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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version

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    UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, and LIXIL, a maker of pioneering water and housing products, are coming together in a new partnership to help vulnerable children gain access to safe and clean toilets.

    The partnership, named “Make a Splash! Toilets for All”, will leverage the two organizations’ complementary strengths to support progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, and end open defecation by 2030.

    Click here to learn more

    About UNICEF

    UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

    UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.

    About LIXIL

    LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve every day, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all, and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and TOSTEM. Over 70,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day.

    Tweet me:.@UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, and #LIXIL, a maker of pioneering water and housing products, are coming together in a new partnership to "Make a Splash" and help vulnerable children gain access to safe and clean toilets

    KEYWORDS: LIXIL, UNICEF, Make a Splash! Toilets for All

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    SOURCE:Booz Allen Hamilton


    For the first time, Booz Allen participated in the Vault Consulting 50—a ranking based on input of more than 17,000 consulting firm employees in North America—and ranked as the #21 spot for 2019. Booz Allen also earned the #1 spot in the individual category of public sector consulting.

    “As we tackle the demands of our day-to-day work and push clients to the edge of innovation, we only succeed if our people feel empowered and supported,” said Aimee George Leary, the head of talent strategy for the firm’s 24,000+ employees. “Employee feedback is what drives our evolution and is the root of many recently developed programs—such as increased tuition reimbursement and flexibility for external training, a new wellness incentive model, and equipping our leaders to have ongoing, meaningful career development conversations.”

    Company scores are based on two components: First, how industry professionals rate Booz Allen’s reputation and prestige, and second, how employees rate the firm and their satisfaction with factors such as work-life balance, culture, and compensation.

    Here’s what employees said about the Booz Allen experience:

    • “People bring their whole selves to work and the firm in general focuses on work/life balance. It's a very team-based environment and is highly collaborative."
    • “Booz Allen Hamilton has some of the smartest people I've ever met or worked with. But they aren't just brilliant...they're passionate about the work they do.”
    • “The purpose and values of the firm make us unique in the workspace.”

    “Clients turn to Booz Allen consultants to solve their most difficult problems. Our people are inspired by a culture that is rooted in purpose and values; working with incredibly talented staff across the firm; and partnering with clients to bring innovative solutions to their most difficult problems,” said Dee Dee Helfenstein, who leads Booz Allen consulting solutions. “I am proud to work with these highly talented professionals and see this recognition from Vault as an example of the top-tier talent that we bring to our clients every day.”

    Learn more about the Vault Consulting 50 here.

    Tweet me:This year’s #VaultConsulting50 list is out and @BoozAllen is #21. Congratulations to the full list!

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:BAH, Booz Allen Hamilton, vault, Vault Consulting 50

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    SOURCE:University of Michigan: Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability


    Erb alumnus Marcos Mancini is a country manager in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. He talked with Erb about the inquiry’s work and the sustainable finance issues involved.

    Could you tell us a little about what the UNEP Inquiry team does? |
    The inquiry team was set up in 2014 with the objective of greening the financial system. It is a UN environment agency working in finance, but it’s not the only one—UNEP Finance Initiative works as an association of finance institutions on how to factor sustainability considerations into their lending, investment and insurance decisions. The UNEP Inquiry was launched to look at the broader architecture of financial markets. It asks: If we are committed to the environment and the 2030 agenda, then what are the roles of central banks, financial regulators, stock exchanges and credit rating agencies when looking at the broad architecture of the financial market?

    What are the inquiry's main areas of focus? 
    The inquiry has worked on three verticals: One is country engagement. We work with different financial market regulators, looking to see what actions they can take to green the financial system within each market—and also broader, more encompassing market regulators or actors such as the World Bank. Another vertical includes specific topic dives, such as how digital finance can be a vehicle to enhance the mobilization of sustainable capital more effectively. The third vertical is policy, more particularly in fora like the G20 or G7.

    Under the G20, we are the secretariat for the Sustainable Finance Study Group, constituted in 2015 at World Bank meetings. It’s one of the first times that within the finance track of the G20, you have a group that is looking at how to understand the barriers that sustainable finance has. It’s looking at the private sector and what the financial system can do from sort of a regulatory perspective.

    What does your day-to-day work entail? 
    Because we act as secretariat for the Sustainable Finance Study Group, a lot of the role is helping Argentina develop the agenda and then socialize that agenda with the countries—and then understand the different countries’ positions and perspectives related to the agenda. This includes where the different pain points are and the different risks on the agenda that Argentina is looking do to consensus on. So that’s one part of my work—driving engagement with the government here on sustainable finance.

    We are also knowledge partners for the Climate Sustainability Working Group, where UNEP is developing an input paper on the alignment of sustainable finance, more particularly on climate finance, to the UN’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs). So this is what actions development financial institutions (DFIs) can take to align their financing more with the NDCs from the Paris Agreement.

    Another area where we are engaged is the T20. The G20 has several engagement groups—T20 for think tanks, B20 for business, W20 for women, S20 for science and C20 for civil society. In the T20, we are cochairs of the agenda 2030 task force. We are looking at what policy recommendations can help green the Bretton Woods architecture.

    In Argentina, I’m helping the capital markets regulator develop the green bond market. We’re working on basically a set of guidelines for green, social and sustainable bonds.

    Could you tell us about your work with Mexico as well? 
    Prior to joining UNEP, I was head of sustainable and responsible investments for Grupo Financiero Banorte in Mexico, and I am working with the Mexican central bank to implement last year’s recommendations of the Sustainable Finance Study Group, which were on environmental risk analysis and the use of publicly available environmental data. This looks at how financial institutions and financial market actors can better perform environmental risk analysis and better make use of publicly available environmental data in their financial decisions.

    How has your Erb Institute education come into play in this position? 
    In several ways. My master’s project involved Grupo Financiero Banorte, and I later became head of its sustainable and responsible investments, so that’s a clear example. My background is in biology, and after college here, I started working in environmental consulting. I worked on environmental impact assessment studies in big infrastructure projects in the energy industry. There, I understood the importance of having a business acumen. But as a biologist, I didn’t have those business skills, nor the financial knowledge, so I started looking at master’s programs that would help me build my financial skills and business acumen. I ended up at the Erb Institute because of the network that it has. It has definitely helped me bridge these two worlds—the financial world and the sustainability world—that weren’t talking to each other that much up until a couple of years ago.

    Tweet me:READ: If we are serious about the #SDGs what are the roles of central banks, financial regulators, stock exchanges and credit rating agencies? @marcos_mancini @UNEP_FI #sustainability

    KEYWORDS: Erb Institute, Sustainable Business, UN

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    By Claudia Chan, CEO of S.H.E. Summit & S.H.E. GLOBL, Author of This Is How We Rise

    SOURCE:Bacardi Limited


    After 6 years of working with corporate partners on women’s and diversity initiatives as an outgrowth of S.H.E. Summit, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with internal talent spanning from senior leadership, marketing, HR, diversity, CSR to employment-resource-group heads. The seats at those tables have given me a unique perspective on what actually prevents strategies from having lasting change for both internal-culture and community impact. On the other hand, it’s also shown me the tremendous impact that one person can have in launching inclusive initiatives with the appropriate support.

    I realized organizations are one of the most powerful vehicles for change because of their scale and their impact on stakeholders from their employees, suppliers, industry, customers to advertiser. A company that employs 2,000 to 200,000 can really impact millions if not billions of people when you realize who their policies, programs, products and advertising touch.

    A company’s decision to remove plastic straws from their kitchen doesn’t just affect their kitchen, it encourages straw production companies to come up with more environmentally friendly options and it cuts down on the company’s own footprint. Bacardi, for instance, has committed to using its platform to impact change within its own company and outside of it. With the launch of its #TheFutureDoesntSuck campaign the company aims to remove one billion single-use plastic straws by 2020 through a personal commitment to ban plastic straws at any Bacardi sponsored event, as well as a larger promise to curb unnecessary use of plastic in its supply chains. The company has promised to use its platform to spark collaborations that will promote environmental efforts across all industries.

    Click here to read the full article

    Tweet me:.@BacardiLimited's #TheFutureDoesntSuck campaign highlights how businesses can be powerful vehicles for change #GoodSpirited

    KEYWORDS: Bacardi, No Straws, #TheFutureDoesntSuck, Plastic straws, good spirited

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    In this issue: Pro bono for disaster preparedness, getting past the myth of "not enough time," and more

    SOURCE:Taproot Foundation


    Pro Bono Supporting Communities at Home and Abroad

    In this edition of the Advisory Services newsletter, we share examples of how pro bono can help communities around the globe prepare for natural disasters. We discuss how to engage even your busiest employees in pro bono service. And we look at a pro bono program model that began in the U.S. and has been replicated successfully abroad.

    Building More Resilient Communities: Pro Bono for Disaster Preparedness--->Read More

    Natural disasters are more prevalent than ever. While disaster relief is critical, companies can also maximize their philanthropic impact by investing in preparedness, and pro bono service is a powerful tool to do so. Learn how your company can help build more resilient communities through pro bono.  

    Getting Past the Myth of "Not Enough Time" ---> Read More

    Have you ever wondered how to engage your busiest employees in pro bono service? Our latest Quick Consult with Taproot Senior Consultant & Market Lead Jenni Diaz features some helpful tips and tricks for engaging busy talent in high-impact pro bono programs.

    The NBCUniversal Model ---> Read More

    This June, NBCUniversal took HR for Good, its powerful one-day pro bono program, across the Atlantic to London for another successful day of pro bono service. Learn more about what has made this program a unique and high-impact experience for both nonprofits and NBCUniversal professionals.

    Tweet me:The latest in corporate #probono from @TaprootFound's Advisory Services newsletter --> #CSR #EmployeeEngagement #HR #DisasterPreparedness

    KEYWORDS: Taproot Foundation, nbcuniversal

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    Dell’s partnerships with small, woman-owned and minority-owned businesses help these suppliers create an economic ripple effect throughout their own supply chains and communities.



    When World Wide Technology (WWT) first started reselling Dell computers in 1990, the minority-owned company had just seven employees in St. Louis. Over the past three decades, WWT has earned more and more of Dell’s business, becoming one of our biggest strategic partners in both supply chain management and channel sales. Today WWT is a global technology solution provider with $10.4 billion in annual revenue and more than 4,600 employees. And the company received the 2017 Dell EMC North America Partner of the Year Award.

    At Dell, we’ve long believed in the importance of partnering with diverse suppliers like WWT. Since 2009, we’ve been a member of the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an elite organization of nearly 30 companies committed to spending at least $1 billion annually with minority- and woman-owned suppliers. Having a diverse supplier base gives our diverse customer base a wider range of innovative products and services. And supporting diverse suppliers enables them to grow their businesses and contribute to their local economies.

    We’ve spent more than $3 billion annually for the past six years with minority-owned and woman-owned businesses globally. This has a ripple effect throughout our supply chain and throughout the communities our suppliers serve.

    WWT can attribute much of its sales and workforce growth to its partnership with Dell, as we awarded the company its first contract outside of the U.S. When we expanded Dell’s manufacturing presence in Brazil in 2009, we asked WWT to supply our packaging parts and pieces using their just-in-time model. WWT opened a Brazil office, eventually expanded to Mexico and China, and is now a global supplier for our packaging materials. Today, 20 percent of WWT’s revenue comes from outside the U.S.

    “We’ve always had strong advocates and sponsors within Dell who have helped catapult our company to the next level. Dell’s executives have helped us understand the company’s visions and plans and how we can be a part of them,” said Mark Franke, WWT’s vice president of global supply chain. “Their willingness to form relationships with us and persevere together through 20 years has been remarkable.”

    WWT has in turn given back through advocacy and mentorship both within the local community and its own supply chain. They partner with several community organizations that promote interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and prepare students and young adults to be “future ready.” For example, they hold an annual STEM Student Forum and Hackathon at WWT’s St. Louis campus. Teams of students from public, private and parochial schools work together to find creative solutions to problems using STEM skills. WWT employees mentor and coach each team, and the winning school receives a $10,000 grant from WWT to support its STEM initiatives. And WWT provides underserved students with education and internships though its partnerships with National Academy Foundation and NPower.

    Meanwhile, within its own supplier diversity program, the company provides networking and business opportunities to small businesses such as the African-American-owned general contractor TW Constructors. WWT Chairman and Co-founder Dave Steward, along with other WWT leaders, mentored and hired TW Constructors to complete several facilities projects for WWT over the last nine years, most recently WWT’s new global headquarters.

    This story shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.

    Explore more at


    Tweet me:.@Dell’s partnerships with small, #woman owned and #minority owned businesses help these suppliers create an economic ripple effect throughout their own #supplychains and communities. #Diversity #LegacyOfGood

    KEYWORDS: Dell, Legacy of Good, World Wide Technology (WWT), minority-owned business, women-owned businesses


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    SOURCE:Duke Energy


    PLAINFIELD, Ind., August 24, 2018 /3BL Media/ -- Fifteen Duke Energy apprentice and journeyman lineworkers from Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky earned the right to advance to the International Lineman's Rodeo in Bonner Springs, Kans., Oct. 12-13, after competing in the Duke Energy Midwest Lineman's Rodeo in Plainfield on Aug. 11.

    Contestants were tested on job-related skills such as equipment repair and pole climbs, while being judged on speed, agility, technique and safety procedures. This year, 79 lineworkers from Duke Energy's Midwest service area participated in the regional event.

    "Lineworkers are continually refining their skills," said Andy Cassidy, who leads the Midwest rodeo planning committee. "Every event helps our linemen perfect their skills to work at the highest level of safety and customer service."

    Family-friendly activities at the regional rodeo included a rock wall for climbing, corn hole games, rides in a bucket truck and face painting for the children.

    Duke Energy Midwest winners advancing to the international event include:


    • 1st place – James Riddell, Fairfield, Ohio
    • 2nd place – Daniel Goley, Madison, Ind.
    • 3rd place – John Wilson, Avon, Ind.


    • 1st place team
      • Bryan Fry, Terre Haute, Ind.
      • Jan Newton, Terre Haute, Ind.
      • Kyle Tapp, Greencastle, Ind.
    • 2nd place team
      • Andy Irwin, Sullivan, Ind.
      • T.J. Lewis, Aurora, Ind.
      • Marc Lewis, Cincinnati, Ohio
    • 3rd place team
      • Matt Dugan, Cincinnati, Ohio
      • Chris Simpson, Milford, Ohio
      • T.J. Ball, Connersville, Ind.


    • (One senior team competed)
      • Curt Addison, Cincinnati, Ohio
      • Dave Barricklow, Fairfield, Ohio
      • Craig Allen, Milford, Ohio

    Duke Energy Midwest (Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky)
    Duke Energy Indiana's operations provide about 6,700 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 820,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state's largest electric supplier.

    Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky's operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area, and natural gas service to approximately 533,000 customers.

    Duke Energy Indiana and Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky are subsidiaries of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

    Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

    A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

    More information about the company is available at Follow Duke Energy on TwitterLinkedInInstagram and Facebook.

    Lew Middleton (Indiana)
    Office: 317.838.1505

    Sally Thelen (Ohio/Kentucky)
    Office: 513.247.2432

    24-Hour: 800.559.3853

    Tweet me:Fifteen @DukeEnergy #linemen advance to #InternationalLinemansRodeo, judged on speed, agility, technique and #safety procedures #energy #utilities

    KEYWORDS: Duke Energy, linemen, International Lineman's Rodeo, employee recognition, workplace culture

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    The Imperative of Tri-Sector Commitment to Eliminate Marine Debris



    By: Tamta Revazishvili, Catesby Wolski, and Laura Branker

    Whether beach strolling on the east coast of the United States or along Manila Bay, you can expect to see a sharp contrast between natural beauty and a spectacle of plastic waste. Sullied beaches are just one manifestation of an ecological crisis that continues to expand unabated as the hand-wringing and debate struggles to yield substantive commitments to address the waste challenge. Worldwide, 73 percent of beach litter is plastic, the ubiquitous material that benefits and harms our wellbeing in equal measures.

    Our relationship with plastic is a dilemma. Today, plastic is found in everything from cars to medical devices to food packaging. While plastic chokes oceans and inflicts untold damage to marine species, it also delivers significant benefits to society.

    Yet the problem goes far beyond that eye sore on your local beach. Ocean plastic kills millions of marine animals every year. Progressively breaking down into smaller fragments as the material degrades, microplastics are often mistaken for food, thereby entering the food chain. Chemicals added to plastics can be absorbed into the tissues of fish, presenting a real threat to human and wildlife health. Microplastics are found everywhere in the ocean. Even in the deepest depths, ocean residents cannot escape it. On some isolated Hawaiian beaches, it was determined that as much as 15 percent of the sand is actually grains of microplastics.

    Continue Reading on PYXERA

    Tweet me:Did you know that on some beaches, up to 15% of the sand is actually microplastics? Read: @PYXERAglobal #marinedebris #GEFlive

    KEYWORDS: SDGs, Marine Debris, ocean plastics, PYXERA Global

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    SOURCE:Amgen Foundation


    Ask Anna Pascucci about her experience becoming involved with the Amgen Biotech Experience (ABE) program and her responses are poetic, romantic even:

    “Life is made by sequences of things that happen which rarely remain in our memories...and then there are events…the events have the potential to expand time and space and represent the starting of a venturing phase. This was for me to meet Tara Bennett Bristow and Alia Qatarneh, ABE staff at Harvard University.”

    Now site director of ABE in Italy, Pascucci vividly remembers that meeting in Boston where she learned about ABE for the first time. At the time, she was working with Amgen Teach, and she ended up speaking with Bristow and Qatarneh for 3 hours. “They simply opened their door,” she says. Two years later, Pascucci would meet with Bristow again, this time in Naples for the launch of the ABE-Italy program site.

    What most drew Pascucci to the program and continues to drive her is ABE’s global breadth and impact. “We are working for the students through their teachers,” she says. “Students are becoming more and more global citizens, and teachers have the great opportunity to develop this vision and pass it to their students.”

    About to enter its second full year, the ABE Italy site spent the summer like the other program sites, working with teachers at professional development institutes (PDIs) to prep them for the school year with the ABE curriculum and tools. And like for many sites, the core goal of the PDIs in Italy has been to nurture the creation of learning communities. “Learning communities represent the backbone of any transformative process in education,” Pascucci says. “Thus, since the initial design, PDIs in Italy have had the aim to foster the creation of communities at different scales – international, national, regional, and local.”

    Strategies to create these communities include aligning the PDIs with national curriculum and cutting-edge science, as well as interconnecting sessions that bridge pedagogical skills for inquiry-based learning and knowledge development. The PDIs, Pascucci says, have allowed teachers to bring back many versatile tools to adapt for their specific needs.

    “Trainees come back from the PDIs with more confidence and excited to take the challenge to be involved and to involve their students,” she says. “They never feel alone: Science education is an exciting collective adventure.”

    Indeed, says Maria Angela Fontechiari of Liceo delle Scienze Umane Sanvitale in Parma, Italy: “The opportunity to attend to an intensive teacher training fosters the creation of a learning community that made it possible to exchange ideas and practices among teachers. After completing the training, teachers' collaboration and interaction can go on, even at a distance, thanks to the sharing of learning and teaching materials developed in each school and collected by the ABE team.”

    ABE began as a pilot program in Italy in 2016, though other professional development for teachers had been widely run by ANISN, Italy’s National Association of Natural Sciences Teachers for a number of years. Pascucci credits the first year ABE participants as helping to build the foundational architecture that has allowed the program to scale up. Next year, the site is planning to create a distribution center in the Umbria region, in the center of Italy. A cohort of teachers in that region received training in the pilot phase, and they are now preparing to coordinate local activities and to supply the schools with the materials and equipment needed – closely coordinated with the national site in Naples. This expansion will enable future PDIs to take place. 

    Calling her experience with ABE a “romantic story,” Pascucci says that she most values the program’s transformative capabilities. “We well know that the ABE program offers a unique opportunity to science teachers and students in Italy, so we are not surprised by the great enthusiasm of trainees and students,” she explains. “What we look forward to more and more is the long-term commitment of teachers to not simply view ABE as one-time enjoyable experience in their professional lives where afterwards, they return to their usual ways of teaching, but instead to view their commitment as a change in how they approach teaching science, to be nurtured step by step. This is an intimate transformation able to change their attitude about what science is and how it works.”

    KEYWORDS: Amgen, Amgen Biotech Experience, ABE, Amgen Foundation, ABE Italy, Italy, STEM, STEM Education, Science, AMGN:AMGN

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    Chicago Repeats, Widens Lead, As Nation’s Greenest City

    SOURCE:CBRE Group, Inc.


    LOS ANGELES, August 24, 2018 /3BL Media/ - The nation’s largest cities are getting even greener, according to the fifth annual U.S. Green Building Adoption Index by CBRE and Maastricht University. Researchers have found green certified office space across America’s 30 largest metros has reached 41 percent of market totals – the highest in the index’s history. 

    “Green” office buildings in the U.S. are defined as those that hold either an EPA ENERGY STAR® label, USGBC LEED certification or both. According to the report, 11.5 percent of all buildings surveyed are ENERGY STAR labeled, while 5.2 percent of buildings are LEED certified, both at all-time highs for the five-year study.

    Chicago again claimed the top spot with nearly 70 percent of its space green certified. In addition to defending its title as the nation’s greenest city, Chicago saw a difference of nearly six percent with second-place San Francisco, the largest spread ever recorded in the Green Building Adoption Index. Atlanta maintained the third spot with more than 58 percent of all space green certified, while a surging Los Angeles claimed fourth – up from sixth last year. Minneapolis rounds out the top five with 55 percent of office space certified.

    “From moving to 100 percent renewable energy in our public buildings, to supporting our private partners as they work to reduce emissions, Chicago is showcasing to the world the impact that cities can have on climate change for their residents and for people around the world,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This national recognition is a testament to the progress and success of our efforts to improve our environment while bettering communities across Chicago.”

    1 Chicago 1,435 236,516,240 265 69.8%
    2 San Francisco 1,386 120,434,025 286 64%
    3 Atlanta 908 132,828,235 251 58.4%
    4 Los Angeles 1,664 206,051,367 363 56.3%
    5 Minneapolis 476 69,950,658 102 55%

    Continued improvement in average energy efficiency for the nation’s commercial buildings also prompted the EPA to change the underlying calculations for ENERGY STAR scoring this year. This change is expected to lower average scores for office buildings by as much as 10 points next year. These changes may have a significant impact on next year’s Green Building Adoption Index rankings, particularly for markets whose ENERGY STAR certifications comprise the bulk of their green space.

    “Green building certifications have become an important proxy for sustainable practices, recognized by all stakeholders. Any significant change to one of these major certification programs can have a significant impact on the buildings affected. We will be closely watching for the results,” said David Pogue, CBRE’s Senior Vice President, Global Client Care.

    Green Buildings Certification Influencing Capital Markets

    CBRE and Maastricht University researchers note that building certification has become a more recognized and important part of a building’s profile. As these programs reach maturity, the capital markets are increasingly incorporating these certificates into loan pricing and alternative financial instruments such as green bonds. And, according to additional research by Green Building Adoption Index co-author Rogier Holtermans, buildings certified by ENERGY STAR and/or LEED have been shown to transact for about 10.1 percent more than non-green certified buildings.

    In fact, in 2018, for the first time in the four-year history of CBRE’s Investor Intentions Survey, more investors said sustainability is an important criteria in asset selection than said it was unimportant. This reflects a gradual trend of increasing investor interest in sustainability.

    On the lending side, there have been significant advances to integrate green building certification into financing programs, and some lenders, like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, are adapting their rates based on the presence or absence of green building certification. Freddie and Fannie are providing pricing breaks in the range of 10-30 basis points to multifamily assets that are rated by one of eight different green rating schemes.

    “For investors and lenders in the commercial real estate sector, green building certification affects their cost of capital. The rationale is that such buildings have a more attractive risk profile, and may be more resilient when economic headwinds arrive,” said Dr. Nils Kok, associate professor at Maastricht University.

    This is the fifth release of the annual U.S. Green Building Adoption Index. Based on a rigorous methodology, the index shows the growth of ENERGY STAR- and LEED-certified space for the 30 largest U.S. office markets, both in aggregate and in individual markets, over the previous 10 years. A feature again this year is a geographic mapping platform that highlights the name, location and details of the specific green certification for each building in all 30 markets. View the study’s findings HERE.

    CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2017 revenue). The company has more than 80,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate investors and occupiers through approximately 450 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at

    Tweet me:.@CBRE Group Inc. & Maastricht University find that #GreenBuilding certifications are at an all time high with #Chicago leading the way as the nation's Greenest City

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:CBRE, CBRE, Maastricht University, U.S. Green Building Adoption Index

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    Researchers say farmers need more help if they are to sell healthy farm products directly to city consumers

    SOURCE:World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF)


    by Michelle Jackson, Environmental Consultant for ICRAF in Peru

    haga clic para leer la versión en español

    Strengthening links between smallholder farmers and consumers is complex; there are many factors to be considered and many people who need to work together. In Cusco, southeastern Peru, substantial work has been done to enhance agroecological production but not much to improve direct sales between smallholders and consumers.

    Owing to easy access to ultra-processed foods in Cusco there has been a marked increase in malnutrition and illnesses linked to unhealthy diets, such as hypertension and diabetes. The presence of these illnesses indicates a need for greater availability of healthy and nutritious foods. However, little has been done to increase the consumption of healthy, agroecological products. Many opportunities exist for smallholders to sell their agricultural produce to consumers in Cusco: the area is highly biodiverse; nearly all its products come from small-scale farms run by families; it is a well-known tourist destination; and has a rapidly expanding middle class.

    Our research, supported by the McKnight Foundation, examined whether farmers near Cusco were taking advantage of the opportunities for direct sales in the city and what changes could be made to address any barriers. We analysed the results from various studies conducted in Cusco between 2015 and 2017 to determine the challenges and opportunities in the food system from the points of view of consumers, producers, purchasing managers of supermarkets and restaurants, NGO representatives, and development and regulatory institutions.

    The results revealed that smallholders faced challenges in selling their agroecological products directly to consumers, restaurants and institutions due to various logistical and regulatory reasons and experienced difficulty in meeting some of the buyers’ standards. Smallholders often lacked the necessary sanitary certification and were not able to obtain it because of the high cost and lack of knowledge of the process. The high dependence of producers on intermediaries was also a limiting factor. The intermediaries often colluded to pay the farmers significantly less than what they would have received in the market. Consumers were generally unaware of the local and traditional products, how to recognize them and cook them, and the benefits of adding these to their diets.

    We also found that consumers had difficulty distinguishing between the various agroecological products in the markets because they were not clearly labelled. In addition, it was difficult for producers to adhere to the tax and sanitary laws because regulatory institutions had not provided them with advice and assistance. Other hindrances included not being able to meet volume requirements nor implement traceability systems; a lack of refrigeration and other food storage equipment; and lack of contacts to assist in accessing other distribution channels, such as supermarkets and restaurants.

    On the other hand, we found that there were many opportunities for smallholders to increase their sales. One of these was the growing demand for traditional, agroecological products. Participatory guarantee systems, which are being developed by local NGOs and the regional government in Cusco, could certify the quality of the products, thus opening doors to some markets. The Government of Peru has also simplified tax laws, which facilitates compliance to regulations and avoids unnecessary penalties for smallholders.

    Further, demand from both local and international tourists for traditional and organic products sourced locally has made consumption of such foods desirable among the residents of Cusco, especially the youth. In fact, 75% of consumers are willing to pay 5% more for locally grown fruit. Consumers who are younger, more educated, with higher incomes, or with children under 15 years of age were particularly willing to pay more for these products.

    Our investigations revealed that even though there were several challenges to strengthening and expanding links between producers and consumers, there were also many opportunities. All stakeholders were interested in agroecological products. If they could find a way to work together to overcome the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities, producers would have the opportunity to improve their livelihoods through more effective commercialization of their products, and consumers would enrich their diets, thanks to the consumption of healthy foods. To achieve this, changes need to be made throughout the whole food system. Some of these recommendations include the promotion of agroecological products in places of purchase (like markets), educational campaigns about these products, training and awareness for producers, and the creation of clear legislation and regulations for the supply of local products.

    Read the study (in Spanish)

    Blare T, Botreau H, Neu C, Argumedo Gómez S, Jackson M. 2018. Experiencias en la creación de vínculos entre productores y compradores de productos agroecológicos en Cusco. Experience in creating links between producers and buyers of agroecological products in Cusco. LEISA revista de agroecología 34(2):31.

    Tweet me:.@ICRAF researchers in Cusco, Peru say #farmers need more help if they are to sell healthy farm products directly to city consumers

    KEYWORDS: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), food security, smallholder farmers, cusco, Peru


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    On the Prospects of Powering the Last Mile



    Access to modern sources of energy is fundamental to eradicating poverty and spurring economic growth. Energy touches every aspect of a household’s quality of life. Without access to electric lighting, kids huddle around smoky kerosene lamps to study at night—endangering both their health and education. Lack of refrigeration and gas or electric cooking also impacts a family’s health as it hinders food preservation, makes it harder to purify water, and brings more smoky pollutants into the home. And without electricity for charging phones and starting businesses, many people are falling further and further behind both informationally and economically.

    The scope of the problem is still enormous—more than one billion people lack access to electricity, and at least that many only have access to power that is intermittent and unreliable. Even rural households that have electricity still rely on wood or charcoal for cooking if the power is too expensive for using an electric hob or oven. Since the overwhelming majority of people living off-grid reside in rural areas in Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, the target geographies are clear. Ending energy poverty features prominently in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The target within SDG 7—affordable and clean energy—is to achieve universal access by 2030.

    While it’s helpful to better define the challenge, and the goal for overcoming it, the question remains as to whether this problem is solvable. Do we have the tools to achieve universal access by 2030? The answer is, “Yes. Absolutely.” One only has to look at the number of countries in the world that do have universal access. If around two billion people lack reliable power, that means more than five billion have good access to electricity.

    Continue Reading on

    Tweet me:The technology to achieve universal access to electricity exists. The barrier isn’t technology—it’s cost. Read the @NithioEnergy perspective and help drive solutions to power the last mile: @PYXERAGlobal #energypoverty #GEFlive

    KEYWORDS: EnergyPoverty, SDGs, PYXERA Global

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    By Jennifer Thomas, Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal



    A focus on health and wellness programs sets these 22 Charlotte-area employers apart.

    The Charlotte Business Journal’s annual Healthiest Employers of Greater Charlotte recognized those companies on Friday. 

    The event recognized companies in four size categories — from small businesses to companies with 5,000-plus employees — for their commitment to health and wellness programs.

    Read the full article here. 

    Tweet me:.@DomtarEveryday was among 22 #Charlotte area employers winning #HealthiestEmployers of Greater Charlotte honors via @CBJnewsroom #HR #workplacewellness #corporateresponisibility

    KEYWORDS: Domtar, CHARLOTTE Business Journal, Healthiest Employers


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    We work hard to guarantee all employees feel welcome and included at the office.



    By Laura Lee, Senior Manager of Digital Communications, Nestlé Purina

    For three years now, the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ civil rights group in the U.S., has awarded Nestlé Purina with a perfect score on its Corporate Equality Index. The organization’s national benchmarking survey scores businesses on their corporate policies and practices relating to the LGBTQ community.

    While we are proud of our perfect score, we’re prouder of the hard work we’ve done to become a welcoming, inclusive employer.

    We do this because it’s the right thing to do from a moral and business perspective. We firmly believe that all employees — regardless of their sexual or gender identity — deserve to feel welcome at work.

    And, a workforce made up of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and talents brings greater innovation and creativity, helps us understand our consumers, and makes it easier to hire and retain talent. That means creating an LGBTQ –friendly workplace.

    Here are just four of the many ways we’re supporting our LGBTQ employees — and the LGBTQ community at large:

    1. Benefits Matter

    We’ve been able to attract and retain LGBTQ talent by having policies in place such as non-discrimination workplace protections and domestic partner benefits. We also offer transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits to guarantee all our employees can access the care they need.

    “Equality is core to our values, and is central to the way we do business, treat employees, and value our consumers. Our people are our most important asset — our mission is to continuously attract, develop, and retain, top talent across various diverse backgrounds,” says Annette Morris, head of diversity, inclusion & gender balance at Nestlé Purina.

    2. Create Allies Across the Organization

    We empower all our employees to become strong allies for their LGBTQ friends and employees. Our Diversity & Inclusion Ambassadors play a key role in supporting these efforts. They are associates from a mix of different business units and a wide variety of backgrounds and do things like host internal conferences and speakers.

    The ambassadors recently hosted Beck Bailey, the deputy director of employee engagement in the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Bailey’s discussion, “The Cost of the Closet and the Reward of Inclusion” focused on building greater workplace equality.

    3. Make a Broader Footprint in Your LGBTQ Community

    We know that to be true allies, we need to think about supporting our LGBTQ employees beyond the workplace. We want to build a more inclusive environment everywhere.

    More than 70 Purina associates, friends and family recently volunteered at PrideFest in downtown St. Louis near our corporate headquarters.

    Besides being a lot of fun, participating in the PrideFest shows that when it comes to supporting our LGBTQ employees we are committed to action, not just rhetoric.

    Purina has also been supporting Saint Louis Effort for AIDS through its PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support) program since 2013. In that time, we’ve donated more than $45,000 to help provide resources to people living with HIV/AIDS so that they can keep pet companions as long as possible. Donations from Purina help supply people living with HIV/AIDS with pet food, medications and veterinary services for their pets.

    4. Create Consumer Packaging and Marketing Campaigns to Include the LGBTQ Audience

    Like volunteering at PrideFest, featuring LGBTQ families and individuals in our marketing and packaging signals to the world that Purina is serious about supporting the LGBTQ community. We believe the diversity of pet owners should be reflected in the images we use on our packaging and in our marketing campaigns. And we are in a position to do just that.

    Creating LGBTQ friendly workplaces is smart because it makes sense for your bottom line. More importantly, it is the right thing to do and it makes you, and your employees feel good. Want to come work with us at Purina? Check out our job openings at:

    Tweet me:4 ways Nestlé @Purina has built one of the best companies for #LGBTQ workers

    KEYWORDS: Nestle, Purina


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    BY Anja Mikic

    SOURCE:International WELL Building Institute


    We sat down with Sara Hickman to discuss the importance of equitable communities and how recent technology advancements are making it easier to build with intention and impact. Sara is the Sustainability Director/Senior Associate for RDC-S111, Inc., the holding company of brands, Retail Design Collaborative and Studio One Eleven. Retail Design Collaborative is an architecture firm with a focus on entertainment, hospitality, interior design and retail, while Studio One Eleven is an integrated practice of architecture, urbanism and landscape design dedicated to creating vibrant communities.

    How did you first become interested in the health, wellness and sustainability industries?

    Although I have a background in architecture, it wasn’t until I started studying for my LEED AP credential that I began to understand the impact that architecture has on human health and our environment. Today, I work for RDC-S111, Inc. as the firm’s Sustainability Director.

    What are some of the most inspiring or exciting health and/or wellness trends you’re seeing in your retail design work?

    With the use of Big Data, forward-thinking cities have been patiently collecting detailed, quality, smart data for quite some time. On the private side, this information is used to spur economic growth, while on the public side, it is used to identify cost-effective strategies to accommodate maximum growth with often aging infrastructure. This is all well and good, but what about the people? If you’re even remotely involved in architecture or planning, you have likely witnessed a trend towards equity-driven design. It’s gone from an afterthought to the main attraction. I’m interested in seeing how we can leverage data to make the business case for healthy and equitable development.

    How do you go about addressing this through your work?

    We are committed to equitable outcomes, particularly in communities that have a history of disinvestment and marginalization. To ensure that under-resourced communities truly benefit from improvements in their neighborhoods, there is a need for a land use system that values both health and equity as drivers of the “highest and best use” of land. We need to engage marginalized and historically disadvantaged communities in the decision-making process. Through collaboration, healthy community and affordable housing advocates can create a framework for a more just and equitable future.

    Our Urban Design group is thriving with a slew of community-initiated projects, each with their own climate action and/or equity drivers. One of our most recent projects is using geographic information systems (GIS) and community engagement to identify and analyze suitable parcels of land ripe for affordable housing and parks/open space joint-development. We believe these initiatives are core solutions to Los Angeles’s displacement crisis. Our work aims to “create more livable sustainable and engaging cities.” It’s even painted on the front of our building!

    We’re also creating our own criteria in the form of a scorecard to evaluate how equitable our projects are from multiple angles, including but not limited to, health, mobility, sustainability, landscape, affordable housing, land use and community. These will be known as a POE (post-occupancy evaluation). We are currently evaluating three typologies including affordable housing, a Class A office in a dense urban environment and an urban design project. Keep an eye out on our blog for more!

    The RDC-Studio 111 Headquarters is WELL Certified. How did the relocation tie to the community?

    We moved from the 20th floor in an isolated tower to the ground level of a dilapidated 6 block retail complex in desperate need of a re-positioning. Our team transformed a vacant Nordstrom Rack into a vibrant 34,000+ square foot office with large windows, outdoor patios and twenty skylights, which offer natural daylight, reduce artificial lighting requirements and increase energy efficiency. We’ve opened our doors to house three non-profits at no cost and offer our community spaces, including our 50 person conference room, back patio and large entry kitchen, for special events such as One Million Cups (an entrepreneurial Kickstarter), community leadership trainings and AIA committee meetings. Even the mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia, hosted his announcement for his second term in our main kitchen!

    How does your role as a WELL AP support your career goals and your work as a leader in the healthy building movement?

    Because WELL’s focus is on people, it inherently reaches into areas such as diversity, equity, health, fitness and most importantly for us, culture. My role as the WELL representative at the office has provided me with the skills to further support our corporate culture. We’ve got an incredible team who loves to contribute to the community, from our talented artists and DJ’s, to the socialites who have kicked off a Friday happy hour. However, my personal favorite addition has been when a dozen or so staff ride up the LA river trail every Monday and play beach volleyball on Fridays after work.

    The work we have done with WELL has been truly transformative for our firm, staff and the surrounding community. I am grateful to have played a role in helping bring WELL to one of the first architecture firms on the West Coast.

    Interested in learning how you can elevate human health at the community scale? Check out the WELL Community Standard™today.

    Tweet me:#WeAreWELL: Meet Sara Hickman, #Sustainability Director at @retaildesignc via @WELLcertified #builtenvironment #WELLBuildingStandard

    KEYWORDS: RDC-S111, International Well Building Institute (IWBI), Retail Design Collaborative, Studio One Eleven, Sara Hickman


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    They’ll all be in Orlando with Blackbaud for bbcon, the premier tech gathering for social good, October 9-11.

    SOURCE:Blackbaud Corporate Solutions


    At the same time of year when kids can’t sleep the night before school, ready to start a new year of learning with sharpened pencils and brand-new notebooks, social good professionals are restless awaiting their annual learning deep dive at Blackbaud’s social good conference, bbcon. One of the only conferences to attract attendees from across the social, private and public sectors, bbcon is a convening of professionals where tech innovation, collaboration, and forward-looking insights are encouraged. Below are a few of the themes you can expect to see at bbcon, and we hope to see you there!

    Partnerships that span all types of organizations

    As one of our speakers, John Hancock’s Annie Duong-Turner, reflected when discussing their grants program: if you want to create long-term impact, you can’t do it alone. Cross-sector partnerships can help to create solutions that address the root of a problem, sourcing expertise and other resources from those best suited to solve certain issues. At bbcon this year, we’re excited to host numerous panels that stress the importance of such collaborations. From cause marketing with Catalist, to multi-faceted partnerships with Social Capital, and corporate philanthropy with World Wildlife Fund, Royal Caribbean and others, we have multiple perspectives and use cases for you to learn from during the three days in Orlando.

    Digital Transformation

    Technology has transformed the philanthropic community, and as the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, we would know. As demands for reporting, transparency, and outcomes-driven initiatives grow, hear how customers have reimagined the possibilities with their technology. Plus, understand what blockchain really means for your processes, and hear action steps you need to take to lock in data privacy and security. Or really, what you need to be asking for from grantees and partners to ensure your information remains secure.

    Data-driven decision making

    A key contributor to this digital transformation is the availability of data that can detail the true outcomes of philanthropic efforts, versus just inputs or outputs. Data can be segmented and manipulated in many ways to communicate your story appropriately to each target audience, to achieve the desired result. Data is a tool that can be pivotal in evaluating new cause partnerships, partners for employee giving programs, or planning employee assistance programs. We’ll specifically explore the latter as it relates to disaster relief at bbcon, an area that continues to affect companies with employees across different geographic areas throughout the entire year.

    Learn more here, and we hope to see you in Orlando, October 9-11 for the latest CSR trends, tech innovations, and collaboration opportunities!

    Have questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to

    Tweet me:#bbcon 2018 offers sessions for companies covering everything from blockchain to disaster relief to cause partnerships. You won't want to miss it, and your CSR program will thank you. Learn more in this blog from @Blackbaud

    KEYWORDS: conference, networking, collaboration, Partnership, BBCON, csr, Corporate Responsibility, NASDAQ:BLKB, Blackbaud Corporate Solutions

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    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., August 27, 2018 /3BL Media/ - Chrysler brand is teaming up with No Kid Hungry, a national campaign that is focused on ending child hunger in America today. Chrysler’s support will help No Kid Hungry continue its work to improve the lives of families across the country by ensuring children have the food they need to succeed.
    According to No Kid Hungry, one in six kids in America lives with hunger. When kids don’t have the food they need, they are more likely to struggle in school, miss class and not feel well. No Kid Hungry is helping to end childhood hunger in America by making sure kids get the food they need every day. Since the launch of the campaign in 2010, one-third fewer children are now facing hunger. Chrysler is working with the campaign to provide up to 1.5 million meals. For more information, please visit
    “Through our partnership with No Kid Hungry, the Chrysler brand is able to help bring awareness to childhood hunger and support the organization’s work across America,” says Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Car Brands – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “Childhood hunger is a solvable problem. No child in America should go without a meal and, as a trusted family brand, our work with this campaign will help ensure more kids across the country have the food they need to learn and grow.”
    “There is no possible excuse for children to be hungry in this great country of ours. Yet it happens – every day,” said Tom Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Share Our Strength, the organization behind the No Kid Hungry campaign. “We are grateful for partners like Chrysler who are committed to helping us end childhood hunger once and for all.”
    Chrysler’s support of upcoming No Kid Hungry initiatives include the below and will be amplified through the brand’s digital and social channels, including FacebookTwitter and Instagram.
    Taste of the Nation (events): Premier chefs, mixologists and sommeliers lend their time and skill at more than 25 cities, drawing 3,000 chefs and 25,000 attendees each year, all coming together to help end child hunger. The next event is in Chicago on August 29 with famed Chicago chefs Lee Wolen, Chris Pandel, Chris Curren, Toni Roberts, Elissa Narow, and visiting chefs Kwame Onwuachi, Dale Talde and Cesar Zapata.
    Chefs Cycle: Part fundraiser, part endurance cycle, all to end childhood hunger in America. Award-winning chefs and members of the culinary community fight hunger outside of the kitchen with Chefs Cycle, completing a three-day, 300-mile ride for No Kid Hungry. In September, chefs and celebrities, including Bryan Voltaggio, Chad White and Seamus Mullen, will hop on their bicycles to bring awareness and raise funds to end childhood hunger.
    Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry: This grassroots initiative inspires Americans to fire up their ovens and host bake sales in their homes, schools, offices and more to raise money to help end childhood hunger.
    About No Kid Hungry
    No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty.
    About Chrysler Brand
    The Chrysler brand has delighted customers with distinctive designs, craftsmanship, intuitive innovation and technology since the company was founded in 1925.
    The Chrysler Pacifica continues to reinvent the minivan, a segment Chrysler invented, with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. The Pacifica Hybrid takes this revolutionary vehicle a step further with its class-exclusive, innovative plug-in hybrid powertrain. It’s the first electrified vehicle in the minivan segment and achieves 84 MPGe in electric-only mode, 33 miles of all-electric range and 566 miles of total range. The Chrysler 300 lineup delivers on the brand’s promise of iconic and elegant design executed with world-class performance, efficiency and quality – all at an attainable value.
    Beyond just exceptionally designed vehicles, the Chrysler brand continues to raise the bar by integrating class-leading, high-tech features into its products, including the Uconnect 4 system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto Uconnect Theater with available streaming, the plug-in hybrid powertrain in the Pacifica Hybrid, the industry-exclusive Stow 'n Go seating and storage system on the Pacifica, and the segment’s most advanced all-wheel-drive (AWD) system available on all Chrysler 300 V-6 models, as well as the most powerful V-8 in its class with the 300C’s 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine.

    Follow Chrysler brand and FCA US news and video on:
    Company blog:
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    For more information, please visit the FCA US LLC media site at

    Diane Morgan
    (248) 512-0023 (office)
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    Tweet me:.@FiatChrysler_NA Joins Forces With No Kid Hungry to Help End Childhood Hunger

    KEYWORDS: FCA, No Kid Hungry

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    By Yesh Pavlik Slenk



    Ten years ago, one question had Radhika Lalit re-evaluating her career path.

    At the time, Lalit was working for a non-profit that devised solutions for sustainable agriculture in the Himalayas. As she conversed with local villagers to learn of the problems they are faced with when farming, one woman turned and asked her, point blank: “What are you going to do to help?”

    In that moment, something clicked for Lalit. She felt a new sense of purpose and determination. Instead of helping people adapt to a changing climate, she was going to stop it from happening. That year, she founded Youth for A Cause, an organization invested in educating the youth in India about social and environmental issues and the impacts of climate change.

    In 2015, I got to enter Lalit’s story. We met three years ago at the start of her EDF Climate Corps fellowship—a first of its kind fellowship program that places graduate students into top companies to help accomplish their sustainability goals. She was bright-eyed and sharp as hell. Her summer would be spent finding energy-related opportunities at Blue Shield of California, a health plan provider serving over 4 million members.

    In those ten weeks, Lalit lent her fresh eyes, energy and ideas to her project—leaving the company with an actionable foundation for its renewable energy strategy. Just this past month, the same company unveiled its newest solar installation; three years later, her project has come to life! The installation will save over 3.5 million kWh of electricity annually, the equivalent of taking more than 550 passenger vehicles off the road each year.

    Since her fellowship, Lalit has joined the EDF Climate Corps network of over 900 alumni—a strong, smart and diverse group of people united in their mission to take climate action. As manager of this alumni network, I take pride in following their careers and staying on top of the impactful projects they are a part of.

    I also love the window I get into this field. We’ve got experts across the board; I see more women joining sustainability industry every day. It’s so awesome that, when asked if I know any female EDF Climate Corps alumni leaders, I can honestly respond with “which one?” or “what topic?”

    Lalit is a leader and an innovator, and I can’t wait to see what she does next. I can point to a million reasons why women can make great leaders, but when I think of effective female leaders like her, three characteristics stand out: they’re good communicators, good connectors and good collaborators.

    Lalit listened to the priorities of the employees at Blue Shield of California, gaining an understanding of the company’s values and mission. That equipped her to show them, in their own language, how the company could reduce operational costs related to energy so more money could be spent on what was most important: providing affordable, high-quality healthcare. She got the needed buy-in by framing the conversation and communicating the impact in a way that resonated with her audiences.

    Lalit has grown in her career since her time as an EDF Climate Corps fellow, and she makes time to help others do the same by forging connections. Last year, she participated in the EDF Climate Corps mentorship program. She regularly lends her expertise to other network members. Mentorship and community connection are extremely important ingredients for success in the pursuit of progress on climate, especially for women. We need to build a network—of men and women—where we can connect with each other to exchange ideas and solutions.

    In her current role with Rocky Mountain Institute, Lalit is taking collaboration to a whole new level by spearheading the Global Cooling Prize—an international competition that is harnessing the power of innovation to develop efficient and affordable air conditioning solutions, especially for communities in less developed countries. Innovators from around the world will catalyze the development of technology that will consume five times less energy, prevent one degree Celsius of global warming by 2100 and provide millions of people around the world with improved quality of life. This collaborative effort is yet another project with enormous potential to make real impact.

    It’s been 10 years since that woman asked Lalit what she intended to do about the problems facing communities around the world due to climate change. In the time since, she has helped dozens of companies across the globe rethink what it means, and takes, to be a sustainable business—by communicating, connecting and collaborating.

    Tweet me:.@EDFbiz shows how women are leading the fight against #ClimateChange via @MsMagazine

    KEYWORDS: sustainable agriculture, EDF+Business, Ms. magazine, EDF Climate Corps fellow


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    SOURCE:HP, Inc.


    August 26, 2018, marked 98 years since the U.S. passed the 19th Amendment granting the right to vote to women. It was also the 48th anniversary of the Women’s Strike for Equality demonstrations that elevated the women’s rights movement. And August 26 was Women’s Equality Day, proclaimed by the U.S. Congress in 1971 as the date to celebrate progress and recognize the continued fight for equal rights and privileges for all citizens, regardless of gender.

    As the Women’s March, #MeToo and Time’s Up movements of the past year remind us—the quest for equality continues for half our population. The gender gap remains disappointingly high across the U.S., and the globe.

    The World Economic Forum estimates the gender gap in North America to be at 28 percent, rated on economic participation and opportunity, education, health and survival, and political empowerment. Yet that’s the second lowest global score, just behind Western Europe at 25 percent. That means the delta is even higher in the rest of the world. In fact, the gender gap is nearly 40 percent in the Middle East and North Africa.

    On our current trajectory, WEF estimates it will take 100 years to close the global gender gap. That’s an increase of 17 years from its estimate just one year prior, indicating reverse progress. What’s more, the global gender pay gap is projected to take more than twice as long—217 years—to close.

    That’s unacceptable. It’s a paradigm that must change—and doing so benefits us all.

    Good for the economy
    It’s estimated that if women play an identical role as men in the labor market it could add $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025. An estimated $5.3 trillion could be added to the global GDP by closing a just one-quarter of the gap by 2025. That’s a tremendous economic opportunity waiting to be seized.

    Already women make up more than 40 percent of the workforce in more than 80 countries. In the next decade another one billion women, mostly in the developing world, are going to enter the formal economy and become new economic contributors.

    Women in the workforce directly benefit business. A 2018 McKinsey study of diversity in the workforce found that of the more than 1,000 companies in 12 countries studied, those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 27 percent more likely to outperform their national industry average of economic profit compared with those in the bottom quartile.

    We see firsthand at HP that customers, investors, and employees are demanding sustainability leadership from us, and this includes the equal and equitable treatment of all people. In 2017, we saw at least $700 million in new revenue related to contracts or sales in which sustainability factors were a known consideration.

    Good for innovation
    At HP, we know that true innovation and sustainable impact comes from employees with diverse backgrounds and experience. From our earliest days, the company recognized that the more points of view it can draw on, the better its products and company will be. To serve our increasingly diverse customer base, we rely on top innovation talent and on a community of employees of all genders, races, and cultures that can help us identify opportunities and blind spots. Every HP innovation comes from a team of individuals, each contributing their unique perspective, knowledge, and experience.

    I’m proud to work at a company that has made diversity and inclusion a business imperative, and at HP it starts at the top. We have one of the most diverse Boards of Directors of any technology company in the U.S., including 40 percent women Board members—double the average in Silicon Valley—and 50 percent minorities. Championed by our CEO Dion Weisler and the executive leadership team, diversity is embedded into everything we do. Everyone at every level is accountable for HP’s diverse and inclusive culture. 

    Since our separation from Hewlett-Packard Company in late 2015, we’ve increased women in our executive levels by 6.5 percent. We’re encouraged by our progress, yet we know there’s much more work to be done. One of the ways we’re helping address this is by offering unconscious bias training at all levels of the company to help people identify and address the ingrained biases that exist in all of us.

    Good for our planet—and its people
    A recent report by WomenRising2030 shows that women in corporate decision-making positions not only benefit their company, they contribute to the betterment of the planet and society. The report found companies with more gender-balanced boards offer more goods and services to communities with limited or no access to financial products, prioritize environmental issues and invest in advancing a low-carbon economy. The report concludes that having more women in leadership roles could “set the world on a more sustainable path.”

    To help foster this leadership, HP is partnering with Girl Rising on a seven-month story-driven challenge designed to elevate voices of people around the world advocating for equality. The essence of the challenge is to share a personal story using technology. Winners, to be announced on Oct. 11, will receive micro-grants, HP products and services, and access to mentors to help them on their journey.

    HP is one of the founding members of the UN Women Global Innovation Coalition for Change. The GICC is a dynamic partnership beFtween UN Women and key representatives from the private sector, academic, and not-for-profit institutions focused on developing the innovation market to work better for women and accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. I have the privilege of representing HP on this coalition, along with my colleague, Michele Malejki.   

    HP is also supporting “Stories of Advocacy,” a partnership with Women Deliver and its Young Leaders program leading up to the 2019 Women Deliver conference. Through this partnership, HP will provide technology and support to 15 female and male Young Leaders from across the globe to help them drive forward their advocacy platforms for advancing girls’ and women’s health, rights, and well-being in and beyond their communities. We fully align with Women Deliver’s assertion that, “When the world invests in girls and women, everyone wins.”

    Women’s Equality EVERY Day
    Throughout my life, I have been influenced by strong, smart, and accomplished female leaders. From my mom, grandmothers and teachers who shaped my early years, to my wife who masterfully balances starting and running her own business with managing the most important aspects of our family life, to the many women executives and colleagues who have mentored me in my career while driving business success—I know the positive and sustainable impact women have on our society and in business. In my role as a manager, I have always hired the best talent for the job—and in each case, I have hired a woman.

    Yet, in businesses and communities across the globe there are far too many voices that are not being heard, skills that are not being fostered, and opportunities that are being limited or denied simply because of gender. And that keeps all of us from reaping the abundant rewards of a gender-equal world.       

    On this Women’s Equality Day, I will be reexamining my own unconscious biases associated with gender, and I encourage others to do the same. Through open dialogue, heightened awareness of conscious and unconscious biases, and greater understanding of the contributions that all genders bring to the betterment of our society, we can accelerate progress toward making every day Equality Day for all.  

    Tweet me:The World Economic forum estimates it will take 100 years to close the #genderpaygap. The benefits of #genderequality for business, for the economy, and for people: @HP #diversity #WomensEqualityDay

    KEYWORDS: HP, Women's Equality Day, Gender Pay Gap

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    Feeding America® promotes Hunger Action Month

    SOURCE:America's Charities


    Feeding America Hunger Action MonthThis September, Feeding America and our nationwide network of food banks will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. Hunger Action Month™ is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 41 million Americans, including nearly 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.

    In the U.S, more than one in eight people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in six kids who may not have enough to eat.

    September marks the eleventh year, Feeding America and its network of 200 member food banks has organized this annual call to action. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.

    The Hunger Action Month 2018 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.

    Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.

    This year, on September 13th, Feeding America asks supporters to share what they couldn’t do without adequate nutrition by writing on an empty plate, “On an empty stomach I can’t ______,” and filling in the blank with something they couldn’t achieve without the nutrition we need to thrive.

    These photos can be posted to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.

    “With the combined effort of Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks and hunger advocates across the country, the goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about hunger and inspire Americans to get involved,” said Matt Knott, President and Interim CEO at Feeding America. “The Feeding America network is leading the fight to end hunger in the U.S. We all have a role to play in getting food to our neighbors in need. Give. Volunteer. Advocate.”

    To learn more about Feeding America and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month, please visit

    # # #

    About Feeding America®

    Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Give. Volunteer. Advocate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.


    Zuani Villarreal
    Director of Communication
    Feeding America
    National Organization
    35 E Wacker Drive
    Chicago, Illinois 60601
    tel +1.312.641.6532 x=5287

    Support Feeding America through your employee giving program:

    As Feeding America's workplace giving partner, America’s Charities can help your company design and implement a program centered on supporting their work - through workplace giving campaigns, employee fundraising, cause-focused signature programs, volunteerism, donation drives, matching gifts, Dollars-for-Doers, In-Kind Giving and other employee engagement and philanthropic initiatives. Click here to request a demo and learn how we can help you do this.

    Tweet me:.@AmerCharities: 41 million people in the U.S. struggle with hunger. This September, businesses & their employees can join @FeedingAmerica during #HungerActionMonth to do something about it: #WorkplaceGiving

    KEYWORDS: America’s Charities, workplace giving, employee giving, Corporate Social Responsibility, charity vetting, payroll deduction giving, Fundraising, Feeding America, Hunger Action Month

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