Out Of The Box Collective (outoftheboxcollective.com), a leading farm to table home delivery company for Southern California, announced today that the company has become a Certified B Corporation. B Corp status allows a company to harness the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. It also gives Out Of The Box a range of tools to measure, compare and improve its social and environmental performance as it continues to grow.
“We’re thrilled to join the B Corp movement: it was the actual percentage of the food and wine we deliver that’s local and organically produced that drove our certification, and we’re proud of this achievement,” says Jennifer Piette, founder of Out Of The Box. “We’ve worked hard to gain the trust of the people we work with and who work with us, and we became a B Corp in order to build a deeper trust with our existing and future customers, suppliers and employees as with potential investors. Being a B Corp is a great way to keep standards high and to raise the bar so that the company does better and better as it scales.”
Certified B Corporations have to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance and legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests: there are more than 750 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries and 27 countries.
“Out of the Box wants to get customers back into the kitchen with local or fair trade, nutrient-dense and sustainably produced food,” comments Jennifer Piette. “We want to promote fair working practices along the whole supply chain from the farm to the table. We want to support local producers, and if an ingredient is not available locally, we turn to Fair Trade, supporting the larger community. We want to be cleaner on the climate than we already are, more energy efficient and reduce our carbon footprint even as we grow. B Corp status is going to keep us on our toes and ensure we deliver what we set out to do.”
Out Of The Box Collective delivers a full range of organic and sustainably produced food and wine direct to customers’ doorsteps – via its own delivery van and via Amazon Fresh. The company offers customers the convenience of set boxes including all the ingredients for up to a week’s worth of meals, accompanied by chef-created recipes to support them in the kitchen. Additionally, customers have the flexibility to create their own boxes. In parallel, Out of the Box has a separate storefront for mail order nationwide, delivering shelf-stable artisan-made pantry items.
The company is part of the Slow Money movement and is proud to be working with non-profit PathPoint, which provides comprehensive training and support services to empower people with disabilities or disadvantages to live and work as valued members of our communities.
“Out Of The Box Collective is proud to be a member of the growing community of B Corp businesses,” says Jennifer Piette. “This certification allows us to focus further on breaking the mould of traditional corporations, helps us think out of the box ourselves, about our social and environmental impact, and sets us ongoing operational and performance goals for us to achieve as our business continues to grow.”
- WEBSITE: outoftheboxcollective.com
- MAIL ORDER: taste.outoftheboxcollective.com
- PRESS: outoftheboxcollective.com/p-30-press-and-media.html
- BLOG for RECIPES & MEALPLANS: blog.outoftheboxcollective.com
- TWITTER: @outoftheboxcoll
- FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/outoftheboxcollective
- INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/outoftheboxcoll
H&M has announced its commitment to the Business Call to Action (BCtA) as part of its goal to make continuous and lasting improvements for the garment industry in Bangladesh. The company will invest in skills training which will benefit an estimated 5,000 individuals by 2016.
H&M plays an important role in Bangladesh’s economy and is committed to practices which not only improve incomes for local workers, but also those which will benefit women in the region. The company’s initiative as a member of the BCtA is to create a Skill Development Centre of Excellence to help raise the levels of vocational training and provide certificates which in turn help increase productivity, as well as the long term employability of industry workers. If successful, the retailer also plans to establish a certified and replicable model for training and support for skilled labor within the export Ready Made Garment (RMG) industry.
“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) at the BCtA platform as another step in our commitment to support long term social development in Bangladesh. The training will raise the workers’ level of education, provide them with skills required for development of the industry and increase their employability,” says Helena Helmersson, Global Head of Sustainability at H&M.
“Through its expertise and focus on long-term sustainability, H&M’s focus on skills and development training, ensuring better workplace conditions and social dialogue in countries like Bangladesh is a win-win for all. The Business Call to Action (BCtA) welcomes companies such as H&M that support women and work to address gaps in skills training in an effort to develop business models with a positive impact on people living in poverty,” said Sahba Sobhani, Programme Manager for the Business Call to Action.
Business Call to Action is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. To learn more, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or join the conversation on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative
Chevron's Flawed RICO Decision in Ecuador Case Violates First Amendment and Will Backfire In International Courts, Defendants Say
A decision in favor of Chevron in a New York RICO case is wrong on the facts and the law, violates the First Amendment, and has little chance of helping the oil giant block international enforcement actions, according to statements issued today by the defendants.
The statements were issued in response to a ruling by federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan by Ecuadorian villagers who won a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron over massive oil contamination in the Amazon rainforest; Steven Donziger, the longtime legal advocate for the villagers, who is based in New York; and Deepak Gupta, the appellate attorney for Donziger.
Click here to read/download a background document on Judge Kaplan's ruling in the RICO case.
Gupta, the appellate attorney for Donziger, issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
“Today’s decision should be extremely troubling for anybody who cares about the rule of law. This court has taken the extraordinary and unprecedented step of appointing itself a worldwide fact-finding commission and issuing what is in effect a global anti-collection injunction that would preclude enforcement of a judgment from another country in every jurisdiction. The injunction is effectively indistinguishable from an injunction issued by Kaplan in the case two years ago that was struck down on appeal.
This decision also effectively outlaws core activity protected by the First Amendment such as bringing lawsuits, holding protests, issuing press releases, and engaging public officials. This is particularly appalling given that this case is about holding a corporation accountable for refusing to clean up decades of toxic pollution in the Amazon.”
Donziger, Chevron’s principal target, issued the following statement:
“With all due respect to the court, this is an appalling decision resulting from of a deeply flawed proceeding that overturns a unanimous ruling by Ecuador’s Supreme Court. We believe Judge Kaplan is wrong on the law and wrong on the facts and that he repeatedly let his implacable hostility toward me, my Ecuadorian clients, and their country infect his view of the case. This decision is full of vitriol, is based on paid evidence from a corrupt former judge, and ignores the overwhelming evidence that Chevron committed environmental crimes and fraud in Ecuador. Through this decision, we now have the spectacle of a Manhattan trial judge purporting to overrule Ecuador’s Supreme Court on questions of Ecuadorian law. All of these factual and legal issues will be addressed in due course on appeal. We are confident we will be fully vindicated in the U.S., as we have been in Ecuador.
Well before the trial began, Judge Kaplan made it clear he would rule against us. By not allowing me and my clients to argue before a jury, we did not have a chance to tell the real story of Chevron’s wrongdoing in Ecuador which proves the judgment is based on overwhelming and unassailable scientific evidence that Chevron committed an environmental disaster that continues to cause harm to thousands of people.
It is worth nothing that this ruling is a far cry from what Chevron wanted. It does not block enforcement of the Ecuador judgment. Nothing in Judge Kaplan's ruling will prevent my clients from pursuing the judgment’s enforcement in other countries. The villagers deserve justice, and I am confident they will get it despite Chevron's efforts to undermine the rule of law.
I will continue my efforts on behalf of my clients consistent with the law. I also will pursue an immediate and expedited appeal so that a panel of impartial judges can review this decision.”
Han Shan, the U.S. spokesman for the Ecuadorian villagers issued the following statement:
“While the Ecuadorians respect the rule of law in all countries, they do not accept this court’s jurisdiction nor this ruling. The affected communities long ago gave up hope that a U.S. court would provide them relief from Chevron's contamination, which has taken their loved ones, poisoned their lands, and imperiled their cultures.
Their focus now is on enforcing their judgment in countries where they can receive a fair hearing about Chevron’s pollution of the rainforest and refusal to abide by a legitimate ruling from the courts in Ecuador, where the company demanded the case be heard. It is time for Chevron to end its abusive efforts at evading justice, and restore the indigenous people and villagers who suffer from the company's terrible legacy."
On Friday, March 14, 2014, Mills College will present the Sixth Annual Spring Conference on Social Enterprise: “Achieving Social Impact: To Scale or Not to Scale?”
The daylong event will explore the dilemma of whether to scale or not to scale, which will eventually confront every organization seeking social impact in the for-profit, hybrid, nonprofit, or public sectors. Bringing together diverse perspectives and experiences, the annual conference will explore strategies for maximizing impact while considering questions of breadth, depth, reach, and size of organizations and their offerings.
Hosted by the Center for Socially Responsible Business (CSRB) at Mills College and the Net Impact Chapter at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, students and promising social entrepreneurs alike will have the opportunity to engage with some of the country’s top business, nonprofit, civic, and social enterprise leaders to learn how leading organizations are managing growth, as well as to get to know others who are actively working for change.
Nikki Silvestri, executive director of Oakland-based Green for All, will deliver the keynote address. Ms. Silvestri has spent the last decade advocating for environmental and social equity for underrepresented populations in food systems, social services, public health, and economic development.
Green for All is a national organization whose mission is to build an inclusive, green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. The organization collaborates with the business, government, labor, and grassroots communities to increase quality jobs and opportunities in the green industry—all while holding the most vulnerable people at the center of its agenda. Prior to joining Green for All, Ms. Silvestri served as executive director at People’s Grocery as Nikki Henderson.
At this year’s CSRB conference, a diverse mix of corporate, nonprofit, civic, and social enterprise experts —ranging from Cisco, Symantec, One Pacific Coast Bank, to Title Nine, the Oakland Unified School District, and HIP Investor, among others—will provide insight on navigating the growth dilemma. Sessions will explore scaling strategies and decision making, shared economy organizational forms, public policy implications for growth, supply chain scaling, designing products and services that scale, and building and sustaining culture while scaling.
One session, “Scale for Your Stage,” will explore the challenges in setting up systems, clarifying a value proposition, and delivering on the potential of an organization based on organization size.
“This unique conference exemplifies why the Center for Socially Responsible Business is so central to the mission of the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College,” said Deborah Merrill-Sands, dean of the Lokey Graduate School of Business. “We prepare organizational leaders who have the knowledge and courage to lead and hold themselves accountable for ensuring that their organizations make a positive impact on society today, tomorrow, and over the long term.”
Sessions and Presentations:
To Scale or Not to Scale: Moderated by Cecily Joseph, vice president, corporate responsibility, Symantec Corporation
Scaling Strategies: Replication, Expansion, Collaboration, and More: Moderated by Steve Wright, vice president, poverty tools and insights, Grameen Foundation
Leveraging Policy and Community Development in Scaling Private Enterprises: Moderated by Sharyl Rabinovici, visiting assistant professor, Public Policy Program, Mills College
Scaling the Responsible Supply Chain: Moderated by Carol Theokary, assistant professor of business, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
If Not Scale, Then What? Comparing Approaches to Reform in Public Education: Moderated by Ingrid Seyer-Ochi, visiting associate professor and director, Center for Urban Schools and Partnerships, Mills College School of Education
What Is the Net Social Impact of New Organizational Forms? The Case of Shared Economies: Moderated by Sharon Cornu, founder and chief strategy officer, Opportunity Partners (former deputy mayor of Oakland and former executive secretary-treasurer of the Alameda Labor Council)
Designing Social Benefit Products and Services that Scale: Moderated by John Won, senior designer, IDEO.org
Building and Sustaining Culture While Scaling: Moderated by Judy Weisinger, associate professor of business, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills College
Scale for Your Stage: Moderated by Jose Corona, CEO, Inner City Advisors
Keynote Speaker: Nikki Silvestri, executive director, Green for All
“Achieving Social Impact: To Scale or Not to Scale”
Friday, March 14, 2014
8:00 am–5:00 pm
Mills College, Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, first floor
Register online at: http://bit.ly/1gaZffT
Conference website: http://csrbmills.org/conference/
About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in approximately 1,000 undergraduate women and 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 378 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and lists it among the top colleges and universities in the West in the “Great Schools, Great Prices’’ category. For more information, visit www.mills.edu.