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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version

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    Company celebrated for strong level of engagement

    SOURCE:SC Johnson

    DESCRIPTION:

    RACINE, Wis., June 1, 2018/3BL Media/ - SC Johnson Nigeria today announced it has been recognized as a 2018 Best Workplace by the Great Place to Work® Institute, earning the No. 3 spot in the ranking of small and medium-sized companies in Nigeria. This is the fourth year SC Johnson Nigeria has been named as a Best Workplace.

    “I congratulate the SC Johnson Nigeria team on being recognized as a Best Workplace for the fourth time,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “This recognition is a result of the team’s strong level of engagement and commitment to our company values.”

    The Nigeria team joins SC Johnson Italy, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Turkey and Switzerland on the 2018 list of Best Workplaces. The Best Workplaces list is the world’s largest annual study of workplace excellence. The ranking is determined by the results of an employee opinion survey and information provided about company culture, programs and policies.

    In the United States, SC Johnson has been included 29 times in Working Mother magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers” for its programs and benefits that support working parents including paid family leave, schedule flexibility and advancement of women.

    Also in 2017, the company received a perfect score of 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index. This HRC honor marked the 13th time the company earned a perfect score and its 16th year of recognition on the workplace equality list.

     

    ###

    Contact:

    SC Johnson Global Public Affairs

    USPublicAffairs@scj.com

    262-260-2440

    About SC Johnson

    SC Johnson is a family company dedicated to innovative, high-quality products, excellence in the workplace and a long-term commitment to the environment and the communities in which it operates. Based in the USA, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of household cleaning products and products for home storage, air care, pest control and shoe care, as well as professional products. It markets such well-known brands as GLADE®, KIWI®, OFF!®, PLEDGE®, RAID®, SCRUBBING BUBBLES®, SHOUT®, WINDEX® and ZIPLOC® in the U.S. and beyond, with brands marketed outside the U.S. including AUTAN®, TANA®, BAMA®, BAYGON®, BRISE®, KABIKILLER®, KLEAR®, MR MUSCLE® and RIDSECT®. The 132-year-old company, which generates $10 billion in sales, employs approximately 13,000 people globally and sells products in virtually every country around the world. www.scjohnson.com

    Tweet me:.@SCJohnson Nigeria Recognized as 2018 Best Workplace for fourth time http://bit.ly/2kFEpxy

    KEYWORDS: SC Johnson, Fisk Johnson, workplace excellence, Great Place to Work


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    SOURCE:Ceres

    DESCRIPTION:

    June 1, 2018  /3BL Media/ - Since its launch in June 2017, the We Are Still In coalition has doubled in size and grown in clout, becoming a national movement of nearly 2,800 leaders strong, including 1,800 companies and investors, working together to uphold America’s promise to meet the U.S. goals of the Paris Agreement. 

    The signatories, which also include governors, mayors, tribes, cultural institutions, faith organizations, colleges and universities, represent 160.2 million Americans and more than $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy. 

    “We went from a meme to a movement,” said Anne Kelly, senior director of policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres. “As one of the co-founders of We Are Still In, Ceres is thrilled by the unprecedented support and cross-sector collaboration of non-federal leaders from all 50 states joining forces to tackle climate change.”

    It is has been one year since President Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. In the hours and days after, Ceres, along with several partner organizations including World Wildlife Fund, helped to mobilize hundreds of influential companies and investors to say ‘We Are Still In’. Adobe, Apple, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Campbell Soup Company, eBay, Citi, Gap Inc., Google, Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Mars, Inc., McDonald’s, Microsoft, New York State Office of the Comptroller, New York City Office of the Comptroller, NIKE, Inc., NRG Energy, PG&E Corp, Target, Timberland, VF Corporation, Walmart are among the company and investor signatories.

    On June 5, the coalition marks its one-year anniversary since launching We Are Still In and announcing to the rest of the world that America will not retreat from the global pact. 

    “As a sustainability nonprofit organization, we work with companies across all sectors to embolden commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency and strengthen goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — making the case that these actions makeeconomic and financial sense,” said Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO and President. “In state after state, we have seen companies and investors increase their ambition while supporting climate and clean energy policies on every level.”

    Among the new commitments by Ceres network members since June 2017 include:

    • Adobe, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Mars, Inc., and VF Corporation are among the latest companies that set science-based emissions reduction targets consistent with global efforts to limit warming to well below 2-degrees Celsius.
    • Apple announced it would power its global facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. This includes its retail stores, data centers, offices, and co-located facilities in 43 countries — including China and India.
    • California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced it would acquire an 80 percent stake in wind farms in Kansas and Oklahoma for $233 million.
      • CalPERS continues to play a leadership role as a Steering Committee member in Climate Action 100+, a major global investor initiative with nearly 280 investors with $30 trillion in assets under management engaging the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters on climate change.
    • At the 2018 Ceres Conference, Citibank announced that the bank is ‘Still In’, making it the first bank to join the coalition.
    • L'Oreal USA announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality in 2019 for all 21 of its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities.
    • New York State Office of the Comptroller committed an additional $2 billion to its low-carbon index fund, raising it to $4 billion, and its overall investment in sustainable investments to $7 billion.
    • New York City Office of the Comptroller set a goal to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels.
    • Target committed to source 100 percent renewable energy in its domestic operations, and also announced a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 25 percent by 2025.

    In April, We Are Still In launched the We Are Taking Action campaign to drive a new wave of ambitious climate commitments and action. To kick off the campaign, Lyft announced it would offset the carbon emissions from all rides globally. Now, dozens of other companies have stepped up to announce bold commitments, proving that momentum on climate action is stronger than ever. Go to: https://www.wearestillin.com/contribute to learn how you can submit a climate action contribution. 

    “It is less about raising a fist to the current administration and more about raising a hand to show the nation and the rest of the world that they are ‘Still In’ and will do their part to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader on climate change,” Kelly added.     

    Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

    Tweet me:One year later, @WeAreStillIn has grown "from a meme to a movement" with nearly 2,800 signatories, including 1,800 companies and investors, who are working together to uphold America’s promise to meet the U.S. goals of the #ParisAgreement. #WeAreStillIn https://bit.ly/2sE4wZB

    Contact Info:

    Helen Booth-Tobin
    Ceres
    +1 (617) 247-0700ext. 214
    booth-tobin@ceres.org

    Sara Sciammacco
    Ceres
    +1 (617) 247-0700ext. 172
    sciammacco@ceres.org

    KEYWORDS: CERES, We Are Still In, Paris Agreement, sustainability


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    SOURCE:PNC Financial Services Group

    DESCRIPTION:

    As a Main Street bank that organizes around its customers and communities – and which prides itself on the strength of the relationships we work to build and deepen through time – we recognize that success isn’t about whether we sold another deposit product or booked another loan so much as it is about whether we helped the people and institutions we serve to achieve their financial goals. It’s about whether the way we operate our business and the investments we make are helping our communities to thrive. It’s about whether our employees are achieving their career aspirations and whether we are collectively living our values in a way that makes us all proud to work for PNC. It’s about whether we are doing right by the people we serve. And we know that when we do, financial success follows.

    By virtually every measure, 2017 was a successful year for PNC. We had a record year in terms of our net income and returned $3.6 billion in capital to our shareholders in the forms of both common stock dividends and repurchases of common shares. I invite you to read our annual report to shareholders for a detailed look A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO at our financial performance and the progress we are making on our strategic priorities. And in the pages that follow here within our CSR report, we are excited to share with you a great deal more information about how our values come to life across our company and in the communities where we do business.

    In 2017, we continued our work to offer more innovative products and services for an improved customer experience, and our efforts to do so in recent years earned PNC the No. 1 ranking in the J.D. Power 2017 National Bank Satisfaction Study.

    We took a number of steps to strengthen the governance of our CSR efforts and to further integrate them into our business practices. In addition to our Board of Directors adopting formal oversight of the company’s CSR program, in 2017 we announced ambitious new environmental goals, including our aim to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption by 75 percent by 2035. We also revised our coal-fired power plant policy to prohibit the construction financing of single-site, coal-fired power plants and began work to design an environmental and human rights credit risk screening process that expands our environmental, social and governance screening across the bank’s entire corporate lending portfolio.

    With the benefits of the new tax legislation enacted in December 2017, we made a number of important investments in our employees, including a $1,500 credit to the pension accounts of employees who participate in the PNC pension plan (more than 46,000 employees, with the potential to grow beyond 52,000 employees as more-recently hired employees remain with PNC long enough to become eligible for the pension plan). We issued a onetime cash payment of $1,000 each to approximately 90 percent of our employees. And we announced plans to raise our minimum hourly pay rate to $15 for eligible employees by the end of 2018. 

    Further, we made a $200 million contribution to the PNC Foundation, which oversees our work on early childhood education as well as our support for other important causes that help our communities thrive, including the arts, culture and our partnership with the United Way. Across our markets, the PNC Foundation and PNC Bank provided $72 million in charitable giving and sponsorships in 2017, including $15.4 million in grants through Grow Up Great. We partnered with DonorsChoose.org to fund hundreds of pre-K classroom initiatives. And, PNC provided $2.9 billion in financing that benefited low- and moderate income families and communities, including $2 billion in community development loans.

    For the fifth year in a row, PNC was named one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality by the Human Rights Campaign. Additionally, in our ongoing effort to create a diverse and inclusive work environment in which our employees are able to contribute, develop and grow, we worked throughout 2017 to promote performance and engagement. Among the many steps we took during the year, we introduced formal leadership standards to chart the course for every PNC manager, setting clear expectations and holding managers accountable for both the performance and development of their teams. We launched unconscious bias training to provide leaders withthe tools they need to identify the filters and biases through which they view and interpret themselves and others so that they might better navigate those biases in order to make even better hiring and development decisions. And we have been pleased to see our investments in our people paying dividends in terms of substantially reduced turnover, along with news from CareerBliss ranking PNC ninth on its list of the happiest companies based on employee survey data.

    We have much to be proud of, but we also have a great deal of work ahead of us in 2018 and as we look toward the future. Throughout this report, you’ll see examples of both our achievements and our aspirations, and you will read about our commitment to working each day to become an even better company and corporate citizen. Thank you for your interest in PNC.

    -Bill Demchak Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer

    View PNC’s 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report »

    Tweet me:A message from Bill Demchak Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of @PNCBank http://bit.ly/2H09Awi from the 2017 #CSR report

    KEYWORDS: PNC, 2017 csr report, csr, community, employees


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    SOURCE:Las Vegas Sands

    DESCRIPTION:

    Las Vegas Sands, through its award-winning global sustainability program, Sands ECO360, is wholly committed to reducing its impact on the planet and is a leader in sustainable building development and Integrated Resort operations.  Through these efforts, departments at all properties worldwide adhere to sustainable practices in all facets of business. 

    At The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, the housekeeping department has developed a long list of initiatives allowing for better operations, while also reducing waste.  All paper products such as old magazines and newspapers are collected separately on each floor of the Integrated Resorts and recycled, while the same is done with all broken glass like table tops, wine glasses, and bottles.  Wire hangers from bath robes delivered after laundry service are collected and returned to the laundry company for reuse.  Unused and leftover bathroom amenities like soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion are all collected and donated to Clean the World for sanitizing and recycling.  In part with Team Member engagement, the Sustainability department at the property conducts the Green Ideas Challenge, where anyone can submit an idea to make the properties and departments more sustainable, with many of the ideas becoming property-wide initiatives. 

    “One of the latest initiatives we are launching right now is to collect all guest supplies which may not be acceptable for our guest use, however could still be used,” Sandra Wild, executive director of Hotel Operations Housekeeping Services, said.  “This includes any trash cans, tissue holders, ice buckets, alarm clocks, wood hangers, and other items with scratches, marks or broken parts that may not be presentable in guest suites any longer, but are still in decent condition to be donated and reused elsewhere. All of the items, once collected, will be donated to local nonprofit organizations.” 

    Wild says she finds it heart wrenching to believe that something that could easily be thrown away, can make a world of difference and change someone’s life by just gathering it and donating it.  She says that these small changes and efforts by housekeeping staff have been a good change to implement. 

    “We continue to find ways to keep our luxury standards but also help our community partners,” she said.  “Our linens are now turned into cleaning cloths to be reused within our properties.  In 2008, we spent one million dollars to rent them and pay for the cleaning and maintenance of them.  We were able to reduce that cost to $300,000 and now we have a specific color thread that indicates what chemical to use with which rag.  Opportunity Village threads the cloths for us and it’s been a great implementation to our department.” 

    In Singapore, Marina Bay Sands has maintained ECO360’s goal of reducing waste by recycling, upcycling and diverting waste with anything that can be found on property.  In 2017, the property was able to recycle 28,426 uniforms.  With regular talks in regards to global warming and depleting resources, Winnie Fam, director of Housekeeping Operations at Marina Bay Sands, says their efforts gradually lead to new implementations.  They are also able to fine-tune their existing initiatives. 

    “We handle a wide range of amenities and that gives us control of what we discard,” she said.  “Being a large department and covering a large area, we have many eyes looking out for things like water leaks and energy saving opportunities around the properties.  Every individual plays a small part, each small part contributes to the bigger movement.  Team Members have a ‘feel good’ factor and they are able to see the measurements made by their personal contributions.”

    Other departments within Las Vegas Sands’ portfolio of properties are also looking to reduce their environmental impact and establish processes that can be carried forward for years to come.  Relying on outside vendors is also a strategy that some departments rely on in order to maintain the sustainable operations at all properties. 

    “Since we do not produce any of the products we use for cleaning supplies and equipment in-house, we have a strong dependency on our partners and vendors to provide us with the best and most sustainable options,” Ryan Shin, buyer in Procurement for The Venetian and The Palazzo said.  “Our department has the most interaction with our vendors and we also have the capability to generate reports and find target areas where we can improve.  By having a sustainable purchasing department we are able to source the best products for our property while ensuring that the products that we source are environmentally responsible. By utilizing products that are friendly towards the environment we are able to provide a better working environment for our Team Members and a high functioning luxury experience for our guests while emphasizing our goals of responsible sourcing.”

    Some of the initiatives implemented by the Procurement and Purchasing departments in Las Vegas are: Green Chemical Program, a global chemical bid for cleaning chemicals, working with suppliers to find a product that works well for the properties needs but also meets all green/sustainable criteria; Paper products (paper towels, facial tissues, and napkins) used on property are all environmentally friendly stemming from either Rapidly Renewable Fibers or Post Consumer, which gives the paper products their Green Seal and also falls under the companies sustainability initiatives; Floor pads being used are pads available that do not use any harsh adhesives which allows for a safer, greener product for Team Members and guests.

    “All of our departments have a strong understanding and common belief that it is our responsibility to source the best and most environmentally friendly products,” Shin said.  “The common understanding is that if we can implement products and projects that are more sustainable without sacrificing extra expenses and labor, they usually work well. Purchasing in general has always been about working with all of our vendors and partners to find a more sustainable option for our property.  In the future, I hope we can implement more strategic projects that can minimalize waste, be environmentally safer, and work with other departments on find and test products that reduce our carbon footprint.”

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

    Tweet me:.@LasVegasSands is committed to reducing its impact on the planet and being a leader in #sustainable building development via its award-winning global sustainability program http://bit.ly/2rNSwnF #SandsECO360 #GreenInfrastructure

    KEYWORDS: Las Vegas Sands, Sands ECO360


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    Subaru Names LLS Charity Partner for June, Subaru Loves to Care Month for the Third Consecutive Year

    SOURCE:Subaru of America

    DESCRIPTION:

    Camden, NJ (June 1, 2018) /3BL Media/ – Everyone loves a three-peat, especially when the winning combination helps provide care and support to people fighting cancer. For the third consecutive year, Subaru of America, Inc. and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) will spread love, hope and warmth to cancer patients and their families in communities across the country. Over the past two years, Subaru Loves to Care, the health-focused initiative of the Subaru Love Promise philanthropic platform, has allowed LLS and Subaru to deliver blankets, messages of hope and arts and crafts kits to 70,000 patients in more than 400 hospitals through 475 Subaru retailers. With the goal of donating more simple comforts to more patients year after year, Subaru and LLS look to achieve a new record during 2018 Subaru Loves to Care month, kicking off in June.

    “Subaru Loves to Care is all about improving the health of our local communities and we are proud to once again work alongside our valued partner, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to continue supporting patients and their families battling cancer,” said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing at Subaru of America. “We hope that through this program, our gestures of hope will comfort and warm those who need it most.”

    Where Love Meets Hope

    Throughout June, Subaru and LLS will bring the Subaru Loves to Care initiative to life at 498 Subaru retailers across the country. Visitors to Subaru retailers will be given a chance to write personalized messages of hope to cancer patients in their local communities, and anyone can send an online message of support at www.lls.org/subaru. Those who write a message of hope at a Subaru retailer will also receive a reusable tote bag to help spread awareness of LLS and the automaker’s goal to provide hope and care, one gesture at a time.

    At the end of June, Subaru retailers will partner with local LLS chapters nationwide to deliver nearly 40,000 blankets and 7,700 arts & crafts kits, along with messages of hope written by Subaru customers, to those fighting cancer in hospitals and treatment centers across the country.

    In addition, LLS will be collecting inspiring stories and photographs of recipients to serve as a reminder of the good the Subaru Loves to Care program brings to thousands of patients nationwide. One such survivor is Ethan.

    Ethan was just five years old when he was diagnosed with very high-risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The following years involved countless hospital visits, chemotherapy, bone marrow aspirates, lumbar punctures, steroids and blood transfusions.

    Ethan’s sister, Sienna was three years old when this journey began and she was his constant companion. She joined him for many of his hospital visits and was always by his side. Near the end of Ethan’s three-year treatment, he relapsed and was again considered very high-risk. This time, he underwent extensive testing and preparations for a stem cell transplant.

    For two months, Sienna experienced her own extensive testing and doctor visits, proving that she was Ethan’s perfect stem cell match. Then, August 9, 2016 proved to be a big day for the inseparable brother and sister, as Sienna underwent a three-hour bone marrow harvest.

    Sienna wasn't fully recovered from her procedure when her stem cells were ready for Ethan, but they Skyped each other from their separate hospital rooms. When their conversation concluded, Sienna proclaimed, “This is the best day of my life, because I got to save my big brother’s life.” Ethan and Sienna call themselves the “Super Sibs.” Now, they share the same stem cells and a bond unlike any other.

    According to LLS President and CEO Dr. Louis J. DeGennaro, “The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has helped millions impacted by cancer throughout our almost 70-year history, funding breakthrough research to advance lifesaving treatments and cures, and providing support and advocacy for patients. But the fight against blood cancers cannot be won without supporters such as Subaru and their customers. Every voice, every action, every contribution is needed and valued. We are committed to working tirelessly until we find a cure.”

    Visit a participating Subaru retailer to sign a hope card, or visit www.lls.org/subaru to write an online message of support and learn more about LLS's mission and impact, and how to help Subaru and LLS lead the way to cancer cures. 

    For more information about Subaru Loves to Care, please visit www.subaru.com/loves-to-care.

    About Subaru of America, Inc.

    Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan. Headquartered at a zero-landfill office in Camden, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 630 retailers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. SOA is guided by the Subaru Love Promise, which is the company’s vision to show love and respect to everyone, and to support its communities and customers nationwide. Over the past 20 years, SOA has donated more than $120 million to causes the Subaru family cares about, and its employees have logged more than 40,000 volunteer hours. As a company, Subaru believes it is important to do its part in making a positive impact in the world because it is the right thing to do.

    For additional information visit media.subaru.com. Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

    About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

    The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

    Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.

    For additional information visit lls.org/lls-newsnetwork. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

    Media Contacts

    LLS: Kristin Hoose, 914.821.8973, kristin.hoose@lls.org

    Subaru: Diane Anton, 856.488.5093, danton@subaru.com

     

    Tweet me:For the third consecutive year, @Subaru_USA and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society will spread love, hope and warmth to #cancer #patients and their families in communities across the country. http://bit.ly/2HbcWwu @LLSusa #SubaruLovesToCare #wherelovemeetshope

    KEYWORDS: subaru, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), Subaru loves to Care

      


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    2018 Challenge Will Award a Total of $100,000 in New Grants to Help Reduce the Unequal Burden of Cancer - All Healthcare Innovators Encouraged to Apply

    SOURCE:Astellas

    DESCRIPTION:

    TOKYO, June 1, 2018 /3BL Media/ -- Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., "Astellas") have announced the launch of the third annual Astellas Oncology C3 Prize (Changing Cancer Care), a global challenge aimed at inspiring non-treatment ideas that may improve cancer care for patients and their loved ones. This year's challenge will focus on solutions for cancer care in low- and middle-income countries, which bear a disproportionate burden of the global cancer epidemic.1,2,3

    "Given the increasing cancer rates in low- and middle-income countries, and the limited tools and resources available in these regions, this year's C3 Prize is focused on discovering innovative approaches to help narrow the global disparity in cancer care," said Mark Reisenauer, senior vice president, oncology business unit, Astellas. "Since the initial launch of the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, we have seen a tremendous response and we wanted to focus this momentum to regions of the world with the greatest need."

    Astellas is inviting patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and concerned citizens who want to improve cancer care to propose ideas that address specific challenges encountered in low- and middle-income countries within the following three categories: support tools, educational tools and technology. Three category winners will present their ideas to a live panel of judges at the 2018 World Cancer Congress on October 3, 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organized by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

    "UICC is delighted to continue partnering with Astellas on this integral initiative created to help bring good ideas in cancer care to life," said Cary Adams, CEO of UICC. "There is much that can be done to help improve cancer care in low-resource countries, and we are confident that through this global challenge we will uncover non-medical innovations that may help make a tangible difference in the lives of patients with cancer and their loved ones."

    Astellas will award three prizes totaling $100,000 USD (one $50,000 USD and two $25,000 USD grants). Entries will be accepted through July 25, 2018. In addition to the prize money, winners will receive a one-year "nights and weekends" membership to MATTER, a Chicago-based healthcare innovation community, to help bring their ideas to life. More information about the awards and submission criteria can be found at: www.C3Prize.com.

    In 2017, Hernâni Oliveira of Porto, Portugal won the C3 Grand Prize. Announced at the World Cancer Leaders' Summit, the award-winning HOPE PROJECT consists of a two-part app developed to help pediatric cancer patients and their parents solve issues related to medication adherence and the sedentary lifestyle of children who are diagnosed with cancer, as well as help parents further understand and explain complex cancer treatment procedures.

    "With the Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, we have been able to quickly move our idea from concept to reality, and fulfill our goal of helping families facing cancer better adapt to caring for their loved ones," said Hernâni Oliveira, University of Porto, Portugal. "I encourage anyone with an innovative idea that could help change cancer care to apply to this challenge. The entire experience is beyond rewarding."

    Entries will be accepted within the following three categories: support tools, educational tools and technology; and will be evaluated based on the following criteria: Extent to which idea reflects application category; plausibility of idea; creativity and originality of innovation; and ability of entrant to operationalize/implement the innovative idea for future application. Entrants are not required to have an established business or finished product to apply. Entrants may also submit an optional short informal video, which should not exceed two (2) minutes in length and may be filmed on a smartphone.

    The C3 Prize will also be featured as part of the Astellas booth (#18005) at this year's American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, from June 1-5, 2018. A new interactive installation will allow meeting attendees to learn about the program and the innovative ideas and stories behind the 2016 and 2017 C3 Prize Winners.

    See terms and conditions at www.C3Prize.com for full challenge rules and eligibility. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. No entries after July 25, 2018, 11:59 p.m. CST http://www.c3prize.com/SubmissionGuidelines.aspx#terms-and-conditions.

    About C3 Prize
    The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize, launched in 2016, is a global challenge that helps bring non-treatment based innovations in cancer care to reality. The Astellas Oncology C3 Prize gives people with a passion for healthcare innovation an opportunity to pursue ideas and solutions that may make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer, their loved ones and those who care for them.

    About Astellas
    Astellas Pharma Inc., based in Tokyo, Japan, is a company dedicated to improving the health of people around the world through the provision of innovative and reliable pharmaceutical products. For more information, please visit our website at https://www.astellas.com/en

    About UICC
    The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

    Founded in 1933 and based in Geneva, Switzerland, UICC is the largest and oldest international cancer organisation. With over 1,000 members and 56 partners across 162 countries, UICC features the world's major cancer societies, ministries of health, research institutes, patient groups and industry leaders.

    For more information, visit www.uicc.org.

    About MATTER
    MATTER, Chicago's premier healthcare collaborative, includes 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together, the MATTER community is accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit matter.health and follow @MATTERhealth.

    1 Moten Asad, et al. Redefining global health priorities: Improving cancer care in developing settings. J Glob Health. 2014 Jun; 4(1). 2 http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer  3 http://www.worldcancerday.org/myth-2-cancer-disease-wealthy-elderly-and-developed-countries

    For further information:
    Astellas Pharma Inc., Corporate Communications, TEL: +81-3-3244-3201, FAX: +81-3-5201-7473
    OR In the United States, Colin McBean, TEL: 847-420-3421, colin.mcbean@astellas.com.

    Media Contact
    corporate.communications@astellas.comphone: 224-205-8833

      

    KEYWORDS: astellas, MATTERhealth, C3 Prize, Oncology, cancer care, Union for International Cancer Control, UICC, Access to care, Patient Support


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    SOURCE:Ceres

    DESCRIPTION:

    Since its launch in June 2017, the We Are Still In coalition has doubled in size and grown in clout, becoming a national movement of nearly 2,800 leaders strong, including 1,800 companies and investors, working together to uphold America’s promise to meet the U.S. goals of the Paris Agreement. 

    The signatories, which also include governors, mayors, tribes, cultural institutions, faith organizations, colleges and universities, represent 160.2 million Americans and more than $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy. 

    “We went from a meme to a movement,” said Anne Kelly, senior director of policy and the BICEP Network at Ceres. “As one of the co-founders of We Are Still In, Ceres is thrilled by the unprecedented support and cross-sector collaboration of non-federal leaders from all 50 states joining forces to tackle climate change.”

    It is has been one year since President Trump announced that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. In the hours and days after, Ceres, along with several partner organizations including World Wildlife Fund, helped to mobilize hundreds of influential companies and investors to say ‘We Are Still In’. Adobe, Apple, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Campbell Soup Company, eBay, Citi, Gap Inc., Google, Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Mars, Inc., McDonald’s, Microsoft, New York State Office of the Comptroller, New York City Office of the Comptroller, NIKE, Inc., NRG Energy, PG&E Corp, Target, Timberland, VF Corporation, Walmart are among the company and investor signatories.

    On June 5, the coalition marks its one-year anniversary since launching We Are Still In and announcing to the rest of the world that America will not retreat from the global pact. 

    “As a sustainability nonprofit organization, we work with companies across all sectors to embolden commitments to renewable energy and energy efficiency and strengthen goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — making the case that these actions makeeconomic and financial sense,” said Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO and President. “In state after state, we have seen companies and investors increase their ambition while supporting climate and clean energy policies on every level.”

    Among the new commitments by Ceres network members since June 2017 include:

    • Adobe, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, Mars, Inc., and VF Corporation are among the latest companies that set science-based emissions reduction targets consistent with global efforts to limit warming to well below 2-degrees Celsius.
    • Apple announced it would power its global facilities with 100 percent renewable energy. This includes its retail stores, data centers, offices, and co-located facilities in 43 countries — including China and India.
    • California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced it would acquire an 80 percent stake in wind farms in Kansas and Oklahoma for $233 million.
      • CalPERS continues to play a leadership role as a Steering Committee member in Climate Action 100+, a major global investor initiative with nearly 280 investors with $30 trillion in assets under management engaging the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters on climate change.
    • At the 2018 Ceres Conference, Citibank announced that the bank is ‘Still In’, making it the first bank to join the coalition.
    • L'Oreal USA announced plans to achieve carbon neutrality in 2019 for all 21 of its U.S. manufacturing and distribution facilities.
    • New York State Office of the Comptroller committed an additional $2 billion to its low-carbon index fund, raising it to $4 billion, and its overall investment in sustainable investments to $7 billion.
    • New York City Office of the Comptroller set a goal to divest the city’s pension funds from fossil fuels.
    • Target committed to source 100 percent renewable energy in its domestic operations, and also announced a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 25 percent by 2025.

    In April, We Are Still In launched the We Are Taking Action campaign to drive a new wave of ambitious climate commitments and action. To kick off the campaign, Lyft announced it would offset the carbon emissions from all rides globally. Now, dozens of other companies have stepped up to announce bold commitments, proving that momentum on climate action is stronger than ever. Go to: https://www.wearestillin.com/contribute to learn how you can submit a climate action contribution. 

    “It is less about raising a fist to the current administration and more about raising a hand to show the nation and the rest of the world that they are ‘Still In’ and will do their part to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader on climate change,” Kelly added.     

    Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. For more information, visit www.ceres.org and follow @CeresNews.

    Tweet me:WATCH: #WeAreStillIn signatories like @Microsoft, @Citi, @nrgenergy and @Nike highlighted their #climateaction at #Ceres18 -- saying We Are Taking Action to uphold commitments under the #ParisAgreement. http://bit.ly/2Jm4j7G

    Contact Info:

    Helen Booth-Tobin
    Ceres
    +1 (617) 247-0700ext. 214
    booth-tobin@ceres.org

    Sara Sciammacco
    Ceres
    +1 (617) 247-0700ext. 172
    sciammacco@ceres.org

    KEYWORDS: We Are Still In, 2 degrees, CERES


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    By John Damonti, President, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation

    SOURCE:Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

    DESCRIPTION:

    How do you treat 11,000 new cases of pediatric cancer annually with only five pediatric oncologists?

    With those numbers, it’s not surprising the mortality rate for pediatric cancer in Botswana, Malawi and Uganda in southern and east Africa is as high as 90 percent.

    Last year, The Texas Children’s Hospital Cancer and Hematology Centers, Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative and the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation embarked on a journey to give new hope to children like these, and launched the Global HOPE (Hematology-Oncology Pediatric Excellence) Program.

    Through a $100-million initiative led by David G. Poplack, M.D., director of Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers and Professor of Pediatric Oncology at Baylor College of Medicine, Global HOPE has the potential to dramatically improve the standard of care for children with cancer and blood disorders in sub-Saharan Africa. This capacity building program aims to build a comprehensive pediatric hematology-oncology healthcare infrastructure and collaborative network of local healthcare professionals to appropriately diagnose and treat children with cancer and life-threatening blood disorders in southern and east Africa.

    What can we share about our journey thus far?

    Since its launch, more than 2,000 children have been treated. While this is encouraging, we know there are many more children to be reached. To that end, a major community awareness campaign in all participating countries is being developed and implemented. The campaign is expected to increase public awareness and decrease the stigma related to a cancer diagnosis, while increasing knowledge of childhood cancer, including appropriate steps parents, caregivers, and communities can make to ensure early diagnosis and treatment.

    Additionally, we have trained over 500 healthcare professionals, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and other specialists. Over the next five years we aim to train over 4,000 more. Our first group of East African pediatricians will complete their pediatric hematology/oncology fellowship training from the Global HOPE program in Uganda.

    I am inspired by the work of the team, and optimistic about the work that lies ahead. Dr. Poplack will be sharing a more detailed update on the progress and challenges later this year at the World Cancer Forum.

    Our blueprint at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation for addressing health disparities is Secure the Future, an initiative launched in 1999 that created the largest pediatric HIV treatment network in the world. Just as Secure the Future gave new hope to children and families living with HIV/AIDS, Global HOPE is creating the potential for a brighter future for children with cancer and blood disorders.

    Tweet me:How do you treat 11,000 new cases of pediatric cancer annually with only five pediatric oncologists? Now in its second year, Global HOPE sets sights on #childhoodcancer #awareness and training for #healthcare professionals in sub-Saharan Africa http://bit.ly/2syaZoQ @BMSnews

    KEYWORDS: Global HOPE, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Cancer, Pediatric Oncology, africa, botswana, Malawi, uganda, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, John Damonti


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    SOURCE:Cone Communications

    DESCRIPTION:

    By Devika Narayan, Account Supervisor

    Last week, more than 500 corporate, nonprofit and agency professionals working at the intersection of profit and Purpose convened in Chicago to share insights and best practices at the 16th annual Engage for Good conference.

    With a theme of ‘Creating Change in Changing Times,’ discussion focused on how companies and nonprofits can generate compelling brand Purpose in today’s environment of rising consumer and employee expectations. With notable speakers like The Obama Foundation’s Michael Strautmanis, REI’s Laura Swapp and Save the Children’s Carolyn Miles and a series of educational breakout sessions, #EFG18 combined inspirational conversations with actionable insights for practitioners.

    This year’s conference left me with a few key takeaways:

    • Preach what you practice. A recurring theme throughout the conference, brand activism emerged as the new breed of Purpose marketing. While more companies are advocating for social justice issues like gun control and immigration, Bank of America’s Sue Burton reminded the audience to be thoughtful and deliberate when deciding what issues to have an authentic voice on. To minimize backlash and foster trust with customers, employees and other stakeholders, a brand should only take a stand that reflects its Purpose, values and, most importantly, its operational practices. Saying no can be hard, but it’s sometimes the right thing to do.
    • Tech continues to amplify good. From traceable supply chains to permanent identity for refugees, Accenture’s Stef Milczarek shared how the world’s latest technology is helping organizations pioneer more efficient processes that are both sustainable and scalable. A powerful example comes from Akshaya Patra, a nonprofit supplier of cooked meals for schoolchildren in India. The organization explored how technology could help them do more with less in a pilot project with Accenture’s Tech4Good program. Using a combination of artificial intelligence, connected IoT devices and blockchain technology, Akshaya Patra realized significant efficiency improvements in its meal preparation and distribution. In fact, estimates suggest that if these technologies were implemented across all its kitchens, the nonprofit would save nearly $500,000 annually – translating to over 30 million additional meals every year. 

    To continue reading, please click here.

    Tweet me:Lessons Learned At Engage For Good 2018 http://bit.ly/2H91XDX

    KEYWORDS: Engage for Good Conference, Cone Communications


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    SOURCE:SiMPACT Strategy Group

    DESCRIPTION:

    Join LBG Canada companies on June 5, 2018 in Calgary, as we discuss community investment's role in a diversity and inclusion strategy.

    Nikki King, Plant Manager & Community Relations Lead at Iron Mountain, joins panelists that include leaders influencing corporate thinking on abilities, LGBTQ inclusion, Action 92 and Indigenous inclusion, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    To access the agenda, please visit: https://www.lbg-canada.ca/lbg-canada-western-conference-agenda/

    To register for the 2018 LBG Canada Western Conference, please visit: https://www.lbg-canada.ca/regional-meetings-contact-form/

    Join the conversation! #CIMatters

    About LBG Canada
    LBG Canada is a network of corporate community investment professionals from many of Canada's leading companies, who work together to apply, develop and enhance the use of the LBG Model and measurement framework in Canada. Participation in LBG Canada encourages companies to focus on strategy, measurement and reporting to demonstrate the business value achieved through investment in community. LBG Canada is facilitated by SiMPACT Strategy Group. For more information, please visit: https://www.lbg-canada.ca

    Tweet me:Join #LBGCanada for a discussion on #communityinvestment's role in #diversityandinclusion strategy, June 5 in YYC. Panelists incl. leaders influencing corporate thinking on abilities, LGBTQ2+ inclusion, Action 92 & Indigenous inclusion, UN SDGs http://bit.ly/2JjBxUZ #CIMatters

    KEYWORDS: LBG Canada, Abilities Inclusion, Aboriginal Inclusion, LGBTQ Inclusion, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Community Investment, conference, Western Canada, Calgary


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    SOURCE:Cone Communications

    DESCRIPTION:

    Purpose isn’t just the latest marketing buzzword or moment-in-time tactic. Not only do Americans expect companies to lead with Purpose, they are ready to reward these companies in a variety of ways. In fact, companies that lead with Purpose will stand to build deeper bonds with existing consumers, expand the consumer base and enlist those brand advocates to share the brand message.

    We are pleased to share the newly released 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study. The study, examining consumer expectations and behaviors toward companies that lead with Purpose, finds Purpose-driven brands can build stronger emotional connections with consumers that go far beyond a transactional relationship.

    Key findings include:

    Americans expect companies to lead with Purpose: 78% of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively impact society as well

    Creates deeper bonds: 77% feel a stronger emotional connection to Purpose-driven companies over traditional companies, 79% say they are more loyal and 73% are willing to defend that company if someone spoke badly of it

    Expands the consumer base: 88% would buy a product from a Purpose-driven company and 66% would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from a Purpose-driven company

    Builds brand advocates to amplify the brand message: 78% would tell others to buy products from Purpose-driven companies, and 68% are more willing to share content with their social networks over that of traditional companies

    Purpose trumps cost and quality: Purpose leads over low-cost or high-quality products in 5 of 8 consumer actions

    Today’s consumers are hyper-engaged and are seeking out more than a transactional relationship with brands. Americans want to support companies that embed their unique Purpose at the forefront of their brands – and communicate that Purpose in a variety of ways. In order for brands to “walk the talk,” they must ensure they are aligning their internal operations and creating the programs and policies to back that up. Businesses that take a Purpose-driven approach will be rewarded with an entirely new level of consumer engagement – one that goes far beyond a product-based or transactional relationship.

    We invite you to download the research and consider joining our webinar on Wednesday, June 20, at 1 p.m. ET to learn more about the study. Registration can be accessed here

    Tweet me:Announcing the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study http://bit.ly/2kwTwtb

    KEYWORDS: Purpose, brand purpose, purpose-driven, Cone research, 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study, Cone Communications


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    AEG’s LA Galaxy celebrates one of the longest-running Pride Nights in professional sports at StubHub Center

    SOURCE:AEG

    DESCRIPTION:

    LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2018 /3BL Media/ - AEG’s LA Galaxy hosted its fifth annual Pride Night, one of the longest-running Pride Nights in professional sports, on Wednesday, May 30 at StubHub Center in a match presented by Spectrum SportsNet. As part of Pride Night, the LA Galaxy featured various in-game activations to celebrate the LGBTQ community of Los Angeles, including an LA Galaxy Pride Night Noisemaker giveaway upon entry to the stadium.

    During Pride Night, the LA Galaxy and StubHub Center featured numerous elements to celebrate, including using in-stadium rainbow-themed berm flags, palm tree lights, corner flags, field flags, confetti and balloons in addition to Pride video board content shown on GalaxyTV, the largest video board in Major League Soccer. Cozmo and the LA Galaxy Star Squad also sported Pride Night gear. Additionally, the West Coast Singers, the third oldest LGBTQ mixed chorus in the nation celebrating their 35th anniversary, kicked off the night by singing the National Anthem during the pregame ceremonies.

    In support of MLS WORKS Soccer For All campaign, LA Galaxy players warmed up in specialty pregame shirts which were later signed by the players and available for fans to bid on, with proceeds benefitting inclusive programming in the Los Angeles community.

    In 2014, the LA Galaxy hosted its first Pride Night at StubHub Center, starting a tradition that has led to five years celebrating the LGBTQ community, marking one of the longest consecutive Pride Night celebrations hosted by a professional sports team.

    A portion of all LA Galaxy Pride Night ticket packages will be donated to You Can Play, a project working for equality for all in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans.

    ABOUT WEST COAST SINGERS
    Founded in 1983 with a handful of members, West Coast Singers is the third oldest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered, mixed-voice chorus in the nation. In that more difficult time, the original intent was to provide a safe place for gay and lesbian people to come together and sing. West Coast Singers has become one of the premier gay and/or lesbian choruses in the world, offering the rich, full-bodied sound that can only come from a mixed chorus.

    The West Coast Singers will celebrate their 35th anniversary during a concert on June 2. More information can be found on www.westcoastsingers.org.

    ABOUT THE YOU CAN PLAY PROJECT
    You Can Play works to ensure safety and inclusion for all who participate in sports, including LGBTQ athletes, coaches and fans. You Can Play believes sports teams should focus on the athlete's skills, work ethic, and competitive spirit, not their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. More information about You Can Play can be found at www.youcanplayproject.org.

    Tweet me:AEG’s @LAGalaxy host 5th Annual #Pride Night at @StubHubCenter! #YouCanPlay #LGBTQ #PrideMonth http://bit.ly/2LaTqD0

    KEYWORDS: AEG, LA Galaxy, LGBTQ, Pride Night, StubHub Center, Pride Month

      


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    SOURCE:CIT

    DESCRIPTION:

    NEW YORK, June 4, 2018 /3BL Media/ -- CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) today announced the launch of its second annual volunteer campaign, CIT Cares Month, a company-wide initiative that inspires and encourages employees to volunteer in support of local communities and non-profit organizations nationwide. 

    "We're committed to improving the communities where we live, work and do business through our social responsibility and volunteer efforts," said CIT Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer Ellen R. Alemany. "Our goal with CIT Cares Month is to connect our teams with service projects that align with the needs of those communities and with our employees' interests."

    Throughout the month of June, CIT employees across the U.S. will clean parks and beaches, support children and families, and help feed the hungry – just to name a few of the more than 160 charitable events planned nationwide. The company will report on its projects in social media across the CIT Group pages and with #CITCares.

    Last year, the inaugural CIT Cares Month was recognized as a finalist in the financial services category of the Shorty Social Good Awards. Notable accomplishments from that inaugural effort included: 32,400 meals served for the hungry in Portsmouth, NH; 600,000 servings of vegetables planted for hunger relief in the New York City area; 4,000 pounds of food restocked at a food pantry in Pasadena, CA; and 21 tons of food collected in Jacksonville, FL.

    CIT takes pride in the work it does to invest in communities, support sustainability and create a thriving workplace with the highest level of integrity. In 2017 the company established its corporate social responsibility framework centering on Empowerment, Environment and Wellness initiatives.

    About CIT 
    Founded in 1908, CIT (NYSE: CIT) is a financial holding company with approximately $50 billion in assets as of March 31, 2018. Its principal bank subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A., (Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender) has approximately $30 billion of deposits and more than $40 billion of assets. CIT provides financing, leasing, and advisory services principally to middle-market companies and small businesses across a wide variety of industries. It also offers products and services to consumers through its Internet bank franchise and a network of retail branches in Southern California, operating as OneWest Bank, a division of CIT Bank, N.A. For more information visit cit.com and follow us on TwitterLinkedInYouTube and Facebook. Register to receive press releases at cit.mediaroom.com/email-alerts.

    CIT MEDIA RELATIONS:                
    Olivia Weiss                           
    (212) 771-9657

    Tweet me:.@CITGroup kicks off #CITCares month to inspire and encourage employees to volunteer in support of local communities and organizations http://bit.ly/2swW0Mt #employeeengagment

    KEYWORDS: NYSE: CIT, CIT, CIT CARES MONTH


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    Funding awarded to local Community Development Financial Institutions

    SOURCE:Wells Fargo & Company

    DESCRIPTION:

    SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced that 13 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) around the U.S. have been selected to receive $12.1 million in lending capital and grants under the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program. The recipients are private, nonprofit financial institutions that are dedicated to delivering responsible, affordable financial products to underserved populations and communities. Many of the small and micro businesses CDFIs serve may not be ready to access capital through conventional financing methods.

    The Diverse Community Capital recipients are:

    • BOC Capital Corp. - Brooklyn, N.Y.
    • California Capital Financial Development Corporation – Sacramento, Calif.
    • Cooperative Development Fund of CDS for Shared Capital Cooperative - St. Paul, Minn.
    • Cooperative Fund of New England – serving New England
    • Entrepreneur Fund – Duluth, Minn.
    • First American Capital Corporation – West Allis, Wis.
    • Hartford Community Loan Fund – Hartford, Conn.
    • Local Initiatives Support Corporation – serving Los Angeles
    • Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) – San Francisco
    • Mountain BizWorks – Asheville, N.C.
    • New Jersey Community Capital – New Brunswick, N.J.
    • PeopleFund – Austin, Texas
    • Rainier Valley Community Development Fund – Seattle, Wash.

    Diverse Community Capital funds will be used by the awardees to increase lending to diverse small business owners; help more diverse small business owners get the coaching and education resources they may need to grow their business; and improve, create or add resources, materials, products, or programs to better serve their target market.

    Under the program, awardees also have the opportunity to participate in a social capital component, delivered by Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Social capital opportunities include an online learning community, working groups on specific topics, consulting, peer learning and mentoring.

    “Now in its third year, the DCC program’s impact on communities has been compelling,” said Connie Smith, Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program manager. “DCC awardees are increasing access to capital and development services for diverse small businesses in their local communities. These awards are inspiring collaboration and innovation in the CDFI industry every day.”

    In fiscal year 2017, Diverse Community Capital awardees closed more than $284 million in loans to diverse small business clients. That represents a year-over-year increase of 23 percent for the first 18 awardees and a 63 percent increase for the next 26 awardees. Awardees closed nearly $103 million to black or African American entrepreneurs and more than $75 million to Hispanic or Latino entrepreneurs. In addition, 76 of all development services offered by DCC awardees were delivered to diverse small businesses. Most awardees reported at least one new or changed program or product designed to increase capital deployment to their clients.

    “When local businesses succeed, so do the communities where we live and work,” said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations at Wells Fargo. “By financing community businesses — including small businesses, microenterprises, and nonprofit organizations — CDFIs spark job growth and retention in communities across the U.S.”

    Today’s announcement marks Diverse Community Capital’s fifth installment, or round, of awardees since 2015. Wells Fargo has committed an additional $100 million over the next three years to CDFIs serving diverse small businesses.

    About Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,200 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2017 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

    Contact:

    AnnMarie McDonald, 908-514-2528
    annmarie.mcdonald@wellsfargo.com
    @AMcDonald_WF

    Tweet me:13 Organizations Awarded $12.1 Million From @WellsFargo to Support #Diverse #SmallBusinesses http://bit.ly/2JsshOl

    KEYWORDS: Wells Fargo, small business, diverse small business, financial education, NYSE:WFC, diverse community capital, Opportunity Finance Network


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    SOURCE:SiMPACT Strategy Group

    DESCRIPTION:

    June 4, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Are you joining us tomorrow for the 2018 LBG Canada Western Conference, generously hosted by Imperial?

    Panelists include leaders influencing corporate thinking on abilities, LGBTQ inclusion, Action 92 and Indigenous inclusion and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    To access the full agenda, please visit:  https://www.lbg-canada.ca/lbg-canada-western-conference-agenda/

    To learn more about our panelists, please visit: https://www.lbg-canada.ca/blog/category/get-to-know-our-speakers/

    We hope that you will join us for this important dialogue on community investment's role in a diversity & inclusion strategy!

    About LBG Canada
    LBG Canada is a network of corporate community investment professionals from many of Canada's leading companies, who work together to apply, develop and enhance the use of the LBG Model and measurement framework in Canada. Participation in LBG Canada encourages companies to focus on strategy, measurement and reporting to demonstrate the business value achieved through investment in community. LBG Canada is facilitated by SiMPACT Strategy Group. For more information, please visit: https://www.lbg-canada.ca

    Tweet me:Join #LBGCanada for a discussion on #communityinvestment's role in #diversityandinclusion strategy tomorrow in YYC. Panelists incl. leaders influencing corporate thinking on abilities, LGBTQ2+ inclusion, Action 92 & Indigenous inclusion, UN SDGs #CIMatters http://bit.ly/2xDTE3C

    KEYWORDS: LBG Canada, conference, Western Conference, SDGs, Indigenous inclusion, Abilities Inclusion, LGBTQ Inclusion


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    SOURCE:Legg Mason

    DESCRIPTION:

    We’re often asked about the most important ESG themes that investors should consider. As bottom-up, active managers, we unsurprisingly tend to focus on those issues that are most material for each investment case. That said, there are several overarching ESG topics that we believe are increasingly important for investors to be aware of right now. 

    1) Carbon Disclosure – pressure to improve

    Climate change is perhaps the most obvious theme, due to the broad consensus around the need for large-scale concerted action. We expect this to remain a significant focus in 2018 and beyond, with major debates – including around divestment and stranded assets – certain to rumble on. From an investment perspective, a major challenge so far has been the lack of consistent (and relevant) climate change reporting by companies, in turn complicated by absence of measurement standards (dealing with emissions classification, potential double counting etc.). The good news is that this is changing, thanks in no small measure to initiatives like CDP[1] (formerly the ‘Carbon Disclosure Project’) and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCD). Indeed, last year saw the publication of the TFCD’s high-profile recommendations. These provide a very useful framework for companies – structured around ‘Governance’, ‘Strategy’, ‘Risk-management’ and ‘Metrics and targets’ – making sure that the information reported is ‘decision-critical’ for investors.

    2) Cybersecurity – an increasing threat

    Another ESG issue that should be at the forefront of investors’ minds is cybersecurity. Last year saw no let up in major attacks, illustrating the growing sophistication of hackers. Besides spending more on their cyber defences, we believe companies will increasingly question the risk/reward of holding certain data, not least due to more stringent regulation. The most significant development here in 2018 is the introduction of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR[2]), which European companies must comply with by the end of May. The GDPR is not without bite – failure to comply can lead to fines of up to €20 million, or 4% of annual group turnover (whichever is larger). In addition, companies will be required to report data breaches within 72 hours of discovery. Cybersecurity is an important area for our research and company engagement and a reason why we are involved in a collective initiative co-ordinated by the PRI.

    3) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a growing focus

    We also need to mention just how important the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are becoming to asset owners and the fiduciaries they employ. We are increasingly seeing these incorporated into reporting frameworks, with the sizeable number of goals (17) and sub-targets (169) organised on the grounds of materiality. Indeed, while some of the goals may only have a tenuous link to business activity, many are directly investable. From a risk perspective, we believe that companies whose business models conflict with the SDGs risk eroding their licences to operate. Conversely, those businesses that take a proactive approach to sustainability are likely to strengthen their competitive positions.

    4) Sustainable finance – moving into the spotlight

    Finally, with the recent publication of the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group (HLEG)’s final recommendations on how to create a sustainable financial system, we can expect to see much greater transparency of companies’ ESG policies as well as investors’ duties regarding sustainability. Specifically, HLEG has proposed a clearer taxonomy around sustainability. Notably around investors’ obligations when it comes to creating a more sustainable financial system and better disclosure as to how sustainability features in decision making for investors and companies. In our view, this is a very significant report as it will feed directly into the Commission’s ‘Action Plan’ on sustainable finance, thus having a real impact on policy in the coming years.

    # # #

    About Martin Currie

    Martin Currie is an active equity specialist, crafting high-conviction portfolios for client-focused solutions. Investment excellence is at the heart of its business. Central to this philosophy is a stock-driven approach, based on in-depth fundamental research, active ownership of companies and skilled portfolio construction. As an affiliate of Legg Mason, it also has the backing of one of the world’s largest asset management firms.

    About Legg Mason

    Guided by a mission of Investing to Improve Lives,TM  Legg Mason helps investors globally achieve better financial outcomes by expanding choice across investment strategies, vehicles and investor access through independent investment managers with diverse expertise in equity, fixed income, alternative and liquidity investments.  Legg Mason’s assets under management are $767 billion as of December 31, 2017.  To learn more, visit our web site, our newsroom, or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook

     

    All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Any information, statement or opinion set forth herein is general in nature, is not directed to or based on the financial situation or needs of any particular investor, and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, investment advice, forecast of future events, a guarantee of future results, or a recommendation with respect to any particular security or investment strategy or type of retirement account. Investors seeking financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in any securities or investment strategies should consult their financial professional.

    ©2018 Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC. Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC and Martin Currie are subsidiaries of Legg Mason, Inc.

    INVESTMENT PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC INSURED | NO BANK GUARANTEE | MAY LOSE VALUE

    Media:
    Madelyn McHugh
    (212) 805-6039
    mmchugh@leggmason.com

    [1] A carbon disclosure rating is a numerical score that indicates the level of reporting of a company's climate-change initiatives. The best-known carbon disclosure rating is based on a survey issued by CDP, a nonprofit formerly known as the Climate Disclosure Project. Investopedia

    [2] The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). Investopedia

    Tweet me:.@LeggMason affiliate Martin Currie lists four key ESG themes investors should consider http://bit.ly/2kK9bFA

    KEYWORDS: Carbon Disclosure, Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), cybersecurity, Martin Currie, NYSE:LM, legg mason


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    SOURCE:World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)

    DESCRIPTION:

    New Delhi, INDIA - June 4, 2018 /3BL Media/ -- A new report released today offers a ground-breaking platform to evaluate the real costs and benefits—including environmental, health, and social impacts—of our agriculture and food systems. This Scientific and Economic Foundations Report provides the basis for a major paradigm shift in how we view and manage our agriculture and food systems, demonstrating how to evaluate not just the visible but also the hidden costs and benefits. The timing is critical—with 10 billion people to feed by 2050 and 40 percent of available land already growing food—we need to consider new frameworks and models for how we grow, process, distribute, and consume food, and manage food waste.

    The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), known for its ground-breaking research on the economic values of nature in 2010, brings together more than 150 experts from 33 countries to deliver a strong and urgent message to the global community on the need for a transformation of our agriculture and food systems that is sustainable, equitable, and healthy. With this report, policymakers, researchers, and citizens now have more reliable and integrated information on the hidden (and unaccounted) costs and benefits—the “externalities”—of the whole system, not just parts of it.

    Agricultural productivity is typically measured by yield per hectare, a simplistic metric that provides an incomplete picture of the true costs and benefits associated with agriculture and food value chains. Current patterns of production, processing, and consumption are generating large and unacceptable impacts on the health of the environment and humans, particularly on vulnerable populations. For example, take the cost of a tomato at a supermarket. The cost does not take into account how it was raised, such as the environmental damage from fertilizer and pesticide runoff, the regeneration of soil, or a fair wage payment to laborers. Applying the TEEBAgriFood framework shows that cheap food can be very expensive when we shine a light on all its hidden costs to our health, livelihoods, soils, water and climate.

    The TEEB for Agriculture & Food (TEEBAgriFood) Scientific and Economic Foundations report, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) project, funded by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, is looking at all the impacts of the value chain, from farm to fork to disposal, including effects on livelihoods, the environment, and health. This framework can help tackle the challenges currently faced by our global agriculture and food systems in achieving universal food security and reducing large impacts on climate, ecosystems, and environments.

    “If we want to bend the curve on biodiversity loss we must understand the true impacts of the food system on our planet,” says Joao Campari, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Food Practice Leader. “WWF works across the full spectrum of the food system, from production to consumption, loss and waste, and we welcome TEEBAgriFood’s research as it assesses a multitude of impacts on both people and planet, instead of trying to distill the complexities into one over-simplified metric. We look forward to seeing the evaluation framework be applied to real-world projects and hopefully contributing to transformational change."

    Some of the consequences of our current systems outlined in the report include:

    • Agricultural production contributes over one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
    •  When considering land-use change and deforestation as well as processing, packaging,
    • transport, sale, and the waste of agricultural products, 43 to 57 percent of GHG emissions
    • are from food production.
    •  70 to 90 percent of global deforestation is from agricultural expansion.
    • An estimated 80 percent of food consumed in food-insecure regions is grown there, mainly
    • by women, while agri-business is a marginal player in food security.
    • According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, if women had the same access to
    • resources (land, credits, education, etc.) as male farmers, they could raise yields by 20 to 30 percent and lift as many as 150 million people out of hunger.
    • Approximately one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption everyyear gets lost or wasted, enough to feed the world’s hungry six times over.
    • Around 40 percent of available land is used for growing food, a figure that would need to rise to an improbable 70 percent by 2050 under a “business-as-usual” scenario.
    • 33 percent of the Earth’s land surface is moderately to highly affected by some type of soil degradation mainly due to the erosion, salinization, compaction, acidification, or chemical pollution of soils.
    • Six of the top eleven risk factors driving the global burden of disease are diet-related.
    • The World Health Organization estimates the direct costs of diabetes at more than US$827
    • billion per year, globally.
    • Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances causes
    • more than 200 diseases, and an estimated 600 million people—almost 1 in 10 people in the
    • world—fall ill after eating contaminated food, while 420,000 die every year.
    • 61 percent of commercial fish populations are fully fished and 29 percent are overfished.
    • In a “business-as-usual” scenario, the ocean will contain more plastic than fish (by weight) by 2050.
    • In order to demonstrate how real-world applications of such a comprehensive approach might take shape, a framework for evaluation has been developed to provide a solid basis from an economic and accounting perspective. The report also identifies theories and pathways for transformational change in government, business, farming, and consumer contexts.

    “The overarching importance of this work is that we must link the health of people with the health of the planet, and we can only ensure long-term food security if our food systems don’t destroy the basis of food production,” says Alexander Müller, Study Leader of TEEBAgriFood. “If you look at food production only from a price perspective, and the old paradigm of the cheaper the better, you run into a trap because the long-term sustainability of our food production system is not a given and requires hard work.”

    “We are trying to pull together the latest scientific results on food systems,” says Müller. “We tried to link together the latest findings of economists, environmentalists, agriculturalists, people looking at labor and trade, and science to fight poverty. If you bring these results together in a new way, you can see that the system is more than all the different parts of the disciplinary sciences working on it.”

    To ensure the sustainability of agriculture and food systems, an important step is to account for externalities through market mechanisms. By creating a more comprehensive evaluation framework, decisionmakers can better compare different policies, programs, and strategies, while the market can more accurately value food. TEEBAgriFood hopes their new framework will help achieve their vision of a world where informed decisionmaking upholds public good and ensures nutrition and health for all humans so they can live in harmony with nature.

    “Our framework provides a holistic, ethical, wide-angle lens with which to really understand ourfood systems today,” says Pavan Sukhdev, member of the TEEBAgriFood Steering Committeeand Founder-CEO of GIST Advisory. “Because of its holistic approach, this framework is not aseasy to apply as a single-lens approach—‘per hectare productivity,’ for example—but it is ethically, socially, economically, and environmentally much more appropriate, and can provide sustainable business models in the context of climate change, changing global demographics, local economies, and health. I want decisionmakers in governments and businesses to realize that they should support the use of this wide-angle lens applied to the full eco-agri-food system instead of the inadequate narrow lens of per-hectare productivity in farms.”

    About TEEBAgriFood: Lead by the U.N. Environment Programme, the TEEBAgriFood initiative brings together scientists, economists, policymakers, business leaders, and farmers’ organizations in order to agree how to frame, undertake, and use holistic evaluations of agricultural systems, practices, products, and policy scenarios against a comprehensive range of impacts and dependencies across food value chains. It makes and illustrates the case for “systems thinking” instead of “silo thinking.” TEEBAgriFood provides a comprehensive economic evaluation of the “eco-agri-food systems” complex, and demonstrates that the economic environment in which farmers operate is distorted by significant externalities, both negative and positive, and a lack of awareness of dependency on natural, human, and social capital.

    Contact

    Danielle Nierenberg, 202-590-1038 or danielle@foodtank.com

    Tweet me:New report offers groundbreaking platform to evaluate the real costs and benefits — including #environmental, #health, and #socialimpact — of our #agriculture and #foodsystems http://bit.ly/2JgrJYL @ICRAF

    KEYWORDS: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), food systems, biodiversity, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Alliance for the Future of Food


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    SOURCE:Bechtel

    DESCRIPTION:

    Brendan Bechtel, chairman and CEO of Bechtel, joined American business leaders in championing a fully functioning Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) to support maintenance and creation of U.S. jobs. After speaking at the 2018 EXIM Conference in April, Brendan Bechtel penned an op-ed for The Hill, an online news source for policy and political views.

    U.S. companies face a brutally competitive world abroad. Though international buyers recognize the value and quality of U.S. products, they first evaluate our competitiveness on capital, financing, and procurement costs. Our international competitors rely heavily on the support of their governments, especially through export credit agencies (ECA). At the same time, the U.S. is the only G20 member state without a fully functioning ECA today. If we want to deliver on the U.S. commitment to responsible, sustainable development around the world while championing U.S. jobs, we need the reach of our EXIM Bank.

    You can read the full opinion article, "Without EXIM Bank, US companies fight with a hand tied behind their backs.

    To learn more about Bechtel, visit the #build100 blog and sign up for our newsletter here.

    Tweet me:#CEO Brendan Bechtel penned an oped for @thehill on the importance of export credit in the global landscape http://bit.ly/2JjzVHx @Bechtel

    KEYWORDS: Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), Bechtel, Brendan Bechtel, 2018 EXIM Conference, The Hill, export credit agencies, U.S. Jobs


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    SOURCE:VSP Global

    DESCRIPTION:

    June 4, 2018 /3BL Media/ - GLAM4GOOD, the award-winning, empowerment platform and non-profit organization, headed to Puerto Rico to hold an emergency aid initiative in San Juan on Wednesday, May 23rd. This event was planned in response to a request from San Jorge Children’s Hospital to bring help, happiness, and hope to children who are not only dealing with critical illness, but also with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

    “We all became the same, no social statuses mattered; there were no differences when the hurricane hit on September 20th, 2017,” explains Urania Dominguez, Child Life Specialist at San Jorge Children’s Hospital. “Other relief efforts have focused on housing and food, which are essential, but the gifts provided by GLAM4GOOD gave these children an opportunity to be kids again. Something they haven’t had in almost eight months.”

    Dozens of GLAM4GOOD volunteers flew in from across the country to help outfit the pediatric patients, their families and the hospital staff and community with new, gifted clothing, accessories, eye care, eyewear, toys and learning tools.

    “GLAM4GOOD is honored to provide aid and empower hope, healing and happiness for the brave little ones, their families and the hospital staff at San Jorge Children’s Hospital. This hospital is a beacon of light during hard times for the Puerto Rican people throughout the island. We know this event helped to brighten spirits, honor courage and bring aid to this resilient community,” said Mary Alice Stephenson, fashion and beauty expert and the Founder & CEO of GLAM4GOOD.

    “As a critical part of the outreach, GLAM4GOOD partnered with Child Life United who provided a team of child life specialists to work with the patients, their families and hospital staff alongside GLAM4GOOD as they navigate the emotions that come with grief, loss, and trauma,” said Courtney Moreland, Founder & Director of Child Life United. “It is amazing to see what can happen when good people come together to do good work. The hospital was a buzz for days after. We are so glad this event benefited the staff too, everyone here deserves love and support.”

    Partnering once again with some of the world’s most popular brands and retailers – including H&M, Kendra Scott, Nickelodeon, and J.Crew– GLAM4GOOD’s charitable efforts also provided clothing and other goods and services, as well as access to eye care and eyewear, to approximately 200 pediatric patients and their families, as well as the hospital staff and outpatient communities.

    “H&M is proud to partner with GLAM4GOOD to support our community in Puerto Rico and join GLAM4GOOD’s efforts to empower families who are still struggling with loss, devastation and illness due to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath,” says H&M Spokesperson Emily Scarlett.

    With continued support from VSP Global and Marchon Eyewear, recipients were provided with access to free eye exams and prescription glasses. Eye exams were provided by optometrists and optometry students of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico (IAUPR) School of Optometry, using portable ophthalmic equipment donated to the school through VSP Global’s Eyes of Hope program. Recipients were able to choose from popular designer optical frames and sunglasses donated by Marchon Eyewear.

    One in four children on the island of Puerto Rico has a vision issue and one-third need some type of visual correction like glasses. Of those patients who received an eye exam, nearly 70% needed prescription glasses.

    “In the midst of battling life-threatening illnesses, the children at San Jorge Children’s Hospital have endured tragic loss following Hurricane Maria and yet have shown a tremendous amount of resilience,” said Michael Guyette, President & CEO of VSP Global. “Ensuring the children, their families and the hospital staff can see clearly opens up the possibilities for a brighter outlook as they move forward on their journey to recovery.”

    New partner Kendra Scott also participated in the relief, bringing the brand’s philanthropic roots to life in this community through their mobile Color Bar experience. Throughout the hospital event day, the children and their families created their own earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings, selecting their favorite metals and gemstones, for a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience

    “We were so grateful to be able to partner with GLAM4GOOD on the #SHOPPINGSPREE4FREE initiative to brighten the lives of these pediatric patients, their families and the larger community at the San Jorge Children’s Hospital during such a difficult time,” said CEO, Designer & Philanthropist Kendra Scott. “Philanthropy is at the foundation of our brand and this initiative gave us the opportunity to spread joy to Puerto Rico through our Kendra Cares program.”

    If you wish to support this initiative or contribute to future GLAM4GOOD giving events, please contact info@glam4good.com. To make an immediate financial donation please visit: http://bit.ly/2soNEFS.

    About GLAM4GOOD:

    The GLAM4GOOD Foundation is a non-profit organization that creates and celebrates social impact, and empowerment through beauty and style. The GLAM4GOOD Foundation harnesses the healing power, joy, and attention that fashion and beauty bring to raise awareness, bolster self-esteem, promote healing, honor courage and provide life-changing makeovers, clothing giveaways and confidence-bolstering fashion and beauty initiatives for everyday heroes and people in need. GLAM4GOOD is proud to be the fashion and beauty industry’s go-to partner for corporate social responsibility and philanthropic initiatives. For more information, visit www.GLAM4GOOD.com and follow @GLAM4GOOD and #GLAM4GOOD.

    About Child Life United:

    Child Life United is an organization aimed at supporting the growth of child life services internationally while providing CCLS and child life students opportunities to collaboratively learn from locally sustained efforts. 

    About Marchon Eyewear:

    Marchon Eyewear, Inc. is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of quality eyewear and sunwear. The company markets its products under prestigious brand names including: Airlock, Calvin Klein, Chloé, Columbia, Diane von Furstenberg, Dragon, Etro, Flexon, G-Star RAW, Karl Lagerfeld, Lacoste, Liu Jo, Longchamp, Marchon NYC, Marni, MCM, Nautica, Nike, Nine West, Salvatore Ferragamo and Skaga. Marchon distributes its products through a global network of subsidiaries and distributors, serving over 80,000 accounts in more than 100 countries. Marchon is a VSP Global company, which as a doctor-governed company, connects its 88 million members to affordable, accessible, high-quality eye care and eyewear. Its industry-leading businesses combine to bring quality eye care insurance, high-fashion frames, customized lenses, ophthalmic technology, and connected experiences to increase access to eye care around the world. For more information, visit www.marchon.com and follow @marchoneyewear.

    About VSP Global:

    VSP Global® is a doctor-governed company that exists to create value for members and opportunities for VSP network doctors. Our industry leading businesses include VSP® Vision Care, the only national not-for-profit vision benefits company, which provides access to eye care for 88 million members  through a network of 39,000 eye doctors worldwide; Marchon® Eyewear, Inc., one of the world’s largest designers, manufacturers and distributors of high quality eyewear and sunwear; VSP Optics, industry leaders in ophthalmic technology and lab services,  providing custom lens solutions for the vision and lifestyle needs of patients; Eyefinity®, the industry leader in practice management and electronic health record software, and VSP Retail, which focuses on increasing access to eye care and eyewear through multiple channels. Together with VSP network doctors, VSP Global's Eyes of Hope® has provided access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than 1.8 million people in need. For more information about resources available to help those who need eye care or eyewear due to a disaster, please visit vspglobal.com/disasteroutreach

    About Kendra Scott:

    Kendra Scott is a leading fashion accessories brand inspired by the personal experiences, travel, and sense of community of its CEO and designer, Kendra Scott. Sold at premier retailers including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Selfridges and over 600 specialty boutiques worldwide, the brand boasts a thriving web business and numerous namesake stores across the country. Kendra Scott is known for its kaleidoscope of beautiful accessories as well as the innovative and customizable Color Bar™ experience. As the brand continues to grow, the company remains true to its founding philosophy of "Family, Fashion, Philanthropy."

    # # #

    PHOTO CREDITS: Courtesy of GLAM4GOOD

    LINK TO DOWNLOAD PHOTOS: http://bit.ly/2IXMKLN

    Tweet me:Hurricane season is underway, but recovery from Hurricane Maria continues in #PuertoRico. @vspvisioncare partnered with @Glam4Good to help. https://vspblog.com/helping-children-puerto-rico/

    KEYWORDS: VSP, VSP Vision Care, VSP Global, marchon, glam4good, mary alice stephenson, eyecare, Eyewear, Puerto Rico, h & m, Kendra Scott, marchon eyewear, mike guyette, michael guyette


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    SOURCE:Microsoft Philanthropies

    DESCRIPTION:

    By Vanessa Ho  

    Kids in the Philippines threw rocks and slurs at a 6-year-old boy when he tried to go to school. In Madagascar, an 8-year-old girl was shunned by her village and abandoned by her mother, who couldn’t overcome the stigma of her daughter’s condition. In Morocco, a 12-year-old girl hid in shame at home, so no one could see her face.

    All three children had a cleft condition, a birth defect that disfigures one in every 500 to 750 babies worldwide. They endured cruelty and isolation for years until a surgery by Operation Smile profoundly changed their lives.

    Since its founding in 1982, the global nonprofit has provided free and safe surgeries in low- and middle-income countries for more than 270,000 children and young adults with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. For many patients, surgery is a first step to a happier life in a long road of multiple surgeries, orthodontia, speech therapy and psychological care – all provided by the nonprofit.

    “The work we do is about the restoration of dignity. It’s really borne out of compassion,” says Chris Bryant, senior vice president of enterprise applications and technology at Operation Smile.

    “We believe that every child, every person has dignity, but children born with cleft lip or cleft palate suffer from repeated violations of their personal dignity. We exist as an organization because there is a straightforward and safe way to fix that.” Untreated cleft conditions can also lead to malnutrition, hearing loss, dental problems and speech difficulties.

    Last fiscal year, Operation Smile conducted medical missions in 28 countries with 3,700 medical volunteers who provided surgical, dental, post-operative care and screenings in 415,000 patient interactions. Many patients and families travel days to reach a mission site, sometimes crossing rivers barefoot or walking hours from a remote village, just for a chance at transformative surgery. About 21,000 screened patients get surgical or dental care a year.

    To ensure high-quality work that reaches as many people as possible, Operation Smile runs a tight ship with the help of modern cloud technologies from Microsoft Philanthropies. It uses SharePoint to manage the complex logistics of missions, which include large teams of international volunteers, medical trainings, patient care and surgical evaluations.

    “Mission planning requires a tremendous amount of coordination,” Bryant says. “We used to do it on paper or in discrete documents and it was difficult at best. Today we use SharePoint to efficiently corral all the information and share it across the globe in a secure and consistent manner.”

    Azure’s global data centers help ensure that patient data is securely stored in compliance with local privacy laws, whether a mission is in the highlands of Honduras or the tropics of India. And a new solution with SharePoint and Power BI has enabled Operation Smile to evaluate surgeries faster.

    Evaluations, which compare pre- and post-operative photos, used to take four months, but the digital solution has cut that time in half, making feedback quicker in helping plastic surgeon volunteers deliver the best possible care. Power BI analytics at country, mission and surgeon levels also have the potential to ultimately inform the most effective techniques in repairing specific cleft conditions.

    “We want to achieve the optimal surgical result,” says Bryant. “The new evaluation system reduces process latency and has quickly become a key component of our strategy to confirm consistent delivery of quality results.”

    The nonprofit wants to accelerate evaluations even more by exploring artificial intelligence to analyze photos with a facial modeling algorithm and possibly the AI-powered Microsoft Pix camera app. And it wants to double the number of surgeries it can provide.

    “Scaling at this level is not just about doubling our staff,” Bryant says of Operation Smile’s 300 global employees. “We have to be smarter in how we execute missions, fundraise and utilize resources. Leveraging Microsoft technology is an important part of our strategy to extend our reach and help more children.”

    The software is part of Microsoft Philanthropies’ Tech for Social Impact program, which empowers nonprofits and humanitarian organizations with technology to advance their missions. With recognition that many nonprofits have limited IT staff, the program provides solutions and resources that help nonprofits innovate new ways to tackle global issues.

    “We’re dedicated to making the benefits of world-class cloud technology accessible to nonprofits and delivering solutions with our partners that help them achieve greater mission impact,” says Erik Arnold, CTO of Microsoft Tech for Social Impact.

    The work has helped Operation Smile support families like Maria Maribel Toledo and her son, who was born with a cleft lip in Bogotá, Colombia. Maribel was 17 at the time and the only person who didn’t think the situation was tragic was her 15-year-old sister.

    “She thought the baby looked cute, so she convinced me to see him again [in the hospital] and cuddle with him,” says Maribel, who had sobbed at the thought of her baby suffering a miserable life.

    But seven surgeries and 23 years later, her son – Oscar Camino Toledo – has become a vibrant college student who plays soccer, loves bodybuilding and will graduate next year with a bachelor’s degree in bilingual education.

    “Without exaggerating, I have Operation Smile to thank for almost everything in my life,” Camino says. “They were there by my side all the time, through the treatment and into my social integration.”

    He’s grateful for the surgeries, speech therapy, orthodontia and emotional support, which his family couldn’t have afforded alone. He now wants to help other kids with cleft conditions – kids like the 12-year-old Moroccan girl who once hid at home and now attends school after surgery gave her a new smile.

    Similarly, the shunned 8-year-old girl in Madagascar also went back to school – and giggled for the first time with classmates – after an Operation Smile surgery fixed a severe cleft lip. And the bullied 6-year-old boy in the Philippines proudly called himself “handsome” after seeing his repaired face in the mirror.  

    “I want children with cleft lip to know my story and see me as an example,” says Camino. “I would say to them not to be afraid and join Operation Smile because it is worth it. They gave me the tools and motivation to improve my life, to live a life with higher quality.”

    To learn more, read “A Nonprofit Guide to Empowering Employees” by Microsoft Tech for Social Impact and Operation Smile.

    KEYWORDS: Nonprofits, Microsoft Philanthropies, tech for social impact, Operation Smile


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