Main page content
Global Advanced Metals Pty Ltd (GAM), a leading producer of tantalum powders and metallurgical products, has successfully undergone conflict minerals due diligence audits under the RMI Responsible Minerals Assurance Process (RMAP) audit standard.
For the tenth consecutive year, GAM was determined conformant to the RMAP Standard following the September 2019 audits of its facilities. Since their first validation in 2010, the first such validation of any metal type, GAM facilities in Aizu, Japan and Pennsylvania, USA have been leaders in complying with the RMAP audit program. This conflict-minerals’ due diligence audit program is led and supported by a cross section of industries (e.g. electronics, aerospace, automotive), governments, and multi-stakeholders.
The June 2017 published, RMAP audit standard puts emphases on a management system approach to minerals due diligence with a keen focus on company’s leadership commitment to responsible sourcing. GAM has developed a comprehensive due diligence program based on a broad and deep involvement with organizations like the Public Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade (PPA), the Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Multi-Stakeholders Group.
GAM’s ongoing leadership role in minerals’ due diligence includes activity such as the December 2019 participation in the PPA delegation visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. This visit aimed to enhance local stakeholders’ engagement and conduct mine sites visits.
A leading conflict-free tantalum producer, GAM has exclusive rights to the world's largest industrial resources of tantalum ore located in Western Australia.
GAM produces conflict-free tantalum powders and metallurgical products at its Pennsylvania, USA and Aizu, Japan plants for a range of industries including electronics, aerospace, automotive, medical and chemical processing.
GAM's smelting facilities in Japan and the USA were first declared "Conflict-Free" in 2010 under the former EICC/GeSI Conflict-Free Sourcing Initiative (CFSI) audit program, and continue to maintain their conformance to the current (RMAP) standard.
About RBA, RMI and RMAP
The Responsible Business Alliance—RBA was formerly known as the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition—EICC,
The Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) was formerly known as the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative—CFSI, and
The Responsible Minerals Assurance Process—RMAP was formerly known as the Conflict Free Smelter Program—CFSP.
U.S. Gain, a leader in development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG), becomes first to provide RNG for use in voluntary markets through the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS) Renewable Thermal Certificate (RTC) platform.
As a state-of-the-art platform that validates environmental attributes of energy, M-RETS is a leader in the environmental commodity tracking space and serves as a trusted centralized gateway to environmental markets and eliminating double-counting errors. M-RETS issues a unique, traceable digital certificate for every dekatherm (dth) produced by a renewable thermal generator. Types of renewable thermal technologies include RNG, hydrogen, ground source heat pumps, sewer/wastewater heat recovery, and many more existing and developing renewable thermal technologies. M-RETS registers projects in all states and provinces across North America.
Providing a transparent way to validate renewable thermal claims, M-RETS users retire RTCs to comply with regulation or to serve the voluntary market. The voluntary market represents utilities, companies and organizations that choose low-carbon products to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and improve environmental performance. Interest in renewables from the voluntary market continues to rise as more organizations begin tracking and reporting sustainability performance.
“M-RETS is excited to announce the launch of the first thermal specific tracking system in North America, which will aid the growth of thermal compliance and voluntary markets,” says Ben Gerber, executive director for M-RETS. “We are thrilled to work in collaboration with U.S. Gain to approve the first RTC generator and issue the first certificates on the new platform.”
RNG is methane captured from the decomposition of organic materials at agricultural facilities, landfills and wastewater treatment plants, cleaned and conditioned to meet pipeline standards, then injected into the natural gas distribution pipeline. RNG can be used in transportation, industrial process or heating and cooling applications.
RNG placed by U.S. Gain on the M-RETS RTC platform is intended for use by the voluntary market as a renewable thermal solution, specifically in heating, cooling and industrial process applications. Organizations incorporating RNG as a thermal solution can benefit from scope 1 and/or scope 2 emission savings, reducing their overall carbon footprint.
“RNG provides an incredible opportunity for organizations with zero carbon sustainability strategies,” says Bryan Nudelbacher, director of business development for U.S. Gain. “The M-RETS RTC platform is an excellent tool for organizations to not only find RNG, but also validate its environmental attributes. We’re excited to be a part of its development. As demand for RNG in the voluntary and transportation market continues to grow, we’ll be here with a steady supply of RNG.”
About U.S. Gain
U.S. Gain is a leader in development, procurement and distribution of renewable and compressed natural gas for the transportation and energy segments.
Over the course of 10 years U.S. Gain has diversified throughout the renewable natural gas supply chain – investing and managing renewable natural gas development projects at dairies, landfills and wastewater treatment plants; generating, trading and monetizing clean fuel credits; designing, building and operating natural gas fueling stations – both private and a public GAIN Clean Fuel® network. This vertical integration allows companies access to the cleanest fuel and energy at the best value.
As a part of U.S. Venture, Inc., a family-owned, Wisconsin-based company, U.S. Gain is committed to finding a better way for companies to succeed – both economically and environmentally. With experience you need and ethics you value, U.S. Gain is the partner you’ll be proud to work with. Learn more at https://www.usgain.com/.
3M and Discovery Education Search for America’s Next Top Young Scientist in 2020 Premier Middle School Science Competition
3M, the global science and innovation leader, and Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, today announced the opening of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge (#YoungScientist). The annual 3M Young Scientist Challenge recruits students in grades 5-8 to compete for an exclusive mentorship with a 3M scientist, the $25,000 grand prize and earn the title of America's Top Young Scientist. Competition entries are accepted at www.YoungScientistLab.com until the April 21, 2020 deadline.
The nation’s premier middle school science competition enters its thirteenth year of fostering a new generation of students who are inspired to improve the world through science and innovation. Each year, the program recognizes 10 finalists and up to 50 state merit winners nationwide who have demonstrated a passion for solving everyday problems. Previous challenge finalists have collaborated with 3M scientists to create solutions to a wide variety of real-world problems, including water conservation, noise pollution, energy consumption and public transportation efficiency. Last year’s winner, 14-year old Kara Fan, invented a first aid liquid bandage to reduce antibiotic overuse.
It’s easy for students to enter the 3M Young Scientist Challenge – it only takes an idea to get started and no prototypes or fancy labs are required. Students are invited to create a one to two-minute video communicating the science behind an idea aimed at solving a problem that positively impacts them, their school, family or community. Videos will not be judged on production skills and may be recorded on cell phones or basic digital cameras. Entries will be evaluated based on their creativity, scientific knowledge, and effective communication skills. For more information on the contest and rules, or to submit entries, please visit YoungScientistLab.com.
In June 2020, ten finalists will be chosen to participate in an exclusive summer mentorship program, where they will work closely with and learn from a 3M scientist. Each finalist will also receive a trip to the 3M Innovation Center at the company’s headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., to compete at the final event in October 2020.
“At 3M, we are passionate about the application of science to improve our everyday lives. The 3M Young Scientist Challenge and its summer mentorship program is a unique, immersive experience for students to explore innovation and nurture their ideas from concept to working prototype,” said Denise Rutherford, senior vice president, Corporate Affairs at 3M. “Year after year, it’s a true pleasure to work alongside young leaders as they imagine and discover what is possible through the power of science.”
Since its inception, the 3M Young Scientist Challenge has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in student prizes, paired students with world-renowned scientists to give them real-world insights and delivered science resources to millions of students, teachers and families across the country. 3M Young Scientist Challenge learning resources, including classroom interactives and family activities, are available at no cost at YoungScientistLab.com.
“Discovery Education is proud to partner with 3M and power a program that shines light upon the innate curiosities and wonder of young scientists,” said Lori McFarling, president of Corporate Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “As we collectively embrace unknowns of the future ahead, we look to our youngest leaders to inspire change for the betterment of our world – and ultimately open our eyes to the change that can result from student innovation, commitment and passion for innovation.”
To learn more about the challenge and submit entries, please visit YoungScientistLab.com.
At 3M, we apply science in collaborative ways to improve lives daily. With $32 billion in sales, our 96,000 employees connect with customers all around the world. Learn more about 3M’s creative solutions to the world’s problems at 3M.com or on Twitter @3M or @3MNews.
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, immersive STEM experiences 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 DiscoveryEducation.com.
Director, Corporate Education Partnerships
Fifth Third Bank Announces Chicago-based Decennial Group as Partner for $30 Million Investment in Opportunity Zones
Fifth Third Bank, National Association, announced today that Chicago-based Decennial Group will serve as a partner to help it invest $30 million in Qualified Opportunity Zones as part of its $100 million commitment announced last Friday. The funds will be used to develop projects in low-income urban and rural communities within the Bank’s footprint. The $100 million investment by Fifth Third Bank represents one of the largest made by an institution with a social impact investment strategy in Opportunity Zones.
“We are thrilled to partner with Decennial to work on Qualified Opportunity Zones in Chicago and throughout Illinois and the Midwest,” said Mitchell Feiger, regional chairman and CEO of Fifth Third Bank, Chicago. “With this agreement in place, Decennial Group is working to immediately identify qualified development opportunities in Chicago and other Midwest markets. The group’s goal is to deploy Fifth Third’s capital and accelerate market activity in order to create high-quality, affordable housing. Fifth Third expects to make a substantial commitment to Illinois with this program.”
Decennial Group is a vertically integrated investment management and development platform that will manage the assets for a minimum of 10 years, consistent with the requirements of investments made in Qualified Opportunity Zone locations.
“Decennial Group was created to lead pioneering investments in underserved communities,” said Bob Clark, Decennial Managing Partner and Clayco CEO. “This partnership with Fifth Third will allow us to make a significant impact in Qualified Opportunity Zones in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and throughout the Midwest. We intend to bring the full impact of Decennial’s financial, operational, and industry expertise to create projects that help transform underinvested neighborhoods into affordable, vibrant, and thriving communities.”
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot said, “We thank Fifth Third and Decennial Group for partnering with the City to create inclusive growth and committing to bring measurable, lasting investment to areas of Chicago with the greatest need. This will further our common goal of ensuring that INVEST South/West community corridors receive strategic investments, enhancing the quality of life and economic growth to benefit all our neighbors.”
Designed to spur long-term private sector investment into economic development and job creation in economically distressed communities, Opportunity Zones were established as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act to promote investment and development in a significant number of qualified low-income census tracts. Investment projects will need to satisfy the following Fifth Third social impact criteria:
Located in a qualified Opportunity Zone
Public welfare investment eligible
Project will be developed by an experienced, credit-worthy sponsor
Located in an MSA where Fifth Third has determined community need under the CRA
Actionable before the end of June 2020
Expected to generate a positive economic return
Offers opportunities to expand relationships with the bank
The $100 million investment will be used in three key investment categories: affordable housing; workforce housing and other community priorities for multifamily development; and certain non-residential or mixed-use real estate serving a particular community need, as well as projects that contribute to local job and business growth.
“We are honored to further expand our working relationship with Fifth Third’s Community Development group. Fifth Third continues to be our most valued partner and their commitment to improving lives in the communities they serve sets an example for other banks to follow,” said Brandt Blanken, president of Fallbrook Multifamily Investments. Fallbrook Multifamily also was named as a partner, with a $20 million commitment by the Bank to the Fallbrook Opportunity Zone Fund II.
On Friday, January 24, Fifth Third announced it would partner with National Equity Fund, an affiliate of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), with a $25 million commitment and Raymond James with a $25 million commitment.
“We are very excited about today’s announcement and what it means for Chicago and Illinois,” said Meghan Harte, executive director of Chicago LISC. “LISC is helping Fifth Third break new ground on Opportunity Zones throughout the country with the assistance of National Equity Fund, and on a local level in Chicago, Decennial Group is a strong partner who can bring important projects to the city, state, and Midwest as a whole. We applaud Fifth Third’s novel approach that taps the experience of four different partners, with a focus on achieving impact with every investment.”
Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investment projects that are currently being considered include the redevelopment of affordable and workforce housing with a minimum of 51% of the units are targeted to families with income at or below 80% of the area median income; forming a partnership with a housing authority organization to bring a grocery store to a food desert; investment in neighborhoods that are part of larger strategic growth initiatives in various cities; community centers for public housing residents and creating a commercial kitchen for use by small business entrepreneurs.
The first projects from the Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investments will be announced during the second half of 2020.
About Fifth Third Bancorp
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of December 31, 2019, Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets and operated 1,149 full-service banking centers and 2,481 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2019, had $413 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.
About Decennial Group
Decennial Group is a vertically integrated investment management and development platform comprised of a unique team of best-in-class developers, real estate and energy investors, builders, and regulatory experts. Among the first bespoke investment platforms in the opportunity zone marketplace, Decennial Group is focused on scalable, long-term investments that can revitalize neighborhoods throughout the country, with an emphasis on the American Heartland. For more information, please visit the Decennial Group at www.decennialgroup.com.
About Fallbrook Multifamily
Fallbrook Multifamily Investments, LLC is a real estate investment firm focusing nationwide on the development and preservation of affordable multifamily properties. Fallbrook’s mission is to develop, acquire, provide and preserve quality affordable housing while supplying exceptional management to partners and tenants as well as delivering stable returns to investors.
The majority of Fallbrook’s investment properties are supported by federal and state programs such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and HUD’s project based Section 8 program, which provide much needed housing to qualifying tenants, operate at traditionally high occupancy rates, provide reliable income, and deliver predictable revenue growth. For more information, please visit www.fallbrookmultifamily.com
For the second consecutive year, Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) has been named one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations by Corporate Knights. The media and investment research company rated Comerica as the only U.S. bank represented on this year's list with an overall rating as the 67th most sustainable company worldwide.
The Global 100 list is the result of a rigorous analysis of nearly 7,500 companies across the world with more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Evaluations of the companies focus on a wide range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues including clean revenues, compensation equity and board diversity.
"At Comerica, we are dedicated to conducting our business and operations in a way that best serves our customers today while protecting and preserving our environment for tomorrow," said Comerica Chairman and CEO Curt Farmer. "Driving change towards global sustainability positively impacts our communities, and we value our role as a partner and contributor to help improve our future."
In 2019, Comerica continued making progress on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and made approximately $923 million in loans and commitments to environmentally beneficial companies. Both of these efforts served as catalysts for the Global 100 ranking.
"Corporate Knights' highlight companies who understand green business is good business," said Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Sustainability Scott Beckerman. "At Comerica, we recognize the importance of supporting our customers across various categories of environmentally beneficial lending. Our commitments support an array of green businesses and projects, including recycling and environmental services, renewable energy, green buildings, brownfield redevelopment, energy efficiency and the professional services firms supporting a transition to a greener economy."
For the complete 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations by Corporate Knights, visit www.corporateknights.com/global100.
Comerica Incorporated (NYSE: CMA) is a financial services company headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and strategically aligned by three business segments: The Business Bank, The Retail Bank, and Wealth Management. Comerica focuses on relationships, and helping people and businesses be successful. In addition to Texas, Comerica Bank locations can be found in Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan, with select businesses operating in several other states, as well as in Canada and Mexico.
About Corporate Knights & the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World:
Corporate Knights Inc. includes the sustainable business magazine Corporate Knights and a research division that produces rankings and financial produce ratings based on corporate sustainability performance. The Global 100 is an annual project initiated by Corporate Knights, the company for clean capitalism. Launched in 2005, the Global 100 is announced annually on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Free “LabXchange” Science Education Accelerator Launched by Amgen Foundation and Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The Amgen Foundation and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University (Harvard FAS) today announced the global launch of LabXchange™, a free online science education platform that provides users with access to personalized instruction, virtual lab experiences and networking opportunities across the global scientific community. LabXchange is purpose-built to drive more inclusion in the scientific process and spark collaboration to build creative, team-based approaches to real-world problems.
“Too many high school and college students lack the opportunity to directly explore the scientific process – where you build a hypothesis, understand a method, and determine how to apply it to an appropriate experimental problem,” said Robert Lue, Ph.D., principal investigator of LabXchange and professor of the Practice of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard. “For many students, science can feel like a collection of facts to memorize – which is contrary to what the scientific process is – it’s a journey that requires bold thinking and deep imagination. With LabXchange, more students can come together and experience the joy of discovery.”
Featuring virtual lab experiments developed at LabXchange along with other world-class assets created by validated partners, LabXchange brings the scientific process to life. By simulating key techniques in molecular and cellular biology, like using CRISPR to correct genetic defects, students can explore a wide range of scientific methods and build their acumen in harnessing science to solve real-life problems.
“Everyone needs science, and science needs everyone,” said Robert A. Bradway, chairman and chief executive officer at Amgen. “At a time of remarkable scientific progress, we’re excited by the potential of LabXchange to educate and inspire both students and lifelong learners of all ages.”
LabXchange is designed to level the playing field for students and to promote science literacy for all. Key features of LabXchange include:
Free access to a library of world-class educational content including videos, interactive simulation and assessments.
Ability to mix and match materials, empowering teachers to create flexible learning pathways for classes or individual students that complement existing science curriculums.
Global networking functionality, enabling teachers to collaborate beyond a single classroom, school or district.
LabXchange builds upon other Amgen Foundation programs that support science education, such as the Amgen Biotech Experience and Amgen Scholars that are also at Harvard FAS and institutions around the world. To date, the Foundation has contributed more than $150 million to advancing science education programming globally as part of its mission to facilitate global collaboration on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG #4 on Quality Education but also SDG #3 on Good Health and Well-Being.
About the Amgen Foundation
The Amgen Foundation seeks to advance excellence in science education to inspire the next generation of innovators, and invest in strengthening communities where Amgen staff members live and work. To date, the Foundation has donated over $300 million to local, regional, and international nonprofit organizations that impact society in inspiring and innovative ways. The Amgen Foundation brings the excitement of discovery to the scientists of tomorrow through several signature programs, including Amgen Scholars and the Amgen Biotech Experience. For more information, visit AmgenInspires.com and follow us on Twitter @AmgenFoundation.
Amgen is committed to unlocking the potential of biology for patients suffering from serious illnesses by discovering, developing, manufacturing and delivering innovative human therapeutics. This approach begins by using tools like advanced human genetics to unravel the complexities of disease and understand the fundamentals of human biology.
Amgen focuses on areas of high unmet medical need and leverages its expertise to strive for solutions that improve health outcomes and dramatically improve people's lives. A biotechnology pioneer since 1980, Amgen has grown to be one of the world's leading independent biotechnology companies, has reached millions of patients around the world and is developing a pipeline of medicines with breakaway potential.
About the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
The Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the seven faculties that constitute Harvard University and is the only division of the university responsible for both undergraduate and graduate education. FAS advances knowledge, improves learning, and shapes leaders.
For more information, visit www.fas.harvard.edu/.
Amgen, Thousand Oaks
Jessica Akopyan, 805-447-0974 (Media)
Trish Hawkins, 805-447-5631 (Media)
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge
Rachael Dane, 617-456-0106 (Media)
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and Keep America Beautiful® (KAB) commend and fully support the Senate passage of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, (S.1982)—via unanimous vote—and now strongly urge the U.S. House of Representatives to consider and pass this bill.
The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is designed to improve efforts to combat marine debris both internationally and domestically, and recognizes the important role that robust solid waste management programs and recycling infrastructure play in the prevention and creation of marine debris.
“SWANA is very pleased that this important legislation has been approved by the Senate and urge its swift passage by the House,” stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. He added, “In addition to addressing marine debris, a significant and growing global problem, it will help support our domestic recycling infrastructure at a crucial time. Recycling programs throughout the United States face huge challenges due to the decline in export markets and commodity prices, and this bill provides important federal support for local governments and other recycling stakeholders.”
“Keep America Beautiful believes that it is the shared responsibility among government, the private sector, and individuals to arrive at solutions to the global marine debris issue,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Helen Lowman. “Innovation and partnership will be critical as we pursue solutions that improve our recycling infrastructure and processes to better manage unwanted materials from potentially becoming marine debris.”
The legislation establishes a post-consumer materials management infrastructure grant program that would receive $55 million for each fiscal year (FY) from FY2021 through FY2025, and trash-free water grants of $10 million for each fiscal year from FY2021 through FY2025.
The availability of funding for local waste management authorities to make improvements and meet waste management standards is critical at this time, when changes to international and domestic markets are putting pressure on the system. The bill correctly acknowledges that marine debris prevention and improved recycling are naturally intersecting interests.
KAB and SWANA assert that this legislation, along with increased support for public education about correct recycling practices and waste prevention, inevitably helps move the United States towards creating and sustaining a circular economy.
As communities and industry continue working together to make recycling work at all levels, federal action and support will play a role in shaping how that future looks. KAB and SWANA are committed to advancing the responsible management of solid waste as a resource.
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 10,000 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. For more than 50 years, SWANA has been the leading association in the solid waste management field. SWANA serves industry professionals through technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit SWANA.org.
About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.
###CONTACT Larry Kaufman +1 (203) 659-3014 email@example.com Keep America Beautiful http://www.kab.org http://www.twitter.com/kabtweet http://www.facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.instagram.com/keepamericabeautiful http://www.youtube.com/kabnetwork Sarah Beidleman +1 (800) 467-9262 firstname.lastname@example.org Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) https://swana.org/ http://www.twitter.com/swana https://www.facebook.com/SolidWasteAssociationOfNorthAmerica/ https://www.instagram.com/swanahq/
National Grid has been recognized for its innovative online marketplace that simplifies the process of installing solar energy for its customers by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC). In 2016, National Grid collaborated with EnergySage, a company that matches solar customers with qualified installers, to create a utility-sponsored, first-of-its-kind online solar marketplace for customers in Rhode Island. In 2018, the program was expanded to Upstate New York and will soon be available to Massachusetts residents via the state’s Mass Save initiative. The marketplace has resulted in hundreds of solar installations across National Grid’s service territory and thousands of quotes generated by prospective solar customers, driving a transition to clean energy and supporting clean energy jobs in the Northeast.
The program foundation is built on educating customers not only on the benefits of installing solar systems to power their home but to make them aware of the resources available through National Grid to advise and consult on the best ways to reduce energy costs and improving consumer sustainability.
“At National Grid, customers are at the heart of our clean energy transition, from solar and storage to energy efficiency,” said Gregory Knight, Chief Customer Officer at National Grid. “I am proud that our marketplace proactively engages National Grid customers to help them better understand their home's solar potential by providing them with the information and tools needed to make an educated decision. When customers have the knowledge and confidence to move forward in their solar shopping journey, they are dramatically more likely to embrace clean energy technologies and contribute to a decarbonized energy future.”
The awarded programs are designed to engage customers around solar and storage technologies and to educate them about their options. Each of these steps – from education and exploration to shopping and buying – can be accomplished entirely online with complete transparency. This is accomplished through a number of resources available to National Grid customers:
A property-specific Solar Calculator for learning the costs and benefits of going solar.
An online Solar Marketplace for comparing multiple, custom solar quotes from local, pre-screened contractors in a standardized, apples-to-apples format.
A Consumer Reports-style Buyer’s Guide for learning and evaluating panels, inverters, and batteries.
Access to trained Energy Advisors available to customers by email and live chat, as well as by phone.
"The high engagement that we've seen with this program is testament to the customer's desire for actionable information and National Grid's leadership in this area," said Tess O’Brien, vice president of partnerships at EnergySage. “Thanks to National Grid’s forward-thinking, customer-centric approach and EnergySage’s commitment to transparency and information, we’ve been able to achieve meaningful results by providing helpful tools and resources that customers really like.”
About National Grid
About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
CONTACT: Media Relations – 781-907-3980
General Motors’ (NYSE: GM) vision of an all-electric future is coming into clearer focus and gaining momentum with a $2.2 billion investment at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to produce a variety of all-electric trucks and SUVs. GM’s first all-electric truck will be a pickup with production scheduled to begin in late 2021. This will be followed soon after by the Cruise Origin, a shared, electric, self-driving vehicle unveiled by Cruise in San Francisco last week. Detroit-Hamtramck will be GM’s first fully-dedicated electric vehicle assembly plant.
Visit https://www.getcruise.com/origin for more information about the Cruise Origin, including images and b-roll.
Learn more about the ways General Motors is driving value through environmental, community and governance factors.
“Through this investment, GM is taking a big step forward in making our vision of an all-electric future a reality,” said Mark Reuss, GM president, during a press event at the plant with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other local and state officials. “Our electric pickup will be the first of multiple electric truck variants we will build at Detroit-Hamtramck over the next few years.”
When the plant is fully operational, this investment will create more than 2,200 good-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs.
GM will also invest an additional $800 million in supplier tooling and other projects related to the launch of the new electric trucks.
Since the fall of 2018, GM has committed to invest more than $2.5 billion in Michigan to bring electric vehicles to market through investments at Orion assembly, GM battery lab in Warren, Brownstown and today’s announced direct investment in Detroit-Hamtramck.
The plant’s paint and body shops and general assembly area will receive comprehensive upgrades, including new machines, conveyors, controls and tooling.
GM’s joint venture with LG Chem – which is investing $2.3 billion to manufacture battery cells in Lordstown, Ohio – will supply battery cells for the electric vehicles manufactured at Detroit-Hamtramck.
A key driver behind GM’s decision to make the commitment to Detroit-Hamtramck was the support this project received from the state of Michigan.
“The support from the state of Michigan was a key element in making this investment possible,” added Reuss. “This investment helps ensure that Michigan will remain at the epicenter of the global automotive industry as we continue our journey to an electrified future.”
Detroit-Hamtramck currently operates on one shift of production and builds the Cadillac CT6 and the Chevrolet Impala. Approximately 900 people are employed at the plant. As previously confirmed, the plant will be idled for several months beginning at the end of February as the renovations begin.
The plant has built more than 4 million vehicles since opening in 1985. Hourly employees at Detroit-Hamtramck are represented by UAW Local 22.CONTACT Jennifer Korail +1 (313) 319-0584 email@example.com General Motors http://media.gm.com
For the spring 2020 season, Timberland builds upon the brand’s Nature Needs Heroes campaign, celebrating six eco-heroes from around the globe who are making positive change for the planet, and calling on the global community to join the movement. The campaign first debuted in fall 2019, in concert with the bold announcement that Timberland will plant 50 million trees by 2025, to help fight the devastating effects of climate change in pursuit of a greener future.
Timberland’s heroes are a community of open-minded change-makers committed to build a better future for the environment and the people who live in it. Real people making change for the world through their life’s work – ranging from a documentary film maker to an ethical style influencer to a change maker for human and kind cities.
Beyond celebrating their stories, the campaign calls upon people everywhere to take their own actions, large or small, for the planet. The campaign will come to life through print, digital, social media, events, in-store activations and PR.
“The Nature Needs Heroes campaign is based on the premise that small actions make a difference, small actions by many can create a movement, and a movement can change the world,” said Argu Secilmis, global VP of marketing for Timberland. “Timberland is excited to introduce this season’s heroes, and to engage the global community in our journey toward a greener future.”
Each hero in the campaign wears footwear, apparel and accessories from the Timberland® SS20 collection, recognized as much for its great styling as its responsible design ethos. New this season: work-inspired apparel thoughtfully made with recycled and organic fabrics and footwear styles made with responsibly-sourced leathers and fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. Key styles include the Jackson Landing and Earth Rally collections for men; and the Emerald Bay sneakers and Koralyn sandals for women.
The new collection launches this spring at Timberland® retail stores and wholesale locations around the world, as well as online. To learn more about Timberland’s products, visit timberland.com. To learn more about the brand’s tree planting commitment and Nature Needs Heroes campaign, visit its responsibility site.
Founded in 1973, Timberland is a global outdoor lifestyle brand based in Stratham, New Hampshire, with international headquarters in Switzerland and Hong Kong. Best known for its original yellow boot designed for the harsh elements of New England, Timberland today offers a full range of footwear, apparel and accessories for people who value purposeful style and share the brand’s passion for enjoying – and protecting – nature.
At the heart of the Timberland® brand is the core belief that a greener future is a better future. This comes to life through a decades-long commitment to make products responsibly, protect the outdoors, and strengthen communities around the world. To share in Timberland’s mission to step outside, work together and make it better, visit one of our stores, timberland.com or follow us @timberland. Timberland is a VF Corporation brand.
Contact: Molly Speed, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-939-8445
Fifth Third Bank, National Association, announced today that it would invest $100 million in projects that support community development through four Opportunity Zone fund partners. The first two partners were announced at a 9:00 AM press conference at the national headquarters of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The National Equity Fund, an affiliate of LISC, and Raymond James will be the first two partners to identify and structure investments meeting the Bank’s criteria. The remaining two partners will be announced in Chicago on Monday, Jan. 27.
The funds will be used to develop projects in low-income urban and rural communities across the Bank’s 10-state footprint. This investment represents one of the largest made by an institution with a social impact investment strategy in Opportunity Zones.
“We are committed to forging impactful partnerships that deliver community revitalization,” said Greg D. Carmichael, chairman, president & CEO, Fifth Third Bank. “We are proud to use this innovative approach to ensure our capital will serve the communities that are most in need.”
“This long-term investment in Opportunity Zones is a call to action for communities to partner with institutions that are aligned with making a social investment,” said Byna Elliott, chief enterprise responsibility officer. “Building affordable and middle-income housing, increasing capital for small businesses and workforce development programs benefits all of our community stakeholders.”
Designed to spur long-term private sector investment into economic development and job creation in economically distressed communities, Opportunity Zones were established as part of the 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act to promote investment and development in a significant number of qualified low-income census tracts. Investment projects will need to satisfy the following Fifth Third social impact criteria:
Located in a qualified Opportunity Zone
Public welfare investment eligible
Project will be developed by an experienced, credit-worthy sponsor
Located in an MSA where Fifth Third has determined community need under the CRA
Actionable before the end of June 2020
Expected to generate a positive economic return
Offers opportunities to expand relationships with the bank
Fifth Third is committing $25 million to the NEF Fifth Third Opportunity Zone Fund I LLC and $25 million to the Raymond James Opportunity Zone Fund IV. The remaining $50 million will be committed to two other partners. The funds will be used in three key investment categories: affordable housing; workforce housing and other community priorities for multifamily development; and certain non-residential or mixed-use real estate serving a particular community need, as well as projects that contribute to local job and business growth.
“We are excited to help Fifth Third break new ground in Opportunity Zones with a strategy that prioritizes local impact along with a reasonable financial return,” said Maurice A. Jones, LISC president and CEO. “Not only does this capital help LISC’s affiliate NEF fuel housing for working families, but it also features a novel approach that will represent the best intent of the Opportunity Zone incentive.”
Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investment projects that are currently being considered include the redevelopment of affordable and workforce housing with a minimum of 51% of the units targeted to families with income at or below 80% of the area median income; forming a partnership with a housing authority organization to bring a grocery store to a food desert; investment in neighborhoods that are part of larger strategic growth initiatives in various cities; community centers for public housing residents and creating a commercial kitchen for use by small business entrepreneurs.
The first projects from the Fifth Third Opportunity Zone investments should be announced by June 30, 2020.
About Fifth Third Bancorp
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of December 31, 2019, Fifth Third had $169 billion in assets and operated 1,149 full-service banking centers and 2,481 ATMs with Fifth Third branding in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 53,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2019, had $413 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $49 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the Nasdaq® Global Select Market under the symbol “FITB.” Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Deposit and Credit products are offered by Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Member FDIC.
About LISC and NEF
With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America—great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1979, LISC has invested more than $20 billion to build or rehab 400,500 affordable homes and apartments and develop 66.8 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. Founded in 1987 by LISC, NEF is a leading investor in affordable housing currently managing more than $15 billion of investments in more than 110,000 units for affordable housing across the country. To learn more, visit www.lisc.org and www.nefinc.org.
About Raymond James Tax Credit Funds
Raymond James Tax Credit Funds is a wholly owned subsidiary of Raymond James Financial, Inc. (NYSE-RJF). Since 1969, subsidiaries of RJF have been among the leading syndicators of affordable housing. Raymond James Tax Credit Funds has raised more than $8.75 billion in equity for more than 1,990 properties across the United States since the inception of the tax credit program in 1986. For more information, visit www.rjtcf.com.
General Mills Launches Multi-Year Regenerative Agriculture Pilot with Wheat Growers in Central Kansas
General Mills has launched a regenerative agriculture pilot with farmers in Kansas’ Cheney Reservoir watershed which provides water to more than 400,000 Wichita residents. The company targeted this watershed in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to improve water quality as part of the state-wide Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy. The 3-year pilot is comprised of 24 wheat growers in and around the 650,000-acre watershed where more than ninety-nine percent of the land is used for agricultural purposes.
“This pilot is an important step in our commitment to advance regenerative practices on 1 million acres of farmland by 2030, but more so supports our belief that these practices can have long-term positive impact on farmer profitability, soil health, water quality and biodiversity,” said Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and social impact officer at General Mills. “We’re energized to be working alongside committed organizations like the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Understanding Ag to help us embark on this important work.”
Regenerative agriculture is a holistic method of farming, deploying practices designed to protect and intentionally enhance natural resources and farming communities. These practices focus on pulling carbon from the air and storing it in the soil in addition to helping the land be more resilient to extreme weather events. Additionally, regenerative agriculture practices help to increase water infiltration and reduce soil erosion which have been shown to positively impact the quality of nearby lakes, rivers and streams. These benefits can translate to farmers’ pocketbooks by ensuring that more nutrients stay in the field to be absorbed by plants rather than washed or blown away through soil erosion.
Today’s announcement builds upon the company’s commitment to improve soil health and to reduce its absolute GHG emissions by 28 percent across its full value chain by 2025. General Mills is supporting the rapid advancement in adoption of regenerative agriculture practices and is partnering with key suppliers like Paterson Grain and Archer Daniels Midland across key ingredient categories and regions. In March 2019, the company launched a Regenerative Oat Pilot consisting of 45 farmers across North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba representing more than 50,000 acres of farmland and will measure the environmental and economic outcomes over the duration of the 3-year program.
“The goal of the pilot program is to encourage farming practices that improve both soil health and water quality in the Cheney Reservoir region such that agriculture is the solution to a more resilient and clean water supply for Wichita residents,” said Leo Henning, Deputy Secretary of the Division of Environment at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. “We believe regenerative agriculture can improve the quality of this vital water source and if we are successful, it’s win-win-win, for farmers, communities and the environment.”
The 24 growers were selected from a group of more than 150 participants who attended one of two, two-day Soil Health Academies in early November. The Understanding Ag consultants are meeting individually with each pilot participant to co-develop and implement regenerative management plans. By convening and connecting a network of farmers throughout the region, all of whom are evolving farm practices to align with a regenerative mindset, the hope is to rapidly accelerate regionally specific learnings that can be shared broadly. Participating farmers will have access to continuing education via the Soil Health Academy, farmer-focused field days and a private Facebook group to encourage ongoing exchange of ideas and best practices.
"The project represents an enormous opportunity to demonstrate the many on- and off-farm benefits of regenerative agriculture in wheat production, including increased farm profitability, improved resiliency and enhanced biodiversity," said Gabe Brown, Understanding Ag co-founder and farmer. "Thanks to this partnership, UA's regenerative-farmer consultants will work to ensure the successful and profitable adoption of critical soil health-improving practices on these farms."
To provide another pathway for experimentation, an additional 18 growers in Kansas will receive support to enroll in the Soil Health Partnership Associate Program to study outcomes of reduced or no tillage, and cover cropping.
Furthermore, the collaborating partners intend to align soil carbon and water quality measurement protocols with those being developed by the Ecosystem Services Market Consortium, a member-based industry collaborative focused on launching a national scale ecosystems services market for agriculture to recognize and reward farmers and ranchers for their environmental services to society. As part of the pilot, participants who opt into data tracking and field measurements will be some of the first in the country to be paid for sequestering carbon or improving water quality.
For more information on General Mills’ regenerative agriculture commitment and progress, visit the company’s website.
About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company that serves the world by making food people love. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, BLUE and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2019 net sales of U.S. $16.9 billion. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.0 billion.
Mollie Wulff +1 (763) 764-6364 Media.email@example.com
This year at The International Surface Event (TISE), Mohawk will be unveiling an interactive art installation by Brooklyn-based artist Basia Goszczynska to help attendees visualize the true impact of plastic in the world’s waterways. Made almost entirely from recycled and upcycled materials and the different components that comprise Mohawk carpeting, “Overflow” will demonstrate how thoughtful product design, innovation and sustainability in the flooring industry is reducing the waste stream.
The installation will help tell Mohawk’s bottle recycling story through the lens of its recently announced support of The Ocean Cleanup, and the important work being done from Atlantic to Pacific and beyond. “Overflow” will be positioned near the VIP entrance to the exhibits at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, January 28–30.
“’Overflow’ draws attention to the importance for us to take responsibility for our waste,” said Goszcynska. “Because humanity and our technologies have evolved so rapidly, the rest of nature is having a difficult time adapting. If we hope to provide future generations with a habitable planet, it's crucial that we, as individuals, communities, companies and governments, all work to reduce and transform the waste that we produce. By inviting participation in the work, I hope to encourage that sense of agency and responsibility in my audience.”
The work serves as a “canary in a coal mine,” warning about what will become of the world’s oceans if humankind fails to take responsibility for its waste. Commissioned by Mohawk FIooring North America, and built using materials sourced from its Summerville, Georgia recycling facility, “Overflow” incorporates the various stages of transformation that single-use plastic bottles undergo during the manufacturer’s patented Continuum recycling process: from bottles, to flakes, to pellets, to filament, and finally to EverStrand and EnviroStrand carpeting. By inviting audience participation and interaction—viewers are invited to contribute their single-use plastic bottles to the sculpture and/or lounge on the sculpture's carpeted beach—the work acknowledges the role and responsibility of every individual and company. The artist will be onsite at Surfaces engaging with guests along the beach, answering questions about the piece and the creative process inspired by the rising tide of issues caused by plastic products.
“Ultimately, I hope to shift perceptions about our waste, and plastic in particular, from something that is abject and easily discarded, into something that is precious and worthy of our attention,” added the artist. “I was excited to take on this project because it provided me with an opportunity to work with plastic bottles for the first time. As an artist interested in waste management and environmental issues, it was a thrill to see the fascinating process that salvaged plastic bottles undergo to become beautiful carpeting at Mohawk's recycling plant.”
Goszczynska explores environmental and waste issues through a variety of mediums including sculpture, installation, performance, social practice and new media. Her work explores humankind’s relationship with waste and nature and aims to help those who experience it reconsider and reimagine the value of discarded objects. Goszczynska received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. She has also received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Massachusetts Cultural Council as well as the Ray Stark Film Prize.
To explore the artist, her philosophy and body of work, visit BasiaGoszczynska.com. To learn more about Mohawk and its commitment to believe in better sustainability and corporate social responsibility, visit MohawkSustainability.com.
Mohawk Industries is a leading global flooring manufacturer that creates products to enhance residential and commercial spaces around the world. Mohawk’s vertically integrated manufacturing and distribution processes provide competitive advantages in the production of carpet, rugs, ceramic tile, laminate, hardwood, stone and vinyl flooring. Our industry-leading innovation has yielded products and technologies that differentiate our brands in the marketplace and satisfy all remodeling and new construction requirements. Our brands are among the most recognized in the industry and include Mohawk, American Olean, Daltile, Durkan, IVC, Karastan, Marazzi, Pergo, Unilin and Quick-Step. During the past decade, Mohawk has transformed its business from an American carpet manufacturer into the world’s largest flooring company with operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and the United States.
About The International Surface Event
Comprised of three world-class tradeshows: SURFACES | StonExpo/Marmomac | TileExpo events, The International Surface Event (TISE) is the largest North American floor covering, stone, and tile industry event and is the industry marketplace for buyers, specifiers, and influencers to source products, gain design inspiration and develop their businesses.
# # #
Luke Chaffin 762.204.5607
SCS Global Services (SCS) and the Last Prisoner Project (LPP) are pleased to announce a joint partnership to provide food safety training scholarships for formerly incarcerated individuals affected by the criminalization of cannabis.
The Last Prisoner Project is a new advocacy organization made up of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to making sure that every victimless cannabis prisoner is released, welcomed home and supported by their community. “Millions of Americans have been impacted by incarceration and the collateral consequences for nonviolent cannabis offenses,” said Sarah Gersten, LPP Executive Director and General Counsel. “It is imperative that this emerging industry create pathways to employment for those disproportionately impacted by prohibition.”
“SCS has an ongoing commitment to social justice,” said Diane Dulmage, SCS Training Manager. “We’re very happy to donate our professional education services to the Last Prisoner Project.”
SCS is offering a variety of food safety classes and, for those interested in working with edibles (baked goods, chocolate, and beverages) or CBD oils, the “GMP and HACCP Training for Cannabis Manufacturing” will help them stand out from the crowd. They will earn Certificates of Completion in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) or HACCP, a level of training which exceeds most state’s current regulations for cannabis companies and is valued by food companies around the world.
LPP Founding Member Steve DeAngelo said, “Those of us fortunate enough to participate in the legal cannabis industry have a moral obligation to assist people still in prison for doing the same thing we do every day— and a precious opportunity to make real change in the lives of real people. I call on every person and every company in the industry to emulate the example of SCS and do what you can to ensure each and every cannabis prisoner is released, and provided the resources they need to rebuild the lives that have been stolen from them. Together, we can bring them home”.
SCS Global Services (SCS). SCS has been a global leader in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing and standards development for thirty-five years. Headquartered in Emeryville, California, SCS has supported U.S., Mexico and Canadian food manufacturers and growers with food safety training, consulting and certifications that reinforce best practices and satisfy the demands of retailers, regulatory agencies, and customers.
For more information, contact Diane Dulmage, Training Manager, SCS Global Services. Phone: 510-452-8003 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Prisoner Project. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy, and awareness campaigns the forces behind the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies and are dedicated to making sure that every last victimless cannabis prisoner walks free. Visit www.lastprisonerproject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.
For more information, contact Sarah Gersten, Executive Director & General Counsel, Last Prisoner Project. Phone: 603-913-3579 email@example.com
Last Prisoner Project Media Contacts:
Linda Carbone and Katie Leggett
Investors Press Fast Food Giants to Move Faster and Bolder on Climate and Water Risk Management, One Year Into $11 Trillion Engagement
Investor coalition nearly doubles in a year from $6.5 to more than $11.4 trillion of combined assets under management.
Among six companies, two have publicly committed to science-based climate targets, two have intentions to set emissions reduction targets, one has undertaken a water risk assessment and committed to assessing the resilience of its animal protein supply chain to various warming scenarios.
New phase of investor engagement calls for further climate and water action.
A global investor coalition representing more than $11.4 trillion of assets today urged six of the world’s largest fast food companies to take faster and deeper action to manage climate and water risks in their supply chains. The coalition, facilitated by global investor network FAIRR and sustainability organisation Ceres, originally launched in January 2019 with combined assets of $6.5 trillion. In one year, it has grown by 75% to include over 90 investors with combined assets of $11.4 trillion.
The investors are engaging with Chipotle Mexican Grill, Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Restaurant Brands International (owners of Burger King), Wendy’s Co. and Yum! Brands (owners of KFC and Pizza Hut). The firms are being asked to set aggressive targets to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and water quality impacts of their meat and dairy supply chains.
One year into the engagement, the results show some progress across the key requests made by the investors, according to new analysis released today by Ceres and FAIRR. However, the fast food companies’ efforts thus far do not sufficiently mitigate their exposure to the considerable physical, regulatory, and reputational risks climate change poses to animal agriculture. What’s more, the companies are not responding at the pace required to match the magnitude of their environmental impacts. Of the six engaged companies:
Two (McDonald’s and Yum Brands!) have set or publicly committed to set science-based emission reduction targets, which are adequate for limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, with the aim of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees. Restaurant Brands International has stated its intention to set an emissions reduction target for its restaurants in the U.S. and Canada.
Only one (McDonald’s) has publicly disclosed that it has conducted a water risk assessment specifically for meat and dairy suppliers. Restaurant Brands International plans to conduct a life-cycle assessment which will consider its water footprint, among other impacts.
None have set specific requirements on climate and water for meat and dairy suppliers, with unclear compliance monitoring systems across the board.
The six fast food companies have a combined market cap of over $260 billion and collectively manage over 120,000 restaurants worldwide. Today’s analysis is based solely on public disclosures to date and does not reflect key improvements discussed in private dialogues.
Eugenie Mathieu, Senior SRI Analyst, Aviva said:
“To create a pathway to achieving the Paris Agreement and to avoid water scarcity, the food sector needs to show that it is managing its emissions and water usage with the same urgency and focus as any other acute business risk. This engagement sets out clear investor expectations from fast food giants. These firms are leaders in fast food, and we would like them to demonstrate similar leadership in managing the material financial risks of climate and water in their supply chains.”
Aarti Ramachandran, Head of Research and Engagements, FAIRR Initiative said:
“Investors are concerned about the climate impacts of our burgers and burritos. Feed for livestock alone uses around a third of annual global water withdrawals and is a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Failure by the global fast food sector to tackle the environmental issues in their supply chains puts the long-term financial sustainability of their businesses under threat. Investors are asking the industry to manage these risks, using tools such as water risk assessments and science-based emissions targets, but the companies are failing to respond at the pace and with the detail required by investors.”
Kirsten James, Director of Water, Ceres said:
“Fast food companies have long lagged behind other high-emitting and water-intensive industries that take these material, financial and reputational risks seriously. It is time for these companies to have a plan and take urgent steps to ensure their meat and dairy supply chains are resilient to the impacts of rising temperatures and extreme droughts and flooding. Investors are not only demanding action, but they want more information about the concrete steps that companies are taking to tackle supply chain issues -- the cost of ignoring them is too high.”
The second phase of the Ceres/FAIRR engagement launches today with the investor coalition writing to each company with specific tailored requests based on their current strategies. The engagements are also supported by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR).
****Notes to editor*****
For more information, including interviews contact:
FAIRR: Sophie Grant, ESG Communications
T: +44 (0) 7817371323 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ceres: Sara Sciammacco, Ceres
T: 617-247-0700 ext. 172 | E: email@example.com
Note that investors with combined assets of over $11 trillion are backing the Ceres/FAIRR climate and water engagement which is the subject of this press release. FAIRR has more than 200 institutional investors with over $20 trillion of combined assets participating in its activities.The Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability comprises 163 institutional investors, collectively managing more than $25 trillion in assets.About Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Ceres is also a founding partner organization of Climate Action 100+. The five-year investor initiative aims to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.About FAIRR
The FAIRR Initiative is a collaborative investor network, founded by Jeremy Coller. It works with institutional investors to define the material ESG issues linked to intensive livestock and fish farming systems and provide them with the tools necessary to integrate this information into their asset stewardship and investment decisions, including the Coller FAIRR Index, The world’s first comprehensive assessment of the largest global animal protein companies on environmental, social and governance issues. Visit www.fairr.org and follow @FAIRRinitiative
Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) announced today that CDP, the global environmental impact nonprofit, named the Company to the prestigious Climate "A List" for its science-based goals, strategies and actions to lower greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate risks.
"It's rewarding to see Republic Services' environmental efforts recognized by the CDP," said Pete Keller, vice president of recycling and sustainability. "We are striving to reduce our carbon footprint while expanding our capabilities to solve our customers' evolving recycling and waste needs through our new 2030 sustainability goals. This achievement provides important market recognition of our climate leadership."
CDP's annual rankings recognize companies from around the world that are pioneers for action on climate change, water and deforestation. In 2019, CDP scored more than 8,400 companies, with only the top two percent making the A List.
"Republic Services is a model for true corporate sustainability leadership," said Bruno Sarda, president of CDP North America. "Climate change is an undeniable business risk if unaddressed, and we must transition to a low-carbon economy now to avoid the worst impacts. A List companies know sustainability presents an exciting race to the top, an opportunity to innovate and rethink business as usual, proving that environmental responsibility simply makes good business sense."
In 2019 Republic announced a new set of long-term goals designed to address critical global macrotrends related to the Company's most important sustainability risks and opportunities. These goals also align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our Blue Planet: 2030 Goals
Zero employee fatalities
Reduce OSHA Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) to 2.0 or less by 2030
Engaged Workforce: Achieve and maintain employee engagement scores at or above 88 percent by 2030
Climate Leadership: Reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent by 2030 (2017 baseline year), approved by SBTi1
Circular Economy: Increase recovery of key materials by 40 percent on a combined basis by 2030 (2017 baseline year)
Regenerative Landfills: Increase biogas sent to beneficial reuse by 50 percent by 2030 (2017 baseline year)
Charitable Giving: Positively impact 20 million people by 2030
The CDP Climate A List score reflects Republic's commitment to sustainability, including the new goals, increased disclosures and notable sustainability achievements as demonstrated by inclusion in Barron's 2019 100 Most Sustainable Companies, Forbes 2019 Best Employers for Women and Ethisphere's 2019 World's Most Ethical Companies. Click here to learn more about Republic's sustainability commitment.
The CDP is a leading global nonprofit organization that drives sustainable economics worldwide. In 2019, over 525 investors with over $96 trillion in assets and 125 major purchasers with $3.6 trillion in procurement spend requested companies to disclose data on environmental impacts, risks and opportunities through CDP's platform. Click here for the full list of companies named to this year's CDP Climate Change A List.
1 Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). On July 30, 2019, Republic Services' 2030 Climate Leadership goal was approved by the SBTi.
About Republic Services
Republic Services, Inc. is an industry leader in U.S. recycling and non-hazardous solid waste disposal. Through its subsidiaries, Republic's collection operations, transfer stations, recycling processing centers, landfills, and environmental services provide effective solutions to make responsible recycling and waste disposal effortless for its 14 million customers. More than 36,000 employees are committed to providing a superior experience while fostering a sustainable Blue Planet® for future generations to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. For more information, visit RepublicServices.com, or follow us at Facebook.com/RepublicServices, @RepublicService on Twitter and @republic_services on Instagram.
For further information:
United Airlines Earns 100% Score on Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ+ Workplace Equality
United Airlines today announced it has received a perfect score of 100% on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a premier benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. This is the ninth consecutive year the airline received a 100% score.
"United is proud to receive this recognition as it speaks to our commitment to not only promoting an LGBTQ+-friendly workplace but LGBTQ+-friendly skies," said Kate Gebo, United's Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations. "We will continue working with organizations like the Human Rights Campaign to help champion LGBTQ+ inclusion because United believes in breaking down barriers to create a more welcoming world for all who explore it."
"The impact of the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index over its 18-year history is profound. In this time, the corporate community has worked with us to adopt LGBTQ+-inclusive policies, practices and benefits, establishing the Corporate Equality Index as a primary driving force for LGBTQ+ workplace inclusion in America and across the globe," said HRC President Alphonso David. "These companies know that protecting their LGBTQ+ employees and customers from discrimination is not just the right thing to do -- it is also the best business decision."
United's commitment to LGBTQ+ equality includes being the first U.S. airline to fully recognize domestic partnerships in 1999 to becoming the first U.S. airline to offer non-binary gender options throughout all of its booking channels in 2019. Additionally, during its Pride Month celebration in 2019, United became the first public company to be inducted into Pride Live's Stonewall Ambassador program.
United has partnered with the Human Rights Campaign on training initiatives including educating employees about preferred pronouns and the persistence of gender norms and other steps to make United an inclusive space for both customers and employees. The airline's latest efforts include developing comprehensive training modules and exercises to continue employee education on how to be a better ally in both the workplace and to customers. Over the past year, United has also opened more LGBTQ+ Business Resource Groups across the country, reaching more employees.
Alongside partner organizations, customers and employees, United will continue working to build the world's most inclusive airline. For more information on United's commitment to diversity and inclusion, visit https://hub.united.com/diversity-inclusion-fact-sheet/.
Every customer. Every flight. Every day.
United continues to strengthen its commitment to its customers, looking at every aspect of its business to ensure that the carrier keeps customers' best interests at the heart of its service. In addition to today's announcement, United recently:
- Announced that MileagePlus award miles will never expire
- Committed $40 million toward a new investment initiative focused on accelerating the development of sustainable aviation fuels and other decarbonization technologies
- Established Miles on a Mission, a first-of-its-kind crowdsourcing platform which gives customers a simple way to donate miles to non-profit organizations and charities in need of air travel
- Launched ConnectionSaver, a digital tool dedicated to improving the experience for customers with connecting flights
- Instituted PlusPoints, new upgrade benefits for MileagePlus Premier members
- Gave Economy customers a choice of complimentary snacks on domestic flights
- Made DIRECTV free for every customer on more than 200 aircraft
United's shared purpose is "Connecting People. Uniting the World." We are more focused than ever on our commitment to customers through a series of innovations and improvements designed to help build a great experience: Every customer. Every flight. Every day. Together, United and United Express operate approximately 4,900 flights a day to 362 airports across six continents. In 2019, United and United Express operated more than 1.7 million flights carrying more than 162 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates 791 mainline aircraft and the airline's United Express partners operate 581 regional aircraft. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 195 countries via 26 member airlines. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter and Instagram or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Airlines Holdings, Inc., is traded on the Nasdaq under the symbol "UAL".
For further information: United Airlines Worldwide Media Relations, +1-872-825-8640, firstname.lastname@example.org
Schneider Electric, the global leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, has for the third year in a row been ranked in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI). The GEI is open to all companies, from different sectors, and with a market capitalization of more than U.S. $1 billion. Schneider Electric is one of 325 global companies, and one of 16 in the industrial sector, to be ranked.
“We are honored to be recognized for the third year in a raw for our efforts to achieve gender equality,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s Chairman and CEO. “At Schneider Women, gender equity is a top priority for us. We pride ourselves on nurturing an inclusive culture where women leaders are empowered, enabled and visible in the organization. We have set a goal to reach at least 30% women on every single leadership team. Gender balance is integral to how we conduct business, and we are making it a business priority.”
Bloomberg recognizes Schneider Electric’s commitment to gender equality and transparency in reporting
Created in 2016, the Bloomberg GEI provides managers and investors with comparative information on genderequality performance of the world’s biggest companies. Based on a detailed self-disclosure survey on 2018 data, the GEI provides a unique barometer of gender-equality performance as well as transparency in gender reporting and to advancing women globally. And by publicly releasing their gender-related data, Schneider Electric has fortified its commitment to gender equality across 100+ countries it operates.
"The 325 companies included in the 2020 GEI have shown their commitment to transparency and demonstrated leadership in gender-related data reporting," said Peter T. Grauer, Chairman of Bloomberg. "Disclosure of company statistics and practices is an important first step in supporting gender equality globally."
Schneider Electric’s strong performance based on concrete achievements
The Index includes 75 questions across one of five pillars: Female Leadership & Talent Pipeline, Equal Pay & Gender Pay Parity, Inclusive Culture, Sexual Harassment Policies and Pro-Women Brand. Companies are assigned a score based on both disclosure and data excellence.
Schneider Electric scored high in the areas of Inclusive Culture and Pro-Women Brand. This strong performance reflects the company’s numerous initiatives to drive positive change and provide equal opportunities for everyone, everywhere, specifically in:
Strong leadership in building an inclusive workplace culture and advocating for gender equality as a UN Women HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Champion and 100% commitment by our CEO and Country Presidents to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Empowering women through its global policies and practices. As of the end of 2018, the Global Family Leave Policy, has been fully deployed in over 59 countries, covering 75% of our employees, and is on target to reach 100% by 2020. And, the global Pay Equity Framework has been implemented in 50 countries, reaching over 92% of our total workforce, and expected to reach 95% by 2020.
Investing in vocational training of women through the Company ’Access to Energy Training & Entrepreneurship program. Yéyé, the narrator of the Schneider Electric Tomorrow Rising web series is a good illustration. Her ambition is to become a respected engineer. We follow her from the beginning of her training in Lagos, Nigeria, to her diploma.
Report: Comprehensive Reproductive Health Care Essential for Employees and Corporate America’s Bottom Line
A groundbreaking new report, Hidden Value: The Business Case for Reproductive Health, released today connects how access to comprehensive reproductive health care impacts a company’s bottom line and the corporate workforce. The research was published by Rhia Ventures, a social impact investment firm focused on innovative solutions in reproductive health, in partnership with the social impacting consulting firm FSG. The findings are undergirded by new research from PerryUndem that surveyed attitudes and opinions of 1,377 college-educated employed Americans aged 18-64 on reproductive health care.
Women’s ability to participate freely and fully in the workforce is essential to the growth, performance and resilience of the U.S. economy and the businesses which comprise it. This participation is contingent upon access to comprehensive reproductive health services, including contraception and abortion. These services are used by nearly all women -- 99 percent have used contraception and 25 percent have had an abortion by age 45. Until today, the link between access to this care and business performance has been under-examined and poorly understood.
“Investing in comprehensive health care access, including reproductive health care, is something companies cannot afford to overlook. Providing these benefits maximizes the talent pool, helps attract and retain workers, builds diverse talent pipelines and can yield significant cost savings when employees have control over when and if they become pregnant,” said Lisa Hammann, co-founder and chief executive officer of Rhia Ventures. “Ultimately, this investment has a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.”
Key findings of the survey include:
- Most employees say that the ability to control their own reproductive health care decisions has been important to their career path.
- A large majority of women (86 percent) in the workforce say the ability to control when and if to become a parent has been important to their career path.
- Abortion coverage is not controversial among employees.
- Eighty-three percent of women ages 18 to 44 say they would want their employers insurance to cover the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.
- Most say the political environment of a state is a factor in deciding where to take a new job.
- Six in ten (61 percent) women would be discouraged from taking a job in a state that has tried to restrict access to abortion. And 54 percent of men ages 18 to 44 say they also would be discouraged from taking a job in a state that has recently tried to restrict abortion access.
- A majority of women (56 percent) say they would not apply to a job in a state that has recently banned abortion.
Many company representatives interviewed for Hidden Value, including benefit managers, were unaware of the coverage their companies provide for reproductive health. As a result, corporations may be unintentionally limiting some contraceptive options and coverage for abortion. As nearly 30 states across the country already have restrictive reproductive health policies in place, it is more urgent than ever for the business sector to review coverage specifics and take action.
Companies can act by reviewing and revising benefits to better support employees’ experiences and by tracking, monitoring and engaging in relevant policy discussions at the local, state and national level. The report recommends that investors: ask companies about their approach to reproductive health benefits as part of due diligence and to audit their reproductive health policies; encourage third-party ESG (environmental, social and governance) research providers to benchmark corporate performance on reproductive health benefits; and vote in favor of proxy proposals that seek to expand reproductive health benefits.
Hidden Value: The Business Case for Reproductive Health is built on interviews and input from top companies from across the United States. Researchers engaged more than 50 experts in human resources, reproductive health and insurance at 39 companies, including 24 Fortune 500 companies. In aggregate, the companies engaged employ nearly 4.5 million U.S. workers and operate across all 50 states. The PerryUndem research was conducted among 1,000 college-educated employees ages 18 to 64 nationwide. The survey included an oversample of 300 employees who have graduated from college within the past three years.
The following corporate and academic voices provided quotes in support of Hidden Value: The Business Case for Reproductive Health:
“Speaking as a businesswoman and a former mayor, there is no question that women’s access to reproductive health care is an economic and business issue,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, member of the Caesars Entertainment Corporation board of directors and chief executive in residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas International Gaming Institute. “It is a fundamental part of any benefits package and critical no matter where employees live or work.”
“The majority of the world’s largest public companies have made public commitments to diversity and inclusion, but most have not yet connected access to comprehensive reproductive health care as an integral part of an equitable workplace. This report is putting forward solutions companies can implement.” said Daisy Auger-Dominguez, founder and president of Auger-Dominguez Ventures, a workplace culture consultancy.
“Business holds significant, untapped potential to contribute to women’s advancement and stands to benefit tremendously by ensuring women are empowered. Access to reproductive healthcare is fundamental to women having the agency they need to shape their future,” said Aron Cramer, president and chief executive officer of BSR.
“The private sector has the opportunity, and responsibility, to effect change where public policy falls short,” said Kiersten Barnet, chair of the steering committee of the U.S. 30% Club. “Ensuring women have access to comprehensive reproductive health benefits isn’t only the right thing to do, it’s a business imperative if companies want to be able to attract, retain and advance the workforce required to be a competitive, sustainable business going forward.”
“The decades since World War II have seen an explosion in women's labor force participation and achievement in the U.S. Their prominence in the American workforce cannot be understated,” said Boone Turchi, associate professor of economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “That they must often manage the dual roles of worker and caregiver makes for a substantial challenge. This report presents a compelling case that American businesses will reap substantial rewards by providing comprehensive support for their workers' reproductive health.”
“Companies across the country are coming under greater scrutiny on a wide range of issues, including reproductive health care. These issues can have an important long-term impact on companies’ bottom lines and shareholder returns,” said financial services industry executive Amanda Hindlian, who has studied and written on gender parity.
"When discussing what blocks women from participation and advancement in the labor force and business ownership, it is vitally important that we take a broader look at how these roadblocks impact our overall economy. For decades, working women have fueled economic growth in the United States, and Hidden Value: The Business Case for Reproductive Health highlights how important the free economic advancement of women is to all Americans," said Margot Dorfman, chief executive officer of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce.
Rhia Ventures is a social enterprise transforming women's reproductive health. We make equity investments in promising companies that address gaps in the reproductive health market, and we partner with our investor network to ensure that corporations understand that reproductive health care is essential care. www.rhiaventures.org
FSG is a mission-driven consulting firm supporting leaders in creating large-scale, lasting social change. Through customized consulting services, innovative thought leadership, and support for learning communities, we help foundations, businesses, nonprofits, and governments around the world accelerate progress by reimagining social change. Learn more at www.fsg.org.
USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education Invite Students to Promote Empathy, Understanding, and Respect Through the ‘Stronger Than Hate Challenge’
In observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, USC Shoah Foundation—The Institute for Visual History and Education (USC Shoah Foundation), and Discovery Education, the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms, announced today the second annual Stronger Than Hate Challenge.
The Stronger Than Hate Challenge builds upon a USC Shoah Foundation and Discovery Education no-cost and standards-aligned educational program, Teaching with Testimony, which empowers students to create a better future by listening to and learning from the powerful testimony of survivors and witnesses of genocide.
Winners are eligible to receive up to $10,000 in prizes, including a trip to USC Shoah Foundation’s Global Headquarters in Los Angeles, California to learn directly from expert storytellers. See official rules for more details.
“The Stronger Than Hate Challenge advances USC Shoah Foundation’s mission to develop empathy and respect through testimony by offering students a creative and educational outlet to share stories from their communities,” said Dr. Claudia Wiedeman, USC Shoah Foundation Director of Education. “At conclusion of last year’s Challenge, we were incredibly impressed by the quality of work so many students presented. We look forward to the new ideas and imaginative ways more students will express themselves to counter antisemitism and other forms of hatred.”
“Participation in the Challenge raises student voices in order to make positive changes for humanity,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate Education Partnerships at Discovery Education. “We’re grateful for the partnership with USC Shoah Foundation to foster the use of testimony amongst students in establishing respect, love, and kindness. With the support of educators, the classroom provides a unique environment for students engaging with the Challenge to examine past stories of those who survived injustice.”
Submission rules for the 2020 Stronger Than Hate Challenge:
- Enter online at www.teachingwithtestimony.com/challenge.
- Open to students ages 13+ in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada.
- Students may work individually or in groups of 2-4 to submit projects in the form of a video, poem, song, blog or other media that demonstrate the power of storytelling to connect people and overcome hate.
- Take action through self-directed learning, a classroom experience, or with families at home.
- Open January 27, 2020 through June 2, 2020.
About USC Shoah Foundation:
USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education develops empathy, understanding and respect through testimony, using its Visual History Archive of more than 55,000 video testimonies, award-winning IWitness education program, and the Center for Advanced Genocide Research. USC Shoah Foundation’s interactive programming, research and materials are accessed in museums and universities, cited by government leaders and NGOs, and taught in classrooms around the world. Now in its third decade, USC Shoah Foundation reaches millions of people on six continents from its home at the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California.
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, creating immersive STEM experiences, 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 DiscoveryEducation.com.