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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version

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    By Dave Armon



    It has been quite a year for those of us immersed in the corporate responsibility world, especially when we’ve witnessed how many companies have stepped up their activism during 2018. We’ve seen CEOs increasingly speak out on diversity and inclusion, companies oppose the separation of families at the U.S. border with Mexico and watched corporate leaders double down on volatile issues like gun violence.

    Following a most eventful 2018, can this coming year even measure up? Recently in New York City, 3BL Media and TriplePundit brought together various business leaders and asked them what corporate responsibility trends we could expect to see during 2019. We took the liberty of selecting a few quotes that stand out – and for those we’re quoting, we’re adding their Twitter handles as we look forward to them sharing more of their wisdom and perspective in the coming year.

    To sum up in a few words, expect to see, or perhaps we should say hear, a lot more speaking out in 2019:

    “I think we’re going to see companies get a lot more active in social, political and environmental issues.  In the past, companies have been hesitant to speak out, but they are really being pushed by their employees to take a stand.”– Danielle Holly, CEO of the skills-based volunteering nonprofit Common Impact.

    “For 2019, I really see pre-competitive collaboration as being a big trend.  Companies collaborating has been happening, but I think that increasingly we are going to see competitors get together to tackle big issues,” – Robbie Lock, Executive Director of the 3BL Association.

    “2019 is going to be spent, I think, with the specter of 2020, with the addition of 2030 goals and with the realization we have to speed up, and hurry up move forward faster, make bigger changes and really, really drive impact,” – Susan Arnot Heaney, Director of Marketing and Collaborating Company Engagement at Rainforest Alliance.

    We wanted to gain more insight beyond that evening in New York, so we also reached out to other thought leaders across the U.S. to gaze into their crystal ball for 2019. Here is what they anticipate for corporate sustainability in the next 12 months:

    “The hall pass has expired on Silicon Valley’s M.O. of building market scale and dealing with its social impact later. New guard rails are inevitable . . . In addition, increasing employee activism — aided by social networks like or apps like Blind — will spotlight corporate actions, policies or strategies that do not align with stated values.” – Barie Carmichael, Senior Counselor at APCO Worldwide and co-author with James Rubin of Reset: Business and Society in the New Social Landscape.

    “Employee engagement: has been a buzzword for a while now, but this year we saw what it truly means for employees to be engaged — from the ground up. So much of the bold activism we’re witnessing from CEOs on issues like gun control and immigration has been a direct result of pressure from employees and in many cases, employee working groups (ERGs). As part of this trend, we’ll see more companies actively encourage employees to engage in tough or polarizing conversations at work. Companies will embolden employees to be vocal about the issues they care about.” – Susan McPherson, Founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies.

    “I’m going to be keeping an eye out for how businesses continue to step up to prove their reason to be – whether that’s by addressing climate change in a tangible way, activating their brands for purposeful actions or truly connecting their business models with how they behave and who they associate with (through their advertising dollars, sponsorships, etc.). I also think we’re going to continue seeing momentum around supply chain innovations – from digital solutions to cohesive partnerships on issues such as living wages and human rights.” – Aman Singh, Editor-in-Chief and Head of Content Strategy, Futerra.

    “Accelerated digitization, as in the Internet of Things (IoT), along with the ensuing data of the supply chain and marketplace, will continue to advance radical transparency to uncover new risks, but also key opportunities. In addition, boards of directors across a range of sectors are learning quickly that they need to develop stronger competencies and strategies to manage ESG risks lurking in their business model/practice.” – Dave Stangis, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Campbell’s Soup Company.

    Be sure to subscribe to our weekly Brands Taking Stands newsletter, where our Editor-in-Chief John Howell will update you on the latest trends in corporate activism.

    Image credit: Fibonacci Blue/Flickr

    Tweet me:Check out the latest corporate #sustainability predictions for 2019! via @TriplePundit

    KEYWORDS: triplepundit, 2019, csr

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    SOURCE:Cone Communications


    As the year draws to a close, Cone evaluated 365 days’ worth of Purpose-driven campaigns to bring you the top 10 trends of 2018. Join us as we count down through what trended in 2018, the implications for businesses and what’s on the horizon for 2019.

    This complimentary webinar will be held on January 10, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. EST. To join, register here.

    Tweet me:Join @Cone for a free WEBINAR "A Year in Purpose: The Top 10 Trends of 2018" on 1/10. Register here:

    KEYWORDS: Cone Communications

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    SOURCE:Antea Group


    Christmas movies are entertaining but from the EHS standpoint, they present some obvious and gentle reminders of how important workplace safety is during the holidays and all year long.

    Read Antea Group’s blog to see how we can learn EHS lessons from 6 holiday movies.

    About Antea Group

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

    Tweet me:.@AnteaGroup Discovers What 6 Classic Christmas Films Can Teach Us About Managing Holiday EHS Hazards

    Contact Info:

    KEYWORDS: winter hazards, holiday hazard, ehs, EHS management, environment health and safety, antea group

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    SOURCE:Schneider Electric


    The distribution centre will cover a surface of 60,000 sq m, the largest in Finland and equivalent to 10 football fields in size.

    The warehouse will have an integrated Schneider Electric EcoStruxure™ Microgrid and EcoStruxure Building Operation solution that runs on 100% renewable energy. 

    "Lidl Finland's decision to build a carbon-neutral and at times net-positive building shows determination and foresight to find the best possible integrated solution that not only allows them to operate the facility more efficiently than their existing ones, but also sets an example for how to build and operate in a sustainable way for the good of the environment. This is significant both nationally and internationally", says Tuomas Qvick, Vice President of EcoBuilding & Field Services Finland at Schneider Electric.

    Click here to read the full article

    Tweet me:.@SchneiderElec and @LidlSuomi are teaming up to build a 60,000 sq/m distribution center that will run on 100% #RenewableEnergy thanks to #SchneiderElectric's innovative #EcoStruxure system #LifeIsOn

    KEYWORDS: EPA:SU, finland, Schneider Electric EcoStruxure, Schneider Electric, Järvenpää, Simo Siitonen, Lidl Finland, BREEAM environmental certification, EcoStruxure, Tuomas Qvick

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    SOURCE:GreenMoney Journal


    by Thomas Schumann, Thomas Schumaan Capital

    Let me begin by asserting that SRI and ESG Investing will escalate to the forefront of global thinking, speaking, doing and capital. Both represent the sole solution to save people, planet and profit. And if you do not know Richard L. Sandor yet, I encourage you to look him up: “Sandor is known for asserting that the next financial revolution will be in the convergence of the financial markets and the environment.” He is often credited for founding the field of environmental Finance. His first book, Good Derivatives: A Story of Financial and Environmental Innovation, was published by John Wiley & Sons in April 2012. My own particular dedication is to water security, a sector that I am immersed in. Once I discovered the gravity of water risk it became a calling that burgeoned into a passion.

    Water Risk

    Physical and financial water risks are the greatest threats to people, planet and profit. By 2025, $145 Trillion in assets under management are either directly or indirectly exposed to financial water risk. Financial water risks are increasingly material. Climate change and other drivers are turning water into a scarce commodity, increasing competition for available resources and making protection of water quality more vital than ever. These risks have to become an integral part of investor research and risk management processes and daily financial decisions. Otherwise, investors will be blind to a risk that is only continuing to grow. Asset managers require transparency to make decisions. Typically, water risk transparency is based on share pricing, curated corporate financial accounting and voluntary disclosures of environmental risk attributes. Indexing water risk allows the asset manager to extract a probabilistic financial indicator of corporate and portfolio risk to facilitate allocation decisions. Corporate water risk assessments influence or modify financial projections or their weighted average cost of capital assumptions. Scenario analysis modeling determines how much the market cap of companies would be impacted if they had to absorb more of the costs of treating their wastewater discharges, especially as drought intensifies and communities and regulators become less tolerant of water use and pollution. Hence a deeper understanding of the probability of large financial losses due to strategic risks related to water, such as not being able to grow revenue, access new markets, or develop new facilities is imperative. 

    Water Security

    Water security is the single largest investment opportunity. It is the foundation for healthy people, planet and profit. Water security investments ensure social and environmental returns, and financial outperformance. In a water-secure world: Investors, companies and cities understand that water is an essential and fundamental factor in practically all economic activities. They recognize its crucial role in mitigating and adapting to climate change and take transformative steps to increase its security. There is equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, hygiene and sanitation for all, in line with the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 6. This requires significant and sustained investment in water infrastructure to secure future water supply.

    Water Risk Index

    LIMEYARD TSC Water Risk Index is a new benchmark index designed to inform asset owners and investment managers of the water risk to equities in their financial portfolios. Rather than forcing asset managers to make their own interpretations of operational reports and resource management scenarios, the index translates the key metrics of water risk into financial measures that can be accurately and effectively incorporated into financial models.

    Read the rest of Thomas Schumann blog post here including about a new Water Security Fund -


    Tweet me:Water Risk: Single Largest Risk Threatening People, Planet and Profit -- || #water #environment #impinv #sustainability #actonclimate #esg #csr

    Contact Info:

    Cliff Feigenbaum, founder and managing editor
    GreenMoney Journal and
    +1 (505) 577-1563

    KEYWORDS: water, risk, environmental, Nature, Wall Street, Sustainable, impact, Investing, SRI, esg, SDGs, social, governance, financial water risks, business water exposure, Impact Capital, social enterprise, Finance, climate change, Resources, water quality, security, commodity, environmental protection, wetlands, Asset Managers, Transparency, Accounting, investment opportunity, Social and environmental returns, mitigating climate change, Drinking Water, Hygiene, sustainable development goal, LIMEYARD, wastewater


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    By Jay Greene

    SOURCE:Consumers Energy


    Each year, Crain's Detroit Business recognizes the year's Newsmakers — leaders who made headlines and made a difference in metro Detroit and Michigan.


    Consumers Energy Co. CEO Patti Poppe took a leadership role in Michigan in eliminating coal as an energy source, approving a strong policy on renewable energy production, adopting electric charging stations and autonomous vehicles as a major growth strategy and committing the company to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

    Earlier this year, Poppe led somewhat of a reversal of Consumers' energy policy when the company announced it would eliminate coal as an energy source, close its seven remaining coal plants, reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent and boost renewable energy production to 43 percent, all by 2040.

    Read the full article here.

    Tweet me:.@ConsumersEnergy CEO Patti Poppe recognized as one of the top newsmakers of 2018 after steering the company towards using #RenewableEnergy and creating an inclusive workplace via @crainsdetroit #DiversityandInclusion

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:CMS, Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy

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    SOURCE:LG Electronics USA, Inc.


    RPD Energy arranged the supply of wind energy and concurrent Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for five LG Electronics USA facilities in Texas, Illinois and New Jersey. The LG facilities are being served under the unique Purely Green affinity program partnership launched this year by RPD Energy, Intuit, Hudson Energy (the Commercial Division of Just Energy), and EDP Renewables.

    “LG applauds this innovative approach. Purely Green has removed common barriers to accessing renewable energy,” said John I. Taylor, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, LG Electronics USA. “RPD Energy and Hudson Energy created a unique structure that made it possible for LG to buy wind power on short-term contracts for these five distribution centers with economical pricing.”

    Click here to read the full release

    Tweet me:.@RenPowerDirect helps @LGUS power five more facilities with #RenewableEnergy through ‘Purely Green’ affinity program

    KEYWORDS: KRX:066570, LG Electronics, Purely Green, RPD Energy, Renewable energy certificates (RECs), Wind Energy, Hudson Energy, Intuit

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    SOURCE:Realized Worth


    Realized Worth is always on the lookout for great examples of employee volunteering and storytelling to share with our readers. On International Volunteer Day, we shared a video produced by Emirates NBD, a leading banking group and a leader in the practice of employee volunteering in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The video was produced to encourage UAE residents to “Give in to Giving” by giving time to volunteer in the community. 

    You can watch the video and read the blog at this link. Feel free to share it on Facebook or Linkedin! It’s a great example of how people around the world can come together in empathy for others and volunteering as an expression of our shared humanity.

    Realized Worth offers consulting on employee volunteering and giving programs. We are a global agency that specializes in program design, employee volunteer training, and employee engagement. Contact us to learn more!

    KEYWORDS: International Volunteer Day, Realized Worth, united arab emirates, uae

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    SOURCE:Amgen Foundation


    At the U.S. Amgen Scholars symposium at UCLA in July, an unexpected reunion occurred. When Janielle Cuala took the stage to explain her summer research at Caltech, Kristina Folta couldn’t believe her eyes: It was a friend of hers from Guam with whom she played rugby. “I was so excited to see someone else coming out of Guam and entering the STEM field,” Folta recalls.

    Coming from a small island nation, neither was expecting to see someone else from a U.S. island territory, let alone someone they knew. The excitement then grew when Cuala ran into another fellow islander she knew previously, Rebekah Loving, who grew up in a small, old sugar cane plantation village on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.

    The three Amgen Scholars felt bonded through their similar backgrounds. “As islanders, I think we share a different perspective of and history of community, family, and land,” Loving says. “Pacific Islanders love, cherish, and are proud of our heritage. We also share what it means to be far from family and friends to achieve the aspirations we have in science.”

    Indeed, all have traveled far to pursue scientific research, and all want to eventually return to their island communities to share their love of STEM and to help people through their research. “I want to get my Ph.D. in a biomedical area such as biochemistry,” Cuala says. “Eventually, after all my training and experience, I want to be able to go back to Guam to help expand STEM education there and give students the opportunities I was able to obtain.

    “I’m glad more and more Guam STEM students can participate in opportunities outside of Guam through programs like Amgen Scholars,” Cuala says, “but I think there is still a big gap in STEM education and opportunities available on Guam.”

    Says Folta: “I hope that there will be more scholars coming out of the U.S. territories, especially Saipan and Guam, because there is huge potential!”

    Read more about these three inspiring islanders in their interviews here:

    Janielle Cuala, Amgen Scholar 2018 Caltech  (with video)
    Rebekah Loving, Amgen Scholar 2018 University of California, Berkeley (with video)
    Kristina Folta, Amgen Scholar 2018 National Institutes of Health

    Tweet me:At the U.S. #AmgenScholars symposium at UCLA in July, an unexpected reunion occurred. Learn more from @AmgenFoundation

    KEYWORDS: Amgen, Amgen Scholars, Amgen Scholars Program, Amgen Foundation, UCLA, CalTech, Guam, STEM, STEM Education, Science, science education, Hamakua Coast, hawaii, Pacific Islanders, Saipan, Natioanl Institutes of Health

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    Acquisition will accelerate, expand Blackbaud’s solutions for companies with social commitment while cultivating new donors, volunteers, advocates for social good organizations

    SOURCE:Blackbaud Corporate Solutions


    CHARLESTON, S.C., January 2, 2019 /3BL Media/ — Blackbaud, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB), the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good, today announced the acquisition of YourCause™, a market leader in enterprise philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and employee engagement software.

    Blackbaud purchased YourCause for approximately $157 million and the acquisition closed Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

    YourCause stands out as an innovative, flexible and scalable software provider with a diverse customer portfolio, including Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike. Eight million people can currently engage with YourCause’s solution, which processes more than $245,000 in donations every business hour and has coordinated, tracked and rewarded more than 30 million volunteer hours for its customers.

    After implementing YourCause solutions, customers show as high as triple-digit growth in volunteers, donations, engagement and more. These reported successes demonstrate a larger trend: overall ability to attract employees and customers alike by strengthening a company’s reputation.

    “We understand that business success today is more than finances; it’s also critical to engage on social issues,” said Mike Gianoni, president and CEO of Blackbaud. “In a time where 84 percent1 of Americans believe businesses shoulder a responsibility to bring social change, providing those businesses with the right tools not only helps attract and retain customers and employees, but it helps to build a better world.”

    The newly combined footprint in corporate social responsibility and employee engagement positions Blackbaud as the industry leader in providing solutions to both nonprofit organizations and for-profit companies committed to social issues.

    “Together, we have a unique opportunity to innovate for the social good space at a larger scale and with greater velocity,” said Kevin McDearis, chief products officer at Blackbaud. “Combining YourCause’s comprehensive solutions for maximizing global social impact with Blackbaud’s unparalleled leadership in delivering cloud solutions for social good will enable companies around the world to create a culture that engages and inspires employees and customers, while driving business success and powering measurable outcomes.”

    YourCause’s Plano, Texas-based team of 155 employees will join Blackbaud. “The inspiration for YourCause began in 2007 with the story of a boy in war-torn Uganda who had suffered unimaginable tragedy, my desire to help, and my realization that the tools to connect individuals like myself to the causes and organizations needing support across the globe were lacking,” YourCause CEO Matthew Combs said. “Joining Blackbaud, the leader in the social good software space, will enable us to connect enterprises, individuals, and nonprofits to more efficiently support social causes of every size, anywhere in the world.”    

    In the near term, YourCause customers will benefit from Blackbaud’s longstanding connections to the nonprofit community and deep investments in research and development to accelerate innovation of the YourCause solutions they use today. Blackbaud customers will benefit from a marked expansion and acceleration of workplace giving and volunteering while building a source of new donors, volunteers and advocates. In the future, Blackbaud is eager to combine YourCause’s product vision with its own, align YourCause’s capabilities to Blackbaud’s technical standards, and introduce expanded innovation to the market.

    YourCause is headquartered in Plano, Texas. Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, with operations around the globe. For more information, visit

    Click to Tweet:Better together: @Blackbaud acquires market-leading corporate social responsibility provider @YourCause

    1Global Strategy Group’s ‘Business & Politics: Do They Mix?’ report

    About Blackbaud

    Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world's leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, companies, education institutions, healthcare organizations and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit, or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

    About YourCause

    YourCause is a Plano, Texas-based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) provider of the CSRconnect Employee Engagement Platform (“CSRconnect”) and the GrantsConnect Corporate and Foundation Grants Management Platform (“GrantsConnect”), an integrated, fully hosted solution for corporations to more effectively deploy and manage their employee giving, volunteering, disaster relief, grant management, fundraising, and overall corporate social responsibility and philanthropy programs. Ranked on the Inc. 5000 list for four consecutive years, and named a best place to work in Dallas, YourCause is rapidly expanding its operations through the ongoing deployment of end-to-end solutions for enterprises, nonprofits, and do-gooders. YourCause’s Transparent Giving model allows the company to maximize impact across its Global Good Network benefitting millions of nonprofits around the world. For more information, visit, or email

    Media Inquiries


    Forward-looking Statements

    Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this news release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Although Blackbaud attempts to be accurate in making these forward-looking statements, it is possible that future circumstances might differ from the assumptions on which such statements are based. In addition, other important factors that could cause results to differ materially include the following: general economic risks; uncertainty regarding increased business and renewals from existing customers; continued success in sales growth; management of integration of acquired companies and other risks associated with acquisitions; risks associated with successful implementation of multiple integrated software products; the ability to attract and retain key personnel; risks related to our dividend policy and share repurchase program, including potential limitations on our ability to grow and the possibility that we might discontinue payment of dividends; risks relating to restrictions imposed by the credit facility; risks associated with management of growth; lengthy sales and implementation cycles, particularly in larger organization; technological changes that make our products and services less competitive; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in the SEC filings for Blackbaud, copies of which are available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or upon request from Blackbaud’s investor relations department. All Blackbaud product names appearing herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.

    Tweet me:Better together: @Blackbaud acquires market-leading corporate social responsibility provider @YourCause

    KEYWORDS: Blackbaud, employee volunteering, employee giving, #CSR, #corporateresponsibility

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    by Sona Khosla, VP Marketing, Benevity



    The last two years have been a bit of an anomaly when it comes to giving back. With the 2016 election cycle, we saw a slew of newand important causes hit the top 10 charts, most notably human rights and humanitarian causes. But over the last year, and especially in the last few months, things appear to have changed. “Rage giving” seems to be waning as stalwart causes are resuming their top place in the ranks; but more importantly, there has been more talk than ever before about business becoming the force for good—both for society, but also for individual well-being.

    Sound like an alternate reality?


    Tweet me:These 6 significant moments in #CSR shifted business from “for profit” to “for purpose” via @benevity #ForGoodnessSake

    KEYWORDS: benevity, 2018 trends, corporate tax windfall, #givingtuesday, employee activism, Donation Matching, political activism, Missions, Benevity Engagement Study, employee retention, corporate purpose, Corporate Social Responsibility, csr, Rage giving, business for good

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  • 01/03/19--02:50: Biodiversity at NRG Energy
  • SOURCE:NRG Energy


    Biodiversity promotes healthy ecosystems and human interaction with nature. That’s why we designed our environmental policy to foster the protection of the natural habitats surrounding our generation sites. Protecting and promoting biodiversity ensures that living resources will remain in stable quantities in perpetuity. The air we breathe, leaves on trees and even a spider’s web serve important biodiversity functions. It is our obligation as a company and as employees to effectively use and protect all natural resources in a sustainable way.

    Learn more in the 2017 Sustainability Report

    Tweet me:#Biodiversity promotes healthy ecosystems and human interaction with nature @nrgenergy designed an environmental policy to foster the protection of the natural habitats surrounding generation sites

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:NRG, NRG Energy, biodiversity

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    Q&A with Arthur Skelskie, Moody's Senior Vice President of Corporate Services

    SOURCE:Moody's Corporation


    Read Moody's 2017 CSR Report

    We support our employees who share their expertise with the organizations and causes they’re passionate about. One of these employees is Arthur Skelskie, our Senior Vice President of Corporate Services, who has been a longtime volunteer and board member for the Cooke School & Institute, an organization that serves children with special needs in grades K–12. 

    Q: When did you begin volunteering for the Cooke School & Institute?

    ARTHUR: In 2011, I took a group there to volunteer. We set up the space to look like a grocery store. The kids were cashiers. We’d pick things up and give them money, all to teach them about personal finance. I remember going home that night and saying to my wife, “This school is unbelievable. The level of enthusiasm and excitement is so impressive.” It was a place where I really wanted to do more. The next day, I came into the office and asked the then President of Moody’s Foundation to help me explore the possibility of serving on the board. 

    Q: How have you helped them further their mission?

    ARTHUR: The Cooke School & Institute is all about helping these kids to live independent lives. A couple of years ago, some of the administrators were worried that their state-of-the-art curriculum wasn’t supported by state-of-the-art facilities. They were in dreary hundred-year-old buildings with barely working heating and air conditioning. It wasn’t a setup for solid learning. I’m a real estate guy by background. That’s what I know about in the world. So I’m helping them build a new consolidated school, figuring out how to fund and design the facility. 

    Q: What motivates you to share your time and skills?

    ARTHUR: People always ask me why I’m involved with the Cooke School & Institute. I don’t have kids or relatives with learning disabilities. It’s just what I do. I have these skills in real estate and finance, and not everyone has them. If I can share them with a school to support these kids’ learning, that’s a powerful way to extend Moody’s expertise to benefit the community. The administrators always thank me. And I always say, “It’s nothing special. This is what I do for a living — I know how to help.”

    Read Moody's 2017 CSR Report

    Tweet me:Putting specialized skills to work for non-profits: Arthur Skelskie @MoodysCorp's helping The Cooke School & Institute build a new consolidated school, figuring out how to fund and design the facility, with his background in real estate. #MoodysCSR

    KEYWORDS: moodys, helping nonprofits with skills, csr, NYSE: MCO

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    Annual grant program will increase youth garden development nationwide



    MARYSVILLE, Ohio, January 3, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Today, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation announced the opening of its Gro More Grassroots Grants with KidsGardening, inviting schools and nonprofit organizations from across the country to apply for funds to support their youth garden programs. The Grassroots Grants initiative, now in its ninth year, will focus its support on garden and greenspace projects that connect more children with the life-enhancing and transformative benefits of gardening.

    The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation’s emphasis to support more youth garden programs comes at a critical time. The challenges facing today’s youngest generation are significant, and problems with children’s social, mental and physical health are on the rise. However, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and KidsGardening believe strongly in the positive effects that gardening can have on a child’s life, including increased emotional well-being, love of fresh fruits and vegetables, more physical activity and better academic performance.

    “Our work with communities over the past decade has allowed us to see firsthand the positive experiences that gardening can bring to young children,” said Jim King, president and chairman of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation. “From directly connecting kids with nature to giving them increased access to fresh food, now more than ever, it’s our responsibility to help connect more children with the powerful benefits of gardens.”

    Edible gardens to pollinator habitats, urban farms to sensory gardens, the Gro More Grassroots Grants will support all types of community-driven garden and greenspace projects that directly engage youth. Grant funding will support the creation of new gardens and also the expansion of existing ones. The 2019 application is available now at

    “We strive  to give parents and educators the tools they need to get more kids playing, learning, and growing in a garden, ”  said Helen Rortvedt, executive director of KidsGardening. “We hear everyday about shovel-ready youth garden programs in need of support, and we are thrilled to work with The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation to support so many worthy programs across the country this year. If your youth garden program needs resources, we can’t wait to read your application.”

    The Gro More Grassroots Grant application will be open until February 15, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. EST. 175 grants, ranging from $500 to $1,000, will be awarded based on youth engagement, community impact, and sustainability, among other factors. Winners will be announced on the first day of spring, March 20, 2019. For more information, visit

    About The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation

    The mission of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is to inspire, connect and cultivate a community of purpose. The Foundation is deeply rooted in helping create healthier communities, empower the next generation, and preserve our planet. The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization that funds non-profit entities that support its core initiatives in the form of grants, endowments and multi-year capital gifts. For more information, visit

    About KidsGardening

    Our mission is to ensure all kids have access to a garden in which to play, learn and grow, engaging their natural curiosity and wonder. We inspire, support and connect educators and families by providing garden grants, lessons and curriculum, and by cultivating a community of practice. For more information, visit



    Lindsay LaSala
    The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation
    937-644-7621 (office)
    937-516-2732 (mobile)

    Tweet me:The @Scotts_MGro Foundation teams up with @Kids_Gardening to launch the Grassroots #Grants program! Find out how community gardening could help children nationwide:

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:SMG, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, Gro More Grassroots Grants, KidsGardening, Scotts Miracle-Gro, community gardening


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    SOURCE:Ethical Corporation


    January 3, 2019 /3BL Media/ - A leading US Treasurer, Kurt Summers, City of Chicago will share the stage with the Mayors of Hoboken and New Bedford to discuss the role of cities in the fight against climate change. Treasurer Summers runs 100% of Chicago’s corporate investments through an ESG filter and will be providing valuable insight on how to deliver the city of the future.

    Treasurer Summers will be joining CEOs and business leaders from North America’s most innovative, responsible brands to discuss how to lead the change to a sustainable future through investments, collaboration and innovation at Ethical Corporation’s Responsible Business Summit New York, March 18-19.

    The two-day conference, taking place March 18-19, will host 500 CEOs, business leaders, investors, government representatives and NGOs from the likes of;

    • Jostein Solheim, executive vice president, F&R, Unilever
    • Satya Tripathi, assistant secretary-general, UN Environment
    • Ernesto Ciorra, chief innovability officer, Enel
    • John Kern, senior vice president, supply chain operations, Cisco
    • Chairman & CEO, Cummins
    • Marilyn Ceci, managing director, head of green bonds, J.P. Morgan
    • Andy Pharoah, vice president, corporate affairs, strategic initiatives & sustainability, Mars
    • Virginie Helias, vice president global sustainability, P&G
    • John Hocevar, ocean campaign director, Greenpeace

    Public-private partnerships are essential in tackling the unprecedented environmental threats that the planet faces. It’s up to businesses, investors, NGOs and local and state governments to step up when others aren’t showing leadership. Shape the future and collaborate with the best at #RBSNY19

    The latest agenda, along with the up-to-date speaker line-up, can be seen here.

    The Responsible Business Summit is the USA’s premier platform where senior practitioners from across the country meet and share practical ideas on how their businesses can lead the change to a new sustainable future. There is no fluff, just actionable insights and honest discussions on the challenges and opportunities ahead.

    More information about the event can be found here. Currently, passes for the event our discounted by $400. To confirm a place at next year’s event click here.

    For further details contact Ed Long, Project Director at Ethical Corporation at or call +44 (0) 207 375 7188.


    Ethical Corporation’s mission is to help businesses around the globe do the right thing by their customers and the world. We believe this is not only how to ensure a future for all but makes good business sense. We serve CSR, compliance, risk and governance communities with topical and insightful business intelligence and meeting places.

    We provide business intelligence to more than 3,000 multinational companies every year. Our customers are also NGOs, think-tanks, academia, governments and consultancies. We publish the leading responsible business magazine, website, and research reports. Our conferences are widely recognized as the best in the field.

    KEYWORDS: Ethical Corporation, Responsible Business Summit New York, Responsible Business Summit, Kurt Summers, Chicago, Partnership

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    Symantec Cyber Career Connection offers numerous ways to get involved and make a difference



    In addition to supporting causes they care about through nonprofit board service and volunteering, many of our employees are concerned with the lack of diversity in the tech industry and with the shortage of trained workers to fill vacant cyber security roles. 

    With 3.5 million unfilled cyber security positions expected by 2021[I] we need a pipeline of educated and prepared workers ready to defend organizations, governments and people from ever-evolving digital threats. 

    We also need this workforce to include more women and people of color. Women made up just 20 percent of the global cyber security workforce in 2018,[ii] and in the U.S. only 9 percent of cyber security workers identified as African American or Black, 4 percent as Hispanic, and 1 percent as American Indian or Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander in 2018.[iii]

    As the world’s largest cyber security company, we are uniquely positioned to lead an effort to close the industry workforce gap with diverse, well-trained talent.

    We created the Symantec Cyber Career Connection (C3) to address the significant shortage of qualified cyber security candidates and to help change the trajectory of the tech workforce—specifically for women, underrepresented minorities, and veterans. 

    Working in collaboration with our non-profit educational training partners Year UpNPower, and The Stride Center, Symantec C3 is purposefully designed to produce entry-level cyber security professionals. The program combines classroom-based training that prepares students for key certifications with meaningful hands-on internship experience and support for job placement. 

    The Symantec C3 program offers numerous ways for our employees, organizations, and individuals to make a difference. 

    3 easy ways for Symantec employees to get involved with Symantec C3

    Not a Symantec employee? Scroll down for ways to get involved as an organization or individual

    1- Become a mentor – technical skills not required!

    Beginning a career in cyber security isn’t just about learning the technology. Learning how to communicate, collaborate, negotiate, and network effectively are important skills to make the most of any career. Many Symantec C3 students come from non-traditional backgrounds and employees in our Herndon office are making a difference through mentoring

    Mentorship is an especially personal way to impact a young adult’s life. There is flexibility to mentor either in person and/or virtually. Contact Symantec’s CR team to learn more about becoming a mentor.

    2- Host an intern!

    Following classroom training, students apply what they have learned in internships in business settings. Symantec C3 students have had successful internships with leading companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft, eBay, Autodesk, TD Ameritrade, Morgan Stanley, and Gap, Inc. with many of these internships turning into full time employment.

    This year, we hosted two Year Up interns in our Mountain View office and six in our Herndon office and beginning in January, we will also have two Year Up interns in our Tempe, AZ office for the first time.

    3- Participate in a field trip! Speak on a panel, give a tour, or help with resumes and interview skills. Next fieldtrip: January 23 in Mountain View

    We host Symantec C3 students from Year Up, NPower, and The Stride Center at our offices several times a year for field trips. In 2018, 60 Symantec employees volunteered by sharing their experience on a career panel, showing off our data lab, helping run mock interviews and reviewing student resumes. 

    For Michelle Losenicky, Senior Principal Program Manager at Symantec, participating in a Symantec C3 field trip was a great experience. “It’s really exciting and motivating to work with people who have made a decision that will not only change their career trajectory but their lives and the lives of their families, possibly for generations. Couple that with the fact we’re helping to close the technology workforce gap and you have the ultimate win-win situation! Whether I’m helping with mock interviews or sharing about my role in a security software company, it’s fun to teach, connect and share. And who knows, they might even be a future Symantec colleague of mine one day!,” she said.

    Volunteer at our upcoming Symantec C3 fieldtrip visit on January 23 in Mountain View! 

    Contact Symantec’s CR team to sign up and stay tuned for more Symantec C3 volunteer opportunities coming in the new fiscal year!

    3 easy ways for organizations and individuals to get involved with Symantec C3

    1- Host an intern at your company

    Symantec C3 training partners provide the technical certifications and training but nothing compares to real-world experience. You can help by providing internship opportunities in which program participants will grow their skills through practical application and on-the-job training. 

    Symantec C3 students have interned at more than 115 companies, 20 percent of which are in the Fortune 500. Contact our training partners Year UpNPower and The Stride Center to bring an intern to your office.

    2- Hire a graduate

    Qualified, diverse candidates are graduating from the Symantec C3 program and ready to help fill high-demand, hard to fill cyber security roles. Graduates leave the program prepared to succeed in their careers and to help solve today's cyber security challenges.

    To hire our graduates, please connect with us on Twitter at @SymantecC3 and LinkedIn, where we also share industry news, best practices and other resources.

    3- Become a mentor

    Our educational partners need mentors to help young adults navigate new experiences and shape their careers. Mentoring is an extremely flexible volunteering commitment that anyone can take part in – either in person or from your place of work, home, or both. All you need is your expertise, skills and most importantly dedication to share what you have learned. 

    Learn more about how to get involved in mentoring with Year UpNPower and The Stride Center.

    YOU can help close the diversity gap in tech

    To date Symantec C3 has achieved a 79 percent graduation rate, with 82 percent of graduates employed in cyber security or pursing additional degrees within six months of graduation. Seventy-onepercent of graduatesare under-represented minorities in technology and 25percent of our graduates are female. 

    We are creating the workforce of tomorrow and helping to close the cyber security gap by investing in the training of the future generation of STEM professionals. We hope you’ll join us.

    Learn more at Symantec C3’s website and contact the Corporate Responsibility team at to get involved


    [ii]https://cyber security/


    Tweet me:Learn how YOU can help close the diversity gap in tech with @SymantecC3

    KEYWORDS: NASDAQ:SYMC, Symantec, symantec cyber career connection, c3, diversity in tech


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    State Adoption of Math Techbook Empowers School Systems to Integrate Engaging Digital Curriculum Into Teaching and Learning

    SOURCE:Discovery Education


    SILVER SPRING, Md., January 3, 2019 /3BL Media/–Following a comprehensive evaluation, the South Carolina State Board of Education has approved the Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 editions of Discovery Education’s Math Techbook for statewide use as a core instructional resource through its state adoption process. South Carolina’s adoption of the Math Techbook empowers the state’s school systems to use State Board of Education approved instructional materials funding to purchase and integrate this innovative digital curriculum into teaching and learning.

    Currently used by approximately 5.6 million students across all 50 states and Canada, Discovery Education’s award-winning Techbooks are fully interactive, comprehensive digital textbooks.  Updated regularly at no cost, the South Carolina Math Techbook is 100 percent aligned to South Carolina College-and Career-Ready Standards for Mathematics and provides educators detailed lesson plans, embedded formative assessments, hands-on activities, digital simulations, and robust teacher supportsthat immerse students in instruction.

    Through interactive features that change the reading level of text and enable text to be read aloud, the Math Techbook encourages all learners. The Math Techbook adopted by the state of South Carolina also connects students to mathematics through real-world problems worth solving, combines conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and application to help all students develop a long-lasting mastery of mathematics.  The Math Techbook has been independently verified by to meet the highest levels of mathematical content and pedagogy.

    “The South Carolina State Board of Education’s adoption of the Math Techbook will help educators make math more exciting and engaging for students across the state,” said Vice President of Education Partnerships Rob Warren.  “The team at Discovery Education thanks the Board of Education for their rigorous review of the Math Techbook, and we look forward to working with South Carolina’s teachers and administrators to bring this exciting digital curriculum to students.”

    The Math Techbook is the latest Discovery Education digital curriculum to be approved by the South Carolina State Board of Education. In 2016, the state adopted the Chemistry and Physics editions of the Science Techbook and 2015, the elementary and middle school Discovery Education Science Techbook courses, as well as the Biology course for high school, were adopted.

    Educators using the Math Techbook will be supported by the Discovery Education Community as they transform students’ learning experiences with dynamic digital media. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing and inspiration.

    For more information about Discovery Education other digital resources and professional learning services, visit, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.


    About Discovery Education:
    As the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum and content for K-12 classrooms worldwide, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving more than 5 million educators and 51 million students, Discovery Education’s services are available in approximately half of U.S. classrooms and primary schools in the UK, and more than 90 countries around the globe. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Explore the future of education at

    Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
    Maria José Sanabria, Discovery Education

    Tweet me:South Carolina’s State Board of Education (@EducationSC) Approves @DiscoveryEd’s #MathTechbook for Statewide Use #EdTech #DigitalInnovation #DigitalInclusion

    KEYWORDS: discovery education, South Carolina, Math Techbook

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    by Zoe So, Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa

    SOURCE:Whole Foods Market Foundations


    We are excited to introduce Bidhaa Sasa, Whole Planet Foundation’s newest microfinance partner in Kenya. Bidhaa Sasa sells, delivers, and finances beneficial products to low income populations in rural areas. Our team likes their client-centric approach to affordable credit, responsive customer service, and attention to internal systems.

    Bidhaa Sasa means “Products now!” in Kiswahili. All of their products are selected for their productive time and money savings benefits, and are priced under 10,000 Kenyan shillings, or roughly $100. They currently offer solar products, gas and efficient cookstoves, and maize drying tarps. And they are continuing to test new products to add to the mix.  Since they first launched in 2015, Bidhaa Sasa has sold a total of 12,000 products. Whole Planet Foundation support will help Bidhaa Sasa reach 4,920 new borrowers access these beneficial products.

    To learn more about how Bidhaa Sasa works, I spent some time shadowing their field staff in Webuye, western Kenya. I learned they spend a lot of time traveling far distances on foot, matatu (mini-van bus), and boda (motorcycle taxi), to provide a high level of customer service to clients. When staff deliver products to clients, they also take the time to walk through all the features of the product and review the loan terms. Bidhaa Sasa staff also go directly to their clients’ homes or businesses within a few days of receiving complaints about faulty products. They will sit with the client to test the faulty product, and try to fix it on the spot with spare parts. If the problem cannot be fixed, they might give the client a new product immediately.

    During our rounds I had a chance to meet Humphrey, who is a repeat customer and a group leader. Humphrey has taken loans for a Jiko Bora, a gas cooker, and a canvas tarp for drying maize. As a group leader, Humphrey plays a very important role as a liaison between Bidhaa Sasa field staff and other clients. Group Leaders help provide information and demonstrate products to interested borrowers, motivate groups, and recruit new members. Leaders are given small bonuses for their efforts, based on group formation, new clients recruited, and completed loan payments.

    Humphrey has a store where he sells various daily products. He keeps the gas cookstove he bought from Bidhaa Sasa at his kiosk as a demonstration product in case any of his shop customers might be interested in purchasing their own. He says the stove has helped him save time and money, so he can dedicate more energy to his business. As I chatted with him, a few of his shop customers stopped by. One customer had also bought a gas cooker from Bidhaa Sasa after learning about it from Humphrey. She uses her gas cooker to cook food which she sells at a market in a nearby town.

    In recent years, there has been a lively debate about the impact of investing in the energy access sector.  Investors are taking a deeper look at the tricky balance between cost, scale, and quality of service to rural clients; and the relationship between such household items and incomes. To address the first set of questions, many last mile asset distribution companies are relying on technology to manage their loans, such as the PayGo mechanism which enables remote switch-off of products if there is a late payment. Bidhaa Sasa has decided to focus on a high level of human interaction, social networks, and group cohesion methodologies. At Whole Planet Foundation, we have partnered with companies who are trying different innovative approaches to delivering credit services to bottom of the pyramid clients. Whether the model is high technology or high touch, traditional microfinance or asset finance, we have found the fundamental principles of responsible finance remain the same: a commitment to accessibility, affordability, transparency, and customer service.

    Tweet me:Meet Bidhaa Sasa, the @WholePlanet partner who sells, delivers, and finances beneficial products to low income populations in rural areas across Kenya. #microfinance

    KEYWORDS: Whole Foods Market, Whole Foods Market Foundations, whole planet foundation, Bidhaa Sasa, Kenya, Kiswahili, WPF, PayGo


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    SOURCE:Whirlpool Corporation


    Whirlpool Corporation makes a difference in the lives of families through the products we make and the actions we take. Looking back on 2018 with sincere thanks to our employees who impact the global communities where we reside.

    Link to Video

    Tweet me:Whirlpool Corporation makes a difference in the lives of families through the products they make and the actions they take. Looking back on 2018 with sincere thanks to their employees who impact the global communities where they reside.

    KEYWORDS: whirlpool corporation, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Whirlpool Foundation, Boys & Girls Club, Jimmy Carter Work Project, Cook for the Cure, Community Day, womens consulate institute, sons and daughters scholarships, kitchenaid day of caring, disaster relief

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    By Terry Nelidov, Managing Director of Erb Institute | Business for Sustainability

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


    Erb Faculty Director Joe Árvai and I took Erb on the road in November—to India!

    India is one of the institute’s priority emerging markets for sustainability impact, and we’ve been working with the India Centre for Responsible Business (CRB) to develop a partnership for research, teaching and business-engagement opportunities. Erb sponsored CRB’s annual “India and Sustainability Standards” conference this year, and Joe and I were asked to speak at the November 14-16 event in Delhi.

    The conference brought together some 300 participants from companies, nonprofits, academia, government and multilateral organizations. With nearly 40 plenary and breakout sessions, the discussion covered a broad range of social, environmental, labor and human-rights issues. However, three themes in particular stood out for me from the overall discussion.

    The SDGs continue to gain momentum
    First, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) continue to gain momentum, not only among governments and nonprofits, but also among companies. This was never the case with the previous Millennium Development Goals, which were designed and delivered with little input from the private sector. The SDGs provided the basic framework for the three-day conference. Joe built the SDGs into his plenary presentation on better decisions for a better world, and I was a speaker on a plenary panel discussing multi-sector partnerships for SDG implementation.  

    Speaking of which, implementation was my second takeaway from the conference. Judging from discussion at this and last year’s conference, the dialogue on business sustainability in India is on the verge of cycling past the “Why does this matter?” to the “How do we do it?”, especially among company managers and executives. Of course, all this is easier said than done! There are many examples of companies talking about how their day-to-day business models support this or that SDG. However, the bigger challenge is “additionality”—how to proactively target specific SDGs for impact ahead of time, instead of mapping company impacts to the goals after the fact, and then filling in the gaps with a “sustainability journey.” Joe and I talked about this in the session we did on sustainability executive education, in which we outlined Erb’s management tools and decision-making frameworks for sustainability strategy.

    Cross-sector partnerships
    Third, cross-sector partnerships were a central theme throughout the CRB conference. Erb teamed up with CRB, Aston School of Management and the Indian Institute of Management to conduct a roundtable on business-academic collaboration during the conference. Deep, rigorous research was the central collaboration opportunity discussed, with the caveat that it’s often a challenge to align academic research questions with companies’ practical—and immediate—needs for business solutions today. Erb will continue this discussion through future roundtables in this series, which began with our inaugural roundtable at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September.

    On the last night of the conference, Erb convened an alumni event with Erb and other University of Michigan alumni. Joe and I gave updates on the institute, our partner schools, and the rising profile of sustainability at U-M. We and the attendees ended up talking about what’s happening in Ann Arbor as well as what’s happening in India—especially the apocalyptic air pollution that week in Delhi, which had been top of mind to everyone in attendance. A small group of Erb alumni will meet early in the new year to explore whether there’s an opportunity—big or small—for our alumni to contribute to a solution.

    Read more stories on the Erb Perspectives Blog.

    Tweet me:READ: Getting ahead of the curve in proactively targeting #SDGs for impact. @erbinstitute Managing Director @TerryNelidov & Faculty Director Joe Árvai speak at India & #Sustainability Standards @DecisionLab @Centre4RespBiz #sustainablebusiness

    KEYWORDS: university of michigan, Erb Institute, Joe Arvai, Terry Nelidov, India Centre for Responsible Business, Aston School of Management, Indian Institute of Management, Business Sustainability


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