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Cisco Launches Connected North To Enhance Education and Healthcare Services in Remote Northern Communities

Thu, 2014-04-03 08:45
High-definition two-way video communications broaden classroom experiences and health services delivery

SOURCE: Cisco Systems Inc.


IQALUIT, NUNAVUT/TORONTO, ONTARIO, April 3, 2014 /3BL Media/ – The Government of Nunavut today joined Cisco Canada for the official launch of Connected North. The Connected North program delivers immersive and interactive education and healthcare services to remote and northern Aboriginal and Inuit communities through high-definition two-way video communication and collaboration technology. The program represents a $1.6 million investment by Cisco in Canada's North.

A successful pilot phase in education was initiated in September 2013. Utilizing prioritized satellite bandwidth donated by SSi Micro, grade 6, 7 and 8 classrooms in Iqaluit's Aqsarniit Ilinniarvik have been connected in real-time with teachers, experts and other students throughout Canada, for a more engaging, diverse and dynamic classroom experience. Following today's announcement, two additional schools – the Deh Gah School in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories, and John Arnalukjuak High School in Arviat, Nunavut –will be joining the program in September 2014.

Connected North was designed to showcase innovations in the field of learning with the aim of encouraging students to attend class regularly. The virtual education program utilizes Cisco TelePresence® and Partners In Research's (PIR) successful VROC (Virtual Researcher on Call) platform. Students in Iqaluit are benefitting from directly engaging with subject matter experts brought into the classroom through two-way video, for interactive sessions lasting up to 40 minutes. Students also connect with peers of the same age throughout Canada as part of the program's Classroom Connect component, to share rich educational and cultural experiences. In a study conducted by York University, on the impact of the program, preliminary research results show that both teachers and students view the program positively. A majority (89%) of students reported that the remote learning experience made science more enjoyable and 81% said they felt they learned more in the virtual sessions than they did through traditional classroom learning. The focus of the program is to provide a fresh approach to learning, allowing teachers and administrators to expose their students to new people, experiences and ideas.

Connected North is also focused on bringing psychiatric and youth mental health services to Northern Aboriginal and Inuit communities via Cisco TelePresence® high-definition video links. To that end, RBC Foundation and Cisco have joined with the Tele-Link Mental Health Program developed by Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), to launch Tele-Link in select Nunavut health centres in September 2014.

Tele-Link was developed by SickKids in 2009 to provide mental health services to children, youth and their families in difficult to access rural areas, using videoconferencing and other technologies to give timely, equitable access to specialist services. The program has met with positive results in Ontario since its launch and now, with funding provided by RBC and technology donated by Cisco, it is hoped that success will be matched in Nunavut.

Facts and Highlights:

  • Content provided through Connected North education programming will focus in the following key areas:

o Bio-science and Nature: bringing real time lab experiments and conversations with leading experts to students;

o Teacher mentoring and professional development; and

o Classroom Connect: bringing together students from Iqaluit with their peers across Canada through dedicated joint programming.

  • Connected North was established in 2011 by Cisco Canada to leverage the company's core competence in Internet, networking and collaboration solutions to bring education and healthcare services to remote communities across Canada's North.
  • Connected North is composed of a strategic partner ecosystem that includes:

o Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami;

o The Department of Education of the Government of Nunavut;

o The Department of Health of the Government of Nunavut;

o Cisco Canada;

o SSi Micro;

o Partners In Research;

o The Toronto Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids);

o The Royal Bank Foundation;

o York University;

o Sheridan College; and

o Canadian North

  • Connected North is made possible by the delivery of video conferencing sessions over SSi's Qiniq network using Meet Online Enterprise, an audio-video solution optimized for satellite networks by SSi with support from Infrastructure Canada and the Nunavut Broadband Development Corporation.
  • Run by Partners In Research, the VROC program seeks to inspire students by bringing experts directly to the classroom through two-way video. The VROC program offers five to ten-minute spontaneous videoconferencing sessions, hour-long interactive presentations and semester-long mentorship style sessions.
  • Cisco Canada press releases are always issued in English and French. For this announcement, the release will also be translated into Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun.

Supporting Quotes

Monica Ell, Minister of Health, Nunavut:
"The partnership with the Hospital for Sick Children gives us greater access to patient psychiatric care for children and youth to assist in their healing. Working with the Hospital for Sick Children will also help us deliver clinical training to our health care professionals. "

Paul Quassa, Minister of Education, Nunavut:
"Rich and diverse educational programs are important investments to building a solid educational foundation for our current and future students. The Connected North program in Iqaluit is the first pilot project and we are encouraged by the initial results. The physical geography of our communities is always a challenge and Connected North allows us to literally connect our classrooms with expertise in other jurisdictions. This means, for example, we can have two-way interaction between a scientist and students in real time.

Mary Simon, Chairperson, National Committee on Inuit Education:
"This project will help young Inuit connect with larger communities in the Southern Canada, and perhaps more importantly, it will help them connect with each other. It puts Inuit in the driver's seat and helps us explore our surroundings in new and evolving ways. Such innovative partnerships are essential if we are to transform Inuit education systems and prepare Inuit students to succeed in a 21st century economy."

Nitin Kawale, President, Cisco Canada:
"Cisco Canada strongly believes there is significant potential for transformational change and positive impact in the areas of health care and education in Canada's remote Aboriginal communities. By leveraging our technology expertise and uniting key private and public sector partners, we are aiming to make Connected North a vital and productive component of northern communities that will bring new levels of opportunities to inhabitants. And what you see here today is only the beginning. The program's results in Iqaluit will be studied and used to develop longer term strategies for sustainability throughout Canada."

Jeff Philipp, SSi Group Founder and CEO:
"Connected North has immense potential to become a critical service, dedicated to bringing unique and state-of-the-art solutions for education and health care to the North and beyond. We are proud to partner with Cisco and we look forward to expanding on this exciting new service in the coming years."

David Willis, Clinical Manager, TeleLink Mental Health Program, SickKids:
"We believe this partnership will help build local capacity, supporting local health systems to respond, care and plan for the mental health needs of their communities. Our goal is to help improve the mental health and well-being of children and youth living in Northern Canada by providing them with barrier-free access to child and adolescent psychiatry, regardless of their location."

Shari Austin, Vice President, RBC Corporate Citizenship and executive director, RBC Foundation:
"Timely access to mental health specialists and treatment is critical. Most mental disorders begin in childhood or adolescence - when the signs of mental illness are recognized and treated early, those affected can go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Today, access to mental health services in the Canadian North is largely unavailable. Through our $200,000 donation to Sick Kids and by partnering with Cisco, we will help deliver access to health experts in a region where these services might not be available otherwise. This support is part of our RBC Believe in Kids Pledge, a five-year, $100 million commitment to improving the well-being of at least one million children and youth in Canada."


About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. Cisco products and services are supplied in Canada by Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com and http://newsroom.cisco.com/canada.

Contact Information
Karin Scott
Cisco Canada
416 306 7164

Tweet me: .@Cisco launches Connected North http://3bl.me/gaspmb HD 2-way video communications broaden classroom experiences & #health svcs delivery

KEYWORDS: Health, Education, Cisco, cisco canada, Connected North, Government of Nunavut

Fuel Cells Power Up: Three Surprising Places Where Hydrogen Energy is Working

Thu, 2014-04-03 08:00
Hydrogen may not be fueling many cars, but it is delivering clean power for warehouses, data centers, and telcom towers.

SOURCE: National Geographic

The concept is tantalizing: Use abundant hydrogen to fuel vehicles and power plants, producing nothing but water and heat as a byproduct. The advent of hydrogen fuel cells would help provide the energy the world needs, while slashing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing our dependence on oil.
If that notion seems too good to be true, that’s because it has been. Despite a flurry of investment in fuel cells over the past two decades, the vision articulated by former President George W. Bush of an America leading the world in producing “pollution-free” vehicles that run on hydrogen has seemingly evaporated into thin air. But the fuel cell is far from dead—indeed, it is gaining a commercial foothold in some niches, evidenced most recently by news that megaretailer Walmart is expanding its use of fuel cells to power forklifts at its stores.

Tweet me: Fuel Cells Power Up: Three Surprising Places Where Hydrogen Energy Is Working http://on.natgeo.com/1jFO7cM #energy #hydrogen #fuelcells

KEYWORDS: Energy, fuel cells, hydrogen, National Geographic

Registration is Open! Advancing Sustainability Through Remanufacturing

Thu, 2014-04-03 08:00
Join AIAG at the 2014 CR Summit!

SOURCE: Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG)


Click here to view the full agenda and register

Thursday April 10th, 2014

9:00am to 9:45am

The panel will address and facilitate a discussion on the environmental, societal and financial benefits associated with remanufacturing. Topics will include an overview of leading organizations that have already connected remanufacturing and sustainability; global trends advocating the acceleration of such efforts; and key challenges that must be navigated to successfully advance remanufacturing and sustainability within your organization.

Moderator: John Chalifoux, MERA

Doug Wolma - General Manager, Global Remanufacturing
   - Meritor, Inc.
John Platko - Vice President
   - Antea Group

John R. Chalifoux - President & COO
   - Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association


April 09 - 10, 2014

Suburban Collection Showplace
46100 Grand River Avenue
Novi, MI 48374

Register now for the 2014 CR Summit

Tweet me: #CSR leaders http://bit.ly/CRsummit14 and peers at #CRSummit2014 #Sustainability thru remanufacturing. Register now.

KEYWORDS: Ethical Production and Consumption, aiag 2014 cr summit, csr, sustainability, manufacturing, antea group

Impact Stories: GreatNonprofits & Social Reviews for Charities

Thu, 2014-04-03 06:00
How Socially-Sourced 360 Feedback Helps People Understand Charity Impact

SOURCE: Benevity


Think about the last time you bought something online. Did you look at Amazon or Google reviews first? Did you use Yelp to find a great local restaurant or TripAdvisor to coordinate your last adventure? When researching a new job, did you look at Glassdoor to see what other employees think of the company culture?

If you are like millions of people online, you did. And it makes sense: you are trying to get past “marketing speak” to look at what *real* people have to say about a particular product, service, or company. In fact 8 out of 10 consumers now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to a recent Consumer Review Study.

Outcomes and Not Overhead: A 360 View of Performance

Online, 360 feedback is now being incorporated into employee giving and corporate matching programs and the nonprofit sector at large (see this story on net promoter scores for nonprofits here). In part, that’s because there is a push to really understand nonprofit results and outcomes – and get beyond the overhead myth. For years, people were urged to look at overhead ratios to guide their choice of charity. But such information reveals nothing about a charity’s impact on the people it serves. Socially sourced reviews provide a better way to evaluate nonprofits by displaying on-the-ground feedback. That’s where organizations like GreatNonprofits come in handy. 

Keep Reading “Impact Stories” at the Benevity Blog.

Tweet me: Impact Stories: A guest post from @GreatNonprofits on the @Benevity Blog on social reviews of #charities. http://bit.ly/1g6sdxP #CSR Contact Info:

Jana Taylor
+1 (403) 237-7875ext. 210

KEYWORDS: Technology, nonprofit rankings, social feedback, reviews, GreatNonprofits, benevity, csr

Victoria B. Mars Is Keynote Speaker at 2014 Great Place to Work® Conference

Thu, 2014-04-03 05:45
Mars’ Chairman of the Board Victoria B. Mars will be giving a keynote address to the Great Place to Work® Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thursday April 3rd 2014 at 4pm Central time.

SOURCE: Mars, Incorporated


Mars’ Chairman of the Board Victoria B. Mars will be giving a keynote address to the Great Place to Work® Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Thursday April 3rd 2014 at 4pm Central time.

In her keynote speech, “Mutuality: a Principle That Fosters a Shared Benefit,” Victoria will be discussing the positive impact that being a family-owned business guided by The Five Principles has on business performance and the workplace environment. Victoria will share her own beliefs on how all Associates have a better chance of thriving when they feel respected, needed and appreciated.  She will also provide insight into how Mars engages with Associates through a culture of mutual respect empowering them to take responsibility for making a difference in both their own working environment and communities in which they live.

Her keynote address will be available to watch here via a Live Stream link on Thursday, April 3: http://livestream.greatplacetowork.com/


About the Great Place To Work Conference
The annual Great Place to Work® Conference is the only national event that teaches, inspires and connects professionals across industries and functions to strengthen workplace culture through building trust.  This premier event provides actionable information through presentations, panel discussions and facilitated networking sessions.  To learn more, please visit: http://www.greatplacetowork.com/2014-conference

About Great Place to Work®
Great Place to Work is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and employer branding programs, including Best Companies lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures

About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932,  Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.


For more information, please visit www.mars.com.  Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars, linkedin.com/company/mars.


Tweet me: Victoria B.Mars of @MarsGlobal to give keynote speech at the Great Place to Work Conference® on 4/3 at 4pmCT: http://tinyurl.com/pk44m98 Contact Info:

Ryan Bowling
+1 (908) 914-1702

KEYWORDS: Awards and Recognition, Diversity and Human Resources, Mars Incorporated, 2014 Great Place To Work Conference, Great Place to Work, Victoria mars, Associates, Mutuality, Principles in Action

Southwest Airlines Introduces Heart of the Community

Thu, 2014-04-03 05:00
Makes Multi-year Commitment to Support Public Spaces across the Country with Placemaking Pioneers, Project for Public Space

SOURCE: Southwest Airlines


DALLAS, April 3, 2014 – Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today a multi-year commitment to Placemaking – a movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community. Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, the airline will revitalize and activate public spaces in the hearts of American cities in partnership with the pioneering nonprofit organization behind Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces (PPS).

Building upon successful pilot projects in Detroit, Mich., and Providence, R.I., in 2013, Southwest and PPS will help transform multiple public spaces in 2014 with the intent to expand the Heart of the Community program and support dozens of public spaces through Placemaking projects in the years to come.

For more than 30 years, Placemaking has sparked social, economic, and environmental benefits in communities around the world. Rooted in community-based participation, Placemaking involves the planning, design, management and programming of public spaces and capitalizes on a community’s assets and potential to create vibrant destinations—such as neighborhood parks, community markets and downtown squares.  

“At Southwest, our purpose is to help connect people to what’s most important in their lives, and often, the important moments that happen during those connections include a special place—somewhere that has meaning, that brings people together, that creates a sense of belonging and a sense of community,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. “We recognize the power public spaces have to strengthen communities, so we are proud to support these Placemaking efforts.”

In late 2013, Southwest provided a gift to support the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning’s research white paper, Places in the Making, which demonstrated the power of Placemaking to create connected, sustainable, healthy, and economically viable communities. The research emphasized Placemaking’s positive impact on community building and empowerment and cited the need for public/private partnerships to advance the practice of Placemaking.

“Having Southwest Airlines make a commitment to supporting this movement nationwide is a breakout moment for Placemaking,” said Fred Kent, Founder and President, Project for Public Spaces. “Placemaking is about strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, and it’s a movement that needs the energy of a company like Southwest to help support and empower local communities to reimagine their own public spaces.”

Through the Heart of the Community program, Southwest and PPS will collaborate with local community partners in cities across the country to bring new life to their public spaces. Earlier this week, Southwest and PPS unveiled their most recent project in San Antonio, Texas, where they partnered with the Center City Development Office to activate historic Travis Park through new physical amenities, including games, umbrellas, tables and chairs and ongoing programming, such as fitness classes and live music. In 2013, Southwest and PPS worked with the Downtown Detroit Partnership to transform an underutilized lawn in downtown’s Campus Martius Park into a seasonal beach with a deck and seating that serves as a fun and relaxing community gathering place for workers, families and children. Additionally, they worked with the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy to create the Imagination Center, a new place for family activities in Burnside Park, located in the heart of downtown Providence, R.I.

Heart of the Community is part of Southwest’s broader efforts to connect people and strengthen local communities through its core business, charitable giving, community outreach, and environmental initiatives.  To read more, go to Nuts About Southwest.  For more information on Heart of the Community, visit http://www.pps.org/heart-of-the-community/.  


About Southwest Airlines Co.

In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.

About Project for Public Spaces

Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Its pioneering Placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. PPS was founded in 1975 to apply and expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, the organization has completed projects in over 3000 communities in 43 countries and all 50 US states and are the premier center for best practices, information and resources on Placemaking.

Tweet me: .@SouthwestAir launches Heart of the Community Program with @PPS_Placemaking:http://social.southwest.com/kjY #PlacesWeLUV

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Southwest Airlines, Placemaking, community, Project for Public Spaces

Power On! YouthSpark Hub Helps Youth Build Their Futures

Thu, 2014-04-03 05:00

SOURCE: Microsoft


We’re excited to share that we’ve launched the updated YouthSpark Hub – an online resource from Microsoft to help youth gain skills, prepare for jobs or even start their own business. As Lisa Brummel, executive vice president, Human Resources, shared at We Day, “the YouthSpark Hub is a place where young people can go to get free resources and programs to help them imagine and create a better future.”

With direct input and feedback from youth, we did a complete overhaul of the Hub to make sure our resources met their needs. We also wanted to help young people get a clearer view of specific programs and resources Microsoft offers that may benefit them based on skills they want to develop or future aspirations they want to pursue.

The Hub offers opportunities to explore careers, a calendar of YouthSpark events, and a special “skills” section where you can drag and drop the skills you want to learn – from building an app to understanding a database – and be directed to the specific Microsoft resources that can help you get there. To get started, youth of all ages can select the “Participate in a YouthSpark Program” feature to browse more than 30 no-cost and low-cost programs that provide educational, employment, and entrepreneurial resources and support.

In addition, the YouthSpark Hub now features a special section for teachers with additional resources to help them support the young people they work with.

Check out the YouthSpark Hub at www.microsoft.com/youthsparkhub.  


Tweet me: Looking for technology, training and resources to help you get farther? Check out the #MSFT #YouthSpark Hub http://spr.ly/60199B1V

KEYWORDS: Education, Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Microsoft, YouthSpark, Yvonne Thomas, We Day

Watch Now! Livestream of Charities@Work Summit 2014

Thu, 2014-04-03 04:40

SOURCE: America's Charities


Throughout today and tomorrow, tune in to the Charities@Work Summit Livestream to learn:

  • how to build successful cross-sector collaboration initiatives,
  • how to engage employees in the non-traditional workforces,
  • how digital culture is transforming philanthropy and
  • about the evolution from workplace giving to employee engagement 

Watch Now! You can watch sessions live, or watch them in DVR mode to work around your schedule.

To view an agenda of event sessions and times, click here.

Tweet me: .@AmerCharities: Watch Now! @CharitiesAtWork #CWSummit14 Livestream Apr 3-4: http://bit.ly/1kv90pn #CSR #EmployeeEngagement #Volunteer

KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, Business & Trade, America's Charities, Charities@Work, CSR Conferences, business & trade, Corporate Citizenship, Employee Engagement, events

Rebuilding Together Joins ServiceNation in Historic Campaign to Inspire Young Americans to Serve

Thu, 2014-04-03 04:30
Eighteen of the Leading National Service Organizations Make A Year Of Service Part Of The American Way Of Life

SOURCE: Rebuilding Together


WASHINGTON, DC- April 4, 2014 /3BL Media/ -  Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit with a vision of a safe and healthy home for every person, announced today that it is one of eighteen of the country’s leading service organizations involved in a campaign led by ServiceNation to connect content creators in Hollywood with AmeriCorps members serving in communities across the country.

The campaign aims to inspire millions of Americans to serve by enlisting the voices of prominent leaders from both political parties, the entertainment industry, digital partners, major companies, leading nonprofits, and AmeriCorps alumni.  The ultimate goal is simple, but ambitious: We envision a day when young Americans turn to each other and ask, “Where will your year of national service be?”

In the coming months, Americans interested in a year of service will be able to visit the campaign website, www.serveAyear.org. On that site, they will learn about how AmeriCorps programs are tackling some of our nation’s toughest problems -- from disaster relief and veteran reintegration to college access and childhood nutrition -- and the organizations that are on the ground doing the work. The campaign breaks these issue areas down to nine “Pillars” and has details on how someone could get involved by serving a year.

Rebuilding Together will partner with St. Bernard Project to lead the Disaster Relief and Recovery pillar, providing the stories and faces of AmeriCorps members who respond and rebuild.

“A cornerstone of Rebuilding Together’s mission is the concept of service to others and making a difference to those in need,” said Charley Shimanski, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. “It is a great honor to have our organization representing the national service movement in this country and we hope to inspire others to join in a year of service to help make our communities better.”

The campaign will highlight the following opportunities to serve:

  • Responding after a disaster with Rebuilding Together and St. Bernard Project
  • Fighting poverty with Habitat for Humanity and LIFT
  • Creating a healthier America with FoodCorps and National Health Corps
  • Building lifelong readers with Reading Partners and Reading Corps
  • Empowering young leaders with YouthBuild and The Corps Network
  • Inspiring students’ interest in STEM with Citizen Schools and FIRST
  • Helping students succeed with College Possible, City Year, and Playworks
  • Teaching with Teach For America
  • Empowering veterans with Vet Corps
  • Along with the campaign’s National Strategic Partner, AmeriCorps Alums

This past November, ServiceNation, Next Generation, and the Clinton Foundation co-hosted a conversation with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton, ServiceNation Executive Director Zach Maurin, and Next Generation co-founder James Steyer about how Hollywood could raise awareness for national service and early childhood education. Actor and director Rob Reiner moderated the expert panel before an audience that included some of the entertainment industry's biggest players including Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, the award-winning actor and creator of Girls, Lena Dunham, and Producers Guild President and Criminal Minds Executive Producer, Mark Gordon.

Over the next three years, ServiceNation will continue to meet with entertainment companies and TV show executives in hopes that they will integrate powerful stories of service by AmeriCorps members into scripts of their shows. Only two weeks ago, AmeriCorps was mentioned in an episode of HBO's True Detective, a direct result of this effort. In the coming months, the campaign plans to roll out other partnerships with humorous digital platforms, YouTube stars, social-minded brands, athletes, celebrities, and more successful integrations that will help tell the story of national service in America.



About Rebuilding Together
Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home. Our focus provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes and community centers at no cost to service recipients. Our impact extends beyond the individuals served to revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the country. Our 187 local affiliates complete more than 10,000 rebuild projects a year thanks to the efforts of 100,000 volunteers from corporate partners, skilled trades professionals and everyday good citizens. Join us – visit www.RebuildingTogether.org.

About ServiceNation
This campaign will build on the work ServiceNation has done over the last six years.  With a coalition of nearly 400 organizations, a membership of 140,000+ individuals, and a field team, ServiceNation seeks to take the national service movement to the next level through an unprecedented cultural campaign that will inspire Americans and expand opportunities for Americans in national service.  Learn more at www.servicenation.org.

Tweet me: .@RebldgTogthr joins 17 orgs for @ServiceNation #serveayear campaign! Where will your year of national service be? http://bit.ly/1kHFa4K Contact Info:

Victoria O'Banion
Rebuilding Together
+1 (202) 603-2160

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, rebuilding together, csr, ServiceNation, Healthy homes, community, Service

USA Track & Field Announces Partnership with Hershey Through 2020

Thu, 2014-04-03 04:00
Partnership expands opportunities to give kids the fundamentals

SOURCE: The Hershey Company


ST. LOUIS, Mo., April 3, 2014 /3BL Media/ — USA Track & Field (USATF) and The Hershey Company today announced the launch of a national youth activity initiative as part of a new, seven-year partnership that features “Run Jump Throw,”an educational and learning program developed by USATF and Hershey. The new program will introduce kids ages 7 through 12 to the basic skills of running, jumping and throwing through track and field. Hershey’s Track & Field Gamesa youth track and field program launched in the 1970s, will transition to the national Run Jump Throw program in early 2015.

Launching in 2015, Run Jump Throw will use a curriculum developed by USATF. Kids around the country will have the opportunity to participate in fun, hands-on learning events designed to build basic running, jumping and throwing skills and have fun exploring track and field. The program is the key piece of a larger partnership between USATF and Hershey that extends through 2020.

“This new program is a true partnership of two great organizations,” said Bernie Banas, who serves as Hershey’s Vice President of Customer Innovation and Hershey’s Track & Field Games board chair. “As Hershey looked at how to expand the reach and impact of our long-standing commitment to youth activity through track and field, we were inspired by the legacy of our founder, Milton Hershey, and his commitment to youth development through learning. Through partnering with USATF, we look forward to creating more learning opportunities and expanding the reach of our track and field program and the sport as a whole.”

“We are thrilled to bring Hershey on board as a long-term partner and are excited about the work we will do together in the youth activity space,” USATF Chief Executive Officer Max Siegel said. “With Run Jump Throw, we are creating a foundational program for track and field as well as all activities and sports. Positively impacting culture and improving lives is something we aspire to achieve, and we couldn’t be more proud to have Hershey as our partner in this effort.”

Siegel and Banas were joined by National Track & Field Hall of Famers Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Carl Lewis in making the announcement Thursday morning at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention in St. Louis, Mo.

Run Jump Throw
Using the volunteer-based model that made Hershey’s Track & Field Games successful since 1975, Run Jump Throwevents will offer a participation-based model for organizers and participants. USATF will supervise the program. Fundamental skills taught as part of the curriculum will include warm-up, proper running technique for sprinting and distance running, jumping and throwing skills. The clinics will be followed by a “practice meet” for kids to apply their skills.

Children participating in Run Jump Throw will be encouraged to continue to pursue the sport, either through parks and recreation programs, school programs or through USATF clubs and associations.

USATF also will help manage key elements of the Hershey’s Track & Field Games 2014 North American Final weekend in Hershey, Pa., and webcast the meet live on its online broadcasting portal, http://www.usatf.tv, on August 2.

Hershey Support
As part of the partnership, Hershey will support a range of USATF programs. Beginning in 2015, Hershey will underwrite at least 1,000 youth scholarships to provide free USATF memberships to underserved children interested in pursuing track and field. Hershey will also serve as title sponsor for USATF’s Youth Indoor and Outdoor National Championship Track meets, which collectively feature more than 5,000 young athletes with a wide range of abilities. The championships are hosted in different regions of the country each year to enable more youth and families to partake in national competition.

“Having Hershey support our foundational youth programs will help us elevate and expand our outreach to young athletes,” Siegel added. “This partnership will help ensure that underserved children have a pathway to success while providing an experience that generates happiness and inspiration.”

The partnership with Hershey is USATF’s second major, new partnership announcement in the past 14 months. In February 2013, USATF announced Neustar as the sponsor of the US National Road Racing Championships. The new partnerships mark USATF’s most active and successful sponsorship efforts in more than a decade.

About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.

About The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and approximately 15,000 employees.

With revenues of more than $7.1 billion, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 80 brand names, including such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Hershey's Bliss, Hershey's Special Dark, Kit Kat, Twizzlers, Jolly Rancher and Ice Breakers. The company is focused on growing its presence in key international markets such as China, Mexico and Brazil while continuing to build its competitive advantage in the United States and Canada.

For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where its employees live, work and do business. Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of the company’s global business strategy, which includes goals and priorities focused on fair and ethical business dealings, environmental stewardship, fostering a desirable workplace for employees, and positively impacting society and local communities. Milton Hershey School, established in 1909 by the company's founder and funded by a trust administered by Hershey Trust Company, provides a quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. Students of Milton Hershey School are direct beneficiaries of The Hershey Company's success.

# # #

Tweet me: USATF & Hershey partner on a new national kids program: "Run Jump Throw" http://bit.ly/1mLdE6Z Contact Info:

Jill M. Geer
+1 (317) 713-4654

Jeff Beckman
+1 (717) 534-8090

KEYWORDS: Health, Volunteerism & Community Engagement, USA Track & Field, USATF, hershey, the hershey company, Run Jump Throw, track & field, kids


Yum! Brands Releases New CSR Report and Declares April “CSR Month”

Mon, 2014-03-31 05:00
Report Updates Performance and Progress Across Four Strategic Areas of Focus: Food, People, Community and Environment

SOURCE: Yum! Brands


LOUISVILLE, KY, March 31, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM), one of the world's largest restaurant companies and parent of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, today announced the release of its online 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report.

“As a global corporate citizen and leader in the restaurant industry, we recognize our responsibility to lead the way in CSR. We are proud to share the accomplishments of our brands as they support the commitments we’ve made to be socially responsible and work to become the Defining Global Company that Feeds the World,” said Jonathan Blum, SVP, Chief Public Affairs and Global Nutrition Officer for Yum! Brands, Inc. “We are a company with a huge heart and you’ll see that reflected in this year’s report,” added Blum.  

The report provides updates on the progress the company is making towards its goals and tracks performance across four strategic areas of focus:  Food, People, Community and Environment. Also featured are success stories from the brands around the world presented in interactive, info-graphic-style and video formats.

The stories and examples shared in the report provide a global view of the company and its many efforts around CSR, including its philanthropic cause, World Hunger Relief, which has become the world’s largest private sector hunger relief effort, in support of the United Nations World Food Programme and other hunger relief agencies.  Over the past seven years, Yum! Brands has raised nearly $185 million in cash and food donations, or the equivalent of providing 740 million meals to those in need in remote corners of the world.

In conjunction with the release of the 2013 CSR Report and in anticipation of Earth Day on April 22, Yum! is declaring April as “CSR Month.” Throughout the month, Yum! and its global brands will share videos, info-graphics and factoids focused on CSR initiatives around food, people, community and environment. Join the conversation at facebook.com/yumbrands and @yumbrands on Twitter using the hashtag #CSR.

For more information and to view the Yum! Brands 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, visit www.yum.com/csr.  

- facebook.com/yumbrands

- @yumbrands


Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky, has over 40,000 restaurants in more than 125 countries and territories. Yum! is ranked #201 on the Fortune 500 List with revenues of over $13 billion and in 2013 was named among the top 100 Corporate Citizens by Corporate Responsibility Magazine. The Company's restaurant brands - KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell - are the global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories. Outside the United States, the Yum! Brands system opened over five new restaurants per day, making it a leader in international retail development.

Tweet me: .@YumBrands' #CSR vision is to be the defining global company that FEEDS the world - check out the 2013 #CSRReport http://3bl.me/v4b5yz Contact Info:

Laurie Schalow
Yum! Brands, Inc.
+1 (502) 874-8200

KEYWORDS: Reports, Business & Trade, Yum! Brands, KFC, Taco Bell, pizza hut, Restaurant Indistry, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility


Conference on Clean Energy Financing Signals a Shift in Funding the Low-Carbon Economy

Mon, 2014-03-31 04:25
By Brad Copithorne

SOURCE: Environmental Defense Fund


In 2010, I began working on financial policy at EDF. Our objective was to implement policies that would allow private sector companies to profitably deliver financing solutions to residential and commercial property owners footing the upfront cost of money-saving energy efficiency and clean distributed generation (such as rooftop solar) projects. While the residential solar market was already gaining steam at the time, most of the other markets had very limited momentum. But after attending the clean energy finance conference that EDF co-hosted yesterday with Citi, energy efficiency solutions provider Elevate Energy, and law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, it appears that the market for financing clean energy projects is beginning to accelerate rapidly.

The agenda featured 12 private companies from the clean energy sector (Kilowatt Financial, Clean Power Finance, Renovate America, AFC First Financial Corp., Renewable Funding, Clean Fund, Joule Assets, Noesis Energy, SCIEnergy, Metrus Energy, Hannon Armstrong, and Honest Buildings), plus a few more in the audience, that are executing a wide range of transactions using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), On-Bill RepaymentEnergy Services Agreements (ESAs), and many other innovative techniques to fund the transition to a low-carbon economy. 

Read More on EDF's Energy Exchange Blog»

Tweet me: Conference on #CleanEnergy Financing Signals a Shift in Funding the Low-Carbon Economy http://ow.ly/vdLM1 via @EDFEnergyEX

KEYWORDS: Energy, Energy Financing, Investor Confidence Project, New York, On-bill repayment, renewable energy, Smart Grid, Environmental Defense Fund, climate change, Energy

The Junior League of Dallas and Mary Kay Inc. Announce Recipients of the Inaugural Women Lead Scholarship Program

Mon, 2014-03-31 04:05
Mary Kay Inc. to Provide $25,000 in Funding to Four College-Bound Women

SOURCE: Mary Kay


DALLAS, March 31, 2014 /3BL Media/ — The Junior League of Dallas (JLD) and Mary Kay Inc., two of Dallas’ most philanthropic organizations, are proud to announce the four female recipients who will receive a combined $25,000 in collegiate scholarships through a new JLD program, Women LEAD (Learn • Excel • Achieve • Dream). The inaugural event was held on March 27, 2014 at Emmett J. Conrad High School, where eight female Conrad High School senior finalists competed in an oratory competition followed by an awards ceremony.

Each student prepared a three to five minute speech based on the essay topic, “How My Female Role Model Overcame Obstacles to Achieve Her Goals and How It Inspires Me.” Following the presentations, the judging panel determined the winners and awarded a total of $25,000 in college scholarship funds to four students based on the merits of their scholarship application and speech presentation. The first place winner, Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, will receive a one-time $10,000 scholarship. Second place winner Lauren Jackson, third place winner Sumayah Al Haddad and fourth place winner Maria Monjaras, will each receive a one-time $5,000 scholarship. These funds will be paid directly to the college or university the recipient attends.

Deyanira Zapata-Martinez is deciding between the University of Texas and Texas A&M to continue her education. With a passion for math and science, she plans to major in electrical engineering and neuroscience. Second place winner Lauren Jackson plans to attend Louisiana State University and major in nursing. It is her way of helping people and staying directly involved in the community. Sumayah Al Haddad will attend community college before enrolling in the University of Arlington. She has decided to pursue a career in bio-medical engineering, as she always dreamed of being in the medical field. Last, but not least, Maria Monjaras is deciding between the University of Arlington and the University of Dallas and will pursue a degree in business administration. She aspires to be a successful entrepreneur.

“We are honored to award our first Women LEAD scholarships in collaboration with Mary Kay. It is our wish to empower these four women and help them achieve their dreams,” said Laura Johnson, president of JLD. “We look forward to seeing the impact it will have on their lives and their future.”

Founded in 2013 by the Junior League of Dallas in collaboration with Mary Kay, Inc., the Women LEAD (Learn • Excel • Achieve • Dream) Scholarship Program was created to assist female high school students in pursuing their dreams of higher education and to create opportunities for future women leaders. It is inspired by Mary Kay Ash – founder of the now iconic and global cosmetics company that she started in Dallas 50 years ago with just $5,000 and a dream of enriching women’s lives. Through a combination of application, essay and oratory competitions, entrants were evaluated on their interpretation of the entrepreneur’s founding principles in their essay response, academic record and community involvement.

“Mary Kay Ash believed what you put into the lives of others will come back into your own, and made it her company’s mission to enrich women’s lives around the world,” said Crayton Webb, director of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility for Mary Kay Inc. “ On behalf of our corporate employees and 3 million independent sales force members around the world, we congratulate Deyanira Zapata-Martinez, Lauren Jackson, Sumayah Al Haddad and Maria Monjaras for earning this scholastic honor, and for becoming successful women who serve their families and communities.”


About Mary Kay
Irresistible products. Positive community impact. Rewarding opportunity. For 50 years, Mary Kay has offered it all. With 3 million Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants and $3.5 billion in global annual wholesale sales, Mary Kay is a top beauty brand and direct seller in more than 35 markets around the world. Discover what you love by connecting with a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant in your area at marykay.com.

About Junior League of Dallas
The Junior League of Dallas (JLD) is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Since 1922, JLD has been building a better Dallas by training our members to be leaders and by providing valuable volunteer service hours and critical funding to area nonprofits. Now more than 5,000 women strong, JLD provides over 130,000 hours of trained volunteer service and donates more than $1 million to the community each year. For more information, please visit www.jld.net.

Tweet me: .@JLDallas and @MaryKay support 4 young women & their dream to attend college w/#WomenLEAD #scholarship program http://3bl.me/enfc59

KEYWORDS: Education, Business & Trade, scholarships, Mary Kay Inc., Junior League of Dallas, JLD, Women LEAD


Positive Changes That Can be Powered by the Private Sector

Mon, 2014-03-31 04:00

SOURCE: GlaxoSmithKline


The private sector has many opportunities to use its resources and reach to encourage positive change. Today, we announced that GSK is taking such an opportunity to accelerate sub-Saharan Africa into an era of growth and prosperity.

Read more on More than Medicine

Tweet me: Check out @GSKUS's new blog post! http://3bl.me/s5shwp

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, GSK, GlaxoSmithKline, africa, Healthcare

Rebuilding Together and Crate and Barrel Revitalize the American Care Foundation/Academy in Dallas

Mon, 2014-03-31 03:40

SOURCE: Rebuilding Together


DALLAS, March 31, 2014 /3BL Media/ – On Friday, April 4, 50 associates from home furnishings retailer Crate and Barrel will join with Rebuilding Together, a national nonprofit with a vision of a safe and healthy home for every person, to revitalize the American Care Foundation/Academy (ACF).

The American Care Foundation/Academy (ACF) addresses the social and economic needs of children in underprivileged communities while restoring and strengthening families. They support families through education, assistance, and training aimed at providing children with the opportunities necessary to compete in our quickly changing world.  The changing economic times demand an increase in extended child care. The American Care Academy provides an innovative child care learning center to address the needs of underprivileged youth. Encompassing sociological and educational development, The American Care Academy is an advocate in providing children residing in low-income areas a positive environment.

During the workday, 50 Crate and Barrel volunteers will join Rebuilding Together’s Dallas affiliate to update the library and older-youth after-school area; create a new computer room for students; assemble new furniture; update the playground; repair a fence; paint and landscape.

“Rebuilding Together is so appreciative of Crate and Barrel and its associates who are making a difference in the lives of the children and families served by the American Care Foundation/Academy,” said Charley Shimanski, president and CEO of Rebuilding Together. “By providing these critical repairs and renovations to the American Care Academy, we are helping to provide a positive environment in which these children and families can succeed.”

In 2012, Crate and Barrel began a three-year agreement with Rebuilding Together. Crate and Barrel and Rebuilding Together have joined forces to support – with both financial contributions and volunteers – national “build” projects that will provide critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy-efficient upgrades for low-income homeowners and community centers at no cost to recipients.


About Crate and Barrel:
Working directly with European ateliers and factories to import their products, Crate and Barrel was among the first North American companies to make contemporary tabletop and kitchenware designs affordable to consumers. Now in its 50th year, Crate and Barrel is a multi-channel family of brands and an internationally-recognized industry leader, known for exclusive housewares and furniture designs, excellent value and superb customer service. To learn more about Crate and Barrel, visit www.crateandbarrel.com.

About Rebuilding Together:
Rebuilding Together is a Safe and Healthy Housing organization that believes Community Starts at Home. Our focus provides critical repairs, accessibility modifications and energy efficient upgrades to low-income homes and community centers at no cost to service recipients. Our impact extends beyond the individuals served to revitalize and stabilize vulnerable neighborhoods and communities across the country. Our 187 local affiliates complete more than 10,000 rebuild projects a year thanks to the efforts of 100,000 volunteers from corporate partners, skilled trades professionals and everyday good citizens. Join us — visit www.RebuildingTogether.org.

About American Care Foundation:
The American Care Foundation was founded in 2001 by Ms. Patricia Williams. It is a non-profit organization established to identify and assist in issues that negatively impact children. Their desire and goal is to address social and economic needs of children in underprivileged communities while restoring and strengthening families. They support families through education, assistance, and training aiming to provide children with opportunities necessary to compete in a changing world.

About American Care Academy:
American Care Academy was founded 12 years ago by Ms. Patricia Williams with the goal of empowering children in underserved communities. The Academy plans to accomplish this mission through highly effective learning programs, social development and community involvement...thereby giving children the basic intellectual tools to make a significant impact to society while overall enhancing their lives.


Tweet me: .@CrateandBarrel, @RebldgTogthr and @rtgdallas revitalize the American Care Foundation/Academy in Dallas http://3bl.me/zh7man #RTNRM Contact Info:

Victoria O’Banion, Manager, Communications and Marketing
Rebuilding Together
+1 (202) 603-2160

Maggie Brodnax, Executive Director
Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas
+1 (214) 566-7937

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Corporate Social Responsibility, rebuilding together, Rebuilding Together Dallas, Crate and Barrel, Crate&Barrel, American Care Foundation, American Care Academy, American Care Foundation/Academy, Healthy homes, low income home ownership


McDonald's Partners with How2Recycle to Increase Recycling Rates

Mon, 2014-03-31 03:15

SOURCE: Cone Communications


Although nearly three-quarters of restaurant operators report using “back-of-house” recycling programs, only 43 percent have consumer-facing recycling efforts, according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association. As restaurants seek to increase recycling rates overall, one national chain has stepped up with a user-friendly solution, by adopting the How2Recycle Label.

Since we first reported on the How2Recycle Label nearly two years ago, more than twenty companies have adopted it, including General Mills*, Target and Ziploc. McDonald’s, however, will be the first restaurant chain to implement the label, which helps to reduce recycling confusion by clearly showing if a product is accepted in recycling programs, and if so, how each component should be recycled.

To read more on Cone's Prove Your Purpose blog, please click here.


Tweet me: McDonald's Partners with How2Recycle to Increase Recycling Rates http://bit.ly/1ohPwKW via @Cone #ConeCSR #susty #csr

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Business & Trade, food, sustainability, Recycling, recycle

Giving Voice to Women’s Momentum in the Workplace: Do Not Compare Your Professional Path with Others. Set Your Goals and Stick with Them.

Mon, 2014-03-31 03:00
Celebrating U.S. Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day Industry Leaders Reveal "Top 5” Career Tips for the Journey to the Corner Office



In honor of Women’s History Month in the U.S. and International Women’s Day, BNY Mellon's women executives have shared their personal career insights and top five tips for reaching the corner office.

If you had 5 minutes with an inspirational woman leader what could you find out? Laurin Moore, Business Segment Head for Alternative Investment Services (AIS) within BNY Mellon Asset Servicing, with her “Top 5” career tips:

  1. Do not stay in your comfort zone. Challenge yourself.
  2. Network, network, network
  3. Surround yourself with positive, high energy people
  4. Do not compare your professional path with others. Set your goals and stick with them.
  5. Finding a balance between your career and family is possible. Give 100% to both. But remember: You do not need to be perfect at everything.

Laurin E. Moore is a member of BNY Mellon's Operating Committee and is a Managing Director and Business Segment Head for BNY Mellon Asset Servicing's Alternative Investment Services (AIS).

Laurin and her team are charged with creating and maintaining strong business partnerships through an effective strategic and consultative approach for approximately 530 clients, with assets under custody and/or administration in excess of $444 billion. These clients include U.S and Global-based Fund of Hedge Funds, Single Manager Hedge Funds, Prime Custody and Private Equity Funds.

Laurin has more than 25 years of experience delivering trust and custody services. She joined BNY Mellon in 1984 and has an extensive background and managerial experience in trust operations, client service, marketing and Relationship Management. Prior to her role with AIS, Laurin led BNY Mellon Asset Servicing's $2.5 trillion U.S. Corporate, Government & Not-for-Profit business.

Laurin received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a Business Administration minor from Hollins College.

Tweet me: .@BNYMellon’s Laurin Moore, with career tips: "Do not compare your professional path with others.” http://bit.ly/NRE2gs

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Diversity and Human Resources, #DiversityLeadership, #womeninfinance, #Women, #IWD, #CareerAdvice

Citizens Oceans Advocacy from a Sustainability Perspective

Mon, 2014-03-31 03:00
Free to Express One's Own Views

SOURCE: EarthSayers.tv


A global oceans advocacy effort may require individuals to form clusters of mutual interests separate from their business and professional affiliations, be they with non-profits, NGOs, governments or corporations. It may be that organizations providing support for oceans advocacy projects, programs, initiatives and campaigns are just too slow, too caught up in taking care of their donors and members, too under-financed and over whelmed to solve the problems brought upon us by global warming and the continued dislocation of entire countries because of war and violence.  As to those organizations involved in the making of problems, rather than solutions, it gives their employees, customers, and family members an opportunity to act as citizens in protecting the oceans and work with others who share their commitment.

Thinking about this leads me to propose a community of OceansAdvocacy that provides a communications infrastructure to support individuals to organize, collaborate, build databases, and use research as advocates without the need for an organizational affiliation. A virtual based, citizens action cluster with infrastructure support, available now as no cost services by Google, where people from all walks of life, citizens, are free to express their own views, knowledge, and vision on behalf of the oceans. And to do so emphasizing one-to-one and group conferencing, images over text, and images connected to place.

I've prepared a short 10 minute presentation on what OceansAdvocacy could look like modeled in part on the recently launched, Global Forest Watch; applying the work we have done as EarthSayers.tv advancing the voices of sustainability, of which Oceans and Plastic in Our Oceans are two special collections;  and bringing a sustainability perspective to building community that address planet, people, and prosperity.

If you see what I mean about the need to be free to express one's own views, the power of the Google platform to support a virtual citizens-led movement on behalf of the oceans, then give a listen to my concept video presentation and get back to me with comments, suggestions or recommendations. Thank you.  Ruth Ann Barrett


Tweet me: Concept of a Citizens Oceans Advocacy platform for collaboration. Hear me out. http://bit.ly/OAconcept

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, citizenship, oceans, sustainability, voices of sustainability, circular economy, Google, Social Network

GM’s Sustainability Manager Navigates the Intersection of Ecology and Industry

Mon, 2014-03-31 02:40

SOURCE: General Motors


To hear Amanda Kurzman tell the story of how she grew up, it’s no wonder she eventually found her way to working in sustainability for General Motors.

As a child, she was never far from the environment.

Kurzman spent three weeks every summer vacationing with her family on the Old Mission Peninsula, a piece of land that juts out into Grand Traverse Bay, just north of Traverse City, Mich.

Compared to her family’s home in Waterford, Mich., there was a noticeable increase in biological diversity on that tract of land. In hindsight, the effect of nutrient pollution on Lake Oakland near her home (from lawn fertilizer) was obvious when compared to the pristine waters of the bay.

“When we were Up North, my parents always made a point to show us the different species of birds and critters that we didn’t see back home,” said Kurzman. “This early experience gave me a sense of our natural world and our influence over it, as well as our obligation to protect and preserve it.”

Halfway through her college career, frustrated with what she perceived to be a gap between what we knew we should be doing and what we were doing, Kurzman decided to pursue a degree in environmental management. After earning her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, she began working for a small consulting firm where she handled projects for, among other companies, General Motors.

“During my time in school, I felt that corporations played a critical role in protecting the environment due to their size and influence,” adds Kurzman. “So after a few years of consulting, I decided to see if I could insert myself into that world.”

Kurzman earned her doctorate in ecosystem ecology, also known as biogeochemistry. This is the field of ecology that looks at the movement of energy or nutrients between living and non-living compartments of the ecosystem. It gave her the opportunity to look at losses of nutrients from different ecosystems depending on land use and management methods.

“In industrial ecology, we focus on the movement of materials and energy, and on minimizing losses of waste and energy,” explains Kurzman. “In that regard, it’s not so different than studying ecology outside of a facility.”

(For those not familiar with industrial ecology, it is a young, but growing, multidisciplinary field of research which combines aspects of engineering, economics, sociology, toxicology and the natural sciences. It stems from the idea that natural systems should be used as an example of how to design sustainable industrial systems.)

All of the time she spent exploring the Old Mission Peninsula has proven fruitful for her time spent with GM. Viewing industrial processes from a lifecycle perspective comes naturally. She can see how what the company does in an industrial setting drives efficiency, and the shared value it brings to society through reductions in resource use.

“Achieving sustainability on a global scale means consuming resources at a rate that doesn’t deplete them on a human time scale,” said Kurzman. “Preserving natural lands and controlling our emissions so that we don’t exceed earth’s capacity is essential to maintaining healthy and diverse ecosystems.”

Kurzman is leading the charge to ensure that there are real benefits to the measures being taken by the company.

“My favorite part of the job is seeing improvement in our sustainability performance metrics and knowing that our efforts are making a difference,” she says. “The rapid integration of sustainability into our business model is driving awareness, action, and, most importantly, enthusiasm at all levels of the company. “

Like the majority of the sustainability team at GM, Kurzman doesn’t hang up her sustainability hat when she gets home. She follows a lot of the same practices that her team does at the office: invest in energy efficient appliances, turn off lights when not in use, and recycle and reuse.

However, with several years spent studying the impact of different agricultural practices, she takes it a step further when it comes to food.

“My work has made me increasingly aware of how easily our food choices can reduce our environmental footprint, so we try to buy locally grown food and eat more that’s lower on the food chain, like fruits, nuts and vegetables,” she adds. “This year we plan to have a garden, something we couldn’t do before we bought our house.”

At the end of the day, it all comes down to linking business objectives to sustainability objectives. This includes finding new and more comprehensive ways to link financial or business value to improvements in sustainability metrics, as well as creating the data systems the company will use to track sustainability performance. But that’s all in a day’s work for Amanda Kurzman.

“With more than 200,000 global employees, we have tremendous human capital to leverage in a positive way,” says Kurzman. “Now that sustainability is a normal part of the business, they have the ability to take their best practices learned inside the company, and take it outside of our walls.”

For a woman who spent her days as a little girl getting lost in the environment, the more people who are aware of their impact on this world, the better.

Tweet me: .@GM’s Sustainability Manager Navigates the Intersection of Ecology and Industry http://bit.ly/1hTQEM1

KEYWORDS: sustainability, industrial ecology, Amanda Kurzman, GM, General Motors


Accenture Releases 2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report

Mon, 2014-03-31 02:30
Skills to Succeed initiative exceeds goal to equip more than half a million people with job skills

SOURCE: Accenture

NEW YORKMarch 31, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today announced the publication of its 2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report, “Our Communities, Our Commitments,” which explores the company’s corporate citizenship goals, progress and challenges.
The report highlights Accenture’s Skills to Succeed initiative, which has exceeded the company’s goal to equip more than half a million people with the skills to get a job or build a business. To increase its impact in communities around the world, the company is raising its target: by 2015, Accenture plans to equip 700,000 people worldwide with workplace and entrepreneurial skills.
“Accenture plays a vital role in convening people and organizations – an entire ecosystem of players – to make a measurable difference to the communities in which we live and work,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s Chairman & CEO. “Together, we share a focus on encouraging competitiveness and creating long-term value to help lay the groundwork for shared growth and success.”
“Our Communities, Our Commitments” details Accenture’s impact during fiscal 2012 and 2013 across five areas: Corporate Governance, Skills to Succeed, Environment, Our People and Supply Chain.
Additional highlights of the report include: 
  • Environment:  Accenture reduced its per employee carbon emissions in fiscal 2013 by more than 36 percent from its fiscal 2007 baseline. In 2013, Accenture was included, for the fifth consecutive year, among the CDP Global 500, which tracks how the world’s largest listed companies are addressing climate change.
  • Our People:  In fiscal 2013, Accenture invested more than US$870 million in employee training and professional development. In fiscal 2012, the company launched its global women’s theme “Defining Success. Your way.” – which helps inspire its more than 100,000 women to define their personal approaches to success.
  • Supply Chain:  Ninety-nine percent of the company’s Procurement Requests for Proposal included environmental questionnaires in fiscal 2013. Additionally, since its launch in 2006, Accenture’s Diverse Supplier Development Program has helped mentor more than 70 minority, women-owned and other diverse businesses.
  • Corporate Governance:  In recognition of Accenture’s strict adherence to ethics and compliance, which includes zero tolerance for corruption in all its forms, the company has been included on Ethisphere’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies” list for seven consecutive years.

“This report marks the next chapter in our long-standing commitment to fueling sustainable economic growth,” said Adrian Lajtha, Accenture’s chief leadership officer. “Our focus on corporate citizenship remains a cornerstone of our character and our business purpose, and our success is, more than ever, a product of the passion and dedication of our people around the world.”
About “Our Communities, Our Commitments” 
Accenture uses Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3 Guidelines as a foundation for its reporting approach and has self-declared this report at Application Level B, as checked by GRI. The report serves as Accenture’s fifth Communication on Progress to the United Nations Global Compact, which the company signed in January 2008, and documents Accenture’s progress as a member of Global Compact LEAD, which focuses on raising sustainability performance. Additionally, the report includes a Performance Data Table, which quantifies Accenture’s progress over the last five years on key indicators such as carbon emissions, women new hires and training spend. Download the Executive Summary.
About Accenture  
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, with approximately 289,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world's most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. Through its Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, Accenture is committed to equipping 700,000 people around the world by 2015 with the skills to get a job or build a business. The company generated net revenues of US$28.6 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2013. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

# # #


Stacey Jones
+ 917 452 6561


Tweet me: Accenture Releases 2012–2013 Corporate Citizenship Report http://bit.ly/1jr5Jcf

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Awards and Recognition, Accenture, Corporate Citizenship Report, Corporate Social Responsibility, csr, Employment, Youth, Community Engagement, diversity, supply chain, environment, Ethics, corporate governance, compliance, Carbon Emissions, footprint, Training, Development, women, workplace, Entrepreneur