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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version

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    New WEC board appointments continue accelerating global sustainability solutions

    SOURCE:World Environment Center


    The World Environment Center’s (WEC) Board of Directors has elected the following individuals as its Officers.  

    WEC’s outgoing Chair, Francisco Suárez Hernández, Director, New Business Initiatives, Coca-Cola FEMSA, commented that “he has been honored to lead the organization for the last three years and is confident in the future of our programs and governance given the strength and leadership profile of the new officers.”

    Kelly Semrau of SC Johnson, Chair
    Kelly assumes the role of Chair with over 25 years of experience in sustainability, public and governmental policy, public affairs, and overall corporate social responsibility.  Kelly is Senior Vice President - Global Corporate Affairs, Communications & Sustainability at SC Johnson.  She also sits on the Board of Trustees as the Vice Chairman and President of SC Johnson Giving, Inc., on the board of Directors of American Cleaning Institute, and on the Board of Household & Commercial Products Association.  Kelly earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from Bradley University.

    W. Scott Tew, Vice-Chair
    W. Scott Tew is the founder and Executive of the Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability at Ingersoll Rand (CEES), which supports the company’s strategic brands – Club Car, Ingersoll Rand, Trane and Thermo King – and is responsible for forward-looking sustainability initiatives. Scott holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Science and Ecology from Livingston University.

    C. Scott Fulton, Secretary
    Scott Fulton is the President of the Environmental Law Institute.  Previously, Mr. Fulton was Principal at the environmental law firm Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., and served as General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Scott holds a doctor of law degree from University of South Carolina School of Law and an undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amhurst.

    Carol Ryererk Powell, Treasurer
    Carol serves as the Global Head and Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability at Bristol Myers-Squibb.  Carol has a unique ability to drive behavior and cultural change to deliver results. She specializes in US and international regulations and application.  Carol received her graduate degree in finance from Berry College and undergraduate degrees from Illinois State University and Iowa State University.

    The Board expressed great appreciation for the leadership provided by Francisco Suárez Hernández, Director, New Business Initiatives, Coca-Cola FEMSA our outgoing Chair who will serve an additional year as a Board member.  The Board also thanks Liz Maw, President & CEO, NetImpact (USA) our ex-officio Treasurer who has completed her term of service.

    Two new Board members and the 2019 Officers join these continuing Board members:  Francisco Suárez Hernández, Director, New Business Initiatives, Coca-Cola FEMSA (MEXICO); C. Scott Fulton, Attorney at Law, Environmental Law Institute (USA), Kelly M. Semrau, , SC Johnson (United States); Mr. Mike Barry, Director of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer (UNITED KINGDOM); Mr. Sergio Kato, Corporate Vice President, Sustainable Management, Ricoh (JAPAN); Mr. John Mogge Director, Federal Solutions and Technology, Buildings, Infrastructure, and Advanced Facilities, Jacobs (USA); Ms. Carol Ryerkerk Powell, Global Head and Vice President, Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability, Bristol-Myers Squibb (USA);  Ms. Isabel Studer, Executive Director for Mexico and Northern Central America, The Nature Conservancy (MEXICO); Mr. Scott Tew, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability, Ingersoll Rand (USA); Mr. Rupert Thomas, Vice President for Environment, Royal Dutch Shell  (UNITED KINGDOM), Emilio Tenuta, Vice President, Corporate Sustainability, Ecolab (United States), Ms. Sheryl Telford, Vice-President Environment, Health Safety & Corporate Responsibility, The Chemours Company (USA).

    About the World Environment Center
    WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to accelerate sustainability solutions through innovation, thought leadership and public-private collaboration. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive-level learning and competency in applying sustainable development across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany.

    Follow us on Twitter @WorldEnvCenter, Facebook (@WorldEnvironmentCenter) and LinkedIn


    Tweet me:New @WorldEnvCenter board appointments continue accelerating global #sustainability solutions #boardmember

    KEYWORDS: World Environment Center


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    Dedicating one of the largest, solar-powered water treatment plants in Liberia and West Africa

    SOURCE:Tetra Tech


    On November 28, 2018, community officials, the Liberian government, and officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) celebrated the dedication of the Sanniquellie City water treatment plant. As part of the USAID Liberia Municipal Water Project (LMWP), Tetra Tech designed a solar-powered water treatment plant and public distribution system, placing kiosks within 500 meters of homes to reduce the time families spend collecting water to under 30 minutes. This is one of the largest solar-powered treatment plants in Liberia and West Africa.

    The dedication ceremony was a symbolic hand-off from USAID to the Liberia Water and Sewer Company (LWSC), showing the community that the new water system will sustain their need for clean water for years to come and provide them the basic human right they deserve. Tetra Tech will continue to provide operation and maintenance oversight for the next two years to ensure the success of the plant.

    “The objective of the dedication is to show the local community that the system is for them, that the benefit of the system is for the local economy and to ensure people have access to clean and safe water,” said Safaa Fakorede, LMWP Chief of Party. “It’s critical for them to have interest in the management, for them to pay their bills to maintain the system, to raise awareness within the local community for the public health benefits, and to protect the infrastructure.”

    "This project today turned around 90 percent of our citizens from drinking unsafe water to drinking safe water, so we are grateful."

    —Varney Sirleaf, Liberian Minister of Internal Affairs

    The water treatment plant was transferred to the Liberian water utility, LWSC, through a public-private partnership with a private operator—Pump and Tank Maintenance Company—to achieve cost recovery and self-reliance. This system ringfences most of the revenue within the local water sector to fund further development and new water connections. During the ceremony, Minister Sirleaf said to the residents, “I want you to look at this as your own. You are in charge.”

    Tetra Tech involved the community from the first day of work on LMWP. From performing a needs assessment to boosting water consumption and sales, the community led the project development. Tetra Tech also formed local steering committees (LSCs) with 10 community members representing each subculture.

    Deddeh Kollie, the LSC Chairperson said, “We made sure the locals from the community were going to benefit from the project. And there’s been a great change because it hasn’t just benefited water, it benefited our skills and increased our incomes. Some built their own houses, some own land, and some are running businesses in the marketplace all because of the project.”

    The community will continue to play a dynamic role in the longevity of the project. The LSCs have signed on to monitor and evaluate the private operator’s ability to maintain the facilities. The LSCs provide a third layer of checks and balances between the public-private partnership, safeguarding USAID’s investment, inhibiting further corruption, and ensuring long-term self-reliance. “This process is key for the water sector to reach self-reliance, because it’s targeting sustainability, the hallmark for the project,” said Safaa.

    Tweet me:.@TetraTech joins @USAID to celebrate sustainable water treatment plant in #Liberia:

    KEYWORDS: Tetra Tech


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    SOURCE:CLP Group


    The CLP Group has joined a new business drive in scaling up climate action and impact to help keep the climate innovation and collaboration momentum going beyond the recent United Nations climate change summit concluded in Poland.

    In last month’s conference, nearly 200 governments agreed a set of rules to put the landmark Paris Agreement into action, which was to help the countries implement their commitments and track their progress towards the common goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

    Riding on COP24, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the New Energy Solutions project, which aims to scale up pre-commercial and/or proven low carbon technologies to accelerate deployment across the power, transport, industry and buildings sectors by facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration.

    The project brings together energy providers including CLP, energy users from business sectors as well as engineering, business and financial knowledge providers to identify and implement solutions that help companies transition to low carbon energy sources in line with the Paris Agreement.

    The latest work of the project is “New Energy Solutions for 1.5°C - Pathways and technologies to achieve the Paris Agreement”, which presents collective viewpoints on the energy transition across four key sectors: power, transport, industry and buildings.

    Furthermore, the project members are analysing business cases for existing low carbon energy solutions with the aim of helping energy users conduct rapid assessments of technology options and understand the cross-sectoral partnerships that can facilitate their work.

    The New Energy Solutions project is a key part of the WBCSD’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi), which has been bringing businesses together since 2015 to accelerate the development and deployment of low carbon solutions.

    In an effort to catalyse the transformation, CLP has also been participating in REscale and Emobility projects under LCTPi. As highlighted in the latest progress report, “Going further, faster”, REscale has succeeded in establishing regional forums to promote corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) for renewables while the global Emobility project has set up a national REmobility platform in India to promote corporate uptake of electric vehicles.

    On the knowledge-sharing front, last year’s REscale publications on financial accounting of PPAs and innovative structures for PPAs have been downloaded over 20,000 times across 90 countries.

    Tweet me:Learn more about the low carbon solutions and the collective #ClimateAction involving #CLPGroup and other businesses unveiled in @wbcsd #NewEnergySolutions and #LCTPi reports. #CLPsustainability #COP24

    KEYWORDS: CLP Group, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD, New Energy Solutions project, Paris Agreement, LCTPi, Low Carbon Technology Partnerships, REscale, Emobility, HKSE:0002.HK


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    Give feedback on the draft of the first global standard on tax disclosure to make sure it meets your needs.


    Public information on tax and payments to governments by companies is often difficult to find and understand. But there has been a growing call for tax transparency around the world. Stakeholders including investors, governments, civil society organizations, media, and the public, are asking for more corporate reporting on tax.

    To respond to this call for transparency, the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) appointed a multi-stakeholder Technical Committee of experts to develop the first global disclosures on tax and payments to governments. The Committee began its work to develop a draft GRI Standard on Tax and Payments to Governments in January 2018. The draft is now available for review and public comment.

    Tax and payments to governments are a key mechanism by which organizations contribute to the economies of the countries in which they operate. If they seek to minimize the amount of taxes paid in a place, this can affect governments’ ability to finance vital public infrastructure and services, which is felt the most in developing countries. Greater disclosure on tax and payments will allow for more informed public debate, creating an environment for better policy development and investment decisions. At the same time, improved transparency could promote trust and credibility in the taxation system while discouraging organizations from engaging in aggressive tax avoidance practices. 

    The draft Standard makes a pioneering stride in tax transparency by combining management approach disclosures on tax strategy, with country-by-country reporting of an organization’s business activities and taxes paid. 

    Currently, multinational enterprises are obliged to disclose information about their tax position in their financial accounts. Public country-by-country reporting will move reporting a step further and increase transparency on the geographical distribution of an organization’s financial, economic and tax data. This could allow stakeholders to gain a better understanding of possible intra-group profit shifting activities aimed at tax saving in certain jurisdictions. 

    Organizations also stand to gain from more transparent tax reporting. Corporate reporting on tax can be a means for organizations to increase their trustworthiness and accountability in the eyes of both their stakeholders and employees, and to strengthen their position in relation to the sustainable development agenda by contributing to the countries in which they operate through tax and payments to governments.

    Where and how to give feedback?

    The GSSB is looking for feedback to help make tax reporting more transparent and accessible to a wider range of stakeholders. If you are a reporting organization, tell us if the draft Standard is clear and feasible to report on. If you are a stakeholder looking to use the reported data, tell us if the draft Standard will deliver the valuable information you need to make sound assessments about an organization’s tax approach. 

    The draft GRI Standard will be out for public comment until 15 March 2019. During this period, GRI will offer free webinars where stakeholders can learn more about what is included.

    Have more questions about the development of the draft Standard or what happens after the public comment period? Visit the project page to find out more or send us an email at

    Tweet me:You can now provide feedback on @GRI_Secretariat's draft reporting Standard on Tax & Payments to Governments:

    KEYWORDS: GRI, global reporting initiative, GRI Standards, sustainability reporting, SDG Reporting, tax

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    This season, Hallmark presented a diverse cast for its popular holiday films

    SOURCE:Hallmark Corporation


    This year, Hallmark featured a largely African-American cast for its coveted Hallmark Hall of Fame premiere, “Christmas Everlasting.” The plot follows the premise that makes all Hallmark movies so successful—a beautiful woman returns home at the holidays and finds love when she least expects it. In this case, the woman is Tatyana Ali, best known for starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and a strong supporting cast including singer, actress, and entrepreneur Patti La Belle and Dennis Haysbert (“24,” Allstate Insurance commercials).

    Adding more actors of color to movies has been a priority for the Hallmark networks during the past few years, and this year saw a notable step in those efforts paying off for audiences.

    Read more about Hallmark's lineup of diverse holiday films here.

    Tweet me:'Christmas Everlasting' is just one of the many @Hallmark films this season that featured a more diverse cast #diversityandinclusion #hallmarkmovies

    KEYWORDS: Christmas Everlasting, William Abbott CEO, Crown Media Family Networks, Hallmark, Hallmark Corporation, Hallmark Channel, IBT Times, Patti LaBelle Hallmark Movie, Hallmark Movies, Tatyana Ali, Michelle Vicary

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  • 01/04/19--02:00: Never Too Old for Family
  • The importance of adopting teenagers

    SOURCE:Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption


    Every child, no matter their age or the circumstances of their journey through foster care, is adoptable. In a recent article for Adoptive Families magazine, our President & CEO, Rita Soronen, shares common myths and realities about adopting teens and older children.

    Read more on the Adoptive Families Magazine website


    Tweet me:.@DTFA CEO @rsoronen ‏on the importance of offering a home to teenagers through adoption. Read the full Q & A on @AdoptionCircle #FindingForeverFamilies #Adoption

    KEYWORDS: Dave Thomas, foster care, adoption, Recruiter, forever family, Wendy’s, National Adoption Month, Instant Family, Mark Wahlberg, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Adoptive Families, Magazine, gift, family, Giving, holiday

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    The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation is cultivating the health and well-being of the next-generation from the ground up. We’re supporting garden programs, like the one at La Bajada Youth Farm in Dallas, Texas, to connect more children to the life-enhancing benefits of gardens.

    Starting January 2, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation will support schools and nonprofit organizations across the country in bringing a garden to their community through our Grassroots Grants with KidsGardening.

    To learn more about the Grassroots Grants program and to apply, visit .

    To learn more about The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation and our work to connect more children with the benefits of gardens, visit

    Tweet me:WATCH: Sisters Aide and Laura share how gardening brings them joy! Discover how The @Scotts_MGro Foundation is helping to grow a healthier generation from the ground up: #GardenStories

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:SMG, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation, Scotts Miracle-Gro, La Bajada Youth Farm, Grassroots Grants, KidsGardening


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    SOURCE:Schneider Electric


    Schneider Electric has unveiled “Schneider Electric Ventures”, which identifies, nurtures and supports innovations contributing to future sustainability and energy efficiency.

    Schneider Electric Ventures supports innovation through funding, incubation and partnerships.

    The firm has committed to invest between 300 and 500 million euros in incubation projects, partnerships with entrepreneurs, and specialised funds in the coming years.

    Click here to read the full article

    Tweet me:.@SchneiderElec unveils #SchneiderElectric Ventures, which supports innovations contributing to #sustainability and #EnergyEfficiency via @SmartEnergyTV

    KEYWORDS: EPA:SU, Schneider Electric, Schneider Electric Ventures

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  • 01/04/19--02:30: A Journey to Pine Ridge
  • Hormel Foods and Justin’s team members nourished by trip to feed Oglala Lakota people

    SOURCE:Hormel Foods Corporation


    By Mary Burich

    Team members from Hormel Foods and Justin’s recently took a break from their day jobs to give back to a community in South Dakota and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Justin’s partnership with Conscious Alliance, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting communities in crisis through hunger relief and youth empowerment. A group of 16 – including representatives from Convoy of Hope, another community service partner of Hormel Foods –traveled to the Pine Ridge reservation to assemble 400 meal bags, stock food-pantry shelves and spend time with the Oglala Lakota people.

    According to Conscious Alliance Executive Director Justin Levy, Pine Ridge is the third-largest reservation in the United States. It has roughly the land mass of Connecticut and is home to nearly 40,000 people. Yet, it has only one full-service grocery store, making it what he describes as “one of the largest food deserts in America.” In addition to food insecurity, those on the reservation suffer from extreme poverty, high unemployment and underemployment, and Type 2 diabetes that is several times the national average, among other challenges. At the same time, they are buoyed by a rich and long-standing culture steeped in spirituality and a connection to the land.

    Justin Levy and his team are interested in ensuring the latter isn’t lost on them or on their volunteers. “We want to connect with the community, not just drop food and leave," he says.

    An Eye-Opening Experience

    Katie Gabrielson, a member of the corporate communications department at Hormel Foods, is one who was surprised by her experience on the two-day trip. She traveled to Guatemala in early 2018 to help out with Project SPAMMY®, witnessing difficult circumstances firsthand. She expected things to be different in the far wealthier United States, especially “so close to home.”

    “It’s very easy for people to take things for granted,” she says. “Just because you have what you need doesn’t mean your neighbors do.”

    Katie’s observation is spot on, says Kelly Braaten, manager of external communications for Hormel Foods and an organizer of the recent Pine Ridge excursion.

    “The tradition of employee engagement trips and activities is about fostering awareness and understanding, and getting important work done,” she says. “It strengthens our workforce by giving us a greater sense of diversity and inclusion, not to mention reminding everyone of the importance of helping communities. That’s as much a part of who we are as the products that bear our name.”

    School Days

    The team boarded a 12-passenger van and a few rode in a rented box truck chockfull of high-protein food items and healthy snacks made possible by Hormel Foods and Justin’s. Their first stop was the Isna Wica Owayawa Loneman School.

    Children on the reservation often don’t have enough to eat when they’re away from school for weekend and longer breaks. Justin’s worked with Conscious Alliance to establish the backpack program as a way to get nutritious food home to students and their families. And so, as has become a tradition, team members rolled up their sleeves to unload the truck and set up a makeshift assembly line in the school’s gymnasium. Amidst laughter and casual conversation, reusable grocery bags were filled to capacity.

    “It’s great to see the collective impact we can have on this community when Hormel Foods and Justin’s team up with Conscious Alliance,” says Leah Swalling, senior marketing manager for Justin’s. From its earliest days Conscious Alliance has worked with the Oglala band of Lakotas on Pine Ridge, and Justin’s has supported the effort with contributions of high-protein food and lots of helping hands. That includes those of Justin’s founder Justin Gold, who volunteers his time as a board member of Conscious Alliance.

    Justin’s also helps spread the word about the mission of Conscious Alliance. In fact, soon after joining the Hormel Foods family, the Justin’s team let its new parent company know about its relationship with Conscious Alliance.

    “When we learned about the work Justin’s and Conscious Alliance were doing to help with hunger-relief on Pine Ridge, we knew we wanted to help out as well,” says Kelly.

    A Lasting Commitment

    Natalie Hand has served as the liaison between Conscious Alliance and Pine Ridge for 16-plus years and now holds the title of field director for Conscious Alliance. As much as anyone, she remembers how the partnership with the organization came about.

    A descendant of the Shawnee people, Natalie married Floyd, an Oglala Lakota, and moved to Pine Ridge from Minneapolis-St. Paul more than 20 years ago. Well-respected and filled with a sense of duty, the two began a grassroots hunger-relief operation on the reservation. Natalie’s ties to the Twin Cities allowed her to get turkeys and side dishes to Pine Ridge. “Friends would help us out. Sometimes people would leave groceries on our front porch,” she says.

    As demand was growing for the services Natalie and Floyd were offering, Justin Baker, Conscious Alliance founder, came to the reservation on a discovery trip of sorts. Natalie remembers his dreadlocks as much as his interest in helping Indians on impoverished reservations. Floyd convinced Justin that he needed to look no further than Pine Ridge to find needs on par with a “third-world country.” Case in point: Studies report the reservation is the poorest county in the United States, with 97 percent of the population living far below the U.S. federal poverty line. In addition, the median household income on Pine Ridge ranges between $2,600 and $3,500 per year.

    Justin Baker began bringing food up to Pine Ridge from his base in Boulder, Colo. Natalie volunteered her time to distribute it while raising her children and serving as a foster parent. She also continued to run the turkey-donation program that had grown to approximately 800 meals and a holiday toy drive that netted 1,000 wrapped gifts for kids. When Floyd became disabled, Natalie stepped in to help care for him, but she stayed in service through the hunger-relief efforts, her writing and her activism.

    Today she manages Conscious Alliance’s Food Sovereignty and Youth Empowerment Center in the Lakeside community on the reservation. She understands well how critical it is to ensure that people have food, and she also recognizes the best answers to the problems of the reservation need to come from lasting social change that will allow true independence.

    “We don’t need a handout,” Natalie says. “We just need the resources to become self-sufficient.”

    Planting The Seeds Of Change

    After the work at Loneman was finished, the team loaded the surplus bags onto the truck for delivery to another reservation school. Then came time for celebrating at a pow-wow that included a dance competition. The following morning was spent at the Lakeside center, stocking shelves, handing out groceries and enjoying a picnic lunch with those who came to get food for their families.

    Dan Nelson was ready to greet the group at Pine Ridge School in the afternoon. He serves as the agency facility manager for the school and as the lead facilitator for the Conscious Alliance garden program. He spoke from the heart about the needs of young people and how something as simple as growing food can make a difference.

    “[It’s] been a conduit to bring help here for me and people like me to help ourselves,” he says. “We want ways to find our own solutions.”

    So, when Dan got the idea of planting a garden and to work with the students to grow produce, Conscious Alliance was at the ready, securing raised-bed receptacles and other supplies. Already the project is bearing fruit, literally and in a much deeper sense.

    “We’re planting seeds in the ground, but we’re also planting seeds in these kids’ minds, and we’re opening their minds,” he says.

    It’s music to the ears of Justin Levy.

    “That’s where lasting impact and lasting change happen,” he says.

    Tweet me:.@HormelFoods, @Justins, @ArtThatFeeds & @ConvoyofHope teams reflect on working together to make lasting impact for those in need on the Pine Ridge Reservation:

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:HRL, Hormel Foods, Pine Ridge, Justin's, Convoy of Hope, Conscious Alliance, Project SPAMMY®


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    Leading African-American publication puts Aflac on 50 Best Companies for Diversity list for 12th time



    COLUMBUS, Ga., January 4, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at U.S. worksites, is once again listed on Black Enterprise’s 2018 prestigious list of the 50 Best Companies for Diversity. This marks the 12th time that Aflac has appeared on this annual list.

    “Aflac has long been a leader in the area of diversity and inclusion, and we are pleased that Black Enterprise has once again acknowledged our devotion to maintaining a fair workplace that focuses on community,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “Our commitment to diversity makes us a stronger, more caring company, demonstrating our desire to build a workforce that represents our customers. At Aflac, diversity isn’t just a business proposition; it is simply the right thing to do.”

    Aflac’s workforce is comprised of 34 percent African-Americans and 45 percent ethnic minorities, while African-Americans make up 12 percent of Aflac’s officers, with 27 percent of officers being ethnic minorities. Of Aflac’s entire workforce, 67 percent are women.

    According to Black Enterprise, to compile the list, Black Enterprise’s editorial research team, in partnership with the Executive Leadership Council, sends surveys to the nation’s top 1,000 publicly traded companies to get an in-depth look at the ethnic and gender composition, as well as their programs designed to foster an inclusive working environment. The annual survey focuses on African-Americans but includes other ethnic minority groups as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. Any information provided by companies on diversity efforts targeted toward women, LGBT, the disabled and veterans is used as secondary, supporting data.

    About Aflac 

    When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than six decades, Aflac insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the leader in voluntary insurance sales at the worksite. Through its trailblazing One Day PaySM initiative, for eligible claims, Aflac U.S. can process, approve and electronically send funds to claimants for quick access to cash in just one business day. In Japan, Aflac is the leading provider of medical and cancer insurance and insures 1 in 4 households. Aflac insurance products help provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For 12 consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. In 2018, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in America for the 20th consecutive year and included Aflac on its list of World’s Most Admired Companies for the 17th time. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac and One Day PaySM, visit or

    Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. WWHQ | 1932 Wynnton Road | Columbus, GA 31999.

    Tweet me:.@BlackEnterprise names @Aflac one of the 50 Best Companies for Diversity for 12th time

    Contact Info:

    Jon Sullivan
    Media contact
    +1 (706) 763-4813

    David A. Young
    Analyst and investor contact
    +1 (706) 596-3264

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:AFL, Aflac, Black Enterprise, 50 Best Companies For Diversity

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    Giving back is going strong in Colorado

    SOURCE:Arrow Electronics


    Colorado is home to 20,000 charitable nonprofits representing 6 percent of the state's economy, according to the Colorado Nonprofit Association.

    But there's one sector that's sometimes overlooked: the "nonprofits" behind the profits. Colorado companies approach giving differently, but businesses large and small know it matters. And they are increasingly looking at ways to apply the rewards they reap in a strong economy.

    Corporate charitable arms can build stronger communities — and brands. But they can also attract young professionals who increasingly want to work for businesses that go beyond profit and loss.

    Arrow Electronics is one such organization. Rather than running a traditional foundation out of the human resources department, Arrow’s philanthropy stems from brand and marketing.

    Click here to continue reading

    Tweet me:“Our projects reflect our values and bring to bear the skills and assets of the company,” says Joe Verrengia, Arrow Electronics’ global director of corporate social responsibility. @ArrowGlobal

    KEYWORDS: Arrow Electronics, csr, Non Profits

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    By Dan Gearino

    SOURCE:Consumers Energy


    Even with all the evidence that renewable energy has become less expensive than fossil fuels, it doesn't seem real until utilities start to stake their futures on it.

    For some Midwestern utilities, 2018 is the year that happened.

    Xcel Energy of Minnesota in early December said it would go to zero carbon emissions throughout its eight-state territory by 2050, the first major utility to do so.

    That followed some big steps by Consumers Energy in Michigan and NIPSCO in Indiana, which issued plans to shut down coal-fired power plants sooner than previously planned while also accelerating development of wind and solar power.

    Continue reading the article here.


    Tweet me:.@ConsumersEnergy is leading the charge as more companies embrace #RenewableEnergy. Find out how this #CleanEnergy revolution is now gaining momentum in the Midwest. via @insideclimate

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:CMS, Consumers Energy, wind power, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota

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    SOURCE:Lockheed Martin


    2018 was a big year for our customers and employees. As it comes to an end, we reflect on the missions, milestones and achievements.

    Diversity and Inclusion is one of our biggest priorities. This year, we have been featured on the Best Companies for Diversity List by Black Enterprise, Indeed's Top Rated Workplaces for Veterans List and named one of 2018's Best Companies for Veterans by Monster.

    In September, our CEO Marillyn Hewson, was named the 2018 #1 Most Powerful Woman by Fortune Magazine. 

    We began working on a project to scale the topography of the Arctic. This is important because it will allow us to monitor environmental changes in the region overtime with the best technologies available.

    We've partnered with the Invictus Games and the Australian War Memorialto assist members of our armed forces past and present and their families and friends to achieve greater understanding of their sacrifice.

    This year in Washington, D.C., our "Rad Labs" exhibition brought in over 300,000 visitors during the USA Science & Engineering Festival -- America's largest STEM education event. Students and family were able to get a hands on experience of our Flight, Orbit and Robo Labs.

    View all of Lockheed Martin's 2018 top moments here.

    Tweet me:.@LockheedMartin's top 5 #CSR and #sustainability moments of 2018. List includes CEO Marillyn Hewson as @FortuneMagazine's #1 Most Powerful Woman, scaling the topography of the arctic, #STEM education, and more:

    KEYWORDS: Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson, fortune magazine, Invictus Games, Australian War Memorial


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    Originally posted on

    Our philanthropic programs at Bloomberg allow employees to develop their skills and expertise by applying them to help local nonprofits, small businesses, and students around the world. Together, we invested our time, resources and skills to connect our business with the local communities where we live and work, to create a sustainable impact that we can continue to grow throughout the year. Looking back on 2018, we celebrate three standout Bloomberg Philanthropy and Engagement initiatives that worked to harness innovation and improve lives around the world: Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB), Fortune Fellowship, and the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa.

    Click here to read the full story. 

    Tweet me:Looking back on 2018, @bloomberg celebrates three standout Philanthropy and Engagement initiatives that worked to harness innovation and improve lives around the world. #bestofbloomberg #philanthropy

    KEYWORDS: Bloomberg, philanthropy, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Best of Bloomberg, Employee Engagement, Goldman Sachs 10000 Small Businesses (10KSB), Fortune Fellowship, Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa

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    Melissa Agnew and her family were on the brink, but help found its way to them

    SOURCE:Duke Energy


    She didn’t want to ask for help. All her life, Melissa Agnew promised herself if she ever had kids, she would give them a better childhood than the one she had, that they wouldn’t know poverty like she did, that they wouldn’t have to wonder, like she did, whether their father had spent the rent money on addiction.

    Agnew believed she had left all that back in her hometown of New Haven, Conn., when she packed up with her two-year-old daughter in 1991 and moved to Charlotte, land of warmer weather and hope. A friend who’d relocated to the area suggested the city to her.

    “We drove by the city, and when I saw it, I had never seen anything so beautiful,” Agnew said. “People were so friendly. I’d see someone waving and thought they were waving at someone else, but they were waving at me. That instantly sold me.”

    Her closest friend from up North moved down with her daughter, too. They rented a three-bedroom apartment near Briar Creek Road – Agnew had one room, her friend had one room, and the girls shared the other one.

    Agnew took a job as a unit secretary at Carolinas Medical Center and, in 1993, she had a son. She vowed to make her marriage work as long as she could. They were together for almost 20 years, but the last few were hardly stable. Her husband had an addiction, and whenever he tried to quit, it eventually came back like a boomerang through windows.

    Agnew can’t remember exactly when it happened but around 2013 or 2014, they separated by her telling him he had to go. Suddenly, she was a single mother of two with a full-time job – by now she worked for a company in Fort Mill, S.C. – who couldn’t afford her bills.

    Agnew wears a bracelet that says “Faith.” She kept believing a turnaround would come, but it didn’t. Still, she never gave up her faith in God. The debts grew faster than her paychecks could cover. A friend recommended that she reach out to Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Charlotte-based nonprofit that helps people in times of financial crisis.

    “No way will I go to that place,” Agnew said she remembers saying. “I felt that I was working; I had a job. It was my place to take care of my children. It was probably pride.”

    But then came a second notice from her landlord – pay now, or be evicted. It was winter, and she owed more than $300 on her power bill and about $1,200 in back rent. She knew she had to let go of that pride.

    Sitting in a coffee shop recently, wearing a blue sweater over a white turtleneck, Agnew pulled off her glasses and flicked away tears as she unreeled the rest of the story.

    “They called my name,” she said of her first trip to Crisis Assistance Ministry. “I told my situation. I brought bills to prove it. And they stopped the eviction. I’ll never forget, the woman made the call and she told them how they were going to pay it. And they paid it. I don’t know what me and my kids would’ve done had they not come through.”

    Crisis Assistance Ministry pools resources and connections to make these small miracles happen. For Agnew, one resource was the Piedmont Natural Gas Share the Warmth program. Piedmont and Duke Energy have been offering the program in their service territories for years to help people with their heating bill in winter.

    Originally, Share the Warmth was a simple corporate contribution to Crisis Assistance Ministry and similar organizations in areas served by the companies. Piedmont expanded on the idea and lets customers get involved through a “round-up” program. Piedmont customers can round up their monthly balance to the next dollar, and the difference goes to the organizations that serve their areas. For instance, if a Charlotte customer’s bill is $49.01, the customer is charged $50, and 99 cents goes to Crisis. Piedmont sends the money to the organizations every month. The company still sends its $100,000-a-year corporate contribution, too.

    Barbara Ashford, Piedmont’s director of community relations, said customer round-up contributions total $100,000 to $150,000 every year. As many as 40,000 customers elect to participate in Share the Warmth. Of course, she would love to see that number increase.

    “I look at Share the Warmth as extended family,” she said. “You (the recipient of help) may not even be our customer, but we want to take care of our neighbors. We don’t care how you get your energy. We don’t want anyone to be cold in the winter.”

    Agnew is powerful proof of the program’s value. After receiving the catch-up money, she was able to develop a budget on one salary. Included was a few extra cents each month that she donated to Share the Warmth.

    That’s the thing about help; recipients often become givers.

    The return on the Share the Warmth investment into Agnew didn’t stop there, though.

    She’s now a board member for Crisis Assistance Ministry. She sees it as her duty to tell her story as often as possible, not just to people who may not want to ask for help, but to everyone.

    “I share my story (with people in need) to let them know that they’re not alone,” she said. “We’re not just people looking for a handout. We have jobs. We’re working. It’s just, things happen that cause people to get knocked down.”

    Duke Energy Customer Assistance Programs

    Indiana Helping Hand
    Helping Hand provides up to $300 in electric bill assistance to eligible Duke Energy customers. More information.

    Duke Energy Carolinas' Share the Warmth and Duke Energy Progress' Energy Neighbor Fund. Duke Energy will match up to $500,000 in customer contributions during the heating season. (Funds are matched all year.)

    Ohio HeatShare
    Eligible customers may apply for a one-time annual assistance up to $300 mid-January through April 30, or until funds are depleted. If funds are available after April 30, they may be used for cooling bills. More information

    Kentucky WinterCare
    Eligible customers may receive a one-time payment up to $300 as long as funds are available. More information.

    Florida Energy Neighbor Fund
    Duke Energy will match up to $500,000 in customer contributions during the heating season. (Funds are matched all year.) More information

    Piedmont Natural Gas Share the Warmth
    Piedmont rounds up customer bills to the nearest dollar and donates the difference to an approved Share the Warmth agency in your community. Through November, 2018, Piedmont and its customers contributed more than $270,000. More information

    Tweet me:Melissa Agnew and her family were on the brink, but help found its way to them in the form of @DukeEnergy's Share the Warmth #heatingassistance program #philanthropy

    KEYWORDS: Duke Energy, Share The Warmth, Piedmont Natural Gas, heating assistance, energy assistance

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    Illuminating six product experiences, our LifeLab exhibit will showcase how we are combining breakthrough science and technologies with deep consumer understanding to deliver connected innovations that transform people’s lives. 

    Through interactive product demos and panels on our in-exhibit stage, LifeLab will provide a close-up look at some of our premier technologies from our portfolio of household and personal care brands. 

    “We’re living in a time of mass disruption, where the exponential power of technology combined with shifting societal and environmental forces are transforming consumer experiences every day,” said Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard. “P&G is integrating cutting-edge technologies into everyday products and services to transform people’s lives. We’re combining what’s needed with what’s possible. By answering the question, ‘what if,’ we’re delivering irresistibly superior consumer experiences.” 

    Chief R&D and Innovation Officer Kathy Fish and Chief Information Officer Javier Polit will also join Marc Pritchard to share insights throughout the week.

    With 181 years of expertise on how to anticipate and serve consumer needs, CES is the ideal space for P&G to tell our innovation story. LifeLab is inspired by the intersection between breakthrough science and powerful technologies that provides the foundation for the products and services we offer, and the consumers’ lives we touch. On the world’s preeminent stage for global innovation, CES visitors to LifeLab will be immersed in a dynamic, interactive experience with touchpoints to learn about and trial our innovations from brands you may know, like SK-II, Olay, Whisper, Gillette and Oral-B, and many that have not yet reached the market.

    The center of the LifeLab exhibit will also feature our P&G theater space where we will invite innovation partners, technology experts and brand leaders to the stage for panel discussions and presentations. Each day will feature a new brand immersion and offer several panels relevant to the industry.

    If you’re attending CES, we invite you to stop by the P&G LifeLab in the Smart Homes area of the Sands Expo Convention Center at Booth 42131. 

    Want an inside look at LifeLab? Follow daily updates on our corporate social media channels on InstagramTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.

    Tweet me:.@ProcterGamble is making its first appearance at #CES2019. Showcasing some high-tech products that are already on the market and unveiling some new items. Here’s your #CES sneak peek at the #PGLifeLab:

    KEYWORDS: P&G’s LifeLab, ces 2019

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    SOURCE:Moody's Corporation


    We truly believe that knowledge fuels opportunity – and we’re proud to support the intelligent, focused and determined young women graduating from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls (OWLAG) with scholarships for 25 students to help with the cost of university textbooks. Moody’s Foundation, represented by Moody’s Foundation President Arlene Isaacs-Lowe, and Moody’s South Africa Country Manager Sylvia Chahonyo, made a $10,000 donation to the school in Johannesburg, South Africa. The opportunity to support OWLAG reflects Moody’s focus on empowering people with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to create a better future through our corporate social responsibility outreach.

    Find out more about Moody’s CSR and Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls- South Africa.

    Tweet me:.@MoodysCorp supports the intelligent and inspirational young women graduating from the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls with a $10,000 donation to the school in Johannesburg, South Africa #owlag @Oprah

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:MCO, moodys, csr, Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls

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    Unilever Bangladesh is improving the health, hygiene and livelihoods of millions of Bangladeshis through child-focused mass education campaigns alongside the sale of their products

    SOURCE:Business Call to Action (BCtA)


    DHAKA, Bangladesh, January 7, 2019 /3BL Media/ – Consumer goods giant Unilever Bangladesh has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to educate an additional 5 million rural children on handwashing and tooth-brushing, ensure access to safe drinking water for over 1 million people, and ensure above minimum wage employment for thousands by 2021.

    Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. Over 220 companies, ranging from multinationals to social enterprises, and working in 70 countries, have responded to the BCtA by committing to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions in developing countries through access to markets, financial services, affordable healthcare, water and sanitation, education and other critical services.

    Around 20 million people, or 12 percent of the population, lack access to clean water in Bangladesh. As a result, they are at risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera and other diarrhoeal illnesses, which can be prevented through good hygiene practices or by drinking potable water. Regular tooth-brushing with clean water also decreases the risk of dental diseases, particularly when started at a young age.

    Unilever Bangladesh is helping to tackle this by complementing the sale of its health and hygiene products (soap, toothpaste, water purifiers) with mass education campaigns aimed to improve sanitary practices of millions of Bangladeshis. Unilever Bangladesh will educate consumers about the benefits and potential harmful consequences of their current habits. As the behaviour of consumers change, their standards of living will also improve.

    Unilever Bangladesh has launched two mass education campaigns, each targeting a different health and hygiene practice. The first is the Lifebuoy “School-of-5” Rural Activation, which to date has reached over 30 million people all over Bangladesh. It teaches the importance of regular handwashing with soap among rural children to prevent diseases such as diarrhoea. Continuing this activity, Unilever aims to reach a further 5 million children by 2021. The complementary Pepsodent School Program, which has been running for over 15 years, encourages children to brush their teeth twice a day to prevent tooth decay and dental diseases.

    “Our business model for growth revolves around the philosophy of doing well by doing good. And our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. In almost all our categories, we serve Bangladeshi consumers with sustainable products which solve their real-life problems – and we educate them on behaviours and practices that improve their health and hygiene,” said Unilever Bangladesh CEO Kedar Lele.

    Finally, through its Pureit campaign, Unilever will train waterpreneurs who will sell Pureit and make a commission on sales and maintenance services. The training  for the waterpreneurs will be free, and the commission structure means that with regular sales and maintenance, they can earn consistent incomes.

    These campaigns will have the dual benefit of improving lives while increasing awareness of Unilever’s products and thus driving sales. Unilever products are already present in 98 percent of Bangladeshi households.

    “Being able to positively impact so many young lives at this scale while maintaining profit is an excellent example of how private sector can make a significant contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals,” said BCtA Head Paula Pelaez.
    For further information 
    About Business Call to Action (BCtA)
    Launched at the United Nations in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is supported by  the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UK Department for International Development (DFID), and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). For more information, please visit

    About Unilever Bangladesh
    Unilever Bangladesh’s vision is to make sustainable living commonplace. The Unilever Sustainable Living Plan will help the company to double the size of the business while reducing the environmental footprint and enhancing livelihoods. The company actively seeks out partnerships in order to help change things on a global scale, tackling global issues such as deforestation and climate change, improving access to water, and better sanitation and hygiene practices, and supporting sustainable agriculture and improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

    Tweet me:.@Unilever Bangladesh is improving the #health, #hygiene and livelihoods of children in rural areas with education programs and access to #cleanwater @BCtAInitiative #CSR

    KEYWORDS: Unilever, Business Call to Action, Bangladesh, clean water, Drinking Water, dental health

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    By Morgan Bulman

    SOURCE:Mohawk Industries


    [Eden, N.C.] Between the elementary and high schools of Rockingham County is Mohawk Group’s latest smartflower installation. Throughout the day, students can watch the 194 square-foot ground-mounted structure's solar paneled petals open and turn in the direction of the sun. 

    It’s the second of 10 smartflowers to be installed over the next three years in collaboration with Groundswell, a nonprofit dedicated to developing community solar projects. The effort serves a multi-faceted purpose: save energy, empower underserved communities and raise awareness around sustainability. It also helped two of Mohawk’s floor coverings — Pivot Point resilient tile and Sunweave broadloom carpet — achieve Living Product Challenge Petal certifications. 

    Accepting the challenge
    “The Living Product Challenge asks us to rethink product manufacturing and look into not only the environmental impacts, but the social impacts our products can have on communities, our employees and their families,” explained Rami Vagal, Mohawk’s senior sustainability manager. She added the smartflowers are set to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and offset the energy and resources consumed during Mohawk’s tile, broadloom and woven products’ manufacturing process. 

    Due to its biophilic design, the structures are estimated to be 30 to 40 times more efficient than standard solar panels, but the flowers are expected to do more than that, too. 

    “Solar power isn’t just about energy and the environment,” Groundswell CEO Michelle Moore told FCW. “Groundswell’s goal is that our collaboration with Mohawk will make solar-driven economic and community development opportunities visible and accessible.”

    As the fastest growing sector of the energy economy, Moore believes solar power is nothing to ignore. And according to the U.S. Energy and Employment Report, solar plants are an economic opportunity and employ 43 percent of the total electric power workforce, more than any other energy source available today, including fossil fuels. 

    A teaching tool 
    “One of the reasons that we’re doing these solar flowers inside of inner-city communities is to create a platform that connects to people where they’re at to say ‘hey, here’s an opportunity to learn about this because this is the way of the future’, ” shared George Bandy, vice president of sustainability at Mohawk. “Their career path could be enhanced, impacted and changed for the better by being a part of this.” In fact, the project has already introduced solar careers to the residents of Bronzeville, Chicago.

    The Renaissance Collaborative (TRC), an organization which supports low-income individuals, has been leading workshops related to cutting back energy costs as the first smartflower recipient. Said Pat Abrams, executive director of TRC, “I think one of the most important pieces is for people to know that new, green technology should reach all people in order to be effective.” 

    It’s why Jane Frazier, principal of Central Elementary in Eden, is so excited. Not only does the project integrate perfectly into her district’s pre-existing energy conservation program, it will help her students visualize and better understand STEM-related fields. 

    “The smartflower offers an authentic learning experience. The kids think it is so cool to see it in action [and partnered] with the [STEM] curriculum, they’ll be able to discover even more ways to save energy,” said Frazier. “It may also inspire students to realize there are so many different careers that revolve around sustainability and green technology, especially engineering.” 

    Doing Good
    To Bandy, the smartflowers are just one way Mohawk can demonstrate its dedication to sustainable solutions. 

    “My sustainability team at Mohawk cannot be the only ones who are concerned about sustainability. It has to be marketing, sales, PR, people on the manufacturing floor, their spouses, it has to be everybody,” he emphasized. “Our commercial, residential and international brands all deliver under a sustainability filter… This is a new platform, this is a new us. This is not your mother’s Mohawk.”

    Tweet me:.@MohawkGroup and @Grndswell install #solar smartflower between two @RCS_NC schools to create new learning opportunities, save energy & engage others in #sustainability mission (via @FCWMagazine) #handprintsoverfootprints

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:MHK, mohawk group, Smartflower, Groundswell, Rockingham County, Living Product Challenge Petal certification


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    SOURCE:Antea Group


    Inogen is a global network of EHS&S consultancies that work together to provide environmental, health and safety solutions to multinational clients around the world. Inogen associate firms operate in 120 countries on every continent.

    Antea Group spotlights Peter Ramsay, Managing Director of Peter J Ramsay & Associates, based in Melbourne, Australia. Read Peter’s discussion of the biggest EHS challenges in Australia and his advice to EHS managers.

    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 Inogen Member Spotlight--Peter Ramsay, Peter J. Ramsay & Associates

    Contact Info:

    KEYWORDS: antea group, ehs, Inogen, health and safety

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