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The 3BL Media CSR feed - full text version
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    SOURCE:Keep America Beautiful

    DESCRIPTION:

    Make a difference this holiday season by taking small steps that can make a meaningful difference by reducing waste and your carbon footprint. And since it’s the season of giving, share these eco-friendly tips with family and friends!

    1. Reuse newspaper and paper bags in place of wrapping paper for gifts. Don’t forget to recycle the paper afterward – just remove the tape.
      • Another creative idea for wrapping: use gently-used scarves, handkerchiefs or tea towels for difffiutlt-to-wrap items. You can also package edible gifts using glass bottles or reusable tins.
    2. When entertaining, cut down on excess waste and use real dishware and cutlery instead of disposable plastic, foam, or paper plates and utensils.
      • Also use cloth tablecloths and napkins instead of paper options.

    Continue reading here to view more Keep America Beautiful tips for a cleaner, greener and more sustainable holiday season.

    Tweet me:#HolidayTip: During the season of #giving, share #KeepAmericaBeautiful eco-friendly tips with family & friends. http://bit.ly/2PAsXR1 #BeRecycled #DoBeautifulThings

    Contact Info:

    Noah Ullman
    Keep America Beautiful
    +1 (203) 659-3008
    nullman@kab.org
    http://www.twitter.com/kabtweet
    http://www.facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful
    http://www.instagram.com/keepamericabeautiful
    http://www.youtube.com/kabnetwork

    Larry Kaufman
    Keep America Beautiful
    +1 (203) 659-3014
    lkaufman@kab.org

    KEYWORDS: Keep America Beautiful, sustainable holiday, #BeRecycled, #DoBeautifulThings


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    SOURCE:Freeport-McMoRan

    DESCRIPTION:

    December 14, 2018 - Business News Indonesia magazine recently presented PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) with three corporate responsibility awards for 2018. The three awards are:

    • Top Leader on Corporate Social Responsibility Commitment
    • Top Corporate Social Responsibility in the Mining sector
    • Top Corporate Social Responsibility Infrastructure Program

    Some of PTFI’s honored infrastructure programs include the development of the Mozes Kilangin International Airport in Timika, the Mitra Masyarakat Hospital, the Pomako Bridge, the Mimika Sport Complex, and a new potable water facility for the Mimika Regency Administration Office.

    PTFI is committed to providing 1 percent of its annual revenue for the development of the indigenous Papuan community through the Freeport Partnership Fund for Community Development. PTFI’s contributions to the Partnership Fund were approximately $44 million in 2017 and over $735 million since its inception in 1996. The Amungme and Kamoro Community Development Foundation (LPMAK) is the Papuan community organization that oversees disbursement of the program funds.

    In addition to the $7.3 million invested in community public health programs by PTFI in 2017, the LPMAK, funded by PTFI, directly contributed $13.7 million to community health-care programs, both within and outside the PTFI project area. This included the operation of community hospitals in Timika, in the Lowlands, and Waa Banti villages in the Highlands.

    To learn more about how Freeport-McMoRan collaborates with its communities, please see fcx.com.

    To read more about Freeport-McMoRan’s social, economic and environmental efforts, see the 2017 Working Toward Sustainable Development Report.

    Tweet me:PT Freeport Indonesia, a Freeport-McMoRan company, Receives Top Corporate Social Responsibility Awards http://bit.ly/2ELI7ml #copper #ICMM

    KEYWORDS: PTFI, FCX, infrastructure, Freeport Partnership Fund for Community Development, community public health programs, Amungme, LPMAK, Kamoro, Papua


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    By Melissa Aronson

    SOURCE:Sysco

    DESCRIPTION:

    In 2009, Sysco Corporation – one of the largest purchasers of seafood in North America – began working with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to assess and improve the sustainability of its seafood supply chain. Through this collaboration, Sysco committed in 2011 to source its top 10 Portico® brand (Sysco’s own seafood brand) frozen and further-processed wild-caught seafood species from fisheries that were either certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard, in full assessment for MSC certification or engaged in a comprehensive Fishery Improvement Project (FIP), by 2015.

    Continuing its alliance with WWF, in 2016, Sysco committed to further improve the sustainability of its seafood procurement through 2020, incorporating additional elements to guide its seafood procurement practices and standards.

    “At Sysco, we pledge to increase our offerings of responsibly caught Sysco and Portico Brand seafood products to our customers in a way that conserves the health of the marine ecosystem and the livelihoods of future generations,” said Catherine Kayser, V.P. Corporate Social Responsibility.

    Click here to read the full article

    Tweet me:@Sysco remains on track to meet its 2020 goals for #sustainable seafood http://bit.ly/2zWztg0 via @WWF

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:SYY, Sysco, World Wildlife Fund, WWF, sustainable seafood


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    Survey conducted by culture data website Comparably ranks large, midsize and small US companies in areas including compensation and leadership

    SOURCE:Aflac

    DESCRIPTION:

    COLUMBUS, Ga., December 14, 2018 /3BL Media/ – Aflac, the leader in voluntary insurance sales at U.S. worksites, is listed as a top five company in Comparably’s 2018 list of the 50 Best Company Cultures. Comparably is a California-based culture data website that rates companies’ workplace cultures. According to Comparably, the companies on their annual Best Company Cultures list received the highest ratings by employees who provided anonymous feedback on a variety of workplace culture questions ranging from work environment and compensation to leadership.

    “Landing in the top five on this list reinforces our long-held belief that Aflac is indeed a great place to work, and we are pleased that our employees responded to this anonymous survey in such a positive way,” Aflac Chairman and CEO Dan Amos said. “It has long been our company’s belief that if you take care of the employees, they will take care of the business. Our employees, coupled with our products, which are second to none, are the engine that enables Aflac to continue dominating our industry.”

    “Aflac’s generous profit-sharing program, along with excellent health care, a matching 401(k), on-site child care and in-house medical services are just a few of the benefits that make us an attractive place to work,” Aflac U.S. President Teresa L. White said. “And our innovative work environment, where people are challenged each and every day to stretch their personal and professional limits, provides rewards for employees who are eager to grow to meet the newest challenges in an ever-changing environment.”

    In January 2018, Aflac announced that it would use a significant portion of the funds the company was able to save through the federal tax reform legislation to increase the employer contribution to every employee’s 401(k) by a full percentage point. The company also provided a one-time $500 contribution to each worker’s 401(k) and earmarked additional funding for innovation as well as several million dollars to the company’s latest philanthropic effort in the area of childhood cancer: My Special Aflac DuckTM.

    My Special Aflac Duck, designed by Sproutel, is a social robot that uses medical play, lifelike movement, and emotions to engage and help comfort kids during their cancer care. Aflac and Sproutel conducted 18 months of child-centered research with children, parents and medical providers at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to create the duck, which Aflac is giving to every child newly diagnosed with cancer in the U.S., ages 3-13, free of charge. Aflac has a 23-year commitment to providing comfort to children and families facing childhood cancer. The company has contributed more than $128 million to this cause.

    “Giving back to employees and to the community is not only the right thing to do, but it is a vital investment in people, any good company’s most valued resources,” Aflac Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer Fred Crawford said. “We want Aflac employees to feel secure, knowing that a bright future is in store for their families, so they can focus on helping make Aflac the best it can be. Moreover, My Special Aflac Duck has energized our teams in ways that we could not have imagined, and I truly believe it is a primary reason why Aflac employees responded to this survey in such a positive way.”

    Aflac is the highest-scoring of only two insurance companies that appear on the 2018 list of the 50 Best Company Cultures in the large company category. A large company, according to Comparably, is one with 500 or more employees.

    "Winning Comparably's Best Company Culture award is an exceptional achievement, highlighting the absolute best places to work in the United States as rated by their own employees," said Comparably CEO Jason Nazar. "Aflac consistently receives high praise from its employees for its forward-thinking and supportive leadership, and for having a workplace that's collaborative, motivated, and fun."

    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 aflac.com or aflac.com/espanol.

    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:.@Aflac has been listed as a top five company in @Comparably’s 2018 list of the 50 Best Company Cultures http://bit.ly/2PB4kna

    Contact Info:

    Jon Sullivan
    Media contacts
    +1 (706) 763-4813
    jsullivan@aflac.com

    David A. Young
    Aflac analyst and investor contacts
    +1 (706) 596-3264
    dyoung@aflac.com

    KEYWORDS: NYSE:AFL, Aflac, Comparably


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    VMware opens state-of-the-art facility at Palo Alto campus where customers, partners and VMware employees from all over the world collaborate on innovations that matter

    SOURCE:VMware

    DESCRIPTION:

    Since our inception, we’ve strived to operate our business in a responsible and sustainable manner. From our global commitment to green building practices, to the order of magnitude our technology delivers in terms of energy and carbon emission reductions in IT, VMware aims to leave ahead a better future by weaving sustainability into everything we do, including the opening of our new VMware Discovery Center.

    Opening Day of the Visitor Discovery Center

    n opening day—Nov. 1, 2018—we hosted a multi-faceted, packed celebration of innovation focused on our global impact initiatives and vision for the future of Tech for Good.
     
    First, we announced a major milestone along our sustainability journey: We became a certified CarbonNeutral® company, in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol, two years ahead of schedule. We established this goal in our Global Impact Report as part of our VMware 2020 Vision, and achieved it through a combination of energy-efficiency initiatives, renewable energy projects, and purchasing and delivering financing to low-carbon, sustainable development projects. This represents both a significant step toward fulfilling our commitment to long-term sustainability, as well as our commitment to accountability and transparency in managing our environmental footprint.
     
    To celebrate this vision of innovation and sustainability, we also had the honor of hosting Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who spoke about the importance of public-private partnerships at the local, state, and federal levels to innovate ways for society to become more sustainable and resilient. This is no small feat, according to the U.N.’s latest report, as a society, we need to shift 70-85 percent of electricity to renewable energy sources by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Given this urgency, we believe we must collaborate across government, industry, and community to innovate and find solutions to mitigate and adapt to this global challenge.
     
    Ongoing Commitment to Green Buildings
     
    Buildings account for 39 percent of CO2 emissions in the United States. Mostly it’s the result of heating, cooling, and lighting, in addition to the appliances and electrical equipment we must plug in.  That’s why innovation in green building can play a major role in reducing the impact of climate change, and it’s why we have a long-standing commitment to sustainable buildings. VMware currently has 12 LEED® certified buildings including two LEED® Platinum certifications—one at our office in Bangalore, India, and one at our data center in Washington state. Our new Visitor Discovery Center at our headquarters in Palo Alto was designed to LEED® Platinum standards and provides an innovative, sustainable space for collaboration and inspiration with our customers, employees, and community.
     
    With a magnificent view over Silicon Valley, the new Discovery Center features Forest Stewardship Council certified wood wherever possible, and the wood and metal ceiling treatments were manufactured with 63 percent pre-consumer recycled content. The carpeting is Green Label Plus certified and features low-VOC materials throughout the building. We added more charging stations to our already sizeable electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which now includes 78 ports across our campus and we dedicated 15 new priority parking spots for carpool and clean air vehicles. In striving for leadership in environmental design, we also prioritized energy efficiency and onsite renewable energy.
     
    Community Microgrid Proof-of-Concept with the City of Palo Alto
     
    Not only does our new Discovery Center source approximately 20 percent of its power from rooftop solar panels, but also we are connecting this onsite renewable energy with other solar power across the campus to create a community microgrid.
     
    The highly digital modern world of the future will require not only a clean grid, but also a reliable and resilient one. Renewable energy resources—like wind and solar—are variable, which means they are not consistent and shift up and down depending on weather conditions. Integrating renewables into the grid while maintaining reliability means coming up with new and innovative ways to balance and secure the grid. That’s why we believe innovation and partnership on projects like a microgrid is a smart thing to do.
     
    Beginning as a proof of concept, the microgrid will serve as a testbed to control distributed energy resources and integrate local renewable energy in order to maintain resilience at the corporate and community level. And because we believe resilience is sustainability’s twin, we are partnering with the City of Palo Alto to also explore the potential use of the microgrid to augment the community’s emergency services by providing a charging site for the City’s emergency command vehicles, and an emergency communications node that can be used during major emergencies that cause extended power outages and fuel shortages. Getting this proof-of-concept off the ground is just another example of our belief in exponential innovation that shifts the needle on our sustainability journey.
     
    Technology’s Role in Sustainable Development
     
    To wrap up our Discovery Center opening celebration, and build on our long-standing commitment to innovation, we also engaged some of the brightest minds to explore the topic of “Innovating for Good–The Opportunity and Responsibility for Tech.” Recognizing the important synergies between the Fourth Industrial Revolution and accelerating progress on the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we believe the tech sector has a major role to play specifically in Goal #9: Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure.
     
    Hosted by Chris Coulter, chief executive officer of GlobeScan, we facilitated a dialogue focused on the collective opportunity to drive resilient and sustainable economic development. I was honored to participate along with several distinguished thought leaders:
    • Jonathan Reichental, chief information officer of the City of Palo Alto, shared the promise of mobile to provide auxiliary medical professionals to remote areas.
    • Victoria E. Lee, project lead of Fourth Industrial Revolution for the Earth for World Economic Forum, discussed the intersection of technology with the 17 SDGs, including innovations in food, water, energy, and access for all to the internet.
    • Debra Dunn, co-founder of Stanford University’s FEED Collaborative, shared several examples of how technology innovation helps solve complicated problems like human trafficking through data mining and management.
    • Bob Sutton, Stanford professor and author, cautioned technology companies to take the time to spread excellence and not rush to a solution.
    Looking Over the Horizon
    The opening celebration of our Discovery Center gave us an opportunity to bring members of our community together to discuss and imagine what we can do collectively to prioritize sustainability and resiliency for people and the planet. For our part, we will continue to participate in this critical conversation. As we chart our path forward, we are more committed than ever to be intentional, and to do what we can to leave ahead a better future—putting back more than we take—and to inspire our employees, customers, and partners to do the same.

    Tweet me:After becoming a certified CarbonNeutral® company, @VMware continues their commitment to innovation and sustainability by opening the VMware Discovery Center #VMwear #Sustainability #globalimpact http://bit.ly/2ErsYp5

    KEYWORDS: VMware Discovery Center, VMware, NYSE:VMW, certified CarbonNeutral® company, Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss, Mayor Liz Kniss, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Victoria E. Lee, Debra Dunn, Pat Gelsinger

     


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    What’s it’s like to be one of the 20 women chosen for the four-year internship program.

    SOURCE:Viacom

    DESCRIPTION:

    In the summer of 2016, Sabrina Bergsten was a recent high school graduate preparing for her freshman year at Marist College. Rather than hang out at the beach, Bergsten spent her weekdays trekking in and out of Times Square for a highly selective tech internship at Viacom’s headquarters.

    For three months, Bergsten shadowed engineers, developers and designers in the company’s media and technology department. She has returned each year since, to learn programming languages such as JavaScript and frameworks like Angular, and to be exposed to fundamental business skills: event planning, networking, and communication.

    And she was able to take advantage of some uniquely Viacom perks: attending the MTV VMAs, watching engineers test new augmented reality (AR) software, assisting with the launch of BET’s mobile app, and going to networking events on the company’s cafe terrace overlooking Times Square.

    Bergsten’s story is a small piece of a larger partnership between Viacom and Girls Who Code (GWC), a national nonprofit organization focused on increasing the number of women in tech. For four years, Viacom has hosted a GWC summer immersion program for 20 high school women.

    In 2016, Viacom expanded the initiative, becoming the only GWC corporate sponsor to develop a four-year college internship for select graduates of its summer program. Bergsten and two fellow students, Ana Leon and Zahraa Lopez, make up this inaugural GWC intern class, learning on-the-job at Viacom as they progress through college. After four years, they’ll have the opportunity to become full-time Viacom employees.

    “Ultimately, our goal is to establish a pipeline of talent and help develop the STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] skills that are vital to pursuing careers in tech,” says Viacom Chief Technology Officer Dave Kline. “We’re focused on crafting opportunities for the Girls Who Code alumni where they can explore, learn, and thrive in an all-encompassing environment surrounded by top-tier talent.”

    Learning New Skills, Providing Fresh Perspective

    Maitri Manojkumar is among the most recent class of interns; her first day on the job was just after her high school graduation. Although she had no experience with tech before attending Viacom’s summer immersion program last summer, Manojkumar is now pursuing a degree in STEM-related fields at John Jay University in Manhattan.

    Manojkumar recalls what she told Kline in her interview prior to landing the internship: “I’m willing to learn a lot. What I can give back in terms of skill is probably not going to be that valuable. But I can give you a new perspective.”

    She was hired on the spot.

    For Bergsten, Viacom and GWC represent empowerment, equality and diversity of thought—a stark contrast to her first experience with the male-dominated tech world.

    “I took my first computer science class in high school,” said Bergsten. “For three years, I was the only girl in my entire class—consistently, the only girl. It was discouraging. I would feel like I was representing all women in technology with my success or failure. At the time, I really wasn’t great at computer science. It was never something that came naturally to me.”

    At Viacom—first as a summer immersion student, then as an intern—Bergsten has been surrounded by female engineers, willing to answer questions and teach the basics to new and inexperienced coders.

    “There is something so special about a company investing so much time and effort into your future,” said Bergsten, speaking to the 2018 GWC summer immersion program graduates at last August. “I’ve been able to do and learn more than I’d ever imagined.”

    Coders Who Will Power Viacom Forward

    For these interns, Viacom exemplifies the ideal juncture of tech, media and audience engagement. Young coders aren’t just looking for a salary at any top tech company, they are seeking a place where they can work with purpose and contribute to its culture.

    The intern program is evolving with its students, each year building more depth and momentum as its original graduates develop skills, discover new areas of interest and begin to make considerable contributions to the teams they had shadowed during previous summers. The program is also deliberate in exposing participants to different teams so that they can identify their strengths. Bergsten, for example, found that she had talents for project management and software engineering, two areas that align with her skill-set and passion.

    Meanwhile, Leon, one of Bergsten’s fellow third-year interns and a junior at Barnard College, has developed a keen sense of UX design, a sector she knew little about before the program. Now, she’s built her own website (independent from the internship), which is dedicated to K-Pop, the popular South Korean musical genre.

    As Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish stressed to the graduating summer immersion class of 2018, Viacom’s goal is to help build a strong community of female leaders in computer science who “will create the next generation of technology that will power us forward.”

    Tweet me:With @GirlsWhoCode, @Viacom develops a pipeline of future tech leaders http://bit.ly/2zFdXfx

    KEYWORDS: NASDAQ:VIA, Viacom, Girls Who Code, Women In Tech, women in stem


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    SOURCE:Smithfield Foods

    DESCRIPTION:

    SMITHFIELD, Va., December 14, 2018 /3BL Media/-- Smithfield Foods, Inc. is pleased to announce the grand opening of its new distribution center in Tar Heel, North Carolina, which will create approximately 250 new jobs in the state. Smithfield invested more than $100 million into the over 500,000-square foot facility, about the size of eight football fields, and its blast cell cold storage capabilities at its processing facility, which will strengthen the company’s supply chain to better serve customers globally.

    “We are experiencing an exciting time of growth and this new distribution center will help us continue to optimize our footprint,” said Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods. “More than 10,000 Smithfield Family members already call North Carolina home, and we’re proud that our investment in this project will create even more jobs. We look forward to welcoming new employees into our family.”

    Today, Smithfield leadership attended a grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration at the Tar Heel distribution center, which has begun making shipments and will be fully operational by Jan. 2019. Commissioner Steve Troxler, North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, and state Sen. Bill Rabon joined the celebration.

    “I applaud Smithfield for their continued support of North Carolina’s leading industry—agriculture,” said Commissioner Troxler. “With this new facility, Smithfield will strengthen the role North Carolina farmers play in feeding our country and the world.”

    The new facility features nearly 50,000 pallet positions and has an annual capacity of more than one billion pounds. It will also optimize its transportation and distribution network to lower fuel usage, cut transportation costs, and improve delivery times. It is located adjacent to one of the company’s meat processing facilities, which is the largest pork plant in the world, and produces fresh pork products for customers in the U.S. and across the globe.

    “Smithfield’s investment in this new facility is yet another example of the company’s role as an economic driver for our state,” said North Carolina Sen. Bill Rabon. “In addition to providing thousands of well-paying jobs, the company and its people regularly support charitable causes that improve the lives of fellow North Carolinians. Smithfield continues to be a great partner of the Tar Heel State.”

    “This new distribution center exemplifies Smithfield’s unwavering commitment to continuously improving its operations,” said Dennis Organ, senior vice president of supply chain for Smithfield Foods. “While providing best-in-class customer service, we’re reducing the distance our products travel, which shrinks our carbon footprint and positions us to achieve our long-term sustainability goals.”

    New employees at the distribution center will join more than 5,000 currently employed at the Tar Heel facility. To learn about Smithfield careers and apply for available positions, visit smithfieldfoods.com/careers.

    About Smithfield Foods
    Smithfield Foods is a $15 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan’s Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, Farmer John®, Kretschmar®, John Morrell®, Cook’s®, Gwaltney®, Carando®, Margherita®, Curly’s®, Healthy Ones®, Morliny®, Krakus®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental, and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit www.smithfieldfoods.com, and connect with us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

    Contact:
    Lisa Martin
    Smithfield Foods, Inc.
    (757) 365-1980
    lmartin@smithfield.com

    Tweet me:.@SmithfieldFoods celebrates the grand opening of its new distribution center in Tar Heel, NC, which plays a role in the company’s overall efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve its long-term #sustainability goals. http://bit.ly/2PFjwjc

    KEYWORDS: Smithfield Foods, North Carolina, carbon footprint


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

    DESCRIPTION:

    In partnership with the Erb Institute, Innovation Forum recently hosted a conference in Detroit that delved into the best ways to assess materiality, build a business case and deliver impact at scale. Participants from corporations, nonprofits and academia shared their approaches to measuring impact and return on investment (ROI). They focused on fully understanding impact so that they can better drive strategy, justify budgets and communicate progress.

    Individual sessions ranged from ways to make board members really care about sustainability, to improving worker well-being, to industry-specific case studies. Read the report highlighting some of the key discussion points from the event.

    Is your business working to define its ROI on sustainability? Visit the Erb Institute website to continue the conversation.

    Tweet me:READ: @erbinstitute & @InnovaForum co-hosted a forum in Detroit focused on the #ROI of #Sustainability. Is your business working to define #ROI and drive strategy? Read their new report here - http://myumi.ch/aZD2O #CSR

    KEYWORDS: Erb Institute, University of Michigan Erb Institute, ROI, Innovation Forum and Erb Institute, Innovation Forum, Detroit and Sustainability


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    SOURCE:Booz Allen Hamilton

    DESCRIPTION:

    “He just looked like the right fit.” “I knew I could trust her the first time I saw her.” These superficial assumptions are known as unconscious bias. They cloud decision-making and hinder inclusivity in hiring, promotions, education, law enforcement, and beyond.

    On December 7, more than 200 Booz Allen Hamilton employees engaged in conversations and activities to explore unconscious bias: what it is, how it impacts individuals and organizations, and how to change it.

    The two-hour event—with both in-person and virtual participation—tied into a Day of Understanding, during which CEO Action signatory companies hosted discussions within each of their respective organizations to further embrace differences. CEO Action is a commitment by companies worldwide to foster more inclusive workplaces.

    The event was also the latest in Booz Allen’s Inclusive Conversations series, which supports the three tenets of the firm’s BE3 Promise: be you, be Booz Allen, and be empowered to change the world.

    Booz Allen believes in the power of inclusive conversations. These workplace forums foster an open discussion where employees from all levels and backgrounds can begin to build awareness and understanding of the issues that often have a significant impact on their lives and their sense of belonging in the workplace,” said Cheryl Wade, head of the firm’s diversity and inclusion team.

    A day of introspection and conversation

    Dr. Marcelle Davis and Jacqueline Guill, Booz Allen diversity and inclusion program leads, facilitated the town hall-style gatherings with a guest from CEO Action, Marvin Washington, a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Washington presented a “diversity wheel” with 36 dimensions of diversity, many of which go beyond visible characteristics such as race, gender, and age. Other aspects include communication style, management status, and attitudes toward personal space and competition vs. cooperation.

    Participants had the opportunity to view videos that demonstrated how automatic assumptions and implicit biases can cloud decision-making. They also experienced the power of implicit associations for themselves through a rapid word association exercise known as the Stroop test.

    This was followed by a video case study in which two white employees were scheduled to meet a senior executive. In the scenario, the employees discussed the executive’s highly impressive credentials—yet when they were led to the conference room where an African American man sat, they assumed they had been sent to the wrong room.

    “Our brains are wired to make cognitive shortcuts to help us process the millions of pieces of information that we receive every second,” said Washington. “We make snap judgments, which can sometimes be wrong. And they might not be aligned with our conscious values and beliefs. This can result in us acting in ways that have unintentional consequences for ourselves and others.”

    A pledge to act

    What actions can people take to mitigate unconscious bias and foster greater inclusion? Guill emphasized acting with positive intent, “listening to understand rather than listening to react,” and engaging diverse perspectives. “Managing your blind spots is key to building a culture of awareness.”

    The workshop culminated with a pledge, calling for participants to identify one action they could take to foster a culture of understanding.

    “Not only does the Day of Understanding affirm two of Booz Allen’s values—unflinching courage and living and working with ferocious integrity—it creates a space for our talent to harness the power of collective ingenuity and potentially brainstorm innovative ways for the firm to build an even more inclusive and welcoming culture,” said Booz Allen Vice President Marlene Aquino.  

    Opportunities for further dialogue, including Inclusive Conversations events around the country, are planned for the future as part of Booz Allen’s continued work to empower leaders and employees from all backgrounds to listen and act with empathy and build trust.

    Learn more about how Booz Allen supports a culture of inclusion, including initiatives such as CEO Action.

    Tweet me:.@BoozAllen talks bias, blind spots, and more during @CEOAction #DayofUnderstanding http://bit.ly/2PEjPur

    KEYWORDS: Booz Allen Hamilton, NYSE: BAH, CEO ACTION, DAY OF UNDERSTANDING, unconscious bias, implicit bias


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    SOURCE:America's Charities

    DESCRIPTION:

    Every day, millions of Americans have to sacrifice food, education, and healthcare because the cost of housing is so high. The numbers are grim: only one out of every four households who needs housing assistance gets itmore than one in four renters pays more than half of their income on housing costs; and nationwide waiting lists for affordable housing are years long. Many lists aren’t even open to new applicants because the backlog is so enormous. The lack of affordable housing affects millions nationwide, and people who have full time jobs are not immune: the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) notes that someone has to make $21.21 per hour in order to afford a two-bedroom rental home at Fair Market Rent. Of the people fortunate enough to receive federal housing assistance in 2015, 81 percent of those households are elderly, have a disability, or are working in jobs that don’t keep up with the cost of housing.

    This country’s lack of affordable housing negatively impacts communities big and small, urban and rural. When housing becomes unaffordable, families have to constantly move. Kids switch schools and struggle to succeed academically. Millions are forced to live paycheck to paycheck, unable to further their education. High housing costs trap people in cycles of poverty from which it is nearly impossible to escape. For Americans who are more privileged, the lack of affordable housing may also one day affect them. Very few people, if any at all, are completely immune from the rising costs of housing in this country.

    If left unaddressed, the affordable housing crisis will get worse. The millions of people who are currently suffering from the high cost of housing will continue to suffer, and millions more will join their ranks.

    Through a donation to Mercy Housing, you can help address this national crisis. Mercy Housing helps people live to their full potential by developing, financing, and operating affordable housing with Resident Services for families, veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities. Your support provides homes, job skills training, health screenings, tutoring and much more. For example, here are a few ways your donation can help:

    • $150: provides computer and internet access for resident children to do homework
    • $850: provides a physical activity program for one year
    • $360: Allows a child to participate in the “KidzLit” and “KidzScience” afterschool programming for an entire year!
    • $400: a month for a fully stocked food bank that’s open 2 times a month

    Support Mercy Housing through your employee giving program:

    As a donor, you can support Mercy Housing by donating to them through your employer’s workplace giving program (CFC# 81117 if you're a military or federal employee participating in the Combined Federal Campaign). Payroll pledges made through employer-sponsored charitable giving programs represent a cost effective and near effortless way to support your favorite charities.

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

    Tweet me:.@AmerCharities: The Unique Role Employees and Their Employers Have in Solving the National Affordable Housing Crisis with @MercyHousing https://impact.ac/2PHPcog #EmployeeGiving #ImpactThatMatters

    KEYWORDS: America’s Charities, workplace giving, employee giving, Corporate Social Responsibility, csr, charity vetting, payroll deduction giving, Fundraising, Mercy Housing, Poverty, SDGs