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LBG Canada Trends in Leveraging External Resources (Part II)

Sun, 2014-03-16 23:00
Increasing Value to the Community

SOURCE: SiMPACT Strategy Group

DESCRIPTION:

The attached infographic illustrates LBG Canada company community investment trends specific to the leveraging of external resources. In our last post of this series, we discussed the concept of external resources leveraged (read more here) and the value it offers to an overall community investment portfolio.

This week’s infographic demonstrates the value from external resources leveraged through employee giving, external cash and external in-kind contributions. Over the last year, LBG Canada companies leveraged an average of $0.15 from key stakeholders for every dollar invested by the company.

For previous analysis on employee engagement and giving, please see previous infographics from this series, visit our website at www.simpactstrategies.com or contact SiMPACT Strategy Group at 403.444.5683.   

Tweet me: Infographic: LBG Canada Trends in Leveraging External Resources (Part II) http://3bl.me/n3bdk5 @SiMPACTStrat

KEYWORDS: Corporate Social Responsibility, Philanthropy, Socially Responsible Investing, Community, Engagement, CSR Reports, LBG Canada, Investment, external resources leveraged

 

PBS NewsHour Features Microsoft Alumnus Richard Gold’s “Pongo Teen Writing”

Sun, 2014-03-16 20:00
Nonprofit organization supports at-risk youth through poetry workshops

SOURCE: Microsoft

DESCRIPTION:

Bellevue, Washington, March 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Microsoft alumnus Richard Gold, founder of Pongo Teen Writing and a 2010 Integral Fellow of the Microsoft Alumni Foundation, will be featured on a PBS NewsHour segment Monday, March 17 by PBS reporter Jeffrey Brown and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway. Pongo Teen Writing helps at-risk youth come to grips with their innermost feelings through writing poetry. For local stations and air times, visit http://www.pbs.org/tv_schedules/.

The PBS NewsHour profile coincides with the release of Gold’s book, “Writing with At-Risk Youth: The Pongo Teen Writing Method (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2014),” which details the rationale and methods of the program and offers encouragement and guidance for similar programs all across the country. The national attention that Pongo is drawing makes it an exciting time for the organization’s growth, but amidst all the chaos of preparing for a country-wide broadcast, Gold is still set as ever in making sure it is all ultimately about the kids.

“At the end of the day everything I do, we do, is so that we can make kids’ lives better,” said Gold. “A lot of them feel hopeless, worthless even, and that is often reflected in their writing. But something special happens when they put it down on paper. All of a sudden they are pouring out emotions they had held back for years, and they feel different afterward. And when we walk out and they’re wearing smiles instead of frowns, what’s cooler than that?”

Pongo Teen Writing is unique in its therapeutic services. It offers poetry as a mechanism for at-risk teens to address their fears, aspirations, abuses, and dreams. From its humble beginnings as an experimental program at Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, Gold has turned Pongo into a national movement that psychiatrists, teachers, counselors, and even court judges are praising as a major breakthrough in helping distressed youths. But most importantly, the youths who participate love it: of 881 teens who completed surveys, all of them reported enjoying the program, even though it brought up painful memories and even though one-third had very little experience with writing previously. With 14,000 books filled with youth poetry given away, 6,000 teens reached, and hundreds of people inspired to be volunteers, Gold’s work is paying off.

“I believe that this work is transformative and revolutionary,” said Gold. “People can do it without any psychological training; it doesn’t have a negative impact, it doesn’t have a cost. All we have to do is open people’s eyes to its power.”

What sets Pongo apart from most other programs is its unique platform that makes the kids and mentors alike feel like they deserve to be heard. At a session where a guest speaker used a Pongo method to provide a template for kids to write from, they shared intensely personal experiences. But the thunderous applause from the room when they were done, and the smiles on the writers’ faces, showed that they had broken some major barriers. All they needed was a voice and someone to listen.

Note to editors: For additional information regarding Richard Gold and his work with Pongo Teen Publishing, please visit http://www.pongoteenwriting.org. You can also read a more in-depth profile of Richard Gold here: http://microsoftalumni.org/news-and-views/alumni-profiles/2014/02/12/when-writing-is-more-than-writing.

 

Media Contact:

Don Edmond

Marketing Director

Microsoft Alumni Foundation

(425) 885-3500

don@microsoftalumni.org

Tweet me: PBS NewsHour Features Microsoft Alumnus Richard Gold’s “Pongo Teen Writing” http://3bl.me/dmzn4c

KEYWORDS: Community, Engagement, Positive Change, People, Social Development, Social Change, Social Actions, Teen Action, Volunteerism, Women, Youth Action

#DardenDigest: Raising a Family and a Career

Fri, 2014-03-14 05:05

SOURCE: Darden Restaurants

DESCRIPTION:

March is Women’s History Month, an annual celebration of the contributions of women to history and society. At Darden, we love to celebrate all the unique people who make our company what it is today. Today we feature Jenny Hanson, who has been with Darden for more than 15 years.

More than 15 years ago, I started with Darden as a server at Olive Garden and immediately fell in love with the restaurant industry. I loved the fast-paced environment and the social aspect from the camaraderie within my restaurant to being able to interact with guests. I was still in college at the time, so having a job as a server offered me a lot of flexibility to work while going to classes.

Continue reading at Darden Digest

Tweet me: Jenny Hanson started w @Darden_News as a server and is now Director of Ops http://bit.ly/1gwOWj0 #WomensHistoryMonth

KEYWORDS: Human Resources, Olive Garden, darden, Darden Restaurants, career, Women's History Month

Citi Foundation and Living Cities Launch City Accelerator Program to Drive Innovation and Collaboration in U.S. Cities

Fri, 2014-03-14 03:00
Up to Nine Winning Municipalities Eligible for $3 Million Initiative to Help Address Local Challenges

SOURCE: Citi

DESCRIPTION:

New York and Washington, DC, March 14, 2014 /3BL Media/ – The Citi Foundation and Living Cities today announced the launch of the City Accelerator, a new $3 million program to foster innovation and promote collaboration between urban leaders to tackle some of their cities’ most pressing challenges. The City Accelerator will allow selected U.S. cities to pilot innovative efforts that generate economic opportunities for low-income populations and help municipalities run more effectively. Participating cities will also benefit from ongoing interaction with leading practitioners from around the country and share lessons learned to advance progress.

The City Accelerator builds on the Project on Municipal Innovation (PMI), a collaboration between Living Cities and Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, which brings together mayoral chiefs-of-staff and policy directors from 35 cities across the U.S. to discuss challenges facing their municipalities, including inefficiency in city government and inequality. The City Accelerator helps translate dialogue into action by giving cities seed funding to adopt many of the ideas discussed during the PMI sessions.

The Citi Foundation’s support for the City Accelerator will provide these U.S. cities with the opportunity to apply for one of three cohorts that focus on accelerating a particular type or model of innovation. The selection criteria include having a demonstrated commitment from the mayor and other key leaders and a track record of delivering results. Participants will explore areas where there is a clear model ready for implementation, which senior officials in each participating city will adapt around a chosen issue. The first round of selected cities will be announced this summer.

“At a time when cities are experiencing rapid population growth, we are proud to support urban leaders who are seeking solutions to improve services in the midst of an unprecedented shift,” said Ed Skyler, Citi’s Executive Vice President for Global Public Affairs and Chairman of the Citi Foundation. “For over 200 years, Citi has partnered with cities around the world to support their growth and progress. The City Accelerator will enhance the ability of municipal governments to implement innovative programs and services that deliver impactful results for residents.”

“Many cities today are program-rich, but focus on piecemeal approaches and workaround solutions,” said Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities. “Our belief is that City Accelerator, with support from the Citi Foundation, will help foster the spread of innovation to enable more systematic solutions to address some of the core challenges facing America’s cities. We are grateful for the partnership with the Citi Foundation to enable this important work to move forward.”

Participating cities in the City Accelerator program will focus on issues with the potential to have profound benefits for residents, such as allocating additional resources to issues like health to achieve better results, or using data in a new and coordinated way across city agencies to improve educational outcomes.

“While all cities are unique, they face common challenges,” said Peter Furman, Chief of Staff for San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and a PMI participant. “With City Accelerator, cities can build upon existing best practices and move faster toward implementing approaches that work.”

Local governments are critical in promoting widespread economic growth and opportunity, and they benefit from an inherent ability to quickly adapt and experiment in the face of a changing environment. From launching innovation offices and opening up access to municipal data banks, cities have begun taking steps to reinvent themselves in order to solve what were once seen as intractable challenges.

“Cities are on the front lines of today’s challenges, and we need to get better at accelerating the development of workable solutions,” said Kristine LaLonde, Nashville Co-Chief Innovation Officer. “From our city’s involvement with PMI, we have seen some smart, forward-thinking approaches to the obstacles all cities face when trying to serve their own diverse constituents. City Accelerator will enable the field to develop smarter solutions together and more quickly.”

The City Accelerator builds upon Citi’s efforts to help cities become more efficient and empower citizens by providing access to services that enhance livability and prosperity. Through Citi for Cities and other initiatives, Citi is partnering with governments, businesses, and community groups to identify and implement inventive solutions that spur job creation, drive efficiencies, and enhance quality of life. For more information about how Citi is enabling progress in cities, please visit www.citiforcities.com

###

About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress in communities around the world and focuses on initiatives that expand financial inclusion. We collaborate with best-in-class partners to create measurable economic improvements that strengthen low-income families and communities. Through a "More than Philanthropy" approach, Citi's business resources and human capital enhance our philanthropic investments and impact. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About Living Cities
Living Cities harnesses the collective power of 22 of the world’s largest foundations and financial institutions to develop and scale new approaches for creating opportunities for low-income people and improving the cities where they live. Its investments, research, networks, and convenings catalyze fresh thinking and combine support for innovative, local approaches with real-time sharing of learning to accelerate adoption in more places. Additional information can be found at www.livingcities.org.

About the Project on Municipal Innovation
The Project on Municipal Innovation is a unique forum that enables city halls from across the country to learn about and act on integrative and transformative policy ideas. More than 35 cities have designated their chief-of-staff or policy director to participate in a highly engaged set of activity that includes online policy forums and biannual in-person meetings at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Tweet me: .@Citi Fndn & @Living_Cities launch $3 mil initiative to help municipalities solve local challenges http://3bl.me/6h2war #CitiforCities Contact Info:

Kamran Mumtaz
Citi
+1 (212) 793-7682
kamran.mumtaz@citi.com

Nadia Owusu
Living Cities
+1 (646) 442-2220
nowusu@livingcities.org

KEYWORDS: People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Community, Engagement, Expert Connections, Positive Change, Social Development, Social Change, Social Actions, Citi, Citi Foundation, Living Cities, City Accelerator

JK Group CEO Shares Thoughts on Corporate Giving on DriveThruHR Internet Radio Show

Fri, 2014-03-14 03:00

SOURCE: JK Group

DESCRIPTION:

As the world continues to emerge from the global recession, business is improving, employers are hiring, and more companies have expanded, or launched, their corporate social responsibility programs. Not only do such programs enable companies to help their communities and provide assistance to those in need, but they have also proven to enhance the company brand and improve employee engagement and retention.

During his appearance last week on the DriveThruHR internet radio show, JK Group’s CEO, Bob Farina, explored the benefits of robust corporate giving programs in depth. The conversation covered a broad range of topics, from using social media to amplify the company’s philanthropic efforts, to the impact of such programs when attracting millennials who increasingly want to work for a company that shares their values and shows its commitment to improving the world.

Farina also offered proven strategies for companies that have yet to implement a giving program and overcome the biggest hurdle – getting started. For instance, asking employees directly about the causes or organizations most important to them will enable the team to feel involved and engaged right from the beginning, and ensure the success of the giving program.

The entire interview, complete with more of Farina’s expert insights on corporate giving, can be accessed at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drivethruhr/2014/03/06/bob-farina-at-lunch-with-drivethruhr.

Tweet me: New blog post: @JKGroupInc CEO Shares Thoughts on Corporate Giving on DriveThruHR Internet Radio Show. http://bit.ly/1ewyNtp #dthr Contact Info:

Hesha Patel
+1 (609) 799-7830ext. 19500
heshap@jk-group.com

KEYWORDS: Webinar, Human Resources, Community, Engagement, Employee Engagement, employee volunteering, corporate giving, corporate philantrhopy, employee giving, HR, DriveThruHR

Toyota Financial Services Awards New Toyota to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year Winner

Fri, 2014-03-14 01:05
Kansas native Kiana Knolland receives 2014 Coroll

SOURCE: Toyota

DESCRIPTION:
 
TORRANCE, Calif., March 14, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Toyota Financial Services (TFS), as part of its Making Life Easier for YOUth initiative, recently awarded a new Corolla to the 2013-14 Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) National Youth of the Year Winner Kiana Knolland.  The vehicle presentation took place at Eddy’s Toyota in Wichita, Kansas, on March 12.  Representatives from TFS, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), and BGCA were in attendance, as well as teens from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, where Knolland was a longstanding member.

National Youth of the Year is BGCA’s premier recognition for teen Club members who have made outstanding contributions to their family, school, community, and local Club while overcoming personal obstacles.  Nominations begin at the Club and continue through the state, regional, and national levels.  Participants are chosen on local and state levels, with five regional winners meeting each September in Washington, D.C., to compete for the National Youth of the Year title.  Five judges individually interview each candidate, and select the national winner.

“Kiana’s achievements are truly inspiring, and we are excited about the extraordinary future that awaits her,” said Al Smith, Group Vice President, TFS Service Operations & Corporate Planning.  “At Toyota, we relentlessly strive to do and be the best each day, and to improve our communities along the way… and we feel that Kiana’s character and determination represent those same values.”

Knolland was introduced to Boys & Girls Clubs at the age of 5, and she attributes her confidence and drive to the lessons she learned during her time there.  Hers was a difficult childhood, lacking many of the opportunities and advantages most young people have.  But Knolland never lost sight of her goal of becoming an attorney, and she knew that she had to take steps to secure her education.  This included writing to the admissions director of a private school, a school she knew her single mother could not afford, and explaining her reasons for wanting to attend; her initiative earned her a full scholarship for her junior and seniors years.

“It has been such a pleasure watching Kiana grow from a confused child into a focused young adult,” said Jeff Jacobs, Chief Professional Officer of Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, and one of Kiana’s mentors.  “Kiana is one of the finest young women I have ever known and we’re all so very proud of her.”
 
 Knolland now attends Howard University in Washington, D.C., and plans to pursue a career in the legal field.

“The Boys & Girls Club has been an integral part of my life,” said Knolland.  “I am honored to represent an organization that has had such a tremendous impact on my character and well-being.”
 
About Toyota Financial Services

TFS is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing, as well as commercial equipment, truck, and fleet financing, through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust.  TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS).  Lexus Financial Services is the brand for financial products for Lexus dealers and customers. TFS currently employs approximately 3,300 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling over $99.7 billion.  It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation.  We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website (www.toyotafinancial.com) and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/toyotafinancial. For more information, please visit www.toyotafinancial.com.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, nearly 4,000 Clubs serve some 4 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native American lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Club programs promote academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
 
Media Contacts
 
Justin Leach
(310) 468-5332
 

Tweet me: Toyota Financial Services Awards http://toyota.us/1gpNAdr #Toyota to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Youth of the Year Winner

KEYWORDS: making life easier for youth, Toyota Financial Services, tfs, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, corolla, philanthropy, BGCA, National Youth of the Year

8 Pieces of Advice on Sustainability Entrepreneurship

Thu, 2014-03-13 06:25

SOURCE: CSRHub

DESCRIPTION:

CSRHub Cofounder Cynthia Figge shared her thoughts at Founders’ Friday sponsored by Women 2.0.  

Relentless, Filled With Hope

I have been an entrepreneur since I could first conceive of business. I cofounded my college’s Coop and with the consulting firm New Ventures, wrote the business plan for dozens of nonprofits starting for-profit subsidiaries. I was early-in to saving the world through business, which we now call “social impact” enterprise. I also worked for large companies starting new businesses. As an officer of LIN Broadcasting (owned by McCaw Cellular), I developed new mobile data services. When McCaw sold to AT&T, I felt it was time to be an entrepreneur, for good.

In 1996, I began a journey toward blending my two passions – startups and sustainability. I cofounded the consulting firm EKOS, a pioneer in helping companies integrate sustainability into their core business strategy. While that may sound a little “so what’s new” today, 18 years ago most businesses did not embrace the notion that they needed to integrate human capital and natural capital with manufactured/financial capital into a single system. EKOS calls this “operating at the nexus.” Then in 2007, I cofounded CSRHub, a sustainability big data platform. CSRHub has built the largest database of sustainability ratings and information in the world. We cover nearly 9,000 companies in 103 countries, and aim to be the go-to source on every company’s social and environmental performance data.

I’ve grown in my understanding of being an entrepreneur, and will share eight insights.

First – do the work you are called to do. You must feel that somehow the world will fall apart if you do not apply your unique set of skills, passion, knowledge and intuition to the work you do. During this difficult economic time many of us are just grateful to have paid work . Can we afford to worry about hearing a call for our lives? I think the answer is we cannot afford to ignore finding our true selves and the vocation that we long for, especially in this liminal time. The earth and people on it are at a crossroad.  The global population is predicted to grow to about 9 billion people. Social equity, climate change, the need for clean water and clean energy, and planetary survival offer us lots to do in answering our unique call.

Second – there is no such thing as immediate gratification. Even if you are doing engineering time studies for a thunderous piece of equipment in 100 degree+ heat in a tiny northern Michigan town, if you think you are on the train track to the work you are called to do, hang in there. Entrepreneurs build progress one hard day at a time, and it adds up.

Third – celebrate early and often. Despite the absence of immediate gratification you must celebrate whatever small and large victories come your way. You have a graduate student use your service and publish their PhD thesis using your data – celebrate. You raise $100,000 from an angel – celebrate. You raise it from a woman – celebrate enthusiastically. There will be plenty of bad days when the memory of the good moments tide you over.

Fourth – pursue partnerships with would-be competitors. This is like making love, not war. At every turn, figure out how to collaborate with the competition and develop partnerships wherever possible to leverage the collective work. Who I do business with is deeply guided by my intuition as well as analysis, and desire to expand the pie for all. We are one big system.

Fifth – own your ability to “see ahead”. You would not be an entrepreneur if you didn’t see ahead the trends and shifts that others cannot see. I realize that my gift is seeing ahead, coming back to tell the story, and continue co-creating our world. You will make bets on what you see way down the road and others will think you are crazy. You may be crazy, but stay the course, because you may be right. Think Elon Musk and Tesla.

Sixth – when the going gets rough, find like-minded angels. Angel investors can be angels – they support and guide you. Put time and effort into finding the right sources of capital to grow your business. And when you are wildly successful, join an angel network and give back.

Seventh – humility is the new swagger. Swagger is very important, but not the old school type.  Thomas Friedman wrote a NY Times Op-Ed recently on how to get a job at Google. You need learning ability, emergent leadership, humility and ownership. He says you can be a zealot about your point of view, but when a new fact arises, you say ‘Oh, well, that changes things; you’re right.’ “You need a big ego and small ego in the same person at the same time.” As a Harvard Business School grad with years of being an entrepreneur, I love this advice. BTW, women are really good at this!

Eighth - hope is an entrepreneur’s asset. I believe hope and dreams are inextricably linked. There’s some combination of belief, knowledge, foolishness, and persistence that leads one to radical hope. Hope is not optimism. Optimism is moving toward a positive outcome in ways we can see. Hope is the fulfillment now, hope is realized by making the life giving choices - every day we can do this. Hope is not measured by an endpoint. We are moving into hope every day as we live out our call and dreams. There’s something in the dream - the ambiguity, uncertainty, unknown outcome, giving something you’ve imagined some real form in the world.  There’s no promise of success. But it is the work of the entrepreneur to be relentless, filled with hope.

Best wishes on your path of being an entrepreneur.

 

 

Cynthia Figge is a forerunner and thought leader in the corporate sustainability movement. She is COO and Cofounder of CSRHub, the world’s largest database that aggregates and organizes data and knowledge on the social, environmental, and governance performance of 8,900 companies to provide sustainability ratings to the marketplace. In 1996 she co-founded EKOS International, one of the first consultancies integrating sustainability and corporate strategy. Prior to founding EKOS, she was an officer of LIN Broadcasting / McCaw Cellular, and led new businesses and services with Weyerhaeuser, New York Daily News; and with New Ventures. Cynthia is Board Director of the Compassionate Action Network International. Cynthia received her bachelor's degree in Economics and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in the Seattle area.

 

CSRHub provides access to corporate social responsibility and sustainability ratings and information on 8,900 companies from 135 industries in 103 countries. By aggregating and normalizing the information from 300+ data sources, CSRHub has created a broad, consistent rating system and a searchable database that links millions of rating elements back to their source. Managers, researchers and activists use CSRHub to benchmark company performance, learn how stakeholders evaluate company CSR practices and seek ways to change the world.

 

Tweet me: 8 Pieces of Advice on #Sustainability #Entrepreneurship #CSR #CSRHub http://3bl.me/pgw6an

KEYWORDS: Environment, Clean Energy, climate change, csr, CSRHUB, EKOS, Entrepreneur, founder friday seattle, Social Impact, startups, sustainability, women 2.0

 

Denver GSK IMPACT Grant

Thu, 2014-03-13 03:15

SOURCE: GlaxoSmithKline

DESCRIPTION:

Today, we're holding a community conversation with our #GSKimpact Grant recipients in Denver to introduce a new partnership that is engaging youth to promote healthy eating and active living. View the press release to learn more, and watch this video to hear what this grant means to Denver.

Tweet me: Today, @GSKUS is holding a community conversation with our #GSKimpact Grant recipients in Denver. Find out more http://3bl.me/9s9tnd

KEYWORDS: GSK, GlaxoSmithKline, GSK IMPACT, Denver, colorado, Youth, healthy eating, active lifestyle

 

True Purpose of Internet Sensation 'The Miracle Machine' Revealed

Thu, 2014-03-13 02:45
Faux machine turns spotlight onto Wine to Water, a charity tackling the global water and sanitation crisis

SOURCE: MSLGROUP Americas

DESCRIPTION:

Internet sensation the “Miracle Machine”, the first affordable wine making device for the home, is not a real device – it is just a piece of wood. The fictitious miracle, fronted by wine entrepreneurs Kevin Boyer and Philip James of CustomVine, has generated extensive media coverage around the world since its unveiling nearly two weeks ago. The disruptive program concept was initiated as a pro-bono campaign to support not-for-profit ‘Wine to Water’, an organization that provides people around the world with access to clean water, one of life’s basic necessities. 

In just under two weeks, the Miracle Machine went viral with over 500 million media impressions as more than 200,000 people watched the Miracle Machine video, nearly 600 media outlets around the world covered the story, 6,000 people tweeted about it, and 7,000 people signed up for a potential crowd-funding platform to invest in the faux machine.

The water crisis and poor sanitation affects more than 2.5 billion people around the world, with women and children suffering the most. Shockingly, one child dies every 22 seconds. To date, Wine to Water has provided more than 250,000 people in 17 countries with access to clean drinking water.

 “Almost two million children die each year from contaminated water and poor sanitation,” said James. “The miracle of turning water to wine might remain out of reach, but Wine to Water has shown that the real miracle of providing clean water is easily within our grasp,” he added. “The decision to put our wine credentials on the line and get involved was an easy one,” said Boyer. “While many of us like to enjoy a fine glass of wine, too many people around the world cannot enjoy a clean glass of water, and that’s unacceptable,” he added.

For one dollar, Wine to Water can provide clean water for one person for an entire year. Using a variety of water filters and wells, Wine to Water is changing lives at a fraction of the $499 price tag for the faux machine that so many were willing to buy or invest in.  “For the cost of a bottle of fine wine, we provide a way to produce 99.9% pure drinking water to a family for up to five years and THAT is the true miracle.  There is no life without water,” says Doc Hendley, the founder of Wine to Water.    

“The Wine community has been a long-term supporter of Wine to Water by sponsoring an array of wine tasting events with the proceeds being donated to those in need,” says Boyer.  “We cannot express how grateful we are for the attention our industry has given The Miracle Machine.  However, what we need to do now is shift that attention from the Miracle Machine to the clean water and sanitation cause and support Doc and his devoted team.”

In celebration of World Water Month and World Water Day on Saturday, March 22, Wine to Water is asking Miracle Machine enthusiasts to turn wine into water and save lives by purchasing a commemorative bottle of ‘Miracle Machine’ Wine that CustomVine has created exclusively for Winetowater.org.  Supporters can also take immediate action and make a quick and simple donation by texting "MIRACLE" to 27722 (United States residents only).

Please visit www.themiraclemachine.net or www.WinetoWater.org to purchase your own Wine to Water Miracle Wine, make a donation or to be a part of the movement.

 

Tweet me: #MiracleMachine enthusiasts: join @winetowater & the #cleanwater movement on #WorldWaterDay. Text "MIRACLE" to 27722 http://bit.ly/1hfbc2k

KEYWORDS: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability Business, Water, Non-Profit, Philanthropy, Wellness, Community, Engagement, Positive Change, People, Social Change, Social Actions, Green Innovations, Sustainable Solutions, world water day, access to clean water, sanitation, Clean Drinking Water, Wine to Water

  

AECOM-Sponsored Study Examines Gender Diversity in Engineering and Design

Thu, 2014-03-13 01:00
Results announced as part of firm’s commemoration of International Women’s Day.

SOURCE: AECOM

DESCRIPTION:

LOS ANGELES, March 13, 2014 /3BL Media/ - AECOM Technology Corporation, a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for public and private clients in more than 150 countries around the world, announced today that it is underscoring its commitment to diversity and inclusion with a unique look at gender diversity in the global engineering, design and construction industry.

Believed to be the first of its kind for the industry, the study, sponsored by AECOM and conducted by Mercer, examines current gender diversity among global firms in this space.

Specifically, the study analyzes gender representation in leadership roles.  Mercer’s findings indicate that as women progress in their engineering, design or construction careers, fewer of them are represented at the highest levels of corporate leadership.

“The survey is important to help us understand the current diversity landscape and how we can better serve women in our industry,” said Teuila Hanson, AECOM’s vice president of engagement and diversity + inclusion.  “At AECOM, we want to think critically about diversity and help drive best practices for our industry.”

AECOM also commemorated International Women’s Day by acknowledging its employees who are helping to improve AECOM and the world at large through their roles and achievements.  The company has posted a photo essay that highlights several of these employees and their efforts.

Also, throughout the week leading up to International Women’s Day, AECOM hosted a number of related panel discussions, charity events and networking sessions.  Additionally, female employees were featured on the company’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

 

About AECOM

AECOM is a global provider of professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.  With approximately 45,000 employees around the world, AECOM is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves.  AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering solutions that create, enhance and sustain the world's built, natural, and social environments.  A Fortune 500 company, AECOM serves clients in more than 150 countries and had revenue of $8.1 billion during the 12 months ended Dec. 31, 2013.  More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

NR 14-0304

Media:

AECOM Technology Corporation
Ed Mayer, +1.732.564.3380
Director, Corporate Communications
Ed.Mayer@aecom.com

Tweet me: http://3bl.me/85k2av AECOM-sponsored study examines #gender #diversity in engineering and design. #WomenofAECOM #IWD2014

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity, Women In Business, Education, Event, Cause Marketing, Social Media, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Community, Engagement, Expert Connections, Social Change, Social Actions, Women, Business Surveys, AECOM, architecture, engineering, construction, design, women, International Women's Day, gender diversity, Leadership, Gender Representation

Volkswagen Group Of America Releases 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Wed, 2014-03-12 08:00
Report highlights company’s sustainability and philanthropic efforts in the United States, and commitment to diversity and inclusion

SOURCE: Volkswagen Group

DESCRIPTION:

Herndon, VA, March 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) today released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “At Home in America.” The report provides an update on the Volkswagen family’s environmental sustainability initiatives, commitment to serving U.S. communities, and efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workplace.

“Volkswagen Group of America is united not only by our devotion to building quality vehicles, but also by our commitment to doing what’s right for the environment, our communities and our employees,” said Michael Horn, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “As we have continued to expand our presence in the United States, our 2013 CSR report shows how we have also increased our efforts to reduce our ecological footprint, give back to our communities, and create a rewarding and diverse workplace.”

As part of its long-term growth strategy, Volkswagen Group has invested $4 billion in North America since 2008 and earmarked an additional $7 billion in investments by 2018. These investments will enable the company to further deepen its roots in the United States, create new employment opportunities, and reach its goals on eco-mobility, environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship.

 

Highlights detailed in the 2013 CSR report include:

Environmental sustainability. Cutting-edge technologies have enabled Volkswagen to progress toward carbon-neutral vehicles, including electric cars, and fuel-efficient, low-emission hybrid and TDI® clean diesel vehicles. In the 2013, Volkswagen and Audi accounted for 75 percent of the U.S. market for clean diesel vehicle sales, enabling owners nationwide to achieve up to 30 percent improved fuel-economy compared to gasoline vehicles.

In 2013, the LEED platinum-certified Volkswagen Chattanooga factory earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Green Power Leadership” award, making it one of only four companies to receive the award for on-site green power generation. Volkswagen Chattanooga’s 33,000 solar panels generate 13.1 gigawatt-hours of electricity each year—enough to power 1,200 homes annually.

In addition, the plant conserves 720,000 kilowatts of energy annually through insulation made of recycled materials and rock wool, and has saved 6 million gallons of water, to date, through rainwater collection.

Serving U.S. communities. In 2013, Volkswagen Group of America donated nearly $10 million in funding and in-kind donations to organizations across the nation, and provided more than $7 million to support education programs in Tennessee and Virginia. Volkswagen Group employees at locations across the country have also devoted both funds and significant volunteer hours to a variety of causes, including mentoring youth, supporting veterans, providing disaster relief efforts—including helping to rebuild Haiti—and raising awareness for people with disabilities.

Some examples of Volkswagen Group of America’s non-profit partnerships include the American Red Cross, Best Buddies International, Boys and Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the International Organization on Arts and Disability (VSA), among others.

Promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. Establishing a healthy and diverse workplace environment is a critical component of Volkswagen Group of America’s business strategy. As part of this commitment, Volkswagen became the first automotive company to sign the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealer’s “15% For Success” in 2013, pledging to improve the percentage of car dealership ownership of ethnic minorities. The company has also established a robust Supplier Diversity program, achieving a 10 percent target for inclusion of women and ethnic minorities in the Volkswagen supplier network.

For additional information on Volkswagen Group of America’s social responsibility initiatives, visit www.VolkswagenGroupAmerica.com. For information on Volkswagen Group’s global social responsibility efforts, visit www.volkswagenag.com.

 

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. It operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company's headquarters are in Herndon, Va., Volkswagen Group of America brings vehicles to the U.S. that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and eco-conscious automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 6,000 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a 992-strong dealer network. 

 

Tweet me: Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, “At Home in America.” http://3bl.me/k2kpa3

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Eco-Living, Consumption & Travel, Education, Energy, Environment, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Reporting, Ratings & Rankings, Technology. Innovation & Solutions, At Home in AMerica, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Group of America, Audi of America, Best Buddies, Volkswagen Chattanooga

 

Protecting Human Rights Across Our Supply Chain

Wed, 2014-03-12 07:15
By Debra McLaughlin, Symantec Stakeholder Engagement Manager

SOURCE: Symantec

DESCRIPTION:

As human beings all of us have basic human rights that respect the dignity and integrity of us as individuals. These human rights are fundamental principles that, if respected, ensure we can live a life of dignity, free from deprivation and abuse, free to participate in their community, and freely able to express their beliefs.

Unfortunately, in many places around the world, human rights are not respected or upheld, due to a variety of factors including business and economic pressure, corruption, poverty and more.

As a global company committed to positive social impact, Symantec is committed to respecting human rights wherever we do business around the globe. We believe in the importance of upholding human rights, including in our supply chain, for many reasons, including:

  • Human rights principles are aligned with our company’s values, and we have always conducted business according to the highest levels of ethics and integrity
  • Adherence to human rights is ethically the right thing and our employees take pride in working for an ethical company

Continue Reading: http://bit.ly/1cTAOiT

Tweet me: What does human rights protection look like for the ICT industry? http://bit.ly/1cTAOiT #Symantec #CSR

KEYWORDS: Corporate Social Responsibility, People, Social Action & Community Engagement, Conflict Minerals, Human Rights, supply chain

Students Learn Survival Skills at Richmond Hill Pool

Wed, 2014-03-12 06:25
Swim to Survive+ Prepares Richmond Students for the Unexpected

SOURCE: TransCanada

DESCRIPTION:

Originally pubished in the Richmond Hill Liberal

Just before March break, Grade 7 students from Richmond Hill’s Walter Scott Public School got dressed in street clothing to go swimming at Centennial Pool.

The Lifesaving Society of Ontario organizes the Swim to Survive+ program in schools around Markham and Richmond Hill, specifically geared to elementary students, as many begin to engage in risky or potentially endangering activities in their youth.

Swim to Survive+, funded by TransCanada Corporation, teaches students coping skills for falling into deep water fully clothed and simulates real-life situations, in which students must assist other youths who may have fallen into the water.

Click here to keep reading.

Click here to learn more about this partnership.

Click here to watch the video.

Click here to watch Rogers TV Daytime interview with Sindy Parsons, public education manager, Lifesaving Society Ontario and Chris Breen, director of Government Relations Canada at TransCanada.

Tweet me: .@TransCanada proud to support reinforced water safety skills with the Swim to Survive+ program in Ontario. http://3bl.me/vz8z7a

KEYWORDS: Education, Energy, Health and Wellness, swimming, TransCanada, Ontario, richmond, swim to survive, Community Investment, Community Engagement

Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT Program Brings $5.65 million to Boost Denver Homeownership

Wed, 2014-03-12 06:00

SOURCE: Wells Fargo & Company

SUMMARY:

Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program, a collaboration with NeighborWorks America, Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation and Wells Fargo, to kick off April 4-5 at Colorado Convention Center; eligible homebuyers can reserve $15,000 down payment assistance grants; program includes $500,000 to help improve Denver neighborhoods

DESCRIPTION:

DENVER, March 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America®  and Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC), today joined Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to announce the Denver Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT® program, an initiative offering $5.65 million from Wells Fargo to boost homeownership and strengthen neighborhoods in the city’s low- and moderate-income areas.

“This public-private partnership has the potential to make a significant difference for Denver families and neighborhoods, by making homeownership more affordable for people who want to live here,” said Mayor Hancock. “Teachers should have the ability to live in the communities where they teach, officers the chance to live where they patrol. I commend Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America, and CRHDC for their commitment to the City and County of Denver.”

Of the $5.65 million committed by Wells Fargo, $4.5 million will go toward down payment assistance grants and program support to help potential homebuyers overcome the barrier of making a sufficient down payment. 

Down payment assistance grants of $15,000 will be available for eligible homebuyers with annual incomes that do not exceed 120 percent of the Denver area median income – which is about $92,050 for a family of four – with income maximums varying depending on family size and type of loan.  To be eligible, homebuyers must meet criteria including completing an eight-hour homebuyer education session with CRHDC or another HUD-approved counseling agency.

“Like many cities, Denver was significantly affected by the housing crisis,” said Frank Newman, Wells Fargo’s lead region president for the Rocky Mountain Region.  “While mortgages are available at relatively low-interest rates, many families are unable to buy a home because they struggle with making the down payment. The NeighborhoodLIFT program can help local mortgage-ready homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”

To receive the full grant amount, participants buying homes with LIFT program down payment assistance grants must commit to live in the home for five years and qualify for a first mortgage on the property. The down payment assistance grants may also be used to buy a home that needs improvements with a new mortgage purchase 203k renovation loan.

In addition to providing down payment assistance for homebuyers, Wells Fargo will donate $500,000 to support stabilization efforts in Denver neighborhoods.

Registration now open for free event April 4-5
The Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program will begin with a free homebuyer event on April 4-5 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Colorado Convention Center located at 700 14th Street.

Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at www.neighborhoodlift.com or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is strongly recommended for an opportunity to reserve a $15,000 down payment assistance grant, although walk-ins will be welcome while funds are available.  The event also includes a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour® viewing center where attendees can preview local homes available for sale. 

“This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member CRHDC, and Wells Fargo will put more Denver families and individuals on the path to homeownership,” said Gary Wolfe, regional vice president for NeighborWorks America. “The required housing counseling and education classes, provided by certified professionals, have been shown to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”

Denver NeighborhoodLIFT® program down payment assistance grants may also be combined with other down payment assistance programs to provide additional financial benefit to qualified buyers. For example, the City and County of Denver’s Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus program or the Denver Mortgage Credit Certificate program can be layered with the LIFT program grants. Information regarding these other programs will be available at the April 4-5 event.

Participating homebuyers can obtain mortgage financing from any qualified lender and CRHDC will determine eligibility and administer the down payment assistance grants. Approved homebuyers will have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Denver to receive a grant.

“CRHDC is honored to help families qualify for the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program down payment assistance grants,” said Al Gold, executive director of CRHDC. “If your goal for 2014 is to buy a home in Denver, the opportunity is now.  Families need to register and get prepared to work with the CRHDC staff to be first in line to access the down payment grants.”

Denver is the third city in 2014 to receive the NeighborhoodLIFT ® program, and is now one of 25 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $195 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFT programs.  Since February 2012, LIFT programs have helped create 6,072 homeowners in housing markets where the programs have been introduced.

 

About the NeighborhoodLIFT® program
The NeighborhoodLIFT® program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted on the Wells Fargo YouTube Channel.

About Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation and NeighborWorks America 
Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation is a chartered member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit www.crhdc.org or www.nw.org to learn more.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 locations, 12,000 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 264,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations.  Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at blogs.wellsfargo.com.

# # #

Tweet me: #Denver @MayorHancock joins @WellsFargo @NeighborWorks @CRHDC w/effort to help homebuyers incl $15k #LIFT grants http://3bl.me/bwntab Contact Info:

Cristie Drumm
+1 (303) 863-6289
cristie.l.drumm@wellsfargo.com

Chris Hammond
+1 (415) 222-4106
chris.l.hammond@wellsfargo.com

KEYWORDS: Wells Fargo, NeighborhoodLIFT, NeighborWorks america, Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation, Denver NeighborhoodLIFT, financial literacy, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility

How to Launch a National Dialogue on Sustainability

Wed, 2014-03-12 04:30

SOURCE: Network for Business Sustainability

DESCRIPTION:

LONDON, ON, March 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ - Can we expect business to solve today’s most pervasive problems, like sustainable energy and consumption? New research from the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) at the Ivey Business School shows how businesses can drive widespread change on sustainability issues. A guide for executives identifies civic dialogue as a tested way to move society from awareness to action on sustainability issues. A companion best practices guide provides detailed steps and checklists firms can use

These resources address one of the 2013 top Canadian business sustainability challenges identified by a roundtable of top companies including LoyaltyOne, TD Bank Group and Unilever.

“Leading businesses think they’re reaching a glass ceiling for sustainability,” said Dr. Tima Bansal, Executive Director of NBS and Professor at Western University’s Ivey Business School. “They often want to do more than many of their customers or shareholders are asking of them. For these business leaders to be able to act, society needs to also show leadership.”

Civic dialogues are an effective form of public conversation, capable of achieving fundamental change. Business historically has played little role in civic dialogues, yet its involvement can advance sustainability goals. They also help businesses understand customers, build brand and market and change the rules of the game. Companies learn about customers’ values and needs, shape market perceptions and interact directly with decision makers.

NBS’s resources detail:

  • The value of civic dialogue to business
  • Different models of civic dialogue
  • Different ways companies can be involved and key steps for effective engagement

Movement toward sustainability happens in three stages: awareness, shared understanding and action. Civic dialogue builds shared understanding by developing knowledge about an issue and promoting appreciation of others’ perspectives. The resulting consensus enables broad, lasting change.

This project represents an innovative collaboration between research and practice. Researcher Dr. Thomas Webler summarized the best academic and practical research available on civic engagement. A working session of leaders from the business, non-profit and academic communities provided extensive feedback, which Dr. Webler incorporated into the final documents.

“There’s no other way to really bring sustainability about without changing civil society,” says Webler. “The only way to change it in a democratic society is by changing public understanding. You can only do so much with regulatory processes or voluntary agreements. You need the rest of society to be behind it: to have a collective vision of where we want to go.”

Guides:

Civic Dialogues on Sustainability: A Business Briefing (17 pages)

How to Engage in Civic Dialogue: A Best Practices Guide for Business (45 pages)

 

For more information, please contact Jessica Kilcoyne, Communications Coordinator, NBS at 519-661-2111 X88932 or jkilcoyne@nbs.net.

– 30 – 

About the Network for Business Sustainability
A Canadian non-profit, the Network for Business Sustainability (NBS) produces authoritative resources on important sustainability issues with the goal of changing management practice. We unite thousands of researchers and professionals worldwide who believe passionately in research-based practice and practice-based research. NBS is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the Ivey Business School (Western University) and the École des Sciences de la Gestion (Université du Québec à Montréal). We also receive funding from private sector partners in our Leadership, Industry Association and SME (small and medium enterprise) Councils.

NBS Leadership Council Members
3M Canada, BC Hydro, Canadian Pacific Railway Limited, The Co-operators Group Limited, Environment Canada, Holcim (Canada) Inc., Industry Canada, International Institute for Sustainable Development, LoyaltyOne Inc., Pembina Institute, Suncor Energy Inc., Target Canada, TD Bank Group, Teck Resources Limited, The Home Depot of Canada Inc., Tembec Inc., Tim Hortons Inc., Unilever Canada Inc., Westport Innovations Inc.

KEYWORDS: Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability Business, Community, Engagement, Social Change

Making Shared Value An Internal Value System

Wed, 2014-03-12 03:20
Blended Value, Shared Value and Beyond: The Transformative Value Series

SOURCE: Realized Worth

SUMMARY:This series explores how popular strategies, such as Shared Value, must become internalized by employees in order to effect broad and lasting change. DESCRIPTION:Check out the Realized Worth Blog What is value?

We think aboutt value every day. We are constantly evaluating the choices facing us trying to determine if acting or not acting (which includes responding) is worth it. Is the choice to act possess enough value to offset:

  • The expense of energy, time, resources?
  • The risk involved (whatever that may be)?
  • The loss of missed opportunities (again, whatever that may be)?

We come by this process honestly. Remember your former life, when you were a cave-person heading out to hunt. As you stood on that pre-historic plain looking at the not-too-big-but-big-enough dinosaur you thought:

  • Is chasing that thing for 3 miles worth the expense of the energy stores I possess (you’ve only eaten leaves for the last 3 days)?
  • What if I get eaten instead?
  • Maybe if I just sit in the camp Bob (your cave-person friend) will come back with some food and he’ll share it with everyone.
What's the value of that opportunity?

This is prevalent and important question. Most of us don’t have to worry about the possible outcomes of chasing carnivores anymore but we all have important personal choices to make that determine our future, both its length and quality. We make these choices as individuals, organizations and societies. Up until recently, corporations had a fairly singular (or myopic) view of the choices they faced. Although the legal entity of a corporation is as old as the Roman Empire, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that the modern day company was born. Milton Friedman understood the original intent and design of the modern day corporation.  A Nobel Prize-winning economist, he believed there to be "one and only one social responsibility of business–to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits." (Read the entire Time magazine article here.)

Either/Or 

Friedman wasn’t wrong about the value of profit driving choices, he just believed that profit demanded either/or choices. For him, employees were bound to make every decision with the goal of increasing the profitability of the company to the benefit of shareholders. The world was black and white, in and out, and very much either/or. As long as companies paid their taxes and obeyed the law, profit was to be the only estimation of value for every choice an employee made. Radical libertarians continue to pen either/or articles for Time magazine. In a recent article, Nick Gillespie criticizes two industry leaders, Apple and Chipotle, as dangerous radicals for NOT being concerned enough about profit. It was an odd article to say the least. Especially considering that his main arguments undermined the premise of the article – "companies that put people before profits is a stupid business plan" because neither Apple nor Chipotle would argue that point. Instead, many companies today believe that a singular focus on profit as espoused by Friedman (and Gillespie in a modified manner) is antiquated and dangerous.

Both/And: The Triple Bottom Line

Although the idea of corporate social responsibility became popular in the 1960’s in western societies, it wasn’t until John Elkington, the founder of SustainAbility, coined the phrase ‘triple bottom line’ in 1994 that people began to seriously question the traditional idea of a single bottom line of financial return. Responsible companies would account the cost of their actions as it related to all three aspects of doing business.

Both/And: Blended Value

In 2000, Jed Emerson presented the concept of "Blended Value" with a focus on investment strategies that would create financial returns while simultaneously creating important social and environmental returns. The idea that companies could generate value that was not singularly financial for shareholders was incredibly provocative. This ideology pushed the conversation past managing cost as it related to people, profit and planet in order to be responsible corporate citizens. Jed believed that investing in social and environmental returns promised shareholders a new kind of value that they had not considered before. Ultimately, Jed’s desire was to move investors (individuals, organizations and governments) away from the myth of a necessary tension between profit and social/environmental good to that of blended value.

Both/And: Shared Value

Michael Porter and Mark Kramer built upon Jed’s work by proposing that companies could gain a competitive advantage through Corporate Social Responsibility if they applied the principle of shared value. They proposed that this principle should be applied across multiple areas of business operations that comprise the supply chain as well as competitive advantage.  The article appeared in Harvard Business Review in 2006, “Strategy & Society: The Link between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility” (read the article here) Five years later, Kramer and Porter turned the principle into a business strategy. In the January 2011 HBR follow-up piece entitled "Creating Shared Value: Redefining Capitalism and the Role of the Corporation in Society" the authors proposed what they believed to be a distinct strategy to that of corporate social responsibility with a focus on:

  • Reconceiving products and markets
  • Redefining productivity in the value chain
  • Enabling local cluster development

For more information check out the Wikipedia page of CSV. Shared Value has come under some criticism from thought leaders for its lack of originality, yet the evolutionary process it highlights is incredibly important. The Shared Value framework builds on Jed Emerson’s idea of Blended Value.  Individual and corporate investments for the purpose of profit and social/environmental value are not an either/or conversation. Going one step further, the concept of Shared Value invites corporations to reconsider long held notions of operation and competitive advantage as ‘either/or’ formulas when it comes to value creation.

Transformative Value: The Next Evolution

Today, corporations not only have the unique opportunity to address social and environmental concerns, the public has given them a mandate to do so. The value created by companies must extend well beyond the restrictions of a financial evaluation. The concepts of Blended Value and Shared Value offer practical frameworks for companies to develop strategy and make critical decisions based on a more holistic understanding of value. For more of our thinking about the Corporate Citizen be sure to read our series:

Part One - The Rise of the Corporate Citizen 

Part Two - What is Real Corporate Citizenship?

Part Three - Employee Volunteering – Is It Working?

You can also view my presentation at Ebay  on the Rise of the Corporate Citizen (introduced by Google's Diane Solinger).

Yet all of the approaches discussed so far remain limited by one singularly important respect: they are external constructs. When push comes to shove in everyday life it is not the corporation’s policy, mission or vision statement that makes decisions. It is the individual employee based on their beliefs about the value of the opportunity. Here's how our original three questions may translate when it comes to making a choice regarding a company's CSR strategy:

  • Is it worth the expense of time, energy and resources (including my personal gain)?
  • Is it worth the risk to the company (including my job)?
  • Is it worth the missed opportunity to the company (and to my career)?
The Transformative Value Series

In this series we will explore how external constructs expressed as policies, strategies, manuals, performance reviews and mission statements must be internalized by individuals in order to achieve the promise of both blended and shared value. Here are some questions we’ll be answering:

  1. How is Transformative Value essential to achieving the ambitions of Blended Value and Shared Value?
  2. How is employee volunteering and workplace giving connected to Transformative Value?
  3. What are the Five Phases of creating Transformative Value through corporate volunteering and workplace giving programs - and where is your company on the continuum?
Explore this with me in NYC, April 3, 4

I will be moderating a panel discussion Transformative Value: Evolving Beyond Shared Value.

This plenary explores the potential of mobilizing global workforces supported by the enormous resources of the private sector to address acute social and environmental issues. The expert panel will explore a vision for a radically different future that can be achieved through engaging our employees in volunteer opportunities in the communities in which they live and work.

  Some ways we can help

If you’d like our help with your employee volunteering or workplace giving program, please feel free to drop us a line at contact@realizedworth.com or call us at 855-926-4678. Or take a look at the services we offer here. Be sure to check out our newest offering – Cohort Consulting. Receive all of the services we provide for Fortune 500 companies. Each month, collaborate with others in your field to discuss best practices, address challenges, and receive tools for running a great program. Click here for more details about Cohort Consulting. __________________________________________________________

 

Chris Jarvis Realized Worth, Senior Partner

Google + https://plus.google.com/100350801297942489045/posts Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Realizedworth Twitter https://twitter.com/RealizedWorth Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisjarviscan RW Linked Page http://www.linkedin.com/company/realized-worth YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/Realizedworth Pinterest http://pinterest.com/realizedworth/ ScoopIt http://www.scoop.it/u/chris-jarvis About Me http://about.me/Chrisjarvis Prezi http://prezi.com/user/Realizedworth/

 

Tweet me: How can Shared Value become an internal value for employees driving choices and decisions every day? http://3bl.me/gyfzfe

KEYWORDS: Human Resources, business case for employee volunteering, Corporate Social Responsibility, corporate volunteering, employee volunteering, workplace giving | Tagged business case for employee volunteering, Corporate Citizenship, workplace giving, Shared Value, transformative value, blended value

What We’re Reading: YikYak App Makes Headlines, Talk Online Safety Before Birds & Bees, Kids Do Good Online, Tech Trumps Toys

Wed, 2014-03-12 01:30

SOURCE: Trend Micro

DESCRIPTION:

Week of March 3, 2014

To help you keep up with what’s going on with kids, families, schools, and technology, we’ve compiled a list of stories, tips, and insights, we’ve found most useful over the past week.  What have you been reading? Tell us below or Tweet @TrendISKF.

POPULAR YIKYAK APP MAKING HEADLINES: The latest app that’s both popular but that is in some cases is being misused is called YikYak.  It let’s you use post anonymous comments to an audience that’s physically close by (like your college campus).  Here’s a great overview from the Cyberbullying Research Center with some advice on how to handle any bullying that might be happening on it.

I would advise, however, that since the app was definitely intended for college campuses and older teens (17+), parents avoid any trouble for this app and others like it by simply setting age restrictions on your under 17 kids’ mobile devices.  Beyond that simple step, however, is the harder task of teaching, role-modeling, and reminding our kids that they should always be kind, and that anything they post is permanent and not really private.  These are choices that will reflect and make up a true picture of who they really are to others who will be able to see those choices.

TALK ONLINE SAFETY BEFORE BIRDS AND BEES:  In a new book by Google executives Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, “The New Digital Age,” the authors claim that having a conversation with kids about how to use the Internet is “a more important conversation than the birds and the bees.” The book stresses that parents need to talk to their kids and “start early about the importance of online privacy and security, years before they even talk about the birds and the bees.”

When are you starting this important conversation about digital citizenship and online safety with your children?

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Similar to how we promoted the good that’s happening online for Safer Internet Day, the Los Angeles Daily News outlined a few positive and inspiring ways kids are engaging online and through social media, such as purposefully taking “Ugly Selfies” to show you don’t always have to be perfect or beautiful in pictures, as well as TED talks by kids and other kid-started ideas like apps, non-profits and efforts to end cyber-bullying.

TECH TRUMPS TOYS: A recent study by child-education specialists the Michael Cohen Group, suggests digital touchscreens have overtaken kids’ interest for other children’s toys. The research shows that more than 60 percent of parents say their kids aged 12 and under play on touch screens “often.” And 38 percent apparently play “very often.”

It’s an interesting data point, but we can’t draw too many broad conclusions from this alone.  In looking at the larger research report, it doesn’t appear the researchers put tech time in context.  They didn’t ask about other activities within a child’s day (such as playing with friends, extracurricular actvities such as sports or dance lessons, music lessons, etc.).   So take in the data, but know it’s showing us just a corner of the bigger picture about how youth spend their time in a given day.

See you next week!

 

Tweet me: Must reads: #YikYak In Headlines, #OnlineSafety Before Birds&Bees, Kids Do Good Online, Tech Trumps Toys http://ow.ly/uqyfO #bullying

KEYWORDS: Bloggers, Cause Marketing, Social Media, Twitter, Teen Action, Youth Action, online safety, anonymous apps, social networking, kids and technology, digital citizenship

Cisco Employee Volunteers Help Families Become Homeowners

Tue, 2014-03-11 09:25

SOURCE: Cisco Systems Inc.

DESCRIPTION:

This post was written by guest blogger Katherine Toch, Cisco Corporate Affairs Marketing Manager

A home, at first thought…seems like a pretty simple concept.  Four walls, some windows, a couple doors and you have a house. But it is more than that, it is a place to put down your roots and become part of a larger community.  It’s a safe and secure place to call your own. It’s a place to make memories and recall them through lively dinner conversations throughout the years. It’s a feeling of knowing you can keep the ones you love safe. Something so many of us take for granted. Whether here in the U.S or around the world, more people than not do not have a place to call home.

The statistics on housing are staggering: Globally 1.6 million people live in substandard housing conditions. In addition, 1 in 4 people live in conditions that harm their health, safety, prosperity and opportunities. The current U.S. homeless population is estimated to be between 1.6 to 3 million people, and one-third of the homeless are children.

Continue reading at http://cs.co/9005gzpP

Tweet me: .@CiscoCSR employee #volunteers with @Habitatebsv to help families become homeowners http://cs.co/9005gzpP via @Cisco

KEYWORDS: Cisco, cisco csr, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility, Habitat for Humanity, Volunteering, Housing, Communities

Sotchi 2014 : mon bilan olympique

Tue, 2014-03-11 09:00

SOURCE: Cascades

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Click here to read in English.

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De retour de Sotchi depuis quelques semaines déjà, je commence à peine à réaliser le fait que je viens de mettre la main sur le titre de double champion olympique, celui que je convoitais depuis si longtemps. C’est grâce à des partenaires comme Cascades, qui ont cru en moi dès mes débuts, que j’ai pu aller au bout de ma passion pour le ski acrobatique.

En savoir plus sur le parcours olympique d'Alexandre Bilodeau

Tweet me: http://bit.ly/1fkJqyY Alexandre Bilodeau nous raconte son parcours olympique! @CascadesDD

KEYWORDS: alexandre, bilodeau, cascades, jeux, olympiques, athlète, médaille, or, sotchi, vancouver

Two Weeks In South Africa Changed How This Lilly Volunteer Approaches Her Job

Tue, 2014-03-11 06:15
By David Marbaugh

SOURCE: Eli Lilly and Company

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In August 2013, Kerry Leyden traveled more than 8,000 miles from the comforts of her native Canada to the unfamiliar landscapes of South Africa. But this wasn’t a holiday excursion. It was an eye-opening, thought-provoking adventure as a Lilly Connecting Hearts Abroad ambassador in a settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. 

It might surprise you to learn that Kerry, who manages Lilly’s customer response center in Canada, describes her volunteer experience in a poverty-stricken community as “wondrous.” But then you haven’t met Peter, Lucy and the other residents and staff who captured Kerry’s heart at a government-run facility for the elderly and disabled. 

Here, Kerry shares how 14 days with people whose lives have been altered by apartheid, disease and poverty have forever changed her life and renewed her compassion for the customers whom Lilly serves. 

To find out more about Kerry's experience, please read our blog.

Tweet me: Two weeks among seniors affected by apartheid, #disease and #poverty changed this Lilly #volunteers outlook on life: http://bit.ly/NTpRYJ

KEYWORDS: Health and Wellness, Connecting Hearts Abroad, Eli Lilly, Corporate Responsibility, Global Giving, coporate volunteering

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