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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version

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    SOURCE:Bloomberg

    DESCRIPTION:

    ESGdata

    Bloomberg collects, scrubs, verifies and continually updates environmental, social and governance (ESG) data from published company disclosures on the Terminal. Currently, we provide company-reported ESG data for almost 9,500 companies in 83 countries and executive compensation data for more than 5,600 companies in 69 countries — and we’re on track to provide ESG data on 13,000 companies by the end of 2018. Investors across asset classes can dig into data on energy and emissions, waste, gender diversity on boards, independent directors, workforce accidents and more to better understand the risks and opportunities associated with potential investments and counterparties. Our ESG data now also includes daily corporate governance data that displays changes in board membership when proxy documents are filed. The number of customers using our ESG data has almost tripled over the past five years, to 14,935 users.

    Click here to read more about Bloomberg's ESG dashboard and specialized tools.  

    Click here to read the 2017 Bloomberg Impact Report. 

    Tweet me:Bloomberg Provides ESG Data to Nearly 15,000 Investors on the Bloomberg Terminal @bloomberg #bloombergimpact #esg http://bit.ly/2jIFN1S

    KEYWORDS: Bloomberg, esg, Bloomberg Impact Report, bloomberg impact


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    SOURCE:Discovery Education

    DESCRIPTION:

    There will be 55 million job openings in the U.S. economy through the year 2020, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce—and 65 percent of these will require at least some college experience. However, federal data show that fewer than half (46 percent) of 25- to 29-year-olds held an associate’s degree or higher as of 2017.

    Statistics like these underscore the need for programs that expose students to career options and help them attain a college education.

    At Discovery Education, we have established collaborative relationships with a variety of like-minded partners who are dedicated to ensuring equitable access to college for all students—while also highlighting examples of the diverse career paths available to them.

    These programs provide free resources that give students the knowledge and tools they need to find a career path that interests them, enroll in college and succeed after high school. Here are some examples:

    TGR EDU: Explore

    Created in cooperation with the TGR Foundation, this is a free online platform with a variety of materials that help students discover who they are, what they want to be—and how to achieve these goals.

    Program materials include hands-on lessons and activities that explore real-world applications of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts; a virtual field trip that takes students behind the scenes at Facebook’s headquarters, where they learn about careers available to them in fields such as software engineering and data security; and self-paced learning modules that leads students through the college application and financial aid process.

    Ignite My Future in School

    A partnership with Tata Consultancy Services, this resource helps students and teachers learn and apply computational thinking, a foundational 21st century skill for successful careers in many sectors. The website also includes video vignettes that expose students to professionals in careers that use computational thinking to solve complex challenges.

    Pathway to Financial Success in Schools

    Developed in conjunction with Discover Financial Services, this website is designed to empower high school students to take control of their financial success. It includes standards-aligned curriculum materials for learning how to manage money wisely, pay for college, set savings goals, establish good credit, invest responsibly, make sound financial decisions and more.

    Siemens STEM Day

    Created in partnership with the Siemens Foundation, this resource includes dozens of hands-on activities to spark students’ interest in STEM disciplines, as well as career profile videos intended to inspire students to explore a rewarding STEM-based career. The videos demonstrate that there are multiple pathways to becoming a STEM professional.

    The TalentED Project

    A partnership between UBS, the Tennessee College Access and Success Network and Discovery Education, the TalentED Project connects first-generation, lower-income college-goers with institutions that are a good fit for their needs. Free for all users, the platform establishes an online community of college access advisors and admissions officers to strengthen the recruitment pipeline of underrepresented students.

    AgExplorer

    Created with The National FFA Organization, this robust portal helps students explore the broad range of careers within the agriculture industry—including careers using advanced equipment, creating new hybrid seeds, raising animals, managing people or designing new products and packaging. A series of virtual field trips transport students into leading agricultural organizations to gain a firsthand account of diverse opportunities available within the industry. In addition, the AgExplorer Career Finder interactive matches students to potential ag careers based on their interests.

    Navy STEM for the Classroom

    Created in partnership with the America’s Navy, the Navy STEM Virtual Field Trip allows students to hear the personal stories behind some of the Navy’s elite servicemen and women aboard the USS Nimitz. With one-on-one video interviews with an F-18 pilot, an aircraft maintenance officer, and others, students gain unique insights into a variety of naval career paths. 

    Dig into Mining: The Story of Copper

    Developed in conjunction with Freeport-McMoRan, this interactive resource portal helps students in grades 6-12 develop a deeper understanding of the use of copper in their everyday lives. A virtual career exploration tool helps match students with possible careers within the mining industry based on their interests, and a virtual field trip takes them behind the scenes at a working copper mine.

    The future success of our economy depends on some level of college completion for a solid majority of citizens. By showing students the breadth of possible career paths open to them, as well as how to apply (and pay) for college, we hope to make it easier for students from all backgrounds to earn a degree or certificate, and inspire students to reach their full potential in a gratifying career.

    Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

    Tweet me:.@DiscoveryEd Partnerships Pave Pathways Toward College Access and Career Success http://bit.ly/2KSU7l3

    KEYWORDS: discovery education


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    SOURCE:Cone Communications

    DESCRIPTION:

    More than one-out-of-five students in the U.S. reports being bullied, making it a prevalent topic for educators and parents. And, over the past few years, organizations and brands have joined the conversation – creating hashtags, emojis and even hidden camera stunts– to bring awareness to the issue. Now, Ikea is joining the ranks with a simple, tangible activation that demonstrates the negative effects of bullying.

    The Swedish furniture chain set up a demonstration in a Dubai school using two nearly-identical plants from IKEA stores, asking students to record positive messages for one plant, and negative messages for the other. Each plant was given the same amount of water, fertilizer and sunlight as the recordings were played on a loop for 30 days. At the end of the 30-day experiment, the plant that received kind words and encouragement remained healthy while the bullied plant began to wilt. 

    To continue reading, please click here.

    Tweet me:.@Ikea Bullies Plants to Demonstrate the Impact of Negative Words http://bit.ly/2wucF7Q

    KEYWORDS: anti-bullying, Ikea, Cone Communications


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    Bechtel-sponsored museum exhibit looks at massive Manhattan Project effort, 75 years later.

    SOURCE:Bechtel

    DESCRIPTION:

    Part 1 of a 2-part series.

    Every year, some 20 million visitors flock to Washington, D.C. and for most, the grand monuments and memorials, along with the wide variety of museums and galleries top the list of attractions. Indeed, many of the museum buildings themselves are worth seeing up close. But along with the monuments and the must-see attractions touted in the city guidebooks is one of DC’s best kept secrets – the National Building Museum. There is no better place to learn about the history and impact of architecture, engineering and design than in a museum that is itself a work of art. Enter the expansive Great Hall with its 75-foot-tall columns, and visitors embark on a journey to discover the historical foundation of our modern-built environment.

    In May of 2018, the museum opens a very special look inside World War II’s Secret Cities, an exhibit sponsored in part by Bechtel. The exhibit explores three communities – Oak Ridge, TennesseeHanford, Washington; and Los Alamos, New Mexico – created in the early 1940s to produce the world’s first nuclear weapons. With dozens of nations fighting a world war, the U.S. undertook a massive scientific, engineering, and industrial effort unlike anything before or since – all for the purpose of defeating powerful enemies that were seen as an existential threat to the United States. It changed large geographic areas forever.

    According to museum senior curator Martin Moeller, “when we study these cities we learn about our culture and our priorities. With this profound insight, we can work towards better communities and a better world.” Today, through its work at each of these sites, Bechtel is one of the key players building on the innovations and engineering from the past to sustain vital, ongoing national security missions, improve these three communities, and create the very world Moeller envisions.

    THE LIVING LABORATORIES AS MODELS FOR OUR CULTURE 

    When you step into the museum, you’ll be greeted with black and white photographs depicting the homes, industrial infrastructure and unique culture of these communities during the war. Images portraying atomic bomb board games and the secrecy of the war effort seem to take you back in time. Still other images of the suburban neighborhoods seem eerily familiar. Why? Because like the secret weapons themselves, careful planning went into creating these communities. Each place helped lay the foundation for modern suburbia. Despite the war’s desperate circumstances and stringent deadlines, the planners knew the sacrifice they were asking of the civilian scientists, workers and their families. They needed more than large barracks and mess halls. In addition to large, factorylike industrial complexes, significant planning went in to building real neighborhoods, complete with single-family homes, shops, schools and libraries.

    As you walk further into the museum, you begin to see a shift in the concepts represented in the photographs. These communities are still very much living laboratories and breakthrough innovation hubs. Throughout the last decade, these three sites have taken on environmental, economic and social sustainability projects to ensure their vitality and viability for the next 75 years. They reflect technological progress and sustainable development that we strive for today, and for the future.

    OAK RIDGE: A TRAILBLAZER THEN AND NOW

    The Oak Ridge, Tennessee you see depicted on the walls of the exhibit is a bustling town full of thousands of workers and a series of complex plants. But before the war, it was a very different scene consisting of thousands of acres of undeveloped land. In 1942, leaders of the Manhattan project selected Oak Ridge and transformed this area into a critical part of the war effort.

    The site was home to the uranium enrichment plant and liquid thermal diffusion plant. Using processes such as gaseous diffusion and thousands of devices known as cyclotrons, these plants produced uranium and other material for the atomic weapons created at the Los Alamos site. In addition, Oak Ridge also piloted a nuclear reactor that produced small quantities of plutonium – which would later lead to large scale plutonium production at the Hanford site.

    Although much has changed at Oak Ridge today, the site’s role as a pioneer for innovative technology remains. From neutron science and nuclear science, to clean energy and supercomputing, the site is at forefront of scientific advancement and national security.

    Today at Oak Ridge, Bechtel leads the management and operations team at the Y-12 National Security Complex and is helping to build the new Uranium Processing Facility. The facility will be a state-of-the-art complex that ensures the viability, safety, and security of the enriched uranium capability in the U.S. The new facility will also support the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, downblend uranium to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and provide uranium for fuel for U.S. Navy submarines and aircraft carriers.  

    Because the old facility consists of aging World War II and Cold War-era buildings that are inefficient and costly to operate, UPF and other infrastructure improvements will help bring Y-12 into modern standards for safety and energy efficiency. In fact, the site has won a number of U.S. Department of Energy sustainability awards.

    IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

    Prior to its work on the Uranium Processing Facility, Bechtel led a DOE Environmental Management program at Oak Ridge. Over the course of more than 13 years, Bechtel decontaminated and demolished more than 200 old buildings used during the Manhattan Project and Cold War, remediated contaminated soil and water, and treated and disposed of waste.

    The area is now known as the East Tennessee Technology Park – an industrial park created after the government transferred suitable land and buildings to private ownership for productive use.

    Oak Ridge’s past and present is only one chapter in a larger story of World War II’s Secret Cities and Bechtel’s role in ensuring that their legacy of innovation continues. In our next post, we take you inside the Secret Cities of Hanford and Los Alamos.

    Tweet me:In this @Bechtel #Build100 #blog, read about the secret cities of #WWII exhibit at the @BuildingMuseum ‏http://bit.ly/2FTzNMH

    KEYWORDS: Bechtel, Manhattan Project, Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Hanford, World War II

      


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    SOURCE:Discovery Education

    SUMMARY:

    • #TheSTEMEquation: Parents, Educators, Students and Communities Engage in Day-Long Online Conversation about the Power of STEM to Shape the Future
    • Possibility Grant Sweepstakes Winner to be Announced and Awarded $10,000 to fund School STEM Initiative

    DESCRIPTION:

    Silver Spring, Md. (Tuesday, May 15, 2018) /3BL Media/ – The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education are teaming up today to host the annual Siemens National Day of STEM. The day is designed to spark a national conversation about pathways to success for students through STEM and demonstrate how science, technology, engineering and math work together to shape the future.

    “The Siemens Foundation is committed to igniting and sustaining curiosity and passion for STEM in tomorrow’s leaders. The National Day of STEM celebrates this commitment with stakeholders across the country,” said David Etzwiler, CEO Siemens Foundation

    The mission of Siemens STEM Day is to provide classroom materials that help K-12 students develop the knowledge, skills and self-confidence they need to succeed in STEM and in the workforce. Available at no cost, the program emphasizes the importance of STEM through 150+ proven, fun and engaging hands-on activities.

    To celebrate the Siemens Foundation’s second annual National Day of STEM, educators, students, parents and communities are encouraged to participate in a national online STEM dialogue using #TheSTEMequation. This virtual event will debut new high school activities and career profiles. The STEM Day online event will also include fun gift card prizes and will culminate with the announcement of the grand prize winner of “The Possibility Grant Sweepstakes,” which awards a deserving school $10,000 to fund a student STEM initiative.

    “Discovery Education applauds the Siemens Foundation for their work to engage students in solving real-world problems with immersive STEM experiences that propel future success,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “The landscape of STEM careers is rapidly evolving and inspiring today’s learners; ‘Siemens STEM Day’ helps unlock immeasurable possibilities for the workforce of tomorrow.”

    Siemens STEM Day conversations leveraging #TheSTEMequation will include:

    10:00 AM: The Formulas for Success– The world premiere of two career profiles introducing students to varied career opportunities in engineering and manufacturing at siemensstemday.com.

    12:00 PM: The Current Conversation– A national interactive Twitter chat discussing the “State of STEM” including dialogue with Siemens and Discovery Education STEM experts. Join the online conversation at #TheSTEMequation.

    2:00 PM: The Prime Resources– The virtual Siemens STEM Day celebration will unveil five brand new standards-aligned activities for grades 9-12, which explore diverse, engaging topics ranging from body systems in space to linear equations to coin batteries. Join the online conversation at #TheSTEMequation.

    4:00 PM: The Power of Possibility– To conclude the day-long National Day of STEM celebration the Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education will announce the winner of the #PowerofPossibility Sweepstakes LIVE on Twitter and Facebook using #TheSTEMequation.

    “The Siemens Foundation and Discovery Education provide enriching STEM experiences and resources that captivate and inspire my students,” said Patti Grammens, science and coding teacher, Cumming, Georgia. “STEM Day encourages them to learn from first hand experiences in problem solving, experimentation and the scientific method. Through these experiences they become natural solution-seekers who are excited about learning.”

    In addition to more than 150 free elementary and middle school activities, the Siemens STEM Day website now offers high school resources designed to support STEM curriculum and instruction with digital content. Interactive student activities can be filtered by grade level, category or career path, and explore topics spanning healthcare, engineering, IT, science, math, technology, energy and manufacturing. Siemens STEM Day also offers a Teacher Support Center that provides educators five-minute prep videos, live demonstrations of activities and downloadable one-sheets for best practice and how-to guides.

    To learn more about Siemens STEM Day and download the program’s free resources, visit: siemensstemday.com. For more information about Discovery Education’s digital content and professional development services, visit discoveryeducation.com. Stay connected with Discovery Education on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @DiscoveryEd.

    About the Siemens Foundation:

    The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $100 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math.  The Siemens Foundation’s mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are closing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. when it comes to STEM careers and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. For further information, visit siemens-foundation.org or follow @sfoundation.

    About Discovery Education:

    As the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional learning, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries around the globe. Inspired by Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

    Contact:

    Charmion N. Kinder, Discovery Education, Charmion_Kinder@discovery.com, 240-274-2173

    Kara Evanko, Siemens, kara.evanko@siemens.com, 202-285-3072

     

    Tweet me:.@DiscoveryEd and @Siemens team up to host annual Siemens National Day of #STEM on May 15th http://bit.ly/2jZq8eY @sfoundation #TheSTEMequation

    KEYWORDS: discovery education, Siemens National Day of STEM, Siemens Foundation

      


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    SOURCE:Essity (Formerly SCA)

    DESCRIPTION:

    Industrial workers aren’t afraid to “get down and dirty” on the job – but they’ll be happier, safer and more productive if their work environments are equipped to be kept as clean as can be.

    This requires more than a once-in-a-while initiative of posters and pamphlets encouraging your workforce to be mindful of the mess. If you want to take full advantage of the business-building benefits of a cleaner work environment, it takes a new corporate mindset, from the corner office to the shop floor. This infographic highlights three key steps that will take you a long way down this often-overlooked path to a safer, more productive workplace.

    Learn more here

    About Tork
    The Tork brand offers professional hygiene products and services to customers ranging from restaurants and healthcare facilities to offices, schools and industries. Products include dispensers, paper towels, toilet tissue, soap, napkins, and industrial and kitchen wipers. Through expertise in hygiene, functional design and sustainability, Tork has become a market leader. Tork is a global brand of Essity, and a committed partner to customers in over 90 countries.

    About Essity
    Essity is a leading global hygiene and health company that develops, produces and sells Personal Care (Baby Care, Feminine Care, Incontinence Products and Medical Solutions), Consumer Tissue and Professional Hygiene products and solutions. Our vision is; Dedicated to improving well-being through leading hygiene and health solutions. Sales are conducted in approximately 150 countries under many strong brands, including the leading global brands TENA and Tork, and other brands, such as Leukoplast, Libero, Libresse, Lotus, Nosotras, Saba, Tempo, Vinda and Zewa. Essity has about 48,000 employees and net sales in 2016 amounted to approximately $12 billion. The business operations are based on a sustainable business model with focus on value creation for people and nature. The company has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. Essity used to be part of the SCA Group. More information at www.essity.com.

    Tweet me:INFOGRAPHIC: @Essity_US shares how to boost industrial #safety and #productivity with a “Culture of Clean” @torkusa http://bit.ly/2Idy9XI

    KEYWORDS: Essity, tork, industrial safety, Culture of Clean, productivity, ESSYY


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    “Nestlé for Healthier Kids” to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030

    SOURCE:Nestlé

    DESCRIPTION:

    VEVEY, Switzerland, May 15, 2018 /3BL Media/ - On the United Nations International Day of Families, Nestlé announced its global “Nestlé for Healthier Kids” initiative. The program includes the further development of healthier products and advice for families on nutrition and exercise. It aims at helping 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030.     

    Since its foundation, Nestlé has been committed to helping parents and caregivers provide the right nutrition to their children. With this new initiative Nestlé is accelerating the transformation of its food and beverage portfolio worldwide. In 2017 alone, the company launched more than 1000 new products to meet the nutritional needs of children. In the same year, it provided 174 billion servings of fortified foods and beverages in 66 countries where people lack essential micronutrients such as iron, iodine and vitamin A.    

    Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO, said: “Childhood is a time where life-long habits are formed. We want to help parents make healthier choices for their children. This is why we are accelerating our efforts to support families in raising healthier kids and we call on others to join us in this endeavor.” 

    Nestlé already reformulates around one third of its product portfolio every year. It will use its industry-leading innovation capability to further enhance foods and beverages for children with even more fruits, vegetables, fiber-rich grains and micronutrients. Nestlé will also continue to reduce sugars, salt and saturated fats. Some recent product launches include Gerber Grabbers Strong Veggies vegetable and fruit purees, Nido organic milk powder and Nesquik Alphabet whole grain breakfast cereals with reduced sugar.   

    For over a decade, Nestlé has improved the nutritional value of its products. With “Nestlé for Healthier Kids”, the company pledges to continue this work for the long term. Its immediate goals by 2020 are to:   

    • Add at least 750 million portions (80g) of vegetables to its products;   
    • Add at least 300 million portions (16g) of fiber-rich grains, pulses, nuts & seeds to its products;    
    • Further reduce sugars by 5%. Since 2000, the company has reduced sugars by over 34%;  
    • Further reduce salt by 10%. Since 2005, the company has reduced salt by over 20%;  
    • Complete the commitment taken in 2014, to reduce saturated fats by 10% in all relevant products that do not meet WHO recommendations;

    Nestlé will also enhance programs and online services designed to provide parents and caregivers with more nutritional knowledge, healthy recipes and practical tips. In 2017, over 300 partnerships worldwide have helped the company reach more than 14 million children.

    For more information on what Nestlé is doing for healthier kids:  https://www.nestle.com/healthierkids  

    For more information on Nestlé commitments: Nestlé in Society

    Tweet me:.@Nestle launches Nestlé for Healthier Kids global initiative that aims to help 50 million children lead healthier lives by 2030 http://bit.ly/2KqSdqq #HealthierKidsAre #GoodLife

    Contact Info:

    Christoph Meier
    +41-219242200

    Rumjhum Gupta
    +41-795425202

    KEYWORDS: Nestle, United Nations International Day of Families, Nestlé for Healthier Kids


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    By Jan Lee

    SOURCE:TriplePundit

    DESCRIPTION:

    This article is sponsored by Maala and went through our normal editorial review process. 

    Israel is home to more than 15 different cultures, each with their own distinctive traditions and ancestral backgrounds. Although Israel is often characterized as the world’s only Jewish state, diversity is, and always has been at the heart of its identity as a nation.

    Nowhere is that pluralism more evident than in the workforce that secures Israel’s technological edge. Arab Israelis fill an increasing role in today’s workforce as do new immigrants and communities that have been an integral part of Israeli society for decades, but whose members have traditionally not participated in white- or blue-collar jobs – until now.

    But the path to increasing Israel’s workforce diversity hasn’t been easy, said Dr. Sigal Shelach, an authority on migration and employment in the Israeli workforce. Shelach currently serves as the senior deputy director of Israel’s Joint Distribution Committee (JDC-Israel) and CEO of its unique employment initiative, Tevet. In August she will assume the role of director general for JDC-Israel; an appointment that in itself reflects JDC’s commitment to diversity. Shelach will be the first woman in history to head up the organization.

    Shelach said that while Israel’s national unemployment rate is fairly low (3.7 percent, 2018), the country still faces unique gaps in its employment sector often not seen in other western nations.

    “[There] is a big divide in the Israeli labor market,” said Shelach. While the broader employment sector will face challenges brought on by increased automation, the use of artificial intelligence and the increasing demand for upskilling in the coming decades, other communities that are only now entering the workforce face even more compelling demands for training, support and integration.

    “[There are] at least two different societies that behave differently in the labor market than the rest of the jobs. One is the ultra-orthodox in Israel, in which the labor force participation for most of the men is very low,” Shelach explained. Haredi men are often encouraged by their families to focus on their religious faith rather than prepare for a secular career and therefore often lack the education and experience that they would need in a manufacturing or tech job. Haredi women, who are often the main bread-winners, face their own challenges, with few well-paying job opportunities.

    Another group that faces challenges in the labor market is Israel’s Arab community, which until recently, has often shied away from employment in tech and manufacturing markets.

    Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish community is seen by some as proof that Israel’s approach to diversity is actually working. Employment levels continue to rise for immigrants hailing from eastern Africa’s remote Jewish enclaves. But with the numbers of immigrants from Addis Ababa and Gondar, Ethiopia still expected to rise, the effort to integrate largely untrained new arrivals into the workforce continues.

    Each community of workers faces its own exceptional challenges, said Shelach. And it’s been Tevet’s partnership with employers and the realization that a diverse workforce brings diverse thought and can actually promote innovation, that is helping to overcome those challenges.

    These efforts are working. According to the Maala Index, between the years 2006 – 2017, rates of diversity and inclusion within the business sector in Israel have risen steadily. The number of women in managerial positions has risen from 20 percent to 30 percent, while the number of women in directorial positions has risen from 17 percent to 23 percent. Among the rated companies, the percentage of Israeli Arabs in the workforce has doubled from 2.4 percent to 5 percent, and the percentage of people with disabilities in the workforce has risen from 0.5 percent to 2 percent. However, despite these positive trends, there is still a way to go.

    Osem-Nestle: Building new pathways to employment

    Osem-Nestle is one of Israel’s largest food manufacturers, with more than a half-dozen factories spread across the country. In 2015, the company was selected to join a public-private partnership directed at increasing Arab participation in the national workforce.

    According to Ofira Goldwasser, who serves as Osem-Nestle Group’s corporate responsibility manager  as well as an assistant to the company’s chairman and CEO, the goal of the Collective Impact Program was to first answer a question: Why was Israeli-Arab participation in Israeli business sector so low?

    “The candidate research results [revealed] that 50 percent [of applicants] had never applied for a job in the Israeli business sector from the Arab community,” said Goldwasser.

    Yet there was also high employment potential. Roughly 70,000 young individuals in the Arab community would eventually need work. And Osem-Nestle needed workers it could train and then upskill to meet the increasing demand. It was easy to see a business case for getting involved in the Collective Impact initiative, Goldwasser said.

    “The traditional industry in Israel is facing some challenges,” particularly when it comes to filling blue- and white-collar positions, she said. “So the business case was that we need employees and we need talent in order to grow and develop.”

    In 2015, the Benjamin Netanyahu government increased government funding to address those gaps. In addition to providing more funding for housing and education in Arab communities, the new budget provided financial incentive for employers to increase their outreach, training and employment of Arab workers. Programs like the Excelling Arab Localities built new pathways for increasing services in Israel’s broadly scattered Arab neighborhoods.

    But expanding its employment rolls also meant making some adjustment to the way hiring and training was carried out. “For example the Arab community needed to build some trust and to have some belief that if they were to apply to the business sector for example, they have a chance to get in,” Goldwasser explained.

    To facilitate this, the company made adjustments to the application process and took into account that the candidates were coming from different cultural backgrounds with different language capabilities than say, applicants who spoke Hebrew as a first language.

    Goldwasser said being sensitive to these barriers was important. But it didn’t mean the company was establishing different performance criteria.

    “Because we are not making compromises. This is really important to understand. Being more open to our employees doesn’t mean that we are making compromises with the people we choose.”

    Still, Osem-Nestle’s participation in the Collective Impact initiative has allowed it to expand diversity in its managerial ranks as well.

    “[We] are successfully reaching talented Arab managers [from the community], and this has really created a more interesting organization.” She said by increasing the diversity at all levels of the company, Osem-Nestle has been able to encourage more innovation.

    “[You] mix different cultures, you make different opinions, you have different ideas and it [becomes] a very good platform for innovation and for the growth of the organization,” said Goldwasser.

    Unilever – Connected 4 Growth in Israel

    In 2016, Unilever launched its Connected 4 Growth campaign. Designed to reach all 400 of its brands across the world, the program was meant to “create an organization that is faster, more agile and more competitive.”

    For Unilever Israel, said Liat Lavee, Unilever Israel’s Communication, External Affairs and Sustainable Business Development Manager, that goal translated to making its employees digital-savvy.

    In a country that has widely been touted as the world’s “Start-up Nation,” equipping employees with the tools to allow them to use social media and automated services both at home and at work was a practical choice, said Lavee.

    “Basically the world around us is really changing at incredible speeds. Digitalization [is] impacting everything: How we work, how we live, how we play, and there really is a [need] for digitalization wherever we look.

    “But what we also realized at Unilever Israel, is that the base of this change creates growing gaps between those who move with them and those that don’t keep up with the pace. It increases the social inequality and may also limit employment and promotion of those people who stay behind.”

    To address this inequity, it launched company-wide trainings. It invited banking representatives to give workshops on how to bank online; it offered lessons on social media.

    And it educated its managers on the importance of being sensitive to those workers who were insecure or complained they were “too old to learn these things.”

    Lavee said the process is ongoing, but so far the results have been very favorable.

    “There is an increased willingness to experiment and that is exactly what we wanted,” said Lavee. Surveys show that employees are more engaged and willing to take risks.

    “At the end of the day, this is what we have learned: Digital is not a goal. It is a tool. And we really need to see the people themselves in the organization and understand what’s driving them, what drives them in their work, what drives them in life, and help them navigate the paths in which gives them satisfaction and development and gives them added value. And then that actually creates the win-win for the business as well.

    “I think that is one good lesson that we have learned here in Israel.”

    Unilever Israel’s digital training dovetails with another diversity project it had undertaken, which was to encourage a local Haredi community to help fill positions in a nearby factory.

    To encourage candidates, the recruitment team reached out to community leaders. They met with rabbis, visited synagogues and made direct appeals to the community. And they listened to what cultural and social factors would best ensure retention of employees.

    “What the team needed to do was think differently and act differently to connect with the ultra-Orthodox community that lives there. They approached them in a completely different way than you would in recruiting people normally,” by collaborating with the community in a way that encouraged participation.

    Harnessing diversity is a collective effort

    From Shelach’s perspective, it’s partnership that makes Israel’s focus on a diverse, multicultural workforce a success.

    “We have to look at it from the standpoint that it is not only the responsibility of the employer … the individuals themselves, [or] the government,” said Shelach. The three, along with local unions play a role in ensuring a growing and diverse workplace.

    For many businesses in Israel, diversity is a key component to success. Almost 10 years ago we initiated the Forum for Diversity Hiring in Israel,” said Shelach. “Today there are over 100 members who are the biggest businesses in Israel that are part of this forum.” ‘

    Organizations like Maala, which hosts the Maala Con[Fair]ence each year are also behind these efforts. As companies like Unilever, Osem-Nestle, El Al Airlines and others have discovered, a diverse workforce is key to ensuring an innovative and market-ready business.

    Images: Courtesy of JDC-Tevet/ Jonathan A. Stone

     

    Tweet me:#Israel is home to more than 15 different cultures. Nowhere is that pluralism more evident than in the #tech workforce http://bit.ly/2IhWZKp via @triplepundit #diversity

    KEYWORDS: maala, Israel

      


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    SOURCE:Brown-Forman Corporation

    DESCRIPTION:

    Jack Daniel's brand ambassador and bartender for over 20 years, Eric "ET" Tecosky, explains the importance of responsibility in an on-premise environment.

    Tweet me:Bartender and @JackDaniels_US Brand Ambassador Eric "ET" Tecosky Explains Importance of Responsibility #alcohol #responsibility http://bit.ly/2rKqd9Q

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:BF-A, Brown-Forman Corporation, Jack Daniel's


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    SOURCE:Ray C. Anderson Foundation

    SUMMARY:

    It is important for environmentalists to acknowledge each step back at the same time they celebrate every two steps forward. Credibility is lost if sustainability’s successes are trumpeted while ignoring its failures.

    DESCRIPTION:

    If you were to look back at all the blogs I have written (by my count, we are at 142), you might notice a trend. Besides being slightly whimsical and heavy on the Star Wars references, my blogs tend to be positive in orientation. I write a lot of “How cool is this?!?!” and “Here’s how sustainability is winning” posts. That’s mainly because I find lots of cool things and because sustainability is winning.

    For instance, three weeks ago I could have written something like the following:

    “Did you know that Mercedes-Benz manufactures batteries for home storage, and they are actively selling systems in the United States? That means that there is another player in the domestic market for residential batteries, vying for market share with Tesla’s Powerwall and Sunrun’s BrightBox. When coupled with solar power generation, these systems are proving the commercial viability of distributed energy at the residential scale. More competition will only drive prices down for consumers, accelerating the transition to renewable energy generation. Sustainability is winning!”

    But if I had written that three weeks ago, I would still be wiping the egg off my face. Take a look at this article in Green Tech Media discussing the closure of Mercedes-Benz’s not-yet-two-years-old U.S. home battery subsidiary.

    I share this news because it’s important for environmentalists to acknowledge each step back at the same time we celebrate every two steps forward. We lose our credibility if we trumpet sustainability’s successes and ignore its failures. And a major multinational corporation exiting the residential battery space so quickly is a step back.

    The article explains what happened quite well. One challenge is that Mercedes-Benz’s batteries are engineered for vehicles, which go through a lot more wear, tear, and extreme conditions than homes do. The costs associated with being engineered beyond the needs of a home battery harm their ability to compete. Moreover, the demand in America for such systems is still nascent. For fully legitimate reasons, Mercedes-Benz wasn’t willing to be patient for the demand to pick up, and they likely should have simply stayed out of the market in the first place.

    Let me be clear – I’m still betting on the long-term potential of residential energy storage (or at least I would be if you could bet on such things). Too much money is being invested across the globe in energy storage research and development. Someone is going to invent the next big thing, and the trend curve for Moore’s Law will begin to apply to residential batteries. Admittedly, that last sentence still has a lot of “hope” baked into it (though not “a new hope” … teehee). But it is also very believable that batteries will eventually break through their current technological barriers.

    And as that last sentence shows, I also abuse alliteration in my blog posts. It’s a trap for me I guess. Where is Admiral Ackbar when I need him?

    (For non-Star Wars fans, that was another Star Wars reference, and you’re welcome. Here’s to more ridiculousness over the next 142 blog posts.) 

    Tweet me:Is credibility lost if we trumpet sustainability’s successes and ignore its failures? #Ecocentricity https://bit.ly/2rHKxsW @johnalanierRCAF

    Contact Info:

    Valerie Bennett
    Ray C. Anderson Foundation
    +1 (770) 317-5858
    valerie@raycandersonfoundation.org

    KEYWORDS: #Ecocentricity, John A. Lanier, Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Tesla, Mercedes-Benz


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    SOURCE:General Motors

    DESCRIPTION:

    Corporate Responsibility Magazine has named General Motors to its 19th annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens list. Ranked at No. 21, General Motors is the only automaker recognized for standout environmental, social and governance performance.

    The designation represents the progress being made on the company’s promise to deliver safer, better and more sustainable solutions for its customers and communities.

    “Our business strategy enables us to serve our customers and stakeholders, increase operational efficiency, mitigate risk and improve the environment and our global communities,” said David Tulauskas, director, Sustainability for General Motors. “Sustainability is a part of everything we do and everyone has a role in our success.”

    The list documents 260 ESG data points in seven categories gathered from publicly available information. General Motors scored highest in its efforts to address human rights issues and climate change.

    "Each year, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens ranking measures the success of the Brands Taking Stands movement by celebrating the most successful, most transparent companies that report on their responsible practices,” said Dave Armon, publisher of CR Magazine. “We congratulate those honored on this year's list for their commitment to corporate responsibility."

    By setting and striving to meet bold public commitments — such General Motors’ goal to generate or source all electrical power for its global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 — and demonstrating transparency through reporting, the automaker continues to drive performance and efficiencies.  

    In the last year, several other third-party groups have recognized General Motors:

    RobecoSAM’s 2018 Corporate Sustainability Yearbook

    America’s Most JUST Companies by Forbes and JUST Capital

    Top 100 - The Human Rights Campaign 2018 Corporate Equality Index

    Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, World Index and North America Index

    CDP Supplier Water A List, CDP Supplier Climate A List, CDP Water A List

     

    To learn more about General Motors’ sustainability efforts click here. Visit gm.green for the latest updates.

    Tweet me:.@GM only automaker to make 100 Best Corporate Citizens list for standout #ESG performance http://bit.ly/2KWrKT0 #100BestCC

    KEYWORDS: General Motors, 100 best corporate citizens, esg, Corporate Responsiblity Magazine, NYSE:GM


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    by Anne Wintroub, Director of Social Innovation, AT&T

    SOURCE:AT&T

    DESCRIPTION:

    I love getting to meet and learn from innovators from all walks of life. When people from diverse backgrounds — geographically, culturally, ethnically or professionally — come together to address social challenges, the results are awe-inspiring.

    That’s what I love most about our AT&T Aspire Accelerator. We believe we found the most promising entrepreneurs from all over the country, with varied backgrounds, who offer solutions to problems they’ve personally seen or experienced in education.

    The program supports for- and nonprofit organizations using tech to promote student success beyond the classroom. Participants receive financial support, mentorship and guidance from AT&T and other organizations.

    Since launching the program in 2015, we’ve worked with 19 inspiring ed-tech organizations to reach more than 12.2 million students with game-changing learning solutions.

    I’m thrilled to be in San Francisco this week to hit the ground running with our 2018 cohort. This year’s class comes from all across the U.S. and includes 3 nonprofits. Never before has an AT&T Aspire Accelerator class championed such a diverse portfolio of leaders — a trait we believe strengthens the program.  

    Through the programs and tools developed by this year’s class, students can learn coding while engaging in physical play with friends, increase reading engagement and even find support via text message as they recover from trauma associated with systemic oppression.

    Meet the innovative, diverse and impactful start-ups that make up the 2018 AT&T Aspire Accelerator class:

    • Caribu(Miami) allows any trusted adult to read and draw with children, through an interactive video-call, no matter how far apart.
       
    • MindRight (501(c)3/Newark, New Jersey) empowers youth of color to heal from systemic oppression trauma — including structural violence, poverty, racism and discrimination — with support via text message.
       
    • Move This World (New York) uses multimedia content to develop social skills and strengthen emotional intelligence in Pre-K through high school.
       
    • Substantial (501(c)3/Oakland, California) creates training, resources and information substitute teachers need to be successful. The program customizes for each school system’s unique context and delivers it online with modern, mobile friendly technology.
       
    • Unruly Studios (Boston) revolutionizes learning by combining STEM education with physical play. It teaches kids how to code and gets them active.
       
    • Weird Enough Productions (501(c)3/Lithonia, Georgia) teaches students how to combat fake news, identify media bias and create positive content through an ed-tech tool.
       
    • Words Liive (Washington, D.C.) makes it effortless for teachers to integrate music into lessons.
       
    • Zoobean (Arlington, Virginia) provides a web application, mobile app, and prospective hardware device through which families can track their independent reading and stay motivated to read.

    I am looking forward to working with our class over the next 6 months. We’ll  explore the ways learning, technology and innovation can merge and drive transformative change and impact for students and educators everywhere.

    Tweet me:.@ConnectToGood "Meet the 2018 AT&T Aspire Accelerator Class" https://soc.att.com/2IhXZ13 #ATTImpact #education #ATTAspire

    KEYWORDS: reading, diversity, entrepreneurs, Aspire, students, Accelerator, NYSE:T, AT&T


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    SOURCE:ReportAlert

    DESCRIPTION:

    Aetna, one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, today released its 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility report. This year’s report covers the 2016 and 2017 calendar years and provides an in-depth look into Aetna’s commitment to building healthy communities.

    Aetna’s efforts to strengthen communities go beyond its breadth of work and are ingrained in the company’s values - integrity, excellence, inspiration and caring. By combining philanthropy, community engagement and policy leadership, Aetna is able to improve health for both individuals and communities.  

    In 2017, Aetna announced a new collaboration with U.S. News & World Report to develop the inaugural Healthiest Communities rankings. Research has shown that your zip code has a greater impact on your life expectancy than your genetic code. The ranking assesses which communities offer their citizens the greatest opportunity to live a productive, healthy life and offers insight into the best approaches for improving public health. While no two communities are the same, all communities can learn about best practices in their own backyard and across the country, then apply these lessons to improve the health of their residents.

    The Aetna Foundation is also working to address one of the biggest health issues of this generation – the opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that, in 2016, 64,000 Americans died of drug overdoses – three times the rate in 1999 and up 21 percent from 2015. To combat this epidemic, the Aetna Foundation created its Opioid Response Initiative, which will provide $6 million in grants to states hardest hit by the crisis, funding state and local projects that can potentially make a real difference in addressing opioid-related challenges.

    Additional Aetna CSR achievements include:

    • Launched the new Student Loan Repayment Program that matches employees’ student loan payments up to $2,000 annually with a lifetime maximum of up to $10,000 for qualifying loans.
    • Earned a score of 100 percent of the 2016 Corporate Equality Index. Aetna is the only company in the health care industry to achieve a perfect score every year since the index was created 14 years ago.
    • Responded to 2017’s unprecedented series of natural disasters with financial donations and employee volunteer efforts.
    • Awarded $22 million in grants, adding to the nearly $489 million in grants and awards given since 1980.
    • Hosted initiatives or programs to engage local communities at 100 percent of Aetna offices nationwide.

    Media Contact:
    Katy Frame
    703-739-8358

    Read the Report

    Tweet me:.@AetnaNews releases their 2016-2017 #CSR report. Read the report for an in-depth look at Aetna’s commitment to building healthy communities: http://bit.ly/2rvyWMR via @ReportAlert

    KEYWORDS: Aetna Foundation, ReportAlert, csr, public health, opioid epidemic, Student Loans

     


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    SOURCE:Duke Energy

    DESCRIPTION:

    Duke Energy in 2017 began offering its employees fully paid parental leave – totaling six weeks – to bolster workfamily balance and help attract and retain highly skilled workers.

    The new benefit catapulted Duke Energy to near the front of the pack among the nation’s largest electric utilities, many of which do not offer dedicated paid parental leave.

    Under Duke Energy’s new benefit – available to both mothers and fathers – an employee can start the six-week paid leave any time within the first 16 weeks after the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.

    A birth mother can take a total of at least 12 weeks’ paid time off: at least six weeks through the company’s existing, pregnancy-related shortterm disability benefit, followed by six additional weeks under the new parental leave benefit.

    “Paid parental leave gives Duke Energy employees important quality time to bond with their new children without the financial pressure of having to immediately return to work. That’s good for our employees and their children,” says Melissa Anderson, Duke Energy executive vice president and chief human resources officer.

    Duke Energy’s other family-focused employee benefits include a $5,000 reimbursement for costs associated with adopting a child; paid time off to care for a sick or injured child, parent or other family member; and 10 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer in an employee’s child’s school, or any other school.

    Duke Energy employs about 29,000 workers – most of them in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

    To learn more about how Duke Energy is building a smarter energy future, download the 2017 Sustainability Report

    Tweet me:New, fully paid parental leave for @DukeEnergy mom's and dad's offers 6 weeks for dads, 12 for moms, and #adoption assistance http://bit.ly/2GfBjsy #employeebenefits

    KEYWORDS: Duke Energy, paternity leave, employee benefits, maternity leave, adoption, foster care, adoption assistance, work-life balance


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    by Lucky Dissanayake, Founder of the Biomass Group

    SOURCE:Business Call to Action (BCtA)

    DESCRIPTION:

    In 2006, my London-based publishing house, Dakini Books, published the critically acclaimed ‘Global Warning – The Last Chance for Change’, Paul Brown's fact-based book on climate change and its consequences for the planet and humanity. This book gave me phenomenal insight into what to expect in the next 20 years, and more importantly what we need to do if humanity is to even have a chance. 

    I am an entrepreneur. I published this book at a time in my life when I felt I had taken my small publishing house as far as I could. I wanted to do something completely different. I thought, “Why not renewable energy?"

    Despite the fact that I had spent my entire career in the media industry, knew nothing about renewable energy, and didn’t expect anyone to consider investing in me, my thoughts persisted. I felt I would regret it if I didn’t at least try. My parents had also just retired and moved to Sri Lanka, my huge extended family of relatives there seemed to have a wedding almost every month, and all stars seemed to be aligned and pointing to the land of my birth: Sri Lanka!

    Between 2009 and 2011, I spent 2 years, at my own expense, attending conferences on renewable energy in order to learn about the industry. Solar and PV were too expensive (in 2009) and wind was not an option for Sri Lanka, but waste, biogas and biomass seemed to have potential. As part of an MBA research project, I then hired London Business School to look at renewable energy options in Sri Lanka. The report confirmed my suspicion: Sri Lanka – lush with fuelwood – was very well-suited for biomass energy.

    The agro-energy sector in Sri Lanka, although poorly organized, had immense potential. Biomass is already a widely-used energy source for household cooking in rural Sri Lanka, but it is unsustainable in its present form; most households rely on forest-based fuelwood which leads to deforestation. My vision was to develop a totally sustainable and responsible supply chain for biomass and develop an out-grower system in which unorganized smallholder farmers (especially home gardens) are linked with existing supply chains. Out-grower schemes, although prevalent in the tea & coconut sectors, were not yet common in the biomass sector.

    My biggest challenge these last 5 years has been to raise funding; Sri Lanka is a small, developing island with a relatively low population of 21 million people, and investors do not see it as a worthwhile investment destination. In 2010, in the face of these challenges, I reached out to those nearest to me and received support from ten friends and family members. Thus began Biomass Group. With funding in place, I set about addressing the most crucial issue in biomass – achieving security of supply at a consistent price. We started small, raised more funds and eventually set up a holding company in Singapore in 2012. Today Biomass Group has 26 individual investors and even institutional funding from multi-donor funded companies like InfraCo Asia.

    The Biomass Group is a vertically integrated renewable energy company that develops biomass resources to make chips, pellets and power. The primary biomass fuel used is Gliricidia sepium, a rapidly growing, short-rotation tree that is found growing wild throughout Sri Lanka. It is a nitrogen-fixing tree and is used as a shade tree, soil improver, and as “live fencing” by smallholders. We started by introducing Gliricidia sepium into home gardens as a live fence and into other crops, like coconut, as an intercrop. We currently work with 60,000 smallholder farmers. Our aim is to work with 500,000 farmers by 2022.

    My two years of research revealed that many biomass businesses failed simply because they did not focus on developing a sustainable and reliable supply chain. Taking these lessons into consideration, our entire focus has been on ensuring a strong supply chain.  Through Biomass Supplies, a wholly-owned subsidiary incorporated in 2013, we source supply from smallholder farmers and plantation owners and in the process generate millions of tons of commercial biomass.

    Our out-grower model has the added value of delivering socio-economic impact for all the supply partners with whom we work. There are about 2 million smallholder farmers in Sri Lanka. Farmers are often poor, living at the base of the economic pyramid, and exploited by myriad middlemen, yet they are the people who actually do the work. Everywhere in the developing world, the perception is that rural development is the exclusive responsibility of the government. I have a different view. I believe we all as entrepreneurs have a shared responsibility in rural development. And it makes good business sense! Biomass puts this belief into action by connecting low-income rural communities to global value chains and achieving a healthy profit in the process.  

    Sustainability has lot to do with inclusivity. We maintain positive, long-term relationships with all our farmers and they are the center of our operations. In the beginning, farmers were wary of our intentions and gaining their trust was not easy. Over these last 4 years, however, we have organized more than 700 training programs for the benefit of farmers and involved as many farmers as possible. We share knowledge with communities on how Gliricidia can increase soil productivity while reducing erosion and controlling pollution associated with the use of chemical fertilizers. Farmers no longer need to spend money on chemicals and the water table is no longer poisoned from chemical fertilizer and pesticide run-off. In addition to sharing knowledge, our training programs often serve as farmer forums where farmers can discuss their problems and find solutions. From time to time, when we have to take important business decisions, we use these forums to gather input from our farmers.

    When the civil war ended in Sri Lanka in 2009, the country had a high unemployment rate among young men and women. Programs strived to include them in the workforce, but very few reached women. Whereas paddy field farming, construction and other main industries are usually the domain of men in Sri Lanka, women are often responsible for the home gardens. Through our work at the home garden level, we were able to directly engage women in war affected areas with few other economic opportunities. Now, more than 80% of our registered smallholder farmers are women. 

    By encouraging women to participate in the business and by placing value on what is traditionally seen as ‘women’s work’, we challenge cultural stereotypes. Any additional income that women earn is a supplement to household income and is usually spent on family well-being and on children’s education in particular. Our aim is to double the per capita income of our farmers by 2020.

    We are committed to connect Food, Fuel and Livelihood Development in rural Sri Lanka. We adhere to responsible environmental, social and governance standards while delivering economic benefits. We believe in an inclusive business model where no distinction is made between gender, religion or social status. We have created an innovative approach to sustainable biomass production, simultaneously mitigating climate change, enhancing food production, promoting soil conservation, and advancing economic, social and environmental well-being at the smallholder level.  We work hard every day to drive our business and values forward and we are creating a world-class biomass business from Sri Lanka!

     

    Biomass Supplies, a Sri Lankan subsidiary of Biomass Group – the visionary renewable energy company – is developing Sri Lanka’s abundant sustainable energy resources through innovative partnerships with the country’s smallholder farmers. Biomass has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to boost the incomes of 40,000 farmers – at least 70 percent of them women – by 2018 and improve their yields through training in sustainable agriculture practices. Read more about their BCtA commitment here

    Tweet me:.@BCtAInitiative's #blog #inclusivebusiness series highlights the work of the #Biomass Group in #SriLanka http://bit.ly/2KQPuHQ #renewableenergy #socinn

    KEYWORDS: Lucky Dissanayake, Biomass Group, business call to action (bcta), sri lanka, Social Entrepreneurship


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    Advancing four solvable problems within the global Goals—skills gap: STEM, energy poverty, post-harvest loss, and marine debris

    SOURCE:PYXERA Global

    DESCRIPTION:

    WASHINGTON, D.C., May 16, 2018 /3BL Media/ -PYXERA Global is proud to announce the third Global Engagement Forum: Live, to be held on October 10-11, 2018 in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The invite-only forum focuses on four solvable problems within the Sustainable Development Goals. Leaders and experts from business, government, and nonprofit organizations will come together for two days of intensive collaboration.

    Following the huge success of the 2017 Global Engagement Forum: Live, the 2018 Forum will continue to carry forward the work on food security through the lens of post-harvest loss and address the skills gap in STEM and the need for decent work for all. In addition, this year the Forum will expand its focus to include two new tracks on ending energy poverty and reducing marine debris and ocean plastics.

    At the 2017 Forum:

    • 88% of Forum participants walked away with new connections.
    • 10 events adopted the Forum’s innovative design.
    • 70% of participants found leads and opportunities to engage new partners and establish or strengthen relationships with like-minded partners.

    Request an invitation today.

    Space for each Forum track is limited. Request an invitation early for one of the four tracks below.

    “The Global Engagement Forum: Live is valuable to us because leaders from all sectors can talk and deliberate and generate solutions to address global challenges. This kind of active, focused conversation is an incredibly meaningful way to advance the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.” - Sarah Middleton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, PIMCO

    This is not a typical conference. There will be a highly collaborative approach to bring forth solutions over the course of the two days. Participating collaborators will be asked to share their expertise, engage in dynamic dialogue with fellow experts and stakeholders, and address the global issues in tangible and meaningful ways. Each participant in the Forum has something to contribute—knowledge, experience, networks, or other resources to move toward solutions for one of the four challenges. Each participant will be asked to select one of the four solvable problems below.

    Closing the Skills Gap in STEM
    Why is today’s workforce ill-prepared for employment opportunities in STEM, as employers struggle to fill jobs in these areas? Employers around the world need analytical thinkers and problem solvers yet, struggle to find qualified candidates for entry level positions, much less advanced or mid-career positions. Employers have jobs with no one to do them.

    Reducing Marine Debris and Ocean Plastics 
    Why has plastic pollution become one of the greatest threats to ocean and waterway health worldwide? Advancements from plastic usage have been vast, from expanding food access and reduced food waste, through to greater transportation security, lighter vehicles and improved access to shelter. But gains can come at considerable cost—plastic does not biodegrade so it’s here with us and becoming a bigger problem day by day.

    Reducing Post-Harvest Loss: From Farm to Market
    Why does one-third of all food produced never reach the market? Our planet produces enough food to feed the entire global population. Yet one-third of all food produced is never consumed and an estimated 815 million people go undernourished. Meanwhile, an astounding amount of fresh water used in agriculture—three times that of Lake Geneva—produces food that is never eaten. Most of this food loss happens before produce ever reaches a market. In Sub-Saharan Africa, over 75 percent of loss occurs during the production, handling, and sorting stages. Collectively, this results in economic costs of approximately USD $750 billion. As a rapidly growing global population places growing demands on our available resources, businesses and communities can no longer afford these types of inefficiencies in agricultural value chains.

    Ending Energy Poverty
    Providing access to safe, clean, and affordable energy would break the cycle of poverty and fulfill proposed long-term value approaches to economic development. The International Energy Agency’s 2040 projections show that 500 million global citizens will still lack access to electricity, and 1.8 billion will still use unclean fuels to cook and heat. Why, with the rise of new technology and renewable energy solutions, is a third of the world still deprived of reliable power? 

    For media inquiries contact:
    Morgan Singer
    PYXERA Global
    msinger@pyxeraglobal.org
    202.830.0501

    About PYXERA Global
    For nearly 30 years, PYXERA Global has facilitated mutually beneficial partnerships between the public, private, and social sectors worldwide to create social impact projects that enrich lives and livelihoods, inclusively and sustainably.

    Tweet me:Announcing the Global Engagement Forum: Live, hosted by @PYXERAGlobal, October 10-11. Advancing four solvable problems within the #globalgoals #skillsgap: #STEM, #energypoverty, #postharvestloss, and #marinedebris. #GEFlive http://bit.ly/2wFvaXf Request an invitation today!

    KEYWORDS: agriculture, Post-Harvest Loss, Energy Poverty, Marine Debris, PYXERA Global, Global Engagement Forum: Live, STEM, skills gap


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    SOURCE:Las Vegas Sands

    DESCRIPTION:

    Ten years ago, senior vice president, chief procurement and sustainability officer Norbert Riezler, was appointed to manage the U.S. procurement department for Las Vegas Sands and within 18 months, was asked to head the department globally by Chairman and CEO, Sheldon Adelson.  Three years later, he was asked to lead the sustainability department globally, managing the program in Macao and Singapore as well. 

    “Marina Bay Sands was opening at the time and there was no sustainability program in Macao, it was only based in the U.S.,” he said.  “It had really started here in Las Vegas with the opening of The Palazzo and its LEED certifications at that time.”

    Leading the company into sustainable operations, Riezler searched for the right person to help establish the program the correct way.  He hired Katarina Tesarova, vice president of global sustainability, to unite all regions and create Sands ECO360, Las Vegas Sands award-winning global sustainability program.   The two spent time traveling to learn what others thought about sustainability, ultimately creating the program based on four pillars: Green Buildings, Environmentally Responsible Operations, Stakeholder Engagement and Green Meetings and Events.  The pillars were created in areas where they could make the most impact.    

    “We focused on these pillars and annually, we have elevated the program and our goals,” he said.  “We now have a five-year outlook, a strategy of where we want to go, and today, the four pillars still hold strong in all that we do.  Katarina brings our regional teams together at our annual summit where we share best practices and jointly decide on what critical issues we need to address.  This is where we decide on what we should do for the program, allowing flexibility for each region to execute their own, tailored initiatives, but still based on the pillars.”

    Riezler does say that the global sustainability team does have to formulate specific needs to each region and properties because they are so diverse.  But all regions and properties are looked at as one sustainability group globally, focusing on what is really important as a whole. 

    “For example, sustainable food is a huge initiative for all of the properties and its restaurants.  But, each property or region does it their own way,” he said.  “With this, we have found that what works in one region may not work for the others.  For Marina Bay Sands, they partnered with WWF for the sustainable food program and they’ve executed the initiative very well, but now we have to see if its applicable for the U.S. and Macao.  Another example is in Nevada, it’s sunny almost every day, but in Macao they have different weather patterns so solar technology is going to be very different in these two regions.  We have to look at all locations and see what fits best.  There are elements that are out of our control.”

    Other issues that affect regions differently are government, people, and jurisdictions.  With recycling efforts, infrastructure in the U.S. is far better than in Macao.  Las Vegas is able to recycle 55-80% of materials depending on events, but in Macao, they don’t have the infrastructure or recycling facilities like the U.S.  With support from Las Vegas Sands executives, the department is able to improve their efforts every year.    

    “We have great support from our top exectuives,” Riezler said.  “We are able to attain new technologies like chiller plants, replacements for our existing equipment, and upgrading lighting at all of our properties.  This allows us to become more energy efficient, reduce our carbon footprint and in the long run, save money globally.” 

    During the launch of the program, Riezler said he and Tesarova always aimed to have a sustainability program in place that produced facts, figures and certifications, where the program can speak for itself through high rankings and various awards.  Through its science-based targets, the department is deeply embedded in global operations.    

    “For the future, I don’t see the program ever stopping,” he said.  “Climate change is real and companies can do a lot to reduce energy and carbon emissions.  Every year we find new ways to do it.  In five years, I hope that we implement new technologies, continue to reduce energy consumption, recycle even more materials, and engage more stakeholders.  This is a journey with no end point for us and that’s what makes it so exciting.”

    To learn more about the Sands ECO360 program, visit the Las Vegas Sands website.

    Tweet me:Chief Procurement and #Sustainability Officer Norbert Riezler is leading @LasVegasSands into #sustainable operations around the world via the global #SandsECO360 program http://bit.ly/2rFDu3m

    KEYWORDS: Las Vegas Sands, Sands ECO360


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    SOURCE:Comcast Corporation

    SUMMARY:

    • More than 115,000 volunteers spent nearly 700,000 hours giving back to their communities.
    • Volunteers participated in over 1,200 projects in 23 countries around the world.
    • Employee Kyeshia Bates became the one-millionth volunteer to participate In Comcast Cares Day since it’s inception in 2001.

    DESCRIPTION:

    PHILADELPHIA, May 16, 2018 /3BL Media/ -- Comcast NBCUniversal today announced a record number of volunteers, projects and total hours served during the company’s 17th annual Comcast Cares Day, the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort and a powerful representation of the company’s year-round commitment to community service.

    More than 115,000 Comcast NBCUniversal employees and their families, friends and community partners spent nearly 700,000 hours volunteering at over 1,200 projects in 23 countries around the world.

    What’s more, Comcast employee and Michigan resident Kyeshia Bates was identified as the one millionth volunteer to participate in the annual day of service since its inception in 2001.  To her surprise, she was met at a volunteer project just outside of Detroit by David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for Comcast Corporation who announced a gift of $25,000 from the Comcast Foundation for Affirmations, a local, support organization serving people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and the location where Kyeshia spent her Comcast Cares Day.  Kyeshia also received an all-expenses paid trip for four to Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

    “We are firm believers that corporations have a responsibility to give back to the communities where their employees and customers live and work and to partner with local governments, organizations, and nonprofits to make our communities stronger,” said Cohen.  “That is what Comcast Cares Day is all about and I am so grateful to employees like Kyeshia for their service and proud to be a part of this incredible effort.”

    To kick off Comcast Cares Day, Comcast enlisted Olympic gold medalists Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando to join the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and more than 100 children and volunteers at the Laura Sims Skate House in West Philadelphia. Above, you can watch a video of that project that included a clean-up project in conjunction with City Year Philadelphia, academic enrichment activities, a hockey clinic and a surprise gift of free laptops and six months of complimentary Internet service for the children as part of Comcast’s Internet Essentials program, which provides low-cost internet service and free digital literacy training to people in low-income communities. 

    Tweet me:.@ComcastNBCUCI celebrates record-breaking 17th Annual #ComcastCaresDay http://bit.ly/2wItZpT via @comcast #volunteering

    KEYWORDS: Comcast NBCUniversal, comcast cares day, Internet Essentials


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    SOURCE:Antea Group

    DESCRIPTION:

    Antea Group spotlights Julie Mouton, who is based in our Seattle office. Julie was 6 when her interest in environmentalism started. She specializes in environmental remediation and compliance as well as sustainability.

    Read about Julie’s interest in the global water crisis, her love for Italy and how she pulled a 12-person water ski pyramid one summer.

    About Antea Group

    Antea Group is an international engineering and environmental consulting firm specializing in full-service solutions in the fields of environment, infrastructure, urban planning and water. By combining strategic thinking and multidisciplinary perspectives with technical expertise and pragmatic action, we do more than effectively solve client challenges; we deliver sustainable results for a better future. With more than 3,000 employees in over 100 offices around the world, we serve clients ranging from global energy companies and manufacturers to national governments and local municipalities. Learn more at http://us.anteagroup.com.

    Tweet me:.@AnteaGroup Presents a Practitioner Spotlight on Julie Mouton http://bit.ly/2Iuesi4

    Contact Info:

    katie.nordenson@anteagroup.com

    KEYWORDS: environmental remediation, environmental compliance, water risk assessment, design-for-environment, sustainability strategy, benchmarking, antea group


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    With their deep roots, sea oats protect sand dunes and the beaches we enjoy

    SOURCE:Duke Energy

    DESCRIPTION:

    As enchanting as coastal sea oats look, their golden tassels dancing in the ocean breeze from Florida’s Panhandle to North Carolina’s Outer Banks, what lies hidden beneath the sand is even more magical.

    The roots of this dainty-looking grass extend as deep as 5 feet below the surface, and literally anchor the dunes in place.

    For the fragile barrier islands, sea oats are the first line of defense.

    They’re so important that conservationists no longer wait for the plants to reseed themselves. After storms destroy the dunes, volunteers follow with new seedlings. As part of Duke Energy In Action Month on May 10, a crew from the energy company helped plant thousands of sea oats on St. George Island in the Florida Panhandle.

    If those plants grow, so will the dunes.

    “These plants stabilize sand dunes, which deflect the erosion energy of the wind and waves,” said Michael Kane, a professor of environmental horticulture at the University of Florida in Gainesville who has devoted his career to studying the sea oat. “The dunes are, in a structural sense, a barrier.”

    Sea oats nurture the dunes in two ways, Kane said.

    “They have an extensive underground root system. Underground shoots grow horizontally. And on the shoots are roots and each root helps stabilize the sand.”

    The stalks, which can grow up to 6 feet tall, also trap sand.

    “The upright part of the sea oats decreases the wind velocity and the sand that’s in the wind drops around the plant. So what happens is, around sea oats plants, you start to see wind-blown sand being deposited.”

    For many beach-goers, sea oats serve simply as a familiar backdrop for vacation photographs. But don’t step too close. They are so crucial to the formation of dunes that picking or disturbing them is against the law in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Walking on dunes is also forbidden because of the damage it can cause not only to the dunes themselves, but also to the sea oats.

    The biggest threat, however, is a hurricane.

    “It can wipe out everything,” Kane said. “It’s like a vacuum cleaner. There’s nothing left. This type of damage has been going on for millions of years but the big difference is that now we have development right behind dunes so there are severe threats of economic loss and also a loss of life.”

    Storm surge can destroy dunes in a few hours. Restoring them can take years.

    In May 2016, Duke Energy volunteers worked in the rain to plant thousands of seedlings on St. George Island. Most are thriving, said Danny Collins, Duke Energy’s government and community relations manager in north Florida. This year, employees returned to plant even more.

    They work with staff of Franklin County Emergency Management and members of the Conservation Corps of the Forgotten Coast, a youth development organization that helps with habitat restoration projects. Some volunteers used small pointed tools called dibbers to dig holes; others fertilized and planted the seedlings.

    If successful, each new plant will send out underground rhizomes that, in turn, will sprout even more new plants.

    Collins said it’s important for businesses such as Duke Energy to get involved so that St. George Island remains “one of the most beautiful places in the world.”

    “We call this area the forgotten coast,” he said. “It’s on us and everybody who works in the area to do something to make it a better place. Planting sea oats not just makes the beaches look nicer; it keeps the beaches healthier. We get to enjoy the beach and do some good work.”

    Not every sea oat is alike
    Latin Name: Uniola paniculata.
    Habitat: From Northampton County, Va., through Florida, the Gulf Coast, Texas, and south to Tabasco, Mexico. Also in the Bahamas and some parts of northwestern Cuba.
    Fun fact: A seedling from Florida will not fare as well in North Carolina. Sea oats adapt best to the area where they came from. Said Prof. Michael Kane, who studies their genetic makeup: “We see tremendous differences between sea oats with respect to how they grow, their root system and shoot systems.”

    Tweet me:As part of #DukeEnergyInActionMonth, a crew helped plant thousands of sea oats on St. George Island in the Florida Panhandle to protect sand dunes from erosion. http://bit.ly/2wG441R @DukeEnergy #conservation #volunteering

    KEYWORDS: Duke Energy, Conservation, beaches, sea oats, St. George Island, Florida, erosion, Horticulture, Duke Energy In Action Month

       


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