challenged the people of Interface to make it the first industrial company in the world to attain environmental sustainability, then to become regenerative. What did this mean to him and why was it important to set such a high standard?

JL: Ray had a real understanding of sustainability, as few people do even today. He knew being a sustainable company means having the systems in place to do no harm, at all. It’s not about being “less bad;” it’s about not taking anything away from future generations to meet a company’s needs. Ray knew it was not enough to mitigate damage to the environment; we have to leave things better than we found them.

TC: Ray noted Interface’s efforts were successful because it was a wholesale systems approach, rather than a series of tactical one-offs. How did Interface incorporate the cyclical premise of nature into a new manufacturing system with sustainability at its core?

The Interface team was highly influenced by biomimicry. It’s a practice that asks, “how would nature do or solve X?”, and it has been very important to building sustainable processes. Another element of biomimicry is understanding we are not separate from nature. So, we need to ask ourselves how we as humans can co-exist with nature in a way that doesn’t violate its laws. Ray understood this, and it was fundamental to the systems evolution of Interface.

TC: How has Interface taught other people how to achieve this kind of sustainability?

JL: The people at Interface have advised many manufacturers who have reached out over time. As you might expect, they’ve had significant influence on companies in its supplier chain. They’ve also helped companies from other sectors learn from Interface’s processes by offering tours of the mills, letting people see all the things Interface is doing from a sustainability standpoint.

AN ENDURING LEGACY

TC: The work of the foundation your family created in honor of Ray supports a wide array of environmental initiatives. What are some of your current projects?

JL: While we provide a number of small grants to various organizations, we focus on four initiatives we believe can help achieve long-term impact. First is the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at Georgia Tech, where students learn about the connection of business and the natural world. We also support the Biomimicry Institute through its Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Then there’s The RAY, an 18-mile stretch of I-85 named in Ray’s honor that serves as a living laboratory for the interstate of the future. And finally, Georgia Draw-Down, an organization that focuses on helping our state toward a path of carbon neutrality.

THE URGENCY OF NOW

TC: What do you think Ray would say to business leaders today, given what we know about rising environmental concerns? 

JL: I believe he would say we’ve made real progress, but there is much work to be done because the scope of the challenges we face are so much more daunting than when he set out on his journey. It requires we question everything about what got us into this mess to begin with, and we have to come to grips with some very difficult questions. For example, can the economy really continue to expand year after year in its current state and attempt to resolve climate change? Ultimately, I think Ray would say we need to ask ourselves some very difficult questions about redesigning commerce itself. 

TC: There’s a major issue in our current economic trajectory as a viable scenario in which we can address climate change. Clearly, something has to take priority.

JL: Well said. Ray viewed sustainability as a moral imperative. He put that ahead of everything else and questioned every aspect of the business in order to align it with the needs of our planet. That’s the kind of vision it will take for all of us.

About Riggs Partners
Riggs Partners is a creative marketing consultancy that specializes in helping clients build Responsible Brands, aligning organizational health, business strategy and brand marketing. The company also founded CreateAthon. For more information, visit www.riggspartners.com.

The People Behind Today’s Responsible Brands:

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 11:28

The environmental climate in the 1990s? A New York Times article summed it up this way: “…midway through, the decade is shaping up as a period of turmoil for the environmental movement. Membership and budgets have dropped for most of the national groups. A well-organized countermovement of landowners, city officials and industrial executives steamed into Washington and halted Congressional work this year on strengthening environmental laws. They argued that environmentalists were exaggerating and using inconclusive data to frighten people and influence lawmakers.”

A sobering reflection, indeed. Yet at the same time, a Georgia-born industrialist was experiencing an epiphany that would change his position from a self-proclaimed “plunderer of the earth” to a global champion of corporate sustainability. It’s the story of Ray Anderson, who in 1973 founded Interface, a carpet manufacturer known for its innovation in commercial tile flooring. Most importantly, he led the company through a soulful redesign beginning in 1994 that transformed its traditional manufacturing operations into a sustainable industrial enterprise with zero negative impact on the environment. Today, Interface is a $1.3 billion corporation that has fulfilled its Mission Zero® commitment, becoming the first global flooring manufacturer to sell all products as carbon neutral across their full life cycle. 

Ray Anderson died in 2011, but his commitment to connecting business to the natural world continues through the work of the foundation formed in his honor. I had the privilege of talking with his grandson, John Lanier, executive director of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation, about the work of this environmental pioneer and his vision of a future where business and industry heal the earth rather than harm it.

A LIFE PIVOT 

Teresa Coles, Riggs Partners: Your grandfather described what he called a “spear in the chest” moment in 1994 that woke him up to environmental issues and caused him to lead Interface through a complete systems redesign. What led up to this?

John Lanier, Ray C. Anderson Foundation: The company was starting to get questions from customers about what Interface was doing to help the environment. They formed a task force to start delving into this, and Ray was asked to give a speech to lay out his environmental vision for Interface at a kick-off event. In preparing for the speech, he picked up a book called The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken. He read it in one night, had a personal epiphany, and took Hawken’s challenge of corporate environmental responsibility directly into the task force event. Right then and there, he set the vision for Interface to become not only a sustainable, but eventually regenerative company — one that returns more resources to the earth than it takes out.

TC: What was it about the book that stood out to him?

JL: A concept around biodiversity loss that Hawken referred to as the “the death of birth” was the game changer for Ray. It’s tied to an ecological phenomenon called overshoot and collapse, which happens to every species when it overshoots the carrying capacity of its ecosystem. Ray realized just how applicable it was to all of humanity, and he began to have an appreciation for the degree to which humans were overshooting their carrying capacity through the extraction of excessive amounts of materials from the earth.

TC: How was Ray able to get other leaders of the company on board with his sweeping vision, especially at a time when there was very little environmental awareness in manufacturing?

JL: As CEO and majority shareholder of the business, Ray had the ability to set a bold vision and the wherewithal to make certain things happen. But he knew to achieve real change, he had to explain WHY he believed so strongly in transforming Interface into an organization that did no harm to the environment. So he very patiently began sharing his idea and instructing his leadership team to gather the resources necessary to make this change. He did this with the authenticity and charisma that was unique to him. When he spoke, people listened.

THE CLIMB TO SUSTAINABILITY

TC: Ray challenged the people of Interface to make it the first industrial company in the world to attain environmental sustainability, then to become regenerative. What did this mean to him and why was it important to set such a high standard?

JL: Ray had a real understanding of sustainability, as few people do even today. He knew being a sustainable company means having the systems in place to do no harm, at all. It’s not about being “less bad;” it’s about not taking anything away from future generations to meet a company’s needs. Ray knew it was not enough to mitigate damage to the environment; we have to leave things better than we found them.

TC: Ray noted Interface’s efforts were successful because it was a wholesale systems approach, rather than a series of tactical one-offs. How did Interface incorporate the cyclical premise of nature into a new manufacturing system with sustainability at its core?

The Interface team was highly influenced by biomimicry. It’s a practice that asks, “how would nature do or solve X?”, and it has been very important to building sustainable processes. Another element of biomimicry is understanding we are not separate from nature. So, we need to ask ourselves how we as humans can co-exist with nature in a way that doesn’t violate its laws. Ray understood this, and it was fundamental to the systems evolution of Interface.

TC: How has Interface taught other people how to achieve this kind of sustainability?

JL: The people at Interface have advised many manufacturers who have reached out over time. As you might expect, they’ve had significant influence on companies in its supplier chain. They’ve also helped companies from other sectors learn from Interface’s processes by offering tours of the mills, letting people see all the things Interface is doing from a sustainability standpoint.

AN ENDURING LEGACY

TC: The work of the foundation your family created in honor of Ray supports a wide array of environmental initiatives. What are some of your current projects?

JL: While we provide a number of small grants to various organizations, we focus on four initiatives we believe can help achieve long-term impact. First is the Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business at Georgia Tech, where students learn about the connection of business and the natural world. We also support the Biomimicry Institute through its Biomimicry Global Design Challenge. Then there’s The RAY, an 18-mile stretch of I-85 named in Ray’s honor that serves as a living laboratory for the interstate of the future. And finally, Georgia Draw-Down, an organization that focuses on helping our state toward a path of carbon neutrality.

THE URGENCY OF NOW

TC: What do you think Ray would say to business leaders today, given what we know about rising environmental concerns? 

JL: I believe he would say we’ve made real progress, but there is much work to be done because the scope of the challenges we face are so much more daunting than when he set out on his journey. It requires we question everything about what got us into this mess to begin with, and we have to come to grips with some very difficult questions. For example, can the economy really continue to expand year after year in its current state and attempt to resolve climate change? Ultimately, I think Ray would say we need to ask ourselves some very difficult questions about redesigning commerce itself. 

TC: There’s a major issue in our current economic trajectory as a viable scenario in which we can address climate change. Clearly, something has to take priority.

JL: Well said. Ray viewed sustainability as a moral imperative. He put that ahead of everything else and questioned every aspect of the business in order to align it with the needs of our planet. That’s the kind of vision it will take for all of us.

About Riggs Partners
Riggs Partners is a creative marketing consultancy that specializes in helping clients build Responsible Brands, aligning organizational health, business strategy and brand marketing. The company also founded CreateAthon. For more information, visit www.riggspartners.com.

T-Mobile Launches ‘Connecting Heroes’ – Free 5G for First Responder Agencies is Here

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 11:28

Not just a bigger company, a better one. In a video today, T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) CEO Mike Sievert launched Connecting Heroes, the Un-carrier’s 10-year commitment to provide free service and 5G access to first responder agencies — all public and non-profit state and local fire, police and EMS departments — saving them up to $7 billion. Interested agencies can sign up at www.t-mobile.com/connectingheroes. Plus, the Un-carrier continues to build out its industry-leading 5G network at a furious pace. T-Mobile’s 5G network is now 8 times bigger than AT&T’s and 28 THOUSAND times bigger than Verizon’s.

As a ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s shifted the way they work and live during this pandemic, the Un-carrier is giving Sprint and T-Mobile postpaid customers a new iPhone SE on us or up to half off a flagship superphone from another top brand starting tomorrow through Monday, May 25. Customers just trade in their existing eligible device, and they’ll owe nothing but the sales tax on an iPhone SE — a powerful new smartphone in a popular design — or get up to $500 off another new superphone. No add-a-line. Nothing more to buy. Just “thank you.”

“When we’re at our most vulnerable, first responders are there for us … and they are under more pressure today than ever before. Connecting Heroes is one way we’re saying ‘thank you’ in this critical time,” said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile. “People who save lives shouldn’t have to choose between life-saving equipment and wireless service. And with Connecting Heroes, they won’t have to. We’re not limiting this program to a few months or a year … first responders can get free service including 5G access, for a full decade. THIS is the kind of impact the new T-Mobile can have in the world. THIS is the kind of difference we can make.”

State and local first responder agencies face tight budgets, year after year. So, they’re forced to make impossible trade-offs between providing them critical life-saving equipment or the communications services needed to do their jobs. Not anymore. Connecting Heroes provides free unlimited talk, text and smartphone data with the highest network priority to every public and non-profit state and local, police, fire and EMS agency.

“Access to critical communications is vitally important for our first responders,” said Mike Mayta, CIO at the City of Wichita, KS. “The more information that we can get to them, the better they’re going to be able to serve the public. We’ve been partners with T-Mobile for well over 10 years, and what we’re seeing through this Heroes program is, they’re walking the walk and not just talking the talk.”

If all first responder agencies sign up, it’s an estimated $7.7 billion back in their budgets over 10 years. Money that can help close the budget shortfall they face year after year. Money they can put towards extra pay, lifesaving tools and better support for these brave heroes. That is #5GforGood.

5G for All

The launch of Connecting Heroes is made possible by T-Mobile’s 5G network and the massive capacity that will be unleashed from the merger with Sprint. In just a few short years, the new company will have 14 times the capacity of T-Mobile standalone, covering 99% of Americans nationwide from factories to farms.

The first step in having a reliable network is actually connecting to the network. T-Mobile customers have the best 5G availability according to Opensignal’s latest analysis — Quantifying the Global 5G Experience Across Ten Operators[1]. This means T-Mobile customers connect to a 5G network more often than any other U.S. provider and more than any other country in the report. And the Un-carrier’s unprecedented 5G network is only getting bigger.

5G service is now live in San Francisco and Sacramento and is starting to light up across Tampa and Orlando. T-Mobile’s 5G network now covers nearly 6,000 cities and towns and more than 225 million Americans across more than 1 million square miles. That’s on top of the Un-carrier’s far-reaching LTE network that covers more than 99% of people in the U.S. By comparison, Verizon 5G covers limited outdoor areas of 34 cities and roughly 36 square miles. You can check out T-Mobile’s nationwide coverage map, including 5G, at www.t-mobile.com/coverage.

Thank You!

And, the Un-carrier is rolling out a big ‘thank you’ to all those who have cared for us … and everyone who has had to shift the way they live and work during this pandemic. They can all get an iPhone SE on us with bill credits, or take $500 off another flagship superphone via trade-in credit & rebate (at T-Mobile) or bill credits (at Sprint), when they trade in their existing eligible smartphone and are on a T-Mobile or Sprint postpaid plan — or switch to one — and pay the tax. Just head online or to a Sprint or T-Mobile store. For more information on this offer, visit t-mobile.com or sprint.com.

“The way the Un-carrier says THANK YOU is, of course, by putting money back in your pocket — like with an iPhone on us or half off one of the latest 5G superphones,” said Sievert. “This weekend, every T-Mobile and Sprint postpaid customer can get a new iPhone SE on us, or half off another brand-new phone, with eligible trade-in. Why? Because ‘thank you’ — that’s why!”

Connecting Heroes comes on top of the Un-carrier’s best-in-class plan for individual first responders and their families — Magenta First Responder. With 50% off family lines compared to Magenta, Magenta First Responder delivers the best discount in wireless for individual first responders and their families.

This move is the latest of T-Mobile’s merger-related commitments to launch. Connecting Heroes is part of a series of initiatives dubbed #5GforGood. In March, the first of those, T-Mobile Connect launched months ahead of schedule to usher in a new level of affordability in wireless. T-Mobile also continues to include 5G for free, at no extra cost, and to improve coverage for Sprint customers, increasing LTE coverage by hundreds of thousands of square miles, and increasing average upload speeds by up to 50% for customers with 5G devices. And, earlier this month, T-Mobile unveiled plans to hire 5,000 people next year, as part of the company’s commitment to create new jobs.

For more information on #5GforGood and Connecting Heroes, check out www.t-mobile.com/connectingheroes.

[1] Opensignal – Quantifying the global 5G experience across ten operators, May 2020, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period January 31 – April 30, 2020 © 2020 Opensignal Limited.

Connecting Heroes line eligibility subject to reverification.  Coverage not available in some areas and may be impacted by emergencies; check your response area. While 5G access won't require a certain plan or feature, some uses/services might.  On device offers, if you cancel wireless service, remaining balance on required finance agreement (T-Mobile customers) or lease (Sprint customers) becomes due. Allow 2 bill cycles for credits. Rebates via virtual prepaid MasterCard (no cash access; expires in 6 months). See details, Terms and Conditions, and Open Internet information at T-Mobile.com.

About T-Mobile

T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is America’s supercharged Un-carrier, delivering an advanced 4G LTE and transformative nationwide 5G network that will offer reliable connectivity for all. T-Mobile’s customers benefit from its unmatched combination of value and quality, unwavering obsession with offering them the best possible service experience and undisputable drive for disruption that creates competition and innovation in wireless and beyond. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint. For more information please visit: http://www.t-mobile.com.

Janssen Pharmaceutical: Our Ongoing Commitment to Support Healthcare Professionals and Patients

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 10:28

Originally published on LinkedIn

Our respect and gratitude goes out to each and every healthcare professional worldwide working on the frontline of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. We thank you!

At Janssen Pharmaceutical K.K., a Johnson & Johnson Group company, our ongoing commitment is to support healthcare professionals and patients with our innovative medicines.

Click here to see more

ImpactAssets Appoints Margret Trilli as Chief Executive Officer

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 07:27

 ImpactAssets today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Margret Trilli as Chief Executive Officer. She will assume day-to-day leadership of the organization and will continue in her role as Chief Investment Officer. Trilli, an impact investing veteran, had served as ImpactAssets’ President and Chief Investment Officer since joining the organization in October 2018.  

ImpactAssets Founder Tim Freundlich has transitioned from his role as Chief Executive Officer and been named Executive Director, Strategic Development, where he will focus on broad growth strategies, including complex partnerships, capitalization and strategic initiatives for ImpactAssets’ next phase of innovative impact.

“It has been an incredible honor to serve as the founding CEO of ImpactAssets and I am very proud of everything our team has accomplished together in the past decade,” said Freundlich. “Margret and I have had the pleasure of working closely over the past 18 months – and she brings the skill and experience to deliver the leadership that is needed today, while we build for tomorrow.”

“In addition to spearheading a new strategic plan and significant COVID-19 response, Margret has been leading our organization with an absolute commitment to excellence,” Freundlich added. “In my new role I look forward to continuing to bring key innovation, resources and partners to the table as I support Margret.”

The leadership change follows a monumental year as ImpactAssets celebrated its 10th anniversary, surpassing 700 catalytic impact investments in companies and funds, cresting $1B in assets under management and establishing one of the most trusted brands in the impact investing sector. 

“This is a natural transition for a fast-growing organization, and the Board and I are confident that Margret is the right person to build on our momentum,” said ImpactAssets Board Chair Charly Kleissner. “It transitions Tim into a role that optimizes his talents for a fast-growing organization and moves Margret into a position that leverages her experience and expertise in scaling up organizations. We are lucky to have them both at ImpactAssets.”

Before joining ImpactAssets, Trilli’s career included executive leadership, investment and operating roles for large and small companies, including Barclays Global Investors/Blackrock and Charles Schwab. Her experience spans investment management, product management, strategy and planning, reengineering, turnarounds and business building.

She founded Intentional Capital, a boutique investment consultancy firm providing sourcing and due diligence services of impact investments to a select group of family offices. 

Margret also serves on the boards and investment committees of three family offices. She graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business and holds a degree in Economics from University of California, Santa Barbara. 

“I know that I speak for everyone at ImpactAssets in thanking Tim for his leadership, and we look forward to his continued commitment to help keep us at the forefront of impact investing,” said Trilli. “It is an honor to assume the role of CEO. Eighteen months ago, as an outsider, I stood in admiration of what ImpactAssets had become. Now as an insider, I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished since and even more excited about where we are going next in our growth. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Tim as we strive to deliver on the promise of an ever greater and more impactful organization for our donor community.” 

About ImpactAssets
ImpactAssets is the leading impact investing partner for individuals, families and philanthropists tackling the world’s greatest challenges by investing in the world’s brightest ideas. We make it easy for our clients to “discover, connect and invest” in game-changing entrepreneurs and funds. Founded in 2010, ImpactAssets increases flows of money to impact investing with our 100% impact investment platform and field-building initiatives, including the IA50 database of private debt and equity impact fund managers. The ImpactAssets Donor Advised Fund is an innovative vehicle that empowers donors to increase the impact of their giving by combining it with strategic sustainable and responsible investing to build a sophisticated philanthropic endowment. The Fund currently has more than $1 billion in assets in 1,250 donor advised funds, working with 350 wealth advisors across 60 financial services firms. 

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Dollar General Literacy Foundation Presents Save the Children With $2 Million to Support Kids Across Rural America During COVID-19

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 07:27

Aligned in a mission to serve others, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded $2 million to Save the Children’s coronavirus response efforts across rural America, the nonprofit today announced. The gift will help ensure children continue to learn – and have access to nutritious foods – during nationwide school closures. Save the Children and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation are committed to helping the most vulnerable children continue to learn and get the nutrition they need to keep bellies full and minds growing.

“This tremendous gift from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation will help us serve some of the most vulnerable children growing up in rural America. We know that proper nutrition and early education are key to changing a child’s trajectory and ensuring learning continues – despite these challenging times – is what our nation’s children deserve,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs & Advocacy for Save the Children. “Now, more than ever, our children need us, and we are grateful to the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for their incredible support.”  

At present, 48 states and the District of Columbia have ordered or recommended closures of school buildings through the academic year, meaning more than 55 million school-age children are now home during the day. Wide-scale learning loss could be among the biggest and longest-lasting impacts that coronavirus has on kids across America. During a normal summer, every child is at risk of losing progress made in the previous school year, and children in low-income communities typically lose two to three months of reading achievement. This pandemic has the potential to double that loss. Save the Children has adapted existing programs and launched new efforts to support children and families, including resources to continue the learning process at home, and distributions of hygiene materials, shelf-stable food and educational toys and games. 

“During this time when there is a threat of a widening achievement gap, it is important we help ensure that communities which were disproportionately at-risk prior to the pandemic receive additional educational supports,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “Through our investment in Save the Children, we are helping increase access to educational materials and providing family reading tips and nutritious meals for children in rural communities where a majority of Dollar General stores are located. Together, we are working to nourish students’ bodies and minds, and we are grateful to partner with Save the Children on such impactful work.” 

To learn more about Save the Children’s COVID-19 response efforts across America, please visit www.savethechildren.org/Coronavirus.To learn more about the Dollar General Foundation, please visit www.dgliteracy.org

About Save the Children
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.

About the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $172 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals of all ages learn to read, take their first steps toward literacy, prepare for the high school equivalency test or learn to read. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit www.dgliteracy.org. 

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Green Mountain Energy Earns Green-e® Energy Certification for Go Local Solar Plan

Latest news from CSR Wire - Tue, 05/26/2020 - 06:27

Green Mountain Energy announced today that its Go Local Solar Plan received the Green-e® Energy certification from the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS), the trusted global leader in clean energy certification. Pursuing sustainable and responsible sourcing aligns with Green Mountain Energy’s goal to help make a difference for the environment by providing renewable energy to homes and businesses and reflects the company’s commitment to transparency of its operations.  

“Earning the Green-e Energy® certification validates the environmental attributes of our Go Local Solar Plan and is a natural fit for us as we work every day to change the way power is made,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager for Green Mountain Energy. “We appreciate the in-depth review that CRS performs to confirm that customers are receiving certified renewable energy sourced from Texas solar, which is not available from any other competitive retailer in Texas.”

CRS, established in 1997, is a nonprofit that creates policy and market solutions to advance sustainable energy. CRS designed the Green-e® Energy certification as a consumer protection program to provide assurance of product quality and verification of product ownership. On behalf of consumers buying renewable energy products certified by Green-e® Energy, CRS requires that certified products like Go Local Solar undergo an independent annual audit to demonstrate compliance with the rigorous consumer protection and environmental standards required by Green-e Energy.

“We are excited to partner with Green Mountain Energy as it offers a high-quality, local solar option to its customers in Texas,” said  Jennifer Martin, CRS Executive Director. “Go Local Solar customers can feel confident that their purchase of Green-e Energy certified clean energy is making a real, tangible impact on the state’s transition to renewable energy.”

As part of the Green-e® Energy program, Green Mountain Energy’s Go Local Solar plan undergoes an in-depth verification process to ensure that its renewable energy:

  • is from new projects. It is important that renewable energy certificates (RECs) are generated from new projects built for the voluntary market, not to satisfy a state or federal requirement. This is a critical verification for consumers who are buying renewable energy and want their money to go toward encouraging new renewable energy generation. The RECs purchased by Green Mountain Energy on behalf of its customers have been verified by this independent third-party to ensure the RECs come from new facilities built to serve this voluntary market.

  • is verified. Green Mountain Energy is reviewed once a year to ensure that the company lives up to its advertising and marketing claims. Certified energy is accounted for and tracked through the annual Green‑e® Energy verification audit process.

  • has not been double counted. The verification audit and review process protect customers by ensuring the RECs purchased and retired by the Green Mountain Energy on behalf of its customers are not claimed by any other party.

Green Mountain Energy launched Go Local Solar in January 2019 offering customers the option to power their homes with 100 percent solar electricity generated in Texas. Go Local Solar is inspired by the farm-to-table movement, harnessing electricity from Texas-based solar parks and giving both homeowners and renters local solar power with no rooftop installation or upfront costs required. The 100 percent locally sourced energy comes from three solar parks located in Meridian, Texas near the Dallas area; Wallis, Texas near Houston and Brooks County, Texas near McAllen.

In addition, Green Mountain sets aside $4 each month from the customer’s bill to support the Green Mountain solar fund, which helps fund a variety of solar projects, programs and technologies. To date, more than 8,600 kilowatts of solar panels have been installed across Texas with support from the Green Mountain solar fund - enough to power the lights of more than 17,775 households.

To learn more and sign up for the Go Local Solar plan, visit https://www.greenmountainenergy.com/home-energy-solutions/solar-plan/.

 

About Green Mountain Energy Company

Green Mountain Energy Company is the nation’s longest serving renewable energy retailer and believes in using wind, sun and water for good. The company was founded in 1997 with a simple mission: to change the way power is made. Green Mountain offers consumers and businesses the choice of cleaner electricity products from renewable sources, as well as a variety of carbon offset products and sustainable solutions for businesses. Green Mountain customers have collectively helped avoid more than 81 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. To learn more about Green Mountain, visit greenmountainenergy.com.

About Green-e® Certification and Center for Resource Solutions

The Green-e® certification program is run by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions and is the leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. CRS offers certification and verification services through Green-e® Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green-e® Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green-e® Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, internationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and stakeholders. To learn more about Green-e® certified products and programs, visit www.green-e.org.

CNH Industrial’s Ongoing CSR Efforts in Thailand

Latest news from CSR Wire - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 06:25

Within the scope of its local “We Care, We Share” program, the CNH Industrial team in Thailand is committed to supporting communities affected by COVID-19.

In addition to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of its employees at this critical time, CNH Industrial, one of the world’s largest capital good’s companies, has launched a series of local initiatives related to Corporate Social Responsibility in the areas of Food, Education, and Health.

Most recently, the team banded together on a Food initiative, working together with the charitable Ruamkatanyu Foundation. Company employees personally delivered essential food items to the charity, including some 5,000 kilos of rice together with hundreds of packs of instant noodles, canned fish and milk packages. The donation will be distributed in the province of Samut Prakan, in the south west of the country, where CNH Industrial’s Thai operations center is located.

Olympic Refuge Foundation: Sport Can Offer Hope to Displaced Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Latest news from CSR Wire - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 05:24

International Olympic Committee news

The ORF Chair and IOC President, Thomas Bach, and the Vice-Chair, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, warned of the growing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the mental health of refugees and others uprooted by war, violence and persecution around the world, compounding already very challenging circumstances.

Refugees are among the most vulnerable to the consequences of the pandemic – often residing in overcrowded camps, settlements and urban areas in cramped conditions with inadequate access to fresh water and hygiene supplies. Mental health conditions amongst people affected by conflict are already two or three times higher than in the general population, with one in five people experiencing mental health challenges.

Meeting remotely today, the ORF Board agreed on a number of initiatives to boost the protection of forcibly displaced young people and help improve their mental health through sport. 

As an example, the ORF is launching a pilot project in Uganda, using sport to improve the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of more than 10,000 refugee and host community young people (aged 15 to 24). Led by a consortium of five agencies (ORF, AVSI, UOC, Youth Sport Uganda and UNHCR Uganda), the programme will deliver a nationwide Sport for Protection programme.

Additionally, the Board has:

- committed the Foundation’s “Think Tank” to focusing on improving mental health and psychosocial wellbeing (MHPSS) through sport; and

- proposed a Call for Solutions from ORF partners to encourage sports initiatives that work towards improving mental health for refugee young people during the current pandemic.

ORF Chair and IOC President Thomas Bach said, “Over the last few months in the current crisis, we have all seen how important sport and physical activity are for physical and mental health. Sport can save lives. Safe sport provides mental and physical wellbeing for all and, in particular, for people that have experienced and continue to experience trauma, loss and prolonged uncertainty.”  

ORF Vice-Chair and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi added, “Around the world we are seeing troubling evidence of the devastating impact of the pandemic on the mental health and well-being of young refugees. The Olympic Refuge Foundation has rightly identified the important contribution that sport can make to psychosocial  wellbeing and is accelerating its work to address this growing challenge.”

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The International Olympic Committee is a not-for-profit independent international organisation made up of volunteers, which is committed to building a better world through sport. It redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of 3.4 million US dollars goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.

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For more information, please contact the IOC Media Relations Team:
Tel: +41 21 621 6000, email: pressoffice@olympic.org, or visit our web site at www.olympic.org.

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The IOC Newsroom: http://iocnewsroom.com/

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For an extensive selection of photos available shortly after each event, please follow us on Flickr.

To request archive photos and footage, please contact our Images team at: images@olympic.org.

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The VF Foundation Donation Supports Thousands of Families Affected by Factory Shutdowns in Bangladesh

Latest news from CSR Wire - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 11:19

The VF Foundation donation of $100,000 to garment workers in Bangladesh is providing a safety net for thousands of families affected by factory shutdowns precipitated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 5,500 households received a cash stipend to buy food and other necessities for two weeks.

“The VF Foundation helps the world’s most vulnerable people during crisis scenarios, especially in those areas where we do business,” said Peter Higgins, Vice President, Global Responsible Sourcing. “Given the scale of the challenge the world is facing, this is an important step and just one of many actions VF is taking as a comprehensive approach to supporting COVID-19 relief efforts in those areas where we have a high number of suppliers and people who help make VF products.”

On top of unprecedented job losses and a sharp increase in confirmed cases of coronavirus, many people who live in Bangladesh already struggle with situations of poverty and limited health-care resources.

The VF Foundation, the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corp., worked with its disaster grantmaking partner GlobalGiving and BRAC to ensure the donation was directed to families who needed it the most. GlobalGiving connects donors and companies with vetted nonprofits around the globe and is transforming humanitarian aid and philanthropy by shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support. BRAC, a leading international development organization, reaches millions of people living in poverty in Bangladesh and across 11 other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

“When the economy shuts down in Bangladesh, so do the daily incomes of the majority of the country’s workers, including nearly four million of whom fuel the garment sector,” said Linda Patentas, a program manager at BRAC USA, the New York based North American affiliate of BRAC that raises awareness about the organization’s work to empower the poor and mobilize resources to support programs.

“Speaking to my colleagues in Bangladesh on a daily basis, I’ve learned that this is not just a public health emergency, it is a humanitarian crisis,” said Patentas. “Without social safety nets like unemployment insurance or access to emergency credit, families may struggle to feed themselves if they cannot work. This donation recognizes the acute need that exists in many vulnerable communities across Bangladesh.”

In addition to distributing stipends to nearly 300,000 households in the country, BRAC is educating communities about how to prevent the spread of coronavirus, producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers, providing hygiene products, and strengthening systems with case detection verification and testing support.

BRAC has also called for others in the apparel industry to join VF Corp. in supporting this crucial part of the global supply chain.

“Garment workers are the backbone of one of the country’s most significant economic sectors. It is imperative – now more than ever – for brands to recognize the value of each contributor across the supply chain,” Patentas said. “I’m grateful that VF recognizes the very real vulnerabilities facing so many contributors to its products and is leading the charge to support these workers.”

In addition to The VF Foundation donation, VF has taken a “people first” approach with its suppliers and is committed to ensuring that workers are paid for the manufacturing of VF products. VF is paying suppliers for all orders that have already been produced, as well as honoring all valid purchase orders with a factory release date before June 1, 2020. And, when a shipment must be delayed, VF engages with its suppliers to determine if the delay will create a cashflow challenge for the supplier. If so, VF teams are working with the supplier to support its financial needs through a variety of potential solutions. 

To learn more about VF’s comprehensive approach to the company’s $10.3+ million COVID-19 relief efforts and its supply chain actions, please log onto vfc.com

Embracing Belonging at Alexion

Latest news from CSR Wire - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 09:19

Alexion encourages diversity of backgrounds and ideas. We genuinely care for and respect each other, working together as a high-performing team to deliver extraordinary results while embracing different perspectives.

Our commitment to gender and ethnic diversity extends to all ranks within our organization. Our executive team is majority female and represents multiple ethnicities. Similarly, more than half of all Alexion employees are female and represent a multitude of backgrounds.

As one example of our commitment to gender and ethnic diversity, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors instituted a policy stipulating that gender and ethnically diverse candidates must be included in its pool of candidates for any open director positions. We also apply robust job profiles that include skills and culture, and leadership behaviors when evaluating candidates to limit biases in hiring decisions.

By cultivating an environment of inclusion and belonging and seeking diversity among our teams, we position ourselves to harness new perspectives and insights that fuel innovation, create value and support an unparalleled employee experience.

Learn more about how we are advancing our people and our company in Alexion’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report.

Tetra Tech Renovates Medical Facility to Receive Non-Acute COVID-19 Patients

Latest news from CSR Wire - Fri, 05/22/2020 - 05:18

COVID-19 Emergency Management Services

Tetra Tech provided engineering design and construction oversight services on a quick-response project managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Philadelphia District, to convert a closed and partially abandoned hospital into a 250-bed facility to receive non-acute COVID-19 patients in East Orange, New Jersey.

Tetra Tech had its team on-site within 12 hours after receiving the notice to proceed, drawing on a group of specialized design engineers and construction management professionals from across the company. The Tetra Tech team included professionals from the Cutting Edge Group and Archstone Builders. The team designed and installed necessary infrastructure including new patient care rooms, water and sanitation system upgrades, emergency power and fire protection systems, and wireless communication networks for the 6-story building. Up to 200 staff executed the work on site, working in teams 24 hours a day.

Prior to initiating work on-site, Tetra Tech developed a specific COVID-19 infectious disease and preparedness plan. The Tetra Tech team employed dedicated crews on-site to disinfect high-touch surfaces, required Personal Protective Equipment including masks for all personnel, maintained social distancing requirements, and used infrared thermometers to take the temperature of personnel entering the site. The Tetra Tech team worked approximately 25,000 field hours to complete the project without a single safety incident, and none of the nearly 300 project participants contracted the COVID-19 virus to date.

Tetra Tech led briefings twice a day with the USACE Philadelphia District, New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, New Jersey Department of Health, University Hospitals, and East Orange General Hospital to identify hospital needs and review the integrated design and construction progress.

Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the USACE, visited the project site and highlighted several patient care best management practices, such as a wireless emergency nurse call system, which operates on a self-contained radio frequency, that the USACE plans to implement on future COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility projects. The facility is began treating COVID-19 patients in May 2020.

“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was able to quickly access Tetra Tech’s engineering design and construction management services by working through one of our small disadvantaged business partners, the Cutting Edge Group,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO. “We rapidly mobilized our in-house experts and leveraged our existing relationships with the engineering and construction community to deliver the personnel needed to perform the work on an accelerated timeline. We will continue to provide our clients with the technology, tools, and innovative solutions to address the COVID-19 pandemic and support their top business priorities.”

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