Skip to Content

News & Resources

Growing Food in the Face of Global Warming

Chelsea Green - Thu, Oct 30, 2014 - 08:25 am

If you want proof of how difficult it is to grow food in the face of global warming, look no further than the food basket of the United States. There, especially in California, soils are crumbling, drying, and the fight over water resources is increasing between farmers, cities, and rural residents. Crop insurance rates are […]

The post Growing Food in the Face of Global Warming appeared first on Chelsea Green.

Categories: Sustainability

Move Over Squirrels, It’s Acorn Harvesting Time

Chelsea Green - Wed, Oct 29, 2014 - 08:52 am

One thing you can count on this time of year is an abundance of acorns underfoot. Why should the squirrels have all these nutrient rich nuts to themselves? Acorns are completely edible, according to fermentation expert Sandor Katz, and they have historically been a critical source of nutrition for many native peoples in North America […]

The post Move Over Squirrels, It’s Acorn Harvesting Time appeared first on Chelsea Green.

Categories: Sustainability

Canadian Consumers Willing to Engage with Companies on Good Works

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Canadian consumers are open to contributing to good causes through the companies they do business with.  These are the results of a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Reid and released at the inaugural Companies and Causes Canada conference in Toronto today.

Giving at the cash register and a donation-embedded purchase are the top two ways Canadian consumers would consider joining companies in their good works, each cited almost six in ten of respondents in the survey, a collaboration between the Cause Marketing Forum and Ipsos Reid.


“Canadians do see companies supporting important causes, for example mental health, the environment and poverty, and they believe that these organizations should be doing this type of work,” said Barbara Brooks, Vice President of Ipsos Reid and the report’s author.  “But the more concrete and the more local the mechanism, the better”. 

For example, when asked how a $2.50 donation to fight hunger should be directed:

  • 36% said it should be used to provide 22 meals via a food bank
  • 23% said it should be given to a food bank in their province
  • 23% wanted to choose the charity
  • Only 3% wanted the money to go to a national anti-hunger organization
  • 15% had no preference

Eight Canadians in ten reported that, price and quality being comparable, they would be likely to switch brands to one affiliated with a good cause.   

“To influence such behavior, companies must make people aware of their pro-social efforts”, said David Hessekiel, President of Cause Marketing Forum, organizer of the Companies & Causes Canada conference and creator of www.companiesandcausescanada.com, an online resource for Canadian business and nonprofit executives.  

When asked how they’d like companies to communicate with them about their cause-related activities, consumers show a preference for in store channels - packaging and at the shelf – where they are often making the brand choice decision.  

A number of companies are lauded for supporting good causes, according to the results of the survey.  Tim Horton’s and Canadian Tire are the most top of mind among Canadian consumers.  

The financial sector was the industry consumers most associated with supporting causes today while the alcohol and pharmaceutical sectors are thought to be the least involved.

The study suggests that there is little downside for those causes affiliated with companies through cause marketing.   Nearly eight consumers in ten say that they rarely or never ‘reduce the amount I personally give to a cause after seeing a company supporting it.’

To learn more about the results of this study, contact:

Barbara Brooks, Vice President, Ipsos Reid

Barbara.Brooks@ipsos.com

416 324-2003

 

 

Wyndham Worldwide Named Top Company for Supplier Diversity by DiversityInc

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

(Marketwired) - Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE: WYN), one of the world's largest hospitality companies, has been recognized with the DiversityInc 2014 Supplier Diversity award. The Company was honored by DiversityInc for having a highly developed supplier diversity program, including strong efforts to engage suppliers owned by veterans, Latinos, African-Americans, women, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, and other businesses owned by traditionally underrepresented groups.

"Maintaining a diverse supply chain provides Wyndham Worldwide with a rich foundation of perspectives and opportunities that benefit our company and the experience we provide our customers," said Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and chief executive officer, Wyndham Worldwide. "We have always understood the value and importance of diversity across our company as a driver of growth, especially as we continue to expand in global markets."

The Company's strong tier-1 and tier-2 programs, as well as extensive training and mentoring for diverse suppliers, helps ensure that supplier diversity is thoroughly integrated into its overall business strategy.

"Every day we see the immense value and benefit that diversity brings through varied cultures, experiences and perspectives," said Jose Nido, vice president of Global Supplier Diversity, Wyndham Worldwide. "Cultivating and expanding diversity throughout the company,  including our supply partners, is part of our core values."

Earlier this year, the Company's supplier diversity program was ranked second on the DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity specialty list. With a focus on both U.S. domestic and global growth, the Company's program surpassed its 2013 goals in strengthening the diversity of its global supply chain, and increased its 2013 spend with diverse suppliers to 15.7 percent.

"Increasing diversity throughout our entire company, including our supply partners, is the right thing for us as a global corporate citizen, but also the right thing for our business," said Paul Davis, senior vice president, Strategic Sourcing at Wyndham Worldwide. "By supporting a rich diversity in our suppliers, we see great benefits in the expanded variety of experience, knowledge, and ideas that allow us to best meet our needs as we grow across six continents."

Recognized as an industry leader, Wyndham Worldwide's supplier diversity initiative has been included among DiversityInc's 2012,  2013 and 2014 Top 10 Companies for Supplier Diversity, Supplier Diversity Advocate of the Year by the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), Hispanic Network magazine's "Best of the Best" Top 50 Supplier Diversity Programs for Hispanics, Morris County (New Jersey) Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce's Corporation of the Year, and U.S. Veteran's Magazine's Best of the Best Award for Supplier Diversity.

In addition, Wyndham Worldwide has been recognized among the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity, is one of LATINA Style's Top 50 Company for Latinas, and has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the "Best Places to Work for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Equality." The Company also maintains strong partnerships with organizations such as the National Minority Supplier Development Council, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Hispanic Business Group, Minority Supplier Development UK and China, WEConnect International, Women's Business Enterprise National Council, and U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, as well as the National Diversity Council, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, National Society of Hispanic MBAs and National Association of Black, Hispanic, Asian and Women MBAs. Diversity & Inclusion is also one of the core focus areas of the Wyndham Worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility program.

About Wyndham Worldwide
One of the world's largest hospitality companies, Wyndham Worldwide  (NYSE: WYN) provides a wide range of hospitality services and products through its global portfolio of world-renowned brands. The world's largest hotel company based on the number of properties,  Wyndham Hotel Group is home to many of the world's best-known hotel brands, with approximately 7,600 franchised hotels and over 655,000 hotel rooms worldwide. Wyndham Exchange & Rentals is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange and the world's largest professionally managed vacation rentals business, providing more than 5 million leisure-bound families annually with access to over 107,000 vacation properties in over 100 countries through its prominent exchange and vacation rental brands. The industry and timeshare ownership market leader, Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets, and sellsvacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its network of over 200 vacation ownership resorts serving approximately 907,000 owners throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the South Pacific. Based in Parsippany, NJ, Wyndham Worldwide employs approximately 32,800 associates globally.

For more information, please visit www.wyndhamworldwide.com.

About DiversityInc
DiversityInc's mission is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity. The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list began in 2001; at the same time many corporations were beginning to understand the business value of diversity-management initiatives. The 2014 Top 50 Companies for Diversity results were announced on April 22nd and are featured at http://www.diversityinc.com/top50 and in DiversityInc magazine.

 
For more information, log on to www.diversityinc.com, https://www.facebook.com/DiversityInc,
https://twitter.com/DiversityInc, or http://www.linkedin.com/company/26561.

More of Today’s Social Change Agents Focus on the Future Than the Present

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Even in a world of instant gratification, adults across the globe are working toward long-term positive social change. According to Walden University’s 2014 Social Change Impact Report, more people believe it is important to contribute to long-term changes than say it is important to contribute to immediate changes. They are also more likely to say their efforts today contribute to positive social change in the future compared with immediate changes. However, while 77% of social change agents, on average, believe they are confident their level of involvement is making a difference, adults are less likely to believe they are impacting systemic change, such as changing social structures and systems that often impact long-term change.

Commissioned by Walden and conducted online by Harris Poll June 1–17 2014, the fourth annual survey about the state of social change around the world includes the perspectives of more than 9,000 adults in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Jordan, Mexico and the United States. This year’s report builds on the findings from the 2011–2013 reports and was designed to examine people’s perceptions of the impact of their engagement in positive social change.

“The 2014 Social Change Impact Report provides insight as to where social change agents believe they are having the most impact and how that varies with different levels of engagement in positive social change,” said Dr. Cynthia Baum, president of Walden University. “This year’s findings tell us that engagement in social change is highly valued, but that the majority of us feel that we—and others—could be doing more to create an enduring impact.”

The State of Social Change Today

Overall, a majority of adults (79%, on average) agree they can make the world a better place by their actions, and half of adults feel they are having a major or moderate impact on improving the lives of individuals in their community (53%, on average) and on creating a better world for everyone to live in (49%, on average). People also report they are influencing the actions and attitudes of others to improve people’s lives. Half of adults feel they are having a major or moderate impact on changing behaviors of others (53%, on average) and changing attitudes and beliefs of others (52%, on average).

However, people believe they are having less of an impact on systemic changes, where only 40%, on average, feel they are having a major or moderate impact on changing social structures and systems. Adults in Brazil (70%), India (63%) and Mexico (63%) are most likely to feel this way.

Social Change Agents Focus on the Long Term

An average of 73% of adults who have ever engaged in positive social change say it is extremely or very important that a person’s involvement with positive social change today contributes to long-term changes that will improve people’s lives in the future. In contrast, an average of 61% of adults say it is extremely or very important to contribute to immediate changes that improve people’s lives now.

Adults also believe it’s more likely their involvement today contributes to long-term change. Six in 10 adults who have ever engaged in positive social change (58%, on average) say it is extremely or very likely that their involvement with positive social change today contributes to long-term changes that will improve people’s lives in the future compared with slightly less than half (46%, on average) who say their involvement today contributes to immediate changes that improve people’s lives now.

People Feel There Is More Work to be Done

Even though levels of engagement in social change remain steady overall and confidence levels are high, people around the world feel they could be doing more.

  • More than three-quarters of social change agents (77%, on average) say they are confident their involvement is making a difference. Adults in Brazil (85%), India (85%) and China (84%) are the most likely to agree.
  • Only 27% of adults overall are extremely or very satisfied with how much the lives of individuals are improving, and a similar number (24%, on average) are not at all satisfied. 

On average, only 36% of adults are extremely or very satisfied with the frequency they are engaged in positive social change activities and also with how much they are helping to improve the lives of individuals and communities.

  • Adults in Brazil and India are the most likely to be extremely or very satisfied with the frequency they are engaged (51% and 47%, respectively) and with how much they are helping (53% and 51%, respectively).
  • Adults in Jordan, Canada and Germany are the least likely to be satisfied with the frequency they are engaged (25%, 27% and 29%, respectively) and with how much they are helping improve the lives of individuals and communities (24%, 25% and 26%, respectively).

Even fewer adults are highly satisfied with how much people in their country are involved in positive social change activities or with the availability of opportunities for engagement.

  • One-quarter of adults (25%, on average) say they are extremely or very satisfied with how much people in their country are involved in positive social change activities.
  • Fewer than four in 10 adults (36%, on average) say they are extremely or very satisfied with the availability of opportunities to be involved.
  • Satisfaction with their fellow countrymen’s involvement in positive social change activities (40%) and the availability of opportunities is highest in India (50%).

Involvement in Positive Social Change Remains Widespread and Diverse

As they did in 2013, most adults (82%, on average) in 2014 report they have done something to engage in positive social change in the past six months.

  • Adults in Brazil (90%), India (87%) and Mexico (87%) are most likely to have engaged during that time while those in Germany (68%) are least likely to have done so.
  • While nearly three in 10 adults (28%, on average) do something at least once a month, adults most likely to engage monthly live in Brazil (39%), Mexico (34%) and Jordan (33%) whereas adults living in China (17%) and Germany (21%) are least likely to engage this frequently.

The most common way adults across the globe engage in social change is using digital technology (48%, on average), which includes those who post a comment on a positive social change issue on a website, text messages related to a positive social change issue or participate in a social networking site dedicated to a positive social change issue. Using digital technology is the top social change activity in Brazil (63%), India (61%), Mexico (60%), China (59%) and Jordan (53%). Donating money, goods or services is the top social change activity in Canada (51%), Germany (38%) and the U.S. (51%).

These are only some of the findings from Walden’s 2014 Social Change Impact Report. For more detailed findings, visit www.WaldenU.edu/impactreport.

Since its founding in 1970, Walden has believed that knowledge is most valuable when put to use for the greater good and that educational institutions have an important role to play in supporting positive social change. As a result of these guiding principles, Walden has attracted a community of students and scholars who are actively engaged in all facets of positive social change—whether it’s through their profession, research aimed at making a difference in their fields or ongoing volunteerism. This report is one of many ways that Walden is leading the conversation and contributing to positive social change worldwide. Visit www.WaldenU.edu/socialchange to learn more.

About the Study
Walden University first commissioned this annual survey in 2011 to discover the current state of social change around the world. Designed to provide a barometer of who is engaged in social change, what is important to them and how they work together to advance social change issues of interest now and in the future, Walden’s Social Change Impact Report includes attitudes, behaviors and motivations from members of the international community.

The 2014 Social Change Impact Report survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Walden University between June 1 and 17, 2014, among a total of 9,138 adults within Brazil (1,009 adults ages 18–64), Canada (1,003 adults ages 18–64), China (1,021 adults ages 18–64), Germany (1,000 adults ages 18–64), India (1,021 adults ages 18–64), Jordan (1,027 adults ages 18 and older), Mexico (1,020 adults ages 18–64), and the U.S. (2,037 adults age 18 and older). Data for each country were weighted to the general or online population within each country. The “Average Result” is the arithmetic average across the countries. This measure does not account for differences in population size and thus is not representative. This online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A complete survey methodology is available upon request by contacting Jen Raider at 1-443-627-7452 or jen.raider@waldenu.edu.

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 50,000 students from all 50 states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 75 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 370 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, social work, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.

Rethinking Prosperity: Does our “Success Narrative” put us on a collision course with an uncertain future?

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Sustainability is about meeting the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. An economic system that shrinks the middle class and leaves more and more people behind is just as real a threat to our collective future as are climate change, resource scarcity and bio-diversity loss. On Nov. 12th we’re going to take a closer look at the system that has done so much good in the past BUT that now is leading us on a collision course with a very uncertain future. How can we “Rethink Prosperity” so that our future is prosperous for all of us.

Panellists Include:

Chrystia Freeland, author of “Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else” and the Federal Member of Parliament (MP) for Toronto Centre
Doug Miller, Chairman of GlobeScan
Blair Feltmate, Associate Professor, Program Director Sustainability Practice at University of Waterloo; Chair Climate Change Adaptation Project Canada
more coming soon…

DATE: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
TIME: 4:30-7:30 EST (snacks & networking from 6:45-7:30)
LOCATION: University of Toronto, Banting Institute, 100 College St., Rm 131
TWITTERCHAT: #tssschat from 5:15 – 6:00 PM EST

Register Today

The First Annual Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards in NYC Oct. 23, 2014

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

WHO: Roslyn S. Jaffe and Ascena Cares / Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

WHAT: Roslyn S. Jaffe Awards luncheon event honoring three “everyday heroes” who are making the world a better place for women and/or children in the areas of education, health, social reform, and self-esteem. This new annual awards program honors the lifelong contributions of Roslyn S. Jaffe, who co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962. For more information visit JaffeAward.com.

$100,000 Grant Recipient:

Aza Nedhari, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Mamatoto Village– Washington, D.C.

$25,000 Grant Recipient:

Evainna Ross, Executive Director, The Sparrow’s Nest, Inc. (The Chosen 50) – Greensboro, NC

$25,000 Grant Recipient:

Joy Bergfalk, Founder The Coffee Connection / Project Empower – Rochester, NY                              

WHERE: The Roosevelt Hotel (Grand Ballroom), 45 East 45th Street, NY

WHEN: October 23, 2014 12p.m.-2p.m.

CONTACT: Belinda Arnold, belinda@bamcommunications.com, 917.847.2540

 

About Roslyn S. Jaffe
Roslyn S. Jaffe co-founded the first dressbarn store in 1962; currently she is Director Emeritus for Ascena Retail Group, Inc.  She is a true trailblazer, entrepreneur and long-time passionate advocate for women and children.

About Ascena Cares
Ascena is passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Ascena brands focus their charitable giving to the long-standing mission of supporting women and children empowerment issues.  And, through Ascena Cares, several funds were established to provide support directly to employees, their families and their communities. For more information visit www.ascenacares.com.

About Ascena Retail Group, Inc.
Ascena Retail Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) is a leading specialty retailer offering clothing, shoes, and accessories for missy and plus-size women under the Lane Bryant, Cacique, maurices, dressbarn, and Catherines brands; and for tween girls and boys, under the Justice and Brothers brands.  Ascena Retail Group, Inc. operates through its subsidiaries approximately 4,000 stores throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. 

For more information about Ascena Retail Group, Inc. and its brands, visit www.ascenaretail.com.

The North Face and U.S. Department of the Interior Join Forces to Promote & Protect America's Public Lands

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

The North Face President Todd Spaletto and U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today announced a partnership to protect, preserve and celebrate public lands in support of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) The North Face is making a donation of $250,000 to the 21CSC and also today launched a new commercial campaign as a key component of the initiative, featuring a new recording of Woody Guthrie’s iconic anthem “This Land is Your Land” by two-time Grammy nominee My Morning Jacket (www.itunes.com/thenorthface). The song is available on iTunes, with more than half of each download going to 21CSC as My Morning Jacket will donate their portion of the proceeds to the initiative.  Monies raised will create jobs for youth and returning veterans through 21CSC projects on public lands across the nation – from Golden Gate National Recreation Area to Everglades National Park.

“This partnership with The North Face and My Morning Jacket is really about inspiring and preparing the next generation of conservation leaders and outdoor stewards,” said Secretary Jewell. “The funding will help put young people and veterans to work restoring and protecting our nation’s land, water and wildlife – whether that’s building trails in national parks or removing invasive species in national wildlife refuges. The 21CSC not only helps meet critical needs on our nation’s public lands, but also provides valuable job training and a connection to the great outdoors that will last these young people a lifetime.”

The commercial features cinematic footage of The North Face global athlete team members and enthusiasts doing what they love – skiing, running, climbing and hiking. The spot will launch on YouTube beginning October 27 and debut on national TV on November 9 (NBC Sunday Night Football) running through the end of December on NBC, ESPN, USA Network, Comedy Central and more. The campaign also will be supported by advertising across digital and social channels such as Hulu, YouTube, ESPN, VICE and Facebook, starting on November 10.

“The North Face exists to inspire people to explore,” said Spaletto. “If you can inspire people to love the outdoors, they will grow to care about their natural world, protecting and conserving the places that many of us know as our playgrounds. We are extremely proud to raise awareness, support the 21CSC and motivate people to reimagine exploration in their own lives.”

Jim James, lead vocalist/guitarist for My Morning Jacket, said, “It is a privilege and an honor to cover Woody's eternal classic ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ I was moved to tears last summer as I stood at the Guthrie Archives in Tulsa listening to him sing this song and singing along, while looking at his original hand-written copy of the lyrics, words that ring with such vital truth and speak so deeply to the soul of everyone who hears them. We are so thrilled to sing these lyrics once again, and have it benefit an initiative we care so deeply about – protecting and preserving our country's vital resources.”

The three-month brand campaign also features a partnership with Outside magazine. The North Face and Outside created a list of 50 amazing places to explore across the U.S., and explorers will be encouraged to take a photo of themselves recreating at these and other iconic outdoor destinations and share on social channels using #seeforyourself. More information and a list of the 50 locations can be found at www.thenorthface.com/seeforyourself.

Additionally and as part of the campaign, the company has outfitted a custom trailer to visit retail locations across the country providing consumers The North Face experience and a chance to win gear and offering other discounts on merchandise.

Further, throughout the week of October 27, The North Face “#SeeForYourself” Taxi will roam the streets of New York with the offer of adventure to those brave and spontaneous enough to accept it right then and there. Once unsuspecting riders have hailed the taxi, they will be greeted by a message asking them to put down their phones, put aside the meetings they have scheduled that day and let their curiosity wander. If they decide they are up for an adventure, they will be whisked away to one of three secret locations just outside the city where The North Face athletes will be waiting to lead day excursions in some of New York State’s wildest places.

About The North Face

The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1966 with the goal of preparing outdoor athletes for the rigors of their next adventure. Today we are the world's leading outdoor brand, creating athlete-tested, expedition-proven products that help people explore and test the limits of human potential. We protect our outdoor playgrounds and minimize our impact on the planet through programs that encourage sustainability. The North Face products are available at premium and specialty retail sporting goods stores globally and we are headquartered in California on a LEED Platinum-certified campus. For more information, please visit www.thenorthface.com.

Press Contacts
Pamela Bennett Ajello
The North Face
(510) 748-2742 o.
(510) 501-5768 c.
pamela_ajello@vfc.com

Lindsey Simbeye
United Entertainment Group, for The North Face
C: (970) 819-1044
lindsey.simbeye@uegworldwide.com

About the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC)

Inspired by FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930’s, the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a national collaborative effort to put America’s youth and returning veterans to work protecting, restoring and enhancing America’s public lands.  The 21CSC builds on existing partnerships with youth conservation corps across the country to help young people – including diverse low-income, underserved and at-risk youth, as well as returning veterans – gain valuable training and work experience while accomplishing needed conservation and restoration work on public lands, waterways and cultural heritage sites. The 21CSC is a central component of the Department of the Interior’s ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young people to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors. 

Press Contact
Jessica Kershaw
Department of the Interior Contact
(202) 208-6416
jessica_kershaw@ios.doi.gov

My Morning Jacket Press Contact
Pam Leto
Girlie Action Media
(212) 989-2222
pam@girlie.com

CPBO Honors American International Group, Inc. and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project for Innovative Collaboration

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) announced today that it has selected American International Group, Inc.’s (AIG) Global Legal, Compliance, Regulatory, and Government Affairs department (GLCR), and the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) to receive the 2014 CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award for their pioneering, collaborative effort to serve the legal needs of refugees in the Middle East, whose lives are in imminent danger due to their work with the U.S. government. CPBO, the global partnership project of Pro Bono Institute (PBI) and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), will present the award at the 2014 PBI Annual Dinner on November 6 in New York.

Since the start of the partnership between AIG and IRAP, 36 AIG attorneys and para-professionals in the U.S., working in teams of three and four with the assistance of colleagues in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, have provided more than 650 hours of legal assistance to Afghan nationals who have aided the U.S., often as interpreters, and who are now targets of anti-American violence. Members of the GLCR represent individual clients and assist in the process of gathering information and completing the forms and procedures necessary to navigate the complex bureaucratic system and successfully obtain Special Immigrant Visas (SIV) for at-risk individuals. In addition, AIG has assisted IRAP with the appeal of an SIV rejection, has donated funds for the effort, and offered its government relations expertise.

“Partnering with outside organizations to expand the legal services that can be delivered to those who need it most is a win-win for all entities involved, most importantly for the clients who in this case received help with matters of life and death,” PBI President and CEO Esther F. Lardent said. “Through this partnership, AIG and IRAP are giving many of their clients who are in dire circumstances a fresh start and security that they likely would not have received otherwise.”

The effectiveness of the partnership between AIG and IRAP has been proven repeatedly, from a client who successfully obtained a visa and began a new life in the U.S. to contributions to three major policy/legislative victories. The first victory in October 2013 was the extension of the Iraqi SIV program, followed by landmark legislation that made improvements to the SIV application process including giving SIV applicants access to counsel in overseas proceedings and the right to appeal SIV rejections, and finally the addition of 1,000 visas to the Afghan SIV program.

“When we started our pro bono program in 2012, we approached it with the goal of doing good work for those in need in a way that would have a meaningful impact in their lives as well as the lives of our attorneys and staff. Through our partnership with IRAP, we have been able to do that,” AIG Executive Vice President and General Counsel Thomas Russo said. “It has been a very rewarding experience, and we are truly honored to receive this award from CPBO.”

The CPBO Pro Bono Partner Award recognizes the unique role partnerships, between and among in-house legal departments, law firms, and public interest groups, play in increasing access to justice.

“The partnership between AIG and IRAP to serve refugees whose lives are in danger exemplifies what can be accomplished when organizations come together to make a meaningful impact in the lives of those who need help,” ACC President and CEO Veta T. Richardson said. “This type of collaboration, particularly with its life-saving results, serves as a shining example of the power of pro bono.”

For more information about this and PBI’s other awardee, please visit the 2014 PBI Annual Dinner webpage.

About AIG

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG can be found at www.aig.com | YouTube: www.youtube.com/aig | Twitter: @AIGInsurance | LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/aig|

About IRAP

The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes law students and lawyers to develop and enforce a system of legal and human rights for refugees through a combination of direct legal aid and systemic advocacy.  IRAP has successfully resettled more than 2,000 refugees in life or death situations, including Iraqis and Afghans at risk for their work as interpreters with the U.S. military, children with medical emergencies, women who are survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and survivors of torture. IRAP is currently working on the cases of more than 350 families.

About Corporate Pro Bono

Corporate Pro Bono, the global partnership project of PBI and ACC, is designed to substantially increase the amount of pro bono work performed by in-house counsel and to enhance the pro bono culture of in-house legal departments through consultative services to the in-house community, targeted research and publications, online information and services, and outreach and educational programming. CPBO also works closely with ACC Chapters to focus their resources and agendas on pro bono service. For more information, visit www.cpbo.org.

About Pro Bono Institute

Established in 1996, Pro Bono Institute (PBI) is a nonprofit organization with a mandate to explore and identify new approaches to the poor and disadvantaged unable to secure legal assistance to address critical problems. In doing so, PBI identifies and develops innovative programs and undertakes rigorous evaluations to ensure that these new approaches are workable and effective. PBI administers a number of projects designed to enhance access to justice, including the Law Firm Pro Bono Project®, Corporate Pro Bono®, Second Acts®, Global Pro Bono, and Public Interest Pro Bono. For more information, visit www.probonoinst.org.

About the Association of Corporate Counsel

ACC is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for corporations, associations, and other private-sector organizations through information, education, networking opportunities and advocacy initiatives. The association has more than 30,000 members in more than 75 countries, employed by over 10,000 organizations, ACC connects its members to the people and resources necessary for both personal and professional growth. By in-house counsel, for in-house counsel.® For more information, visit www.acc.com and follow ACC on Twitter http://twitter.com/ACCinhouse

VF Releases Sustainability & Responsibility Report, Highlights Progress in Scaling Sustainability Platform Across its Brands Globally

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories, today released its first comprehensive global Sustainability & Responsibility report. The report highlights achievements of VF and its brands – many of which are already known as sustainability leaders, including The North Face® and Timberland® – and details the company’s goals across its three sustainability pillars: products, planet, and people.

“At VF, sustainability is a key business platform that contributes to our global growth and helps us manage our operations responsibly,” said Eric Wiseman, VF’s Chairman, President and CEO. “Our brands are working as ‘One VF’ to foster meaningful innovation around sustainability – from product design, to how we choose and manage our resources and materials, to the ways we support our associates and the communities in which we operate.”

VF’s report marks the public debut of its innovative chemical management program, CHEM-IQSM. Developed in collaboration with third-party experts, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), CHEM-IQSM provides a proactive, cost-effective and scalable method for identifying and eliminating potentially harmful chemicals before they enter the manufacturing process. VF will expand CHEM-IQSM globally in 2015.

VF has also been instrumental in the development of the Higg Index, an indicator-based assessment tool that helps companies gauge the environmental sustainability performance of apparel and footwear products. Companies around the world now use the index to drive improvements in their facilities, brands and products. 

Other highlights in VF’s report include:

  • Reducing energy use – VF is on track to meet its 2015 goal of reducing carbon emissions by 5 percent, and the company is now powering 31of its facilities in part with renewable energy. 
  • Developing sustainable products – VF’s brands produce more than 1,500 eco-friendly styles, which make up 10 percent of total product sales. Also, VF has committed to using sustainable cotton for 3 percent of its total annual cotton sourced by 2015.
  • Supporting communities – In 2013, more than 14,000 VF associates volunteered their time, and VF brands donated more than $10 million to charitable causes world-wide.

During the past two years, VF built an internal sustainability infrastructure optimized to serve the company’s global scale and diverse portfolio of more than 30 brands. A large part of this architecture has been focused on data collection and the development of sustainability scorecards to help benchmark the environmental footprints and social actions of its nearly 2,000 individual facilities. This data driven approach enables the company to measure current goals, including targets for its carbon and waste management programs, as well as set additional goals in the future.

“Our first comprehensive Sustainability & Responsibility report is a milestone for VF and our brands,” said Letitia Webster, Senior Director of Global Sustainability for VF. "It’s an opportunity to highlight the great efforts our brands and teams have led for many years. Now, with a centralized, global reporting infrastructure in place, we turn our focus to enhanced alignment and collaboration across our company to minimize our environmental footprint and spark innovation, while more effectively sharing our progress with all stakeholders.”

To learn more about VF’s sustainability and responsibility platform and initiatives, and to view the report, please visit sustainability.vfc.com.

 

About VF

VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) is a global leader in the design, manufacture, marketing and distribution of branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories. The company’s highly diversified portfolio of 30 powerful brands spans numerous geographies, product categories, consumer demographics and sales channels, giving VF a unique industry position and the ability to create sustainable, long-term growth for our customers and shareholders. The company’s largest brands are The North Face®Vans®, Timberland®Wrangler®Lee® and Nautica®. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.

Chief Sustainability Officers have Expanded from Tactical Executors to Strategic Lynchpins: New Report

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs) have expanded their responsibilities from internal program managers to strategic lynchpins who guide corporate strategy, identify product innovation opportunities, and orchestrate sustainability initiatives both inside and outside the company.

The conclusion is based on The Weinreb Group's follow-up report on Chief Sustainability Officers titled CSO Back Story II: The Evolution of the Chief Sustainability Officer.  The report identifies 36 executives working for U.S. headquartered publicly-traded companies that hold the official title of “Chief Sustainability Officer”. On average, these CSOs have been at their company for 10 years when they are tapped for the role and 86% are tapped internally as opposed to being hired from outside the company.

"Today, CSOs extend sustainability to all aspects of their businesses, especially where company-led innovation and feedback from external stakeholders leads to growth and value creation,” said Ellen Weinreb, President of the Weinreb Group.

“Women also are leaping into the CSO ranks, making up 42% -- up 52% in just three years,” she added.

THE REPORT CITES FIVE KEY SHIFTS EMERGING IN THE LAST THREE YEARS:

 1. COLLECTIVE BENEFIT

The role of the CSO has transitioned from a focus on the tactical implementation of environmental and social initiatives toward an emphasis on delivering benefit and value for stakeholders and shareholders simultaneously.

Duke Energy CSO Shawn Heath said "A sustainability department has enabled the company to refine its focus on sustainability issues...all done in the spirit of finding ways to deliver enhanced stakeholder value."

2.  INNOVATION

Thinking beyond incremental improvements, CSOs are spearheading innovation in order to meet the need for sustainably designed products and processes that meet radically different criteria.

Alcoa CSO Kevin McKnight said that establishing a CSO role "prompted people to think more broadly about everything that sustainability entails. Environmental impacts are still a significant piece, but we are also focused on product innovation."

3. STAKEHOLDER SIGNALING

CSOs are actively engaged in signaling the company’s commitment to sustainability across multiple channels. Communication of the sustainability agenda to external stakeholders, such as customers and the media, as well as internal stakeholders, such as employees, is a critical responsibility of the CSO.

"We know that those who know about our sustainability efforts are more likely to trust us and become loyal customers," said Bea Perez, CSO of The Coca-Cola Company.

4.  ACCESS

Regardless of its hierarchical position, the CSO role touches the business at all levels and works across organizational pillars. The CSO moves seamlessly from collaborating with employees across the business to influencing the company’s core vision and strategy

The CSO title has opened doors: Karthrin Winkler, CSO at EMC, said it gave "access to execs and policies;” Jane Okun Bomba of IHS, Inc., benefits from "more board engagement;" PG&E's Ezra Garrett said that CSOs "can critically influence the development of the company's vision and goal;” while MGM's Cindy Ortega said she has a "seat at the table in developing company strategy."

5. A TEAM SPORT

The success of the CSO hinges upon the careful orchestration and engagement of multiple teams throughout the organization. By embedding sustainability into all corners of the business, the CSO empowers business leaders to own the company’s sustainability achievements.

Charlene Lake, CSO at AT&T, said: "No business is truly sustainable without the buy-in and hard work of leaders throughout the company. To credit any one title with the success would create a setback to our progress and cause."

CSO Back Story II can be found at http://weinrebgroup.com/blog/cso2. This 2014 report updates a 2011 research report titled CSO Back Story: How Chief Sustainability Officers Reached the C-Suite. Both reports were conducted by the Weinreb Group, an executive search and consulting firm that specializes in the sustainability and corporate responsibility marketplace.

ABOUT WEINREB GROUP

Weinreb Group Sustainability Recruiting is an executive search firm placing professionals in sustainability positions.  Recent clients include Walmart, Owens Corning, KKR, Patagonia and Edelman.  Offices are located in Hong Kong and San Francisco.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To set up interviews with the CSOs or Ellen Weinreb, or to learn more about the report, please call 678-882-9395 or email press@weinrebgroup.com

Sustainability Double for Coca-Cola HBC AG: ‘A’ Rating Awarded by the Carbon Disclosure Project Following Leadership in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Coca-Cola HBC AG (Coca-Cola HBC), the world’s second largest bottler of products of The Coca-Cola Company, has been awarded an A rating by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) – and a place in the CDP Global Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014.

This is a further achievement for the company as it has also recently been named the global industry leader amongst beverage companies in the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). This is the seventh consecutive year that Coca-Cola HBC has been included in the indices and for the first time this year it leads both the World and European indices.

CDP is a not-for-profit organisation which provides the only global system for companies to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information, motivating them to disclose their impact on the environment and take action to reduce it.

This year CDP has also upgraded Coca-Cola HBC to an A rating, from last year’s B rating, and awarded the company a place in the UK’s FTSE 350 Leadership Index, in addition to its place in The A List: Global Climate Performance Leadership Index, which for the first time looks at all climate leader companies around the world, not just the global 500 companies.

Coca-Cola HBC provided comprehensive information about the measurement and management of its carbon footprint, climate change strategy and risk management processes and outcomes, which clearly defined and quantified the risks and opportunities around climate change and resulted in a number of initiatives including: 

  • Supporting the expansion of the capacity of the Russian sugar beet industry, which will eliminate the need to import sugar for the company’s operations by 2015
  • Working with suppliers in introducing HFC-free coolers, meaning all new equipment will be hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-free by 2015
  • An investment of €3 million in 2013 in energy saving programmes throughout the company’s plants

These initiatives contributed to a reduction in total absolute carbon emissions (direct and indirect) of 5.3% compared to the previous year.

The Dow Jones Sustainability Indices assess over 2,500 of the world’s largest publicly traded companies on financially relevant economic, environmental and social factors. Following an evaluation, the top 10% of companies within each industry are selected for inclusion.

In the DJSI, Coca-Cola HBC was ranked first in the beverages sector out of 30 companies in DJSI World and 10 companies in DJSI Europe. The company’s overall score was 89%, up from 81% last year, and it achieved industry-best scores across the environmental and social dimensions. Best progress was made in the areas of brand and customer relationship management, health and nutrition, supply chain management, talent attraction and retention, human capital development. In the environmental dimension, packaging and water risk management were awarded the maximum 100 points.

Dimitris Lois, Coca-Cola HBC CEO said:  “We are delighted to be recognised as an industry leader by these two benchmarks of corporate sustainability performance. Our substantial improvement this year in the DJSI, and our rating upgrade from B to A by CDP demonstrate that sustainability is at the heart of our business, and these two awards are a firm endorsement of the good work we are doing.”

Commenting on the companies that made it to the CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index Paul Simpson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project, said: “Global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise and we face steep financial risk if we do not mitigate them.  The need for data on corporate climate change impacts and strategies to reduce them has never been greater.  For this reason we congratulate those businesses that have achieved a position on CDP’s Climate Disclosure Leadership Index. These companies are responding to the ever-growing demand for environmental accountability and should inspire others to follow suit.”

 


About Coca-Cola HBC
Coca-Cola HBC is the second-largest bottler of the brands of The Coca-Cola Company in terms of volume with sales of more than 2 billion unit cases. It has a broad geographic footprint with operations in 28 countries serving a population of approximately 585 million people. Coca-Cola HBC offers a diverse range of non-alcoholic ready to drink beverages in the sparkling, juice, water, sport, energy, tea and coffee categories. Coca-Cola HBC is committed to promoting sustainable development in order to create value for its business and for society. This includes providing products that meet the beverage needs of consumers, fostering an open and inclusive work environment, conducting its business in ways that protect and preserve the environment and contribute to the socio-economic development of the local communities.


Coca-Cola HBC has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: CCH) and its shares are listed on the Athens Exchange (ATHEX: EEE). Coca-Cola HBC is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indexes. For more information, please visit http://www.coca-colahellenic.com/.

 

About Dow Jones Sustainability Indices
The DJSI were launched in 1999 as the first global sustainability benchmarks. The indices are offered cooperatively by RobecoSAM and S&P Dow Jones Indices. The group tracks the stock performance of the world's leading companies in terms of economic, environmental and social criteria. The indices serve as benchmarks for investors who integrate sustainability considerations into their portfolios, and provide an effective engagement platform for companies who want to adopt sustainable best practices. Following an evaluation of a range of general and industry-specific issues only the top 10% are accepted for inclusion. For more information visit http://www.sustainability-indices.com/

 

About CDP
CDP is an international, not-for-profit organization providing the only global system for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with market forces, including 767 institutional investors with assets of US$92 trillion, to motivate companies to disclose their impacts on the environment and natural resources and take action to reduce them. CDP now holds the largest collection globally of primary climate change, water and forest risk commodities information and puts these insights at the heart of strategic business, investment and policy decisions. Please follow us @CDP to find out more.

Key Supply Chain Sustainability Trends 2014

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Exploring the ways to build a responsible, resilient and secure value chain to minimise risks and future proof business is underpinning idea for the majority of supply chain professionals.

Ethical Corporation went further and managed to break it down to the key areas of focus for the majority of world leading corporations. The key areas below are linked to the practical “how to”:

  • Map out the future for value chain sustainability: how to build long-term supply security and move from a policeman to a partner approach and create long-lasting relationships with suppliers.

  • Innovate across value chain and collaborate on an industry level: latest strategies on opportunities and challenges in creating circular product economies; effective B2B collaboration to mitigate deforestation and social risk of water use.

  • Fuse sustainability into purchasing and supplier empowerment: Best practice on aligning the objectives of the sustainability, procurement and supply chain functions; Build a worker dialogue to strengthen ethical trading results and drive factory management improvement.

The study is based on the months of research and communication with the top supply chain, procurement and sustainability executives primarily headquartered in Europe and North America of FTSE 500 brands.

The above topics are also taken as the main themes for Ethical Corporation’s Sustainable Supply Chain Summit (November 19-20, London). 

View your copy of the sustainability-focused agenda and exclusive speaker line-up here

For all CSR Wire members there is also a £200 discount, which can be redeemed via entering the discount code “CSRW200” when registering on the event’s website here

For more information please contact Elina Yumasheva at elina.yumasheva@ethicalcorp.com or on +44 (0) 207 375 7573 or download the free event guide here 

Despite Declining Demand, BASF Increases Sales and Earnings in the Third Quarter of 2014

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

 -- (Marketwired)   

--  Sales EUR 18.3 billion (plus 3 percent)

--  EBIT before special items EUR 1.8 billion (plus 9 percent)

--  Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments improve earnings

--  Earnings dip in Agricultural Solutions segment

--  Outlook 2014: BASF continues to strive for slight increase in EBIT before special items in challenging environment

 Sales of BASF Group grew by 3 percent compared with the previous third quarter, reaching EUR 18.3 billion. A sharp rise in volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector was mainly responsible for this  growth. Income from operations (EBIT) before special items increased by EUR 150 million to around EUR 1.8 billion. The primary contributors to this development were the Chemicals and Oil & Gas segments, together with Other. The increase was dampened by a considerable earnings decline in the Agricultural Solutions segment.

 "The economic environment remained challenging in the third quarter of 2014. Geopolitical tensions and increasing uncertainty about the global economic development significantly dampened demand for chemical products. Nevertheless, sales and earnings of BASF Group increased in the third quarter of 2014," said Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.

EBIT grew by EUR 128 million to EUR 1.8 billion compared with the third quarter of the previous year. EBITDA rose by EUR 30 million to EUR 2.5 billion. Income before taxes and minority interests increased by EUR 126 million quarter-on-quarter to EUR 1.6 billion. Because of the higher tax rate and increased minority interests, net income declined by EUR 53 million to EUR 1.0 billion. Earnings per share were EUR 1.14 in the third quarter of 2014, compared with EUR 1.20 in the same quarter of 2013. Adjusted for special items and amortization of intangible assets, earnings per share amounted to EUR 1.27, remaining at the same level as the previous third quarter (EUR 1.28).

North America

In North America, sales rose by 3 percent in both U.S. dollars and euros, compared to the third quarter of 2013. "Sales growth is mainly attributable to increases in the Chemicals segment," said Hans Engel, Chairman and CEO of BASF Corporation. At EUR 342 million, earnings decreased by EUR 13 million, due in part to a considerably lower contribution from Agricultural Solutions, versus the same period in 2013.

 Outlook for the full year 2014

For the fourth quarter of 2014, BASF does not anticipate an upturn in demand. The company has adjusted its expectations for the global economy in 2014 as follows (previous forecast in parentheses):

--  Growth of gross domestic product: 2.3 percent (2.5 percent)

--  Growth in chemical production: 4.0 percent (4.4 percent)

--  An average exchange rate of $1.35 per euro (unchanged)

--  An average oil price (Brent) for the year of $105 per barrel ($110 per

   barrel)   

Bock: "We assume that the environment will remain volatile and challenging. We nevertheless still aim to slightly raise our EBIT before special items for the year 2014." Sales are likely to decrease slightly as a result of the divestiture of the gas trading and storage business planned for this year in addition to negative currency effects.

Strategic sales and earnings targets for 2015 

At the telephone conference, the company gave an update on the "We create chemistry" strategy and the related financial targets for 2015, which were originally published in 2011. 

From today's point of view, BASF will not achieve its ambitious financial targets for 2015 (sales: EUR 80 billion; EBITDA: EUR 14 billion). The growth rates for gross domestic product, industry and chemical production for 2010 to 2015 are lower than originally expected:  

--  BASF now expects the average annual growth of global gross domestic product to be about 0.8 percentage points lower (prior assumption: 3.4 percent p.a., current assumption: 2.6 percent p.a.).

--  Growth of industrial production is now assumed to be 3.4 percent p.a., versus a previous assumption of 4.6 percent p.a.

--  The company now assumes the growth of chemical production to be 4.0 percent p.a. instead of 4.9 percent p.a. -- still growing well above GDP and industrial production.

 Bock: "The reasons for this weak global economic development are obvious: reduced growth dynamics of emerging markets and a delayed recovery in the European economy." In addition, there has been higher than expected margin pressure for some basic products and partially in the Performance Products segment. This is why BASF has initiated a restructuring program in this segment, which will contribute about EUR 500 million to earnings from 2017 onwards. 

For 2015, BASF now expects sales and EBITDA to be in line with market expectations. For EBITDA, they are between EUR 10 billion and EUR 12 billion. As usual, the company will provide an outlook for 2015 at its Annual Press Conference on February 27, 2015, and give an update on its long-term targets. 

Bock: "With regard to our strategic direction, we are on track. Even in this somewhat more difficult environment, we will continue to grow profitably." 

The operational excellence program STEP is ahead of schedule. "By the end of 2015, we now aim to achieve improvements of EUR 1.3 billion, EUR 300 million more than initially planned," said Bock.

New set-up of global research platforms

Innovations are an essential pillar in the "We create chemistry" strategy. In 2020, BASF aims to generate EUR 30 billion of sales with products that will have been on the market for less than 10 years. The basis for these innovations is effective and efficient research and development. To achieve this ambitious goal, BASF is further developing the research organization and bundling its competencies in three global platforms:

--  Advanced Materials & Systems Research with headquarters at BASF's Innovation Campus Asia Pacific in Shanghai by 2016

--  Bioscience Research headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, starting January 2015

--  Process Research & Chemical Engineering headquartered in Ludwigshafen

The stronger presence outside of Europe will create new opportunities for building up and expanding customer relationships and scientific cooperations. All three research platforms will be established globally to support the R&D needs of BASF's customers. This will strengthen the R&D Verbund and also increase BASF's attractiveness as a partner and an employer in the regions.

Business development in the segments in the third quarter

Sales in the Chemicals segment matched the level of the previous third quarter. The market environment in Asia was difficult; in Europe sales volumes declined. There was sharp volumes growth in the Petrochemicals division in North America. With EUR 616 million, earnings in the segment exceeded the prior third-quarter level by EUR 89 million, mainly due to higher margins in the Petrochemicals division.

 Sales reached the level of the previous third quarter in the Performance Products segment. Volumes and sales prices remained stable while currency effects were negative. Volumes increased significantly in the Performance Chemicals division. In the Paper Chemicals division, however, lower volumes led to a considerable

decline in sales. Fixed costs were reduced, thanks in part to restructuring measures. Earnings of EUR 376 million matched the level of the previous third quarter.

In the Functional Materials & Solutions segment, sales exceeded the level of the third quarter of 2013 by 2 percent. Prices could be raised in most business areas, more than compensating for negative currency effects. Demand remained strong from the automotive industry, especially in the Catalysts division. Earnings increased by EUR 10 million to EUR 310 million, mostly through considerably higher contributions from the Coatings and Catalysts divisions.

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, sales were 3 percent below the level of the third quarter of 2013. Continuously falling crop commodity prices and  correspondingly cautious purchasing behavior were noticeable in nearly every market. Price increases in all regions were unable to compensate for a drop in sales volumes. Earnings -- in a generally seasonally weak quarter -- fell by EUR 129 million to EUR 43 million. In addition to lower volumes, this was largely a result of weaker margins due to a less favorable product mix as well as increased expenses for research and development, production, and distribution.

 Sales in the Oil & Gas segment grew by 17 percent compared with the previous third quarter. This was primarily attributable to sharply increased volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector. Sales growth was slowed by lower oil and gas prices. Earnings rose by EUR 82 million to EUR 504 million thanks to a higher contribution from the Natural Gas Trading business sector. 

Sales rose by 3 percent in Other, mainly through increased raw materials trading. EBIT before special items improved by EUR 98 million to minus EUR 7 million. Valuation effects for the long-term incentive program played a significant role here; the foreign currency result also improved.

Business development in the regions in the third quarter

Sales at companies located in Europe grew by 3 percent compared with the previous third quarter. This was mainly because of the considerably higher volumes in the Natural Gas Trading business sector; sales volumes in the Chemicals and Agricultural Solutions segments declined. Sales and volumes increased considerably in the Catalysts division. In the Petrochemicals division, lower plant availability dampened sales. EBIT before special items rose by EUR

202 million to EUR 1.1 billion, primarily due to considerably improved contributions from Chemicals, Oil & Gas, and Other.

Sales in Asia Pacific increased by 4 percent in both local-currency and euro terms, predominantly on account of higher volumes, especially in the Catalysts and Performance Chemicals divisions. Slightly declining sales prices and negative currency effects weakened sales growth in the region. At EUR 173 million, earnings were EUR 33 million below the level of the third quarter of 2013.

This was largely the result of considerably lower earnings from basic products in the Chemicals segment.

 In South America, Africa, Middle East, sales grew by 8 percent in local-currency terms and 4 percent in euro terms. Negative currency effects could be more than compensated for, mainly through higher prices. Particularly in the Oil & Gas segment, price increases led to a considerable rise in sales. Sales volumes improved considerably in the business with crop protection products in the third quarter. Earnings declined slightly, dipping EUR 6 million to EUR 197 million.

In the Agricultural Solutions segment, earnings fell considerably as a consequence of weaker margins and strong competition from generic insecticides.

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $19.3 billion in 2013. For more information about BASF's North American operations, visit www.basf.us.

At BASF, we create chemistry -- and have been doing so for 150 years. Our portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As the world's leading chemical company, we combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of about

EUR 74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.

AdvanceTec Industries Announced That It Will Be Participating at the NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Industry Day and Expo 2014

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

(Marketwired)  AdvanceTec Industries, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance product solutions, today announced that it will be participating at the NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Industry Day and Expo 2014 Table 124. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Cruise Terminal #3, Port Canaveral, FL.

The NASA KSC Women-Owned Small Business Industry Day and EXPO trade show is sponsored by NASA/KSC Prime Contractor Board, 45th Space Wing, and the Port Canaveral Authority, and features approximately 150 businesses and government exhibits.

AdvanceTec Industries will be showcasing its AdvanceCase Charger, a versatile 6 and 12 bay 12-24VDC powered Charger/Conditioner in a MilSpec Case. It offers robust multi chemistry battery reconditioning/charger housed in a waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof carrying case. The AdvanceCase Charger is perfect to be applied on natural disaster preparedness, command vehicles, desert training, extreme weather, agency training exercises, and worldwide deployment among other heavy-duty applications.

Established in 1987, AdvanceTec Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance solutions. AdvanceTec's private label and OEM solutions are trusted by thousands of clients in telecommunications, public safety, emergency response services, military and government agencies, oil and gas companies, transportation, security agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. AdvanceTec's products have been proudly made in the USA for over 25 years. For further information, visit www.advancetec.com

AdvanceTec is a trademark of AdvanceTec Industries, Inc. All other trademarks or service names are the property of their respective owners.

AdvanceTec Industries Announced the Initiative to Assist Answering the Predicament of Public Safety

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

(Marketwired) - AdvanceTec Industries, a global leader in the design and manufacture of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance product solutions, today announced the initiative to assist answering the predicament of public safety. In 2009, according to a report from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program on property crimes (including the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson):


--  There were an estimated 9,320,971 property crime offenses in the Nation.
--  The rate of property crime was estimated at 3,036.1 per 100,000 inhabitants.
--  Larceny-theft accounted for 67.9 percent of all property crimes.
--  Burglary accounted for 23.6 percent and motor vehicle theft for 8.5 percent.
--  Property crimes resulted in losses estimated at 15.2 billion dollars.


Are we safer today? How can we be proactive when comes to public safety? These are questions that most American business owners, company decision makers, and professional security personnel ask every day.

We at AdvanceTec Industries took the initiative to assist answering this dilemma that affects all of us by manufacturing the AdvanceCallT Box system, a One-Touch Cellular Communication device, requiring only
activation on the carrier network, and is simple to install or relocate (only 4 screws and an AC power outlet). High gain antenna (included) provides improved reception in low reception areas.

For qualifying educational institutions the AdvanceCall Box may be E-Rate and Homeland Security fundable. It is perfectly applied to Banks, Schools & Campuses, Offices, Manufacturing Facilities, Golf Courses, Hotels & Casinos, Parking Lots, Malls, Homes, Access Gates and Commercial Security Environments.

For further information visit: http://goo.gl/f42Lxg

Established in 1987, AdvanceTec Industries is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of wireless communications devices and battery maintenance solutions. AdvanceTec's private label and OEM solutions are trusted by thousands of clients in telecommunications, public safety, emergency response services, military and government agencies, oil and gas companies, transportation, security agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. AdvanceTec's products have been proudly made in the USA for over 25 years. For further information, visit www.advancetec.com

AdvanceTec is a trademark of AdvanceTec Industries, Inc. All other trademarks or service names are the property of their respective owners.


Image Available



CVS Health and Direct Relief Partner to Donate $1 Million in Flu Shot Vouchers to Uninsured Patients of Community Health Clinics

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

CVS Health and Direct Relief announced today that they have partnered to provide $1 million in flu shot vouchers to community health clinic patients in underserved communities who lack health insurance. Nearly 100 participating clinics will identify uninsured individuals from their existing patient populations and provide them with a flu shot voucher that is redeemable at any CVS/pharmacy® or MinuteClinic® location.

"Cost should not be a barrier to receiving important preventive health care such as a flu vaccination. While most insurance plans fully cover the cost of a flu shot, our partnership with Direct Relief will help ensure that thousands of uninsured patients will have access to a flu shot at CVS/pharmacy or MinuteClinic at no cost to them," said Papatya Tankut, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health.

Direct Relief's network of more than 1,200 community health centers and clinics nationwide enables CVS Health's generous contribution to reach people who need help.

"While flu shots offer the best protection against influenza viruses, too many families with low incomes and without insurance are unable to afford the vaccination," said Damon Taugher, director of U.S. programs at Direct Relief.  "Direct Relief is delighted to work with CVS Health to help protect thousands of people who are in tough financial situations access a flu shot at no cost to them this season."

Community health clinics that received flu shot vouchers are located in the following metropolitan areas:

  • Boston, MA

  • Chicago, IL

  • Dallas, TX

  • Detroit, MI

  • Houston, TX

  • Los Angeles, CA

  • Miami, FL

  • New York City, NY

  • Newark, NJ

  • Orlando, FL

  • Philadelphia, PA

  • Phoenix, AZ

  • Tampa, FL

  • Trenton, NJ

A list of select participating locations at which flu shot vouchers are now available for uninsured patients of the health clinics may be found at http://www.cvshealth.com/flu-shot-vouchers-participating-clinics.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone ages six months and older get an annual flu shot. All CVS/pharmacy and all MinuteClinic locations inside select CVS/pharmacy stores can administer flu vaccinations every day with no appointment needed, including evening and weekends.*

For more information on the vaccines offered by CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic, please visit www.cvs.com/getvaccinated or www.minuteclinic.com/services/vaccination.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,700 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief is a global nonprofit dedicated to improving the health of people affected by poverty, natural disasters, and civil unrest. The only U.S. nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor© (VAWD) certification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Direct Relief is among the largest medical suppliers to safety-net facilities throughout the U.S. and the world. A winner of the CECP Director's Award, the National Association of Community Health Centers' Power of Partnership Award, the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, and the Esri President's Award for GIS Mapping, Direct Relief maintains a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information, visit www.DirectRelief.org.

*Certain immunizations have age and location restrictions. Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last.

Rainforest Communities Seek Criminal Investigation of Chevron CEO Watson Before International Court

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Rainforest communities in Ecuador today requested that an international court open a criminal investigation of Chevron CEO John Watson and other high-level officers of the company over their role in violating international humanitarian law by obstructing a court-mandated clean-up of toxic contamination in the Amazon, putting thousands of lives at risk.

The complaint was submitted to the International Criminal Court in the Hague on behalf of approximately 80 indigenous and farmer communities by Eduardo Toledo, an Argentine law scholar; and Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the affected communities who in 2011 won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron for deliberately discharging billions of gallons of toxic waste into the rainforest, decimating indigenous groups and contributing to the disappearance of two ethnic groups.

Chevron has refused to pay the court judgment – which has been affirmed unanimously by two appellate courts in Ecuador after two decades of arduous litigation -- even though the company had promised to abide by the court decision as a condition of the case being moved out of U.S. federal court to the South American nation. Chevron’s dumping in Ecuador has caused the deaths of thousands of people due to cancer and other oil-related diseases, according to evidence before the Ecuador court.

Instead of complying with the Ecuador court order in its preferred forum, Chevron under Watson’s personal direction launched multiple collateral attacks against the judgment and the lawyers who represented the affected communities, according to the complaint. Watson and other high-level Chevron executives have promised the affected communities a “lifetime of litigation” and said they would fight the case “until hell freezes over, and then fight it out on the ice.”  Watson also discussed his personal involvement in the strategy in various earnings calls with investor analysts and in a sworn deposition, according to the complaint.

“In the context of international criminal law, the decisions made by Chevron’s CEO, John Watson, have deliberately maintained – and contributed to – the polluted environment in which the people of the Oriente region of Ecuador live and die every day,” according to the complaint, which was submitted to Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (The court’s member states plus Bensouda have the power to refer cases or initiate criminal investigations.)

The complaint added that Watson, Chevron General Counsel R. Hewitt Pate “and other high-ranking officers [at Chevron] have deliberately maintained the situation of contamination in the Oriente and the deathly health effects caused.” (“Oriente” is the term used in Ecuador to describe the Amazon region of the country.)

The complaint cited evidence and findings by three layers of courts in Ecuador that Chevron built its vast network of oil production facilities in the delicate ecosystem with the intent to discharge toxic waste as a way to increase its profits. It was clearly foreseeable such intentional practices would subject the local population to life-altering conditions, including cancers and other diseases, according to the document.

“The health conditions imposed on the indigenous and farmer communities that live in the Oriente constitute a serious and sustained attack on the population that has lived there peacefully for centuries,” said the complaint. “The damages, which have been documented and confirmed in countless inspections conducted for the Ecuadorian case, brought various consequences, including water contamination, ground contamination, cancer, forced displacement, extermination of two ethnic groups, and many other disastrous conditions that are described in the annexes to this communication.”

The complaint also notes that under international law an “attack” against the civilian population can be non-violent in nature. Analogizing to the apartheid system in South Africa – a form of societal governance that was declared a crime against humanity in 1973 – the complaint alleges that simply “exerting pressure” on a civilian population comes under the definition of a crime against humanity if the consequences are massive and systematic, as they are in Ecuador, said Fajardo.

Fajardo, a recent recipient of the Goldman Prize (known as the “Nobel” of the environment), was blunt about the goal of the communities in requesting the investigation.

“The filing of this complaint indicates we will continue to do all we can to hold accountable those individuals within Chevron responsible in whole or in part for the deaths and destruction that continue to afflict a vulnerable civilian population on a daily basis,” he said. 

“The evidence as found by the courts of Ecuador clearly shows that thousands of people have died or are at imminent risk of contracting life-threatening diseases due to Chevron’s deliberate toxic dumping and Mr. Watson’s refusal to abide by court orders,” Fajardo added.

The ICC, which was founded in 2002 based on a treaty signed by 122 nations, has jurisdiction under international law to investigate and prosecute crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. The theory of the Ecuadorian communities is that Watson’s conscious efforts to undermine the legitimate Ecuador judgment in the face of such mortal danger to thousands of villagers is the equivalent of a “generalized and systematic attack against the civilian population” and therefore rises to the level of a crime against humanity under international law.

Ecuador is a party to the treaty creating the ICC, giving the communities jurisdiction to seek the investigation. The U.S. is not a party to the court.

Expert evidence submitted by the communities, based on several peer-reviewed studies, concluded that upwards of 10,000 individuals in the affected area have either died or will contract cancer in the coming years due to Watson’s failure to clean up the company’s pollution. That evidence, in the form of an expert report based on data generated by several peer-reviewed studies, can be seen here.

Fajardo said individual accountability was vital to the outcome of the litigation. The villagers are currently pursuing Chevron’s corporate assets in Canada, Brazil and Argentina to force the company to pay for a clean-up.

“We must remember that Chevron is not a nameless and faceless corporate entity,” Fajado added. “Watson is at the very top of the pyramid and he has been deeply involved personally in the strategy to maintain this illegal pressure on the civilian population of Ecuador. It is critical that all legal mechanisms be fully utilized to put an end to what is effectively impunity for a major American oil company that is committing human rights crimes against vulnerable populations.”

The U.S.-based non-profit environmental group Amazon Watch, which has worked in support of the affected Ecuadorian communities for several years, lauded the filing of the complaint.  “It is important that U.S. companies know that they can be held accountable for human rights crimes through international systems of justice even if they believe they can use their political power and connections to evade accountability in their home countries,” said Paul Paz y Miño, an official with the organization.

For a summary of the various peer-reviewed studies that show high cancer rates in the region where Chevron operated, see here.

For a view of the devastating human toll of Chevron’s contamination in Ecuador see this photo essay by award-winning journalist Lou Demattais. For background on some of the unethical tactics used by Chevron to obstruct the clean-up, see this sworn affidavit and this recent article in the American magazine Rolling Stone.

Wellness Tea Pioneer Traditional Medicinals® Releases Its Second Annual Sustainability Report

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

Traditional Medicinals, a pioneer and leading seller of wellness teas for 40 years, today released highlights from its 2013 sustainability report, continuing its commitment to ongoing improvement and transparency around practices in key areas. From organic and ethical sourcing practices to community engagement, highlights from the report include an investment of over $1 million to the Revive! Project, and a maintained commitment to 100 percent Non-GMO Project Verified teas.

Traditional Medicinals, made with certified organic, Fair Trade, and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients, uses over 100 different botanical raw materials that are sourced in over 30 countries. It participates in certification programs like Fair Trade and FairWild that assist communities in economic development and social empowerment, investing in change from poverty to prosperity.

“The entire planet desperately needs business models that are non-exploitive, free of discrimination, socially and environmentally responsible, and have a corporate purpose to make a positive impact on society and the environment,” said Josef Brinckmann, Vice President of Sustainability at Traditional Medicinals. “These values are core to our company, as demonstrated by our sustainability and social responsibility performance, which we are proud to share.”

Developed under the Sustainable Food Trade Association guidelines, Traditional Medicinals’ 2013 sustainability report highlights include:

Community Engagement

  • Surpassed the $1 million milestone in total investment to the Revive! Project, a social business partnership in Rajasthan, India, focusing on reducing poverty and empowering women through organic agriculture. Along with Gravis, a Rajasthan-based NGO, and WomenServe, a Sonoma County-based NGO, the Revive! Project has implemented many initiatives, including community organization and development, medical support, water and food security, education for children, economic development and women’s empowerment.
  • Thirty-one of the 48 recipients of Traditional Medicinals’ community contributions were local educational and/or social and environmental justice organizations.

Environmental Certifications and Awards

  • As a Certified B Corp, continued to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. 
  • In the category of “Environment”, received the 2013 Top Manufacturers in the North Bay award, presented by the North Bay Business Journal.

Ethical Sourcing

  • Maintained the Non-GMO Project Verified percentage of its herbal tea products at 100 percent.
  • Made a five-year commitment to support the United Plant Savers Adopt an Herb Program by adopting the Native American tree slippery elm. This adoption shows Traditional Medicinals’ commitment to protect native medicinal plants and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply for generations to come.
  • Increased the percentage of herbs used that are both organic and fair to 34.6% (certified organic and either Fair Trade or FairWild certified and/or are sourced from selected community and social development project sites like the Revive! Project).
  • Increased the organic percentage of its botanical raw materials to 97.7 percent.

Renewable Energy

  • Solar panels provided over half of its total annual electricity use.
  • Some additional electricity use was offset through the purchase of Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). 100% offset begins for FY2014.

Sustainable Packaging

  • Tea carton packaging is made from 100 percent recycled paperboard, of which at least 35 percent is from post-consumer waste.

Traditional Medicinals is always working toward increasing ingredient sustainability by purchasing higher percentages of certified organic, Fair Trade, FairWild and Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients, as well as looking for biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and responsible packaging materials. 

Click here for Traditional Medicinals’ Sustainability Q&A.

About Traditional Medicinals
Traditional Medicinals, Inc., a Certified B Corporation and California Certified Green Business, is a leading seller of wellness tea in the U.S. and the pioneer of the wellness tea category in the U.S. and Canada. Traditional Medicinals is also the leading seller of both organic tea and Fair Trade Certified™ herbal teas in the U.S. and Canada. The company is passionate about connecting people with plants and sharing centuries-old wisdom of how to use them. Their more than 50 high quality wellness teas are formulated by herbalists using pharmacopoeial grade herbs. This is one of the defining qualities that sets Traditional Medicinals apart from many leading tea brands. Founded in 1974, Traditional Medicinals is an independent company that embraces sustainability, ingredient purity, and social and environmental activism. For additional information, visit www.traditionalmedicinals.com

The Shift to Integrated Reporting

CSR Wire - Tue, Oct 28, 2014 - 02:54 pm

The movement to integrated reporting has seen substantial development, but widespread regulatory intervention has yet to materialize. The forthcoming book, The Integrated Reporting Movement, by Robert Eccles, Michael Krzus, and Sydney Ribot, explains how companies can ensure their own long-term viability by contributing to a sustainable society.

The authors provide guidance to promote wider adoption of the practice and success of the movement, starting with how companies can improve their own reporting processes. Readers will learn how integrated reporting has evolved over the years, where frameworks and standards are today, and effective implementation practices—including information technology’s role in the process.

This free, prerelease excerpt focuses on the second and third chapters of The Integrated Reporting Movement.  The authors discuss how integrated reporting has evolved through four overlapping stages and review the codification of reporting practices and challenges for institutionalizing integrated reporting.

Download your copy of the excerpt now.

 

About

Workiva, formerly WebFilings, is a leading provider of complex business reporting solutions and is used by more than 60 percent of the Fortune 500. The company’s Wdesk cloud-based product platform brings ease and control to compliance, management, risk, and sustainability reporting. It combines documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that link your critical business data in one place. See what we can do for you at workiva.com.

Syndicate content