Points of Light’s Civic Accelerator – the first national startup accelerator dedicated solely to investing in civic ventures – announced today the 10 nonprofit and for-profit start-ups selected to participate in its summer program. The ventures participating in the Civic Accelerator all mobilize people to create positive change.
While Points of Light has a 20-year history of engaging people in volunteer service, the launch of the Civic Accelerator marks the first time the organization is investing venture capital funds in social enterprises.
Ten teams, selected from 150 applicants, will gather on May 20 in Atlanta for the start of an intensive, 12-week boot camp which will include mentoring, entrepreneur education, peer support and networking.
Points of Light has offered each startup a $10,000 investment. Additionally, Points of Light will offer two of the most promising ventures – as determined by the entrepreneurs themselves –an additional $50,000 investment at the end of the summer.
The Civic Accelerator is run in partnership with Village Capital, which has launched 22 accelerator programs in the U.S. and emerging markets, serving over 300 enterprises directly addressing poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and economic development. Founding support for the unique accelerator comes from PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. and Starbucks Foundation.
The 10 startups participating in the second cohort of the Civic Accelerator are:
EPIC empowers creative professionals to make social change happen.
GenX & Associates helps communities dashboard their social, economic, and environmental data online for local decision-making.
GraphAlchemist offers Graph as a Service (GaaS) to provide data driven solutions to complex problems.
Neighbor.ly is the funding platform for civic projects.
Open Curriculum is an online platform to create, access and share K-12 learning material.
Practice Makes Perfect works to narrow the achievement gap in low income U.S. neighborhoods through summer enrichment programs.
Public Lab is a community that develops and applies affordable, open-source environmental monitoring tools to empower citizen scientists.
The GREEN Program transforms experiential education around the world, and empowers leaders to break into and disrupt the hottest industries of our time.
Jubilee Project makes videos for a good cause that empower, enable, and inspire the next generation of change-makers.
Village Defense provides neighborhoods with a real-time communications system to keep neighbors safe and connected.
"Supporting innovation in the design of sustainable, scalable programs that drive social good is an important part of our giving philosophy," said Chris Simmons, president, PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. "We are pleased to congratulate the second class of 10 startups selected for the accelerator and look forward to seeing their impact in the areas of education and humanitarianism."
“Innovation is core to what we do at Starbucks, and we are inspired by the work of these entrepreneurs and innovators,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks. “We are honored to support this valuable program and are looking forward to witnessing the continued success of the teams as they make a positive impact on their communities.”
“We are excited about the new thinking and innovative models we are seeing – and investing in – across the country. The for-profit and nonprofit ventures, with their shared focus on customers and need for sustainable business models, have a great deal in common,” said Ayesha Khanna, president of the Civic Incubator at Points of Light. “We believe their success will engage people in solving critical social problems and strengthening communities.”
“Over the next three months, these enterprises will get the best support and the toughest criticism they’ve ever received from their peers,” said Ross Baird, executive director of Village Capital. “The program will focus on everything from customer validation to financials, and we expect that the collaboration of these amazingly talented people will be a force multiplier for their success.”
About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.
About Village Capital
Village Capital uses the power of peer review and support to shape enterprises making an impact, and to change the way investment in them is made. Through tested educational programs worldwide, and through a unique peer-selected model, Village Capital provides innovative risk capital to the world’s highest-potential ventures while expanding the scope and infrastructure of the impact investing industry. For more information, go to www.vilcap.com.
About PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.
The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes charitable contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship, and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism.
Since 1997, Nicor employees have dedicated the third Saturday in May for Volunteer Day as their way of giving back to the local communities where they live and work.
On Saturday, May 18, hundreds of employees, family members, and friends will honor their commitment to volunteerism and one the company’s core values – generosity of spirit – by performing a variety of community service activities. From outdoor beautification, to constructing houses for low-income residents, to sorting food at local food pantries, 18 projects will be performed benefitting 15 cities and towns across northern Illinois.
Employees from Nicor Gas, a local natural gas distribution company, will be joined by employees from Nicor Home Solutions, an unregulated provider of appliance protection plans and other home related services and Nicor Enerchange, provider of natural gas to commercial and industrial customers in the Midwest primarily in the northern Illinois market, to complete the community enrichment projects, which are much more than painting fences and raking leaves.
“Volunteer Day reflects the collective spirit of our Nicor companies,” said Beth Reese, president of Nicor Gas. “For the last 17 years, our employees have dedicated personal time on a Saturday to demonstrate their dedication to our communities and help make our world a better place for everyone.”
Volunteers will complete projects in the following communities:
- Volunteers will spruce up the Hesed House, a homeless shelter at 680 S. River Street, Aurora.
- Volunteers will help beautify the Mooseheart Child City and School in Batavia by planting flowers, cleaning up trails and painting a horse corral.
- A team will tackle energy-efficient renovations alongside McLean County Habitat for Humanity volunteers at a new renovation project in Bloomington.
- More than 50 volunteers will assist with landscaping outdoor spaces and painting marcfirst, group homes for individuals with mental and physical disabilities in Bloomington.
- DeKalb volunteers will return to the Salvation Army Food Pantry at 830 Grove Street to plant a community garden and perform outdoor cleanup.
- Benefiting Downers Grove area women’s shelter, volunteers will take on a painting project to freshen up the common areas. This project is sponsored by the AGL Resources women's group, Inspire.
- At Connections for the Homeless in Evanston, volunteers will help prepare a home for a new family by performing weatherization tasks and painting.
- Geneva volunteers will sort and organize food at the Northern Illinois Food Bank at 273 Dearborn Court.
- Our volunteers will give a fresh coat of paint to and spruce up The Dixie House on Dixie Highway in Harvey for Restoration Ministries, a group that provides social and human services for underprivileged families and individuals.
- Joliet volunteers will tackle a little spring cleaning and will help organize the Morningstar Mission retail stores and warehouse at 350 E. Washington St.
- Volunteers will clean up the property at Cornerstone Group Home, a short-term, residential group home for boys, ages 13-17, in Lisle.
- Naperville volunteers will pitch in to plant and landscape the property around the 60-acre McDonald Farm run by the Naperville Conservation Foundation.
- At the DuPage Children’s Museum in Naperville, about 25 volunteers will mulch and trim bushes along the property, and plant flowers in large outdoor planters.
- Lending hands to Loaves & Fishes Community Pantry at 1871 High Grove Lane in Naperville volunteers will sort food collected during recent community food drives and distribute them to clients.
- Volunteers at Lake Katherine Nature Center in Palos Heights will plant native trees and plugs and spread prairie seeds harvested from Nicor Gas’ prairie and will help rehabilitate natural areas as part of the eco- and family-friendly project, which includes building an animal mound - a 35-foot long salamander.
- The Rock River Valley Food Pantry will welcome volunteer efforts to help sort food and clean up around the grounds at two locations in Rockford.
- Flowers and mulch will be planted at The Manor at Hearthstone Communities, rehabilitative and nursing care facilities at 920 N. Seminary Ave. in Woodstock.
- Yorkville volunteers will perform outdoor planting and indoor painting at the Kendall County Food Pantry.
To learn more about our community involvement, visit http://nicorgas.aglr.com/Universal/AboutUs/CommunityInvolvement.aspx
About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), is a natural gas distribution company that serves more than 2 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.
About AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. As the nation's largest natural gas-only distributor based on customer count, AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 600,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Nicor National, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management, ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities, and ownership of Tropical Shipping, one of the largest containerized cargo carriers serving the Bahamas and Caribbean region. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
- GBCHealth recognizes Novartis Arogya Parivar (“Healthy Family”) initiative as one of the best corporate programs to address global health needs
- Arogya Parivar has improved access to medicine for 42 million patients across 33,000 villages in India
- This program is a Novartis social venture, building local, sustainable solutions to address healthcare challenges in emerging markets
Novartis is pleased to announce that GBCHealth, a coalition of more than 230 private sector companies working to improve global health, has awarded the company’s Arogya Parivar program the Business Action on Health Award for Application of Core Competence. Arogya Parivar is a sustainable business model that makes affordable, high-quality medicines accessible to underserved millions in India. The program also expands access to health education and consultations in remote villages.
“We are proud to be recognized by GBCHealth for our Arogya Parivar program," said Joe Jimenez, Novartis Chief Executive Officer. “Arogya Parivar is an important part of the work Novartis is doing around the world to develop sustainable solutions that address the unmet medical needs of people in developing nations. Through our social ventures programs, we’re making a difference by encouraging better health and at the same time driving local economic growth. We expect Arogya Parivar to have an enduring impact in India and look forward to extending the model to other developing economies.”
Arogya Parivar, meaning “Healthy Family” in Hindi, is a for-profit social business developed by Novartis that adapts a market-based approach to improve healthcare access for India’s rural poor. Novartis trains health educators, who teach communities about health and disease prevention, and sales supervisors, who increase local medicine access across several therapeutic areas by informing local pharmacists about products. Since launching Arogya Parivar in 2007, Novartis has trained more than 500 health educators and supervisors and improved access to healthcare for 42 million patients across 33,000 villages in India. As a result of the positive impact of Arogya Parivar, Novartis is working to further expand the social business model in 2014.
Arogya Parivar is one example of a Novartis “social venture” approach. Social ventures build local, sustainable solutions to address healthcare challenges in emerging markets. These programs go beyond medicine, donations, and price reductions, by tackling larger societal issues that impact access to healthcare: education, infrastructure and distribution. With each social venture, Novartis adapts its approach to meet diverse local health and cultural needs.
To learn more about Novartis Social Ventures, please visit http://www.novartis.com/corporate-responsibility/access-to-healthcare/our-key-initiatives/index.shtml.
This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “expect,” ”look forward to,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG's current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 129,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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As part of its continuing effort to promote professional development and career advancement among women, MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and The MGM Resorts Foundation today announced the 2013 Women’s Leadership Conference on Aug. 8– 9, 2013 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.
Navigating Your Future features diverse and nationally recognized speakers and accomplished women role models, as well as provides forums for small-group dialogue and individual networking among highly motivated conference attendees.
“As more and more women ascend to leadership roles nationally and globally, in business, in elected office, in our communities and in all phases of our lives, empowerment of women is a surging phenomenon, now and into our future,” said Phyllis A. James, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer of MGM Resorts International. “Helping to prepare women to better meet the challenges of such roles is an important dimension of our commitment to diversity.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are estimated to account for 51.2 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. In 2010, women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force.
The conference is open to women of all ethnicities, professions and social backgrounds, locally and nationally, and men who support them. The non-profit MGM Resorts Foundation is the conference’s presenting sponsor and – for the first time – will be partnering with the nationally renowned Women’s Food Service Forum (WFF). Proceeds of the conference after costs will be donated to one or more local nonprofit agencies devoted to the welfare and development of women and girls.
The early registration fee for conference participants is $250. Registration includes the full conference and all workshops and lectures, a networking reception, and continental breakfasts and lunches catered by MGM Grand. Time is also allotted for attendees to build key professional relationships with other women attending while enjoying the hospitality and entertainment of MGM Grand and other resorts of MGM Resorts International.
Participating sponsorships are available to organizations or companies who share the vision and goals of this conference. Returning sponsors include Cox Communications and Greenspun Media Group.
For more information about the Women’s Leadership Conference, please visit www.mgmresorts.com/womensleadershipconference.
About MGM Resorts International
MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is one of the world’s leading global hospitality companies operating a peerless portfolio of destination resort brands, including MGM Grand Detroit, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage. For more information about MGM Resorts International, visit the Company’s website at www.mgmresorts.com.
Leading organic gift basket provider Best Organics Inc., based here, is pleased to announce that it has achieved “B Corporation” certification for its focus on sustainability, social responsibility and business performance. Certified Benefit Corporations seek to integrate the “triple bottom line” of people, planet and profit into their business organization and culture, serving all the business’ stakeholders, including investors, employees, suppliers, customers and the communities in which the business operates.
B Corporations are certified by the non-profit B Lab, founded in 2006 by Andrew Kassoy, Jay Coen Gilbert and Bart Houlahan, veterans of private equity and footwear and apparel businesses. Through B Lab, the founders created a points-based certification system for forward-thinking entrepreneurs and businesses that wish to create and operate within a sustainable business framework. The movement is exceeding growth expectations, now with more than 700 companies in 60 business sectors across 24 countries, including industry leaders Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Sambazon, Numi Tea, Bhakti Chai, Method, GoLite, and now Best Organics Inc.
“Increasingly there are businesses that want to create value for all their stakeholders, not just their shareholders,” said B Lab cofounder Andrew Kassoy. “These companies are competing not just to be best in the world, but best for the world. B Corp certification is like the Fair Trade label, but for the whole company, not just the bag of coffee. We are pleased that Best Organics has joined a unique group of more that 700 companies committed to making a big difference.”
“As a social mission driven company, joining the ranks of the B Corporation community provides support for our efforts to foster the health of people and the environment. Through the promotion of certified organic products that we offer in our America's Best Organics gift baskets, we support artisan producers and educate consumers that their purchases make a difference,” says Seleyn DeYarus, CEO of Best Organics Inc.
As the co-producer of the Boulder-based “At the Epicenter” speaker series, Best Organics recently invited Andrew Kassoy to speak to a Boulder business audience on the importance of the triple bottom line model in a world of pervasive green-washing.
Not only is Best Organics B Corp certified but several of the companies that are featured in the America's Best Organics gift basket collections are as well. The company curates products that are organic and/or fair trade certified but also seeks to create vendor partnerships with companies that are also Certified B Corporations. The company proudly offers Runa Tea, Fearless Chocolate and Numi Tea, all Certified B Corporations, as part of their fine product selections.
About Best Organics Inc.
Best Organics Inc. is a leading provider of organic and sustainable gift baskets, and a brand promotion and event production company. With roots in Boulder, Colorado, renowned as a center of natural, organic and sustainable business, Best Organics offers America’s Best Organics, an all organic gift basket-in-a-box filled with organic foods and snacks, personal care products and other eco-friendly items from local, artisan, regional and national brands made by social mission guided USA companies.
The company is the producer of At the Epicenter, a series of interactive CEO armchair interviews and networking events featuring nationally renowned business and thought leaders in the $300-billion LOHAS market as well as the Organic Alley Pavilion at the Boulder Green Streets annual ciclovia.
About B Corp
Certified B Corporations 1) meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance; 2) legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests; and 3) build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. As of May 2012, there are over 530 Certified B Corporations from over 60 industries , representing a divers e multi-billion marketplace.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and just good marketing; 2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing asset class through use of B Lab’s GIIRS impact rating system by institutional investors; and 3) promoting supportive public policies, including creation of a new corporate form and tax, procurement, and investment incentives for sustainable business.
EuroCharity will present the publication "EuroCharity Yearbook 2012/13 - Innovation for Excellence" at two special events in Brussels, Belgium and Athens, Greece.
- The presentation in Brussels will take place on June 26, 2013 (between 09:00-12:00 hours) at the European Parliament, Altiero Spinelli Building, A3G-2, Brussels.
- The presentation in Athens will take place on July 3, 2013 (between 19:00-22:00 hours) at PLOTO, Marina Flisvos, P. Faliro, Athens.
EuroCharity will invite all the 2012/13 Yearbook participants/contributors along with their stakeholders to present at and attend these two very important and timely events. For information regarding the Yearbook series, you may visit: www.eurocharity.eu/en/yearbook.
For participation please contact:
Tel.: +30 210 927 1115
WESCO International (NYSE: WCC), a leading provider of electrical, industrial, and communications MRO and OEM products, construction materials, and advanced supply chain management and logistics services, released its first Corporate Sustainability Report outlining key programs and achievements across five areas of focus: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Energy Efficiency, Fleet Fuel Use, Waste and Recycling, and Green Buildings.
“The release of this report demonstrates WESCO’s commitment to consistently improve the sustainability of our operations, as well as those of our customers,” said John Engel, Chairman, President, and CEO, WESCO International. “We’re pleased to be able to outline our approach, share the progress we’ve made to date, and establish metrics to measure our progress.”
Over the past three years, WESCO has improved its energy efficiency, increased recycling, reduced waste generation, and reduced both greenhouse gas intensity and emissions. In 2012, WESCO surpassed its 2015 goals for greenhouse gas intensity, building energy consumption, and waste generation intensity.
“WESCO is well positioned to help our customers improve their energy efficiency and reduce costs in their operations,” John Engel continued. “WESCO’s Value Creation Search for Savings program identifies ways companies can make improvements in the areas of lighting, energy management, renewable energy, water and waste mitigation, and green procurement.”
Lighting upgrades are one of the most-effective ways to reduce energy consumption, and WESCO’s lighting team assists customers with the selection of energy-efficient technology and lighting control systems. WESCO’s Lighting and Sustainability Solutions Centers in Boston and Chicago showcase a wide range of lighting applications allowing customers to make the most-informed lighting decisions.
WESCO’s solar team educates customers about the benefits of using solar panels and other products for both commercial and residential applications. In Phoenix, WESCO installed its first integrated solar car port and electric vehicle charging station, a prototype for an integrated solar and EV solution the company now offers to customers. The Phoenix facility is also the hub for WESCO’s renewable energy training program for solar system installers.
WESCO’s Corporate Sustainability Report, as well as a summary document, can be downloaded at www.wesco.com/sustainability.
WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE: WCC), a publicly traded Fortune 500 holding company headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a leading provider of electrical, industrial, and communications maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) products, construction materials, and advanced supply chain management and logistic services. 2012 annual sales were approximately $6.6 billion. The Company employs approximately 9,000 people, maintains relationships with over 18,000 suppliers, and serves over 65,000 active customers worldwide. Customers include commercial and industrial businesses, contractors, government agencies, institutions, telecommunications providers and utilities. WESCO operates nine fully automated distribution centers and approximately 475 full-service branches in North America and international markets, providing a local presence for customers and a global network to serve multi-location businesses and multi-national corporations.
PR News’ Platinum PR Awards salute the year’s most outstanding communications initiatives and programs in the highly competitive and dynamic PR arena. The coveted awards set the industry benchmark for excellence across all areas of PR. The final entry deadline is this Friday, May 17, 2013 and winners along with honorable mentions will be recognized in October 2013.
For more information on the Platinum PR Awards, visit www.prnewsonline.com/awards/platinumpr2013.
The Platinum PR Awards are open to all individuals and teams worldwide at for-profit and non-profit organizations including: corporations, PR firms, public affairs and IR agencies, publicity firms, associations, government, and NGO teams, and sole practitioners. Vendors are also eligible to compete on behalf of clients.
The winners of the Platinum PR Awards are from corporations, agencies and nonprofits large and small who took chances, made tremendous strides and understand the power of public relations.
To enter online, visit www.prnewsonline.com/awards/platinumpr2013.
Winners and honorable mentions will be awarded in the following categories:
- Annual Report
- Cause-Related Marketing
- Community Relations
- Crisis Management
- Employee Relations
- Event Marketing
- External Publication (print or online)
- Facebook Campaign
- Financial/Investor Relations
- Firm of the Year
- Large PR Firm of the Year
- Midsize PR Firm of the Year
- Small PR Firm of the Year
- Global PR Campaign
- Green PR Influencer Communications
- Internal Publication (print or online)
- Marketing Communications
- Media Event
- Media Relations
- Multicultural Campaign
- On a Shoestring Campaign
- Online Communications
- Online Press Room/Media Center
- Podcast and/or Videocast
- Press Release
- Pro Bono Campaign
- Product Launch
- Public Affairs
- Research & Measurement
- Satellite Media Tours
- SEM/ SEO Initiatives or Campaign
- Social Media Campaign
- Trade Show/Event PR
- Twitter Campaign
- Video Program
- Word of Mouth/Viral Campaign
- WOW! Award
For more information, visit www.prnewsonline.com/awards/platinumpr2013.
PR News’ Platinum PR Awards is a great opportunity to get recognized for your hard work and to shine the spotlight on the people driving your organization’s success.
For questions regarding the Platinum PR Awards, contact PR News Marketing Manager Laura Snitkovskiy at firstname.lastname@example.org. For sponsorship and exhibit information, contact PR News Senior Vice President & Group Publisher Diane Schwartz at email@example.com.
The PR News family of products also includes the weekly PR News publication, The Digital PR Summit, Media Relations Forum and PR Measurement Conference, PR Webinars and Workshops, PR Guidebooks, Platinum PR Awards, PR People Awards, Nonprofit Awards, 15-to-Watch and more. Visit PR News online at www.prnewsonline.com.
The third annual San Francisco Green Film Festival is pleased to present the San Francisco premieres of over 20 internationally acclaimed environmentally focused feature films. The highly anticipated festival will take place Thursday, May 30 through Wednesday, June 5, 2013 ending appropriately on United Nation’s World Environment Day. Festival tickets are on sale now at the festival website: sfgreenfilmfest.org. Tickets are $12 per screening or $200 for a full pass to the festival’s over 50 films and events.
The 2013 San Francisco Green Film Festival includes over 50 films from around the globe, with over 70 visiting filmmakers and guest speakers covering environmental topics surrounding clean energy, green chemistry, food, housing, trash, water, and art in the environment.
The festival’s main venue and headquarters is New People Cinema in Japantown. Other Festival Venues Include: Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch, Superfrog Gallery in Japantown, and SPUR Urban Center. Lead sponsors of the 2013 event include Earthjustice and Recology.
For ticket information and festival updates please visit sfgreenfilmfest.org.
- Opening Night SF Premiere of Rebels With A Cause.
- SF Premiere of Bidder 70 with filmmakers Beth and George Gage and special guest Tim DeChristopher in attendance, following his release from prison on April 21, 2013. Discover DeChristopher’s extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience demanding government and industry accountability.
- SF Premiere of Dear Governor Cuomo with director Jon Bowermaster. Watch incredible acts of ‘fracktivism’ in the push for a ban on fracking in New York State. The film stars Mark Ruffalo, Melissa Leo, Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood and many more.
- SF Premiere of Mark Decena’s Watershed with special guest Jamie Redford in attendance.
- West Coast Premiere of Tiny – A Story About Living Small with filmmakers Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith. Learn about the tiny house movement in a special outdoor screening at SPUR Urban Center.
- Centerpiece screening and Northern California Premiere of More Than Honey, a dazzling in-depth look at honeybee colonies from Academy-Award nominated director Markus Imhoof.
- Spotlight of acclaimed documentary filmmaker Thomas Riedelsheimer (Rivers And Tides, 2001) with SF Premieres of two new feature films, Breathing Earth and Garden In The Sea.
- Kalyanee Mam’s A River Changes Course, World Cinema Grand Jury Prize Winner at Sundance 2013.
- Closing Night SF Premiere of Andrew Garrison’s Trash Dance on UN World Environment Day, June 5.
Festival Feature Films
Wednesday, May 22
Tiny follows one couple's attempt to build a Tiny House from scratch with no building experience, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into houses smaller than the average parking space. Fresh off its premiere at SXSW 2013, Tiny will feel perfectly sized for an outdoor screening in the street-turned-pedestrian plaza atmosphere of Annie Alley. With short film Eskimal. This sneak peek of the 2013 San Francisco Green Film Festival will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, on Wednesday, May 22 at 7:00pm at Spur Urban Center.
Thursday, May 30
Rebels with a Cause officially opens the SF Green Film Festival on Thursday, May 30th. Bay Area filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto will attend this SF Premiere. The film celebrates the compelling and epic story of those who fought to save the Marin County coast. Shows Thursday May 30, 7 PM at New People Cinema. Opening Night Party to follow at 9:00 PM.
Friday, May 31
Watershed, directed by Bay Area’s Mark Decena, premieres in SF premiere on Friday, May 31st at 6:00 PM. Watershed is co-produced by Jamie Redford and explores the dramatic changes that the Colorado River has undergone and inspires viewers to make more sustainable water choices. Mark Decena and Jamie Redford in attendance.
Dear Governor Cuomo, directed by Jon Bowermaster premieres in SF on Friday, May 31st at 8:00 PM. The film documents a music concert that was urgently produced by environmental activists in an effort to ban hydraulic-fracturing in New York. Jon Bowermaster will attend the screening and the film will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Climate One (Commonwealth Club) on fracking in California.
Saturday, June 1
Garden in the Sea (Jardin en el Mar), directed by internationally acclaimed director and cinematographer Thomas Riedelsheimer is a visually stunning documentary about art, landscape and environmental conservation. The story follows Spanish artist Cristina Iglesias as she creates a commissioned underwater installation in the Sea of Cortez. Shows at 12:00 noon on Saturday, June 1st.
Terra Blight, directed by Isaac Brown will premiere in SF at 2:15 PM on Saturday, June 1st. and followed by panel discussion Cradle-to-Cradle. The film exposes the life cycle of computers, from the US gamers who play en masse, to the young Ghanaians who mine toxic waste dumps to salvage metal for their school tuition.
Shored Up, directed by Ben Kalina looks at the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and lessons learned from continually rising sea levels. Shows at 4:00 PM on Saturday, June 1st.
Powerless, directed by Fahad Mustafa and Deepti Kakkar examines the power struggle in Kanpur, India because the balance of supply and demand for electrical power is disrupted. The conflict highlights the effects on paying customers, impoverished Indians who splice power lines for their power and the power companies. This sneak preview is at 6:30 PM on Saturday, June 1st.
A River Changes Course, directed by Kalyanee Mam follows three Cambodians who struggle to support themselves and their families as the environment rapidly changes. This will show at the David Brower Center in Berkeley at 7:00 PM on Saturday, June 1st.
La Source, directed by Patrick Shen documents Josue Lajeunesse’s return to his native Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. He leaves Princeton New Jersey to help a rural community create a viaduct to access clean water. Shows at 8:45 PM on Saturday, June 1st. Patrick Shen in attendance.
Sunday, June 2
Vanishing Point , directed by Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs premieres in SF at 11:00 AM on Sunday, June 2nd. This film is about Polar Eskimo’s “finding the way in a shifting world”. With the intrusion of technology and climate change, Vanishing Point looks at the effects on the tradition and lives of the fewer than 1000 Polar Eskimos still living in the northwest region of Greenland and Baffin Island, Canada.
Because I Live Longer than You, directed by Henriette Bornkamm and Carl Fechner, premieres in the USA at 1:00 PM on Sunday, June 2nd with English subtitles. Starting when he was 9 years old, Felix Finkbeiner has collaborated with youth internationally to address both environmental and social issues. Whether he challenges politicians regarding environmental policy, works with a 15 year old Nairobi girl to fight against female genital mutilation in her slum, or campaigns with a 13 year old Iraqi boy against child abuse, Felix is inspiring and inspired whose passion gives hope for the future.
Unacceptable Levels, directed by Edward Brown will premiere in SF at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 2nd. “It tells the story of toxic chemicals in just about every aspect of our lives, and the egregious lack of regulation. Our ability to protect our families is at stake." - Joan Blades. Followed by panel discussion with the filmmakers and leading experts.
Trashed, directed by Candice Brady will show at 5:30 PM on Sunday, June 2nd. Jeremy Irons takes us through the landscape of trash worldwide that result from over-consumption and wastefulness. The film profiles San Francisco’s adoption of the Zero Waste recycling and explores solutions to this urgent problem. The score for Trashed was composed by Academy Award winner Vangelis.
More Than Honey, directed by Markus Imhoof, is the Festival Centerpiece and shows at 8:00 PM on Sunday, June 2nd. This is the bee movie to end all bee movies. We discover the world from the perspective of the bees. Markus Imhoof will be in attendance at this Centerpiece screening.
Monday, June 3
Bidder 70, directed by Beth Gage and George Gage, premieres in San Francisco just weeks after the film’s protagonist, Tim DeChrstopher was released from prison after serving a sentence for an act of nonviolent civil disobedience. Shows at 5:30 PM on Monday, June 3rd and will be attended by Tim DeChrostopher and Beth and George Gage.
Switch, directed by Harry Lynch is showing at 8:00 PM on Monday June, 3rd. The film explores the vast landscape of energy generation from coal mines to oil rigs, granted access to a hydro facility and see world’s energy sources and consumption through the metrics and understanding of a trained geologist, Scott Tinker.
Tuesday, June 4
Plastic Paradise, directed by Angela Sun will show at SF Public Library Main Branch at 12:00 noon on Tuesday, June 4th in the Festival’s free youth program. An island of garbage stars in this film as Angela Sun discovers the Pacific’s mysterious Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
In Organic We Trust, directed by Kip Pastor, the film shows at 5:45 on Tuesday, June 4th and investigates the meaning of “certified organic”.
Breathing Earth, director Thomas Riedelsheimer’s second film in this year’s festival, will premiere in California at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, June 4th. Following Japanese sculptor Susumu Shingu as he creates art that come to life interacting with the natural elements, specifically, the wind.
Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, directed by Fredrik Gertten will show at 8:15 PM on Tuesday, June 4th. As a muckraker, Gertten took on the Dole Food Company in 2009 and has since experienced the PR and legal battles that inevitably followed. A discussion on media censorship follows the screening.
Wednesday, June 5
Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth, directed by Frauke Sandig and Eric Black, premieres in SF on UN World Earth Day at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, June 5th. Following six indigenous Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas through their daily and sacred ceremonial lives, the film provided an alternative vision of the world.
Trash Dance, directed by Andrew Garrison, is an uplifting and inspirational film for SFGFF closing night. Premieres in SF at 8:00 PM on Wednesday, June 5th. This film has won audiences over at various festivals and the showing coincides with UN World Environment Day. Andrew Garrison in attendance.
About the San Francisco Green Film Festival
The San Francisco Green Film Festival (SFGFF) is the West Coast’s leading destination for groundbreaking and compelling films on the urgent environmental issues of our time. Our mission is to educate and connect communities through forward-thinking programs of environmental films and discussions. Launched in 2011, SFGFF presents an annual film festival each spring, along with year-round community screenings and events in the San Francisco Bay Area. SFGFF brings critical and contemporary environmental issues to local audiences and highlights the vital work of our many partners, including local businesses, schools, and non-profit organizations. Since 2011, we’ve partnered with over 30 community organizations, presented over 150 programs, and inspired over 5,000 attendees.
For ticket information, and the full Festival Program please visit: sfgreenfilmfest.org.
New Report Reveals States and Utilities with Highest and Lowest Power Plant Emissions; Overall U.S. Emissions Decline
A major new report on U.S. power plant emissions from the top 100 power producers shows that the electric industry cut emissions of NOx, SO2 and CO2 in 2011 even as overall electricity generation increased, largely due to increased use of natural gas and growing reliance on renewable energy.
Based on the latest available data, the report also reveals that Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, and North Dakota had the highest CO2 emissions per megawatt-hour of power produced, while Idaho, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, and Maine had the lowest CO2 emissions rates. Nationwide, five power producers—American Electric Power, Duke Energy, FirstEnergy, Southern Company, and Tennessee Valley Authority—generate 25 percent of overall electric sector CO2 emissions, though some of these producers and others have significantly reduced emissions in recent years.
The Benchmarking Air Emissions report is the ninth in a series highlighting environmental performance and progress in the nation’s electric power sector. Traditionally, the report has been published every two years. However, in light of ongoing changes within the industry, in terms of plant retirements, pollution control retrofits and new emissions regulations under consideration, a streamlined version of the report was prepared this year, based on 2011 generation and emissions data from the Energy Information Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Key findings of the report include:
- In 2011, power plant NOx and SO2 emissions were 70 percent and 72 percent lower, respectively, than they were in 1990 when Congress passed major amendments to the Clean Air Act.
- Since 1990, power plant CO2 emissions have increased by 20 percent, although CO2 emissions declined 7 percent from 2008 through 2011.
- There is wide variation in CO2 emission rates across the 50 states, as noted in the report’s new state-by-state emissions summary. States with the highest CO2 emission rates were heavily reliant on coal: Wyoming and Kentucky, the states with the highest CO2 emission rates, relied on coal for 86 and 93 percent of their power generation, respectively.
- Coal accounted for 44 percent of the power produced by the 100 largest companies in 2011, followed by natural gas (23 percent), nuclear (22 percent), hydroelectric power (8 percent), non-hydroelectric renewables and other fuel sources (3 and 1 percent, respectively), and oil (less than 0.2 percent).
- From 2000 to 2011, natural gas generation increased 69 percent industry-wide, while renewable generation increased 44 percent. Coal-fired generation dropped 12 percent over the same period.
“The electric power industry is moving to cleaner sources of energy, demonstrating that cleaner power generation is achievable. Stronger regulations will reinforce those trends and stimulate further investment in low-carbon, low-risk resources like renewable power and energy efficiency,” said Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres, which sponsored the report with NRDC, Entergy Corporation, Exelon, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, PSEG, Tenaska and Bank of America. M.J. Bradley & Associates authored the report.
“The Benchmarking Air Emissions report is an important resource for following changes in the U.S. electric power sector,” said Chuck Barlow, Vice President, Environmental Strategy and Policy for Entergy Corporation. “The rise of natural gas is a game-changer for U.S. power plant emissions, as this year’s analysis shows. At Entergy, our focus has long been on providing value to all of our stakeholders while maintaining our commitment to environmentally responsible action. A diverse generation portfolio helps us get there.”
Each edition of the Benchmarking Air Emissions report analyzes the latest emissions from the 100 largest power producers in the U.S. In 2011, the year covered in this edition of the report, the top 100 power producers together accounted for 86 percent of the electricity produced. The 100 largest power producers emitted approximately 4.1 million tons of SO2, 1.7 million tons of NOx, 25 tons of mercury, and 2.1 billion tons of CO2 in aggregate during 2011.
Air pollution emissions from power plants, while declining overall, are highly concentrated among a small number of power producers. For example, nearly a quarter of the electric power industry’s SO2 and CO2 emissions come from just three and five top producers, respectively, as illustrated in summary slides available for download at mjbradley.com/benchmarking-air-emissions.
The report also provides company-specific emissions trend information from 2000 through 2011 for the four largest power generators, illustrating the range of approaches that power companies have used to reduce emissions:
- AEP reduced its total SO2 emissions by 52 percent between 2000 and 2011, from 1.1 million tons to just over half a million tons, primarily by adding scrubbers to approximately 7,900 megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity.
- Southern Company reduced total SO2 emissions by 63 percent while increasing overall generation by 8 percent between 2000 and 2011 by bringing online approximately 14,000 megawatts of natural gas-fired capacity during the same period.
- NextEra Energy added more than 20,000 megawatts of wind, solar, and natural gas-fired generating capacity between 2000 and 2011, and nearly doubled its total power generation, driving down its CO2 emissions rate from 1,023 to 603 pounds per megawatt hour, a 41 percent improvement.
- Among the top 100 power producers, Exelon had the eighth lowest CO2 emissions rate in 2011, largely due to its large nuclear and renewable energy fleet, as well as its investments in nuclear uprates. Even with a low level of emissions, Exelon reduced its total CO2 emissions by 32 percent and its CO2 emission rate by 40 percent between 2000 and 2011.
“Power plants are America’s largest source of global warming pollution. The good news is that their emissions have declined significantly since their peak in 2007, but we still have a long way to go. The Benchmarking Report provides a valuable scorecard, allowing citizens and policymakers to compare the performance of individual companies against others in this critical industry," said Dan Lashof, Program Director of Climate and Clean Air at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“Today’s report highlights the credit due to policy leaders in New Jersey and at the federal level for adopting policies that have reduced power plant emissions. The progress made in New Jersey can, and should, be a model for policymakers across the country,” said Geraldine Smith, PSEG’s General Environmental Counsel and Managing Director Environmental Policy. “By investing more than $3 billion in our New Jersey power plants since 2005, PSEG has been able to reduce emissions of NOx, SO2 and mercury by more than 90 percent, while increasing output of electricity. We look forward to participating in future discussions on cost-effective ways to improve air quality in our home state and across the nation.”
The 2013 Benchmarking Air Emissions report’s comparative analysis of emissions data is relevant to policymakers considering regulatory approaches; public interest organizations concerned about public health and consumer costs; and financial analysts and investors assessing company risk exposure as power plant emission limits in the U.S. gain more momentum.
The report is available for download at ceres.org, nrdc.org, and mjbradley.com. In addition to the aggregate corporate emissions data for 2011 provided in this report, plant-specific data for 2011 are now available for download at mjbradley.com.
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $10 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, Montana, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.
About Bank of America
Bank of America’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
About Entergy Corporation
Entergy Corporation, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year, is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power, making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $10 billion and approximately 15,000 employees.
Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC) is the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2012 revenues of approximately $23.5 billion. Headquartered in Chicago, Exelon has operations and business activities in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Exelon is one of the largest competitive U.S. power generators, with approximately 35,000 megawatts of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. The company’s Constellation business unit provides energy products and services to approximately 100,000 business and public sector customers and approximately 1 million residential customers. Exelon’s utilities deliver electricity and natural gas to more than 6.6 million customers in central Maryland (BGE), northern Illinois (ComEd) and southeastern Pennsylvania (PECO).
About Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/newsroom and www.pgecurrents.com.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSEG Power is a major unregulated independent power producer in the U.S. with three main subsidiaries: PSEG Fossil, PSEG Nuclear, and PSEG Energy Resources and Trade. PSEG Power operates one of the most balanced portfolios in the country, both in terms of fuel mix and market segment (base load units, load following units and peaking units) and is committed to operational excellence. PSE&G and PSEG Power are subsidiaries of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company (www.pseg.com).
Tenaska, based in Omaha, Neb., is one of the leading independent power producers in the U.S. Tenaska and its affiliates manage operations for approximately 11,000 megawatts (MW) of power generation consisting of 14 power plants, seven of which are owned by Tenaska in partnership with other companies and seven of which are private equity investments managed by affiliate Tenaska Capital Management, LLC. Tenaska’s affiliates operate nine power plants in seven states totaling approximately 6,500 MW of generating capacity. For more information about Tenaska, visit the company’s website at www.tenaska.com.
Leading Labor Rights Watchdog Calls on U.S. Customs Service to Halt Imports of Forced Labor Cotton from Uzbekistan
A formal complaint against the importation of cotton from Uzbekistan grown and harvested with forced labor was filed today by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), a leading American human and labor rights watchdog organization. Under the Tariff Act of 1930, the U.S. Customs Service is required to deny entry to goods that arrive at U.S. ports that contain materials made with forced labor.
For decades, the government of Uzbekistan, under the dictator Islam Karimov, has forced millions of children, teachers, nurses, doctors, public sector workers and private sector employees to pick cotton under appalling conditions. Those who refuse are expelled from school, fired from their jobs, denied public benefits or worse. The government combines these penalties with threats, detains and tortures activists seeking to monitor the situation and continues to refuse the International Labor Organization’s efforts to monitor the cotton harvest.
The complaint calls on U.S. Customs to issue an immediate detention order on all pending and future imports of cotton goods manufactured by Daewoo International Corporation, Indorama Corporation, and other companies processing cotton in Uzbekistan. Daewoo International, a South Korean-based company owned by the steel manufacturer POSCO (NYSE: PKX), and Indorama Corporation (www.indorama.com), a Singapore based multi-national that produces yarn, fabrics and organic cotton products, are two of the largest processors of Uzbek cotton.
According to U.S. import records, over 620 tons of cotton yarn and fabric has been imported into the United States from facilities in Uzbekistan since 2008. U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission data indicate at least 23 tons of cotton yarn from Uzbekistan entered the United States in February 2013 alone.
“U.S. federal law forbids the importation of goods produced using forced labor,” said Brian Campbell, Director of Policy and Legal Programs. “We expect U.S. Customs will conduct a thorough investigation into how cotton from Uzbekistan is escaping detection at U.S. ports of entry and effectively ban all future imports into the United States.”
The complaint is available online at: http://goo.gl/464aE.
The International Labor Rights Forum is an advocacy organization dedicated to achieving just and humane treatment for workers worldwide. For more information, please visit www.LaborRights.org.
22 global cities, including London, Barcelona, Paris, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Lagos and Fukuoka have announced the 23 innovative solutions they selected to solve their most pressing urban and social challenges. In a unique global effort, these 22 forward-thinking cities opened their challenges to innovators worldwide via the LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future Programme. Out of 2,500 candidates, a total of 456 solutions competed for the opportunity to implement their solution in real-life, responding to challenges in areas such as as social exclusion, energy management, urban dereliction, tourism, ageing and health. Each of the 23 winning solutions announced during the LLGA | Cities Summit in San Francisco have committed to co-invest in the participating cities to help improve the lives of 121 million citizens.
In the first LLGA | Cities Summit held in a North American City, public leaders from 22 global cities revealed the innovative solutions that best meet strategic challenges in a variety of fields like Making outside Seating Areas More Sustainable in Paris; a Storm Response Coordinating Tool for San Francisco; a Transformational lighting System in post-earthquake Christchurch (New Zealand); Digital Tools For Better Healthier Ageing in Mexico City; Sustainable Urban Mobility in Maringá (Brasil); and Regenerating Neighbourhoods Using Vacant Spaces in Barcelona. The coming 12 months will see the cities and solution providers join forces to implement the innovations that will help improve the quality of lives of citizens and shape the future of their cities.
On 14 May 2013, leaders of the 22 partner cities and the 120 nominated solution providers came together at the LLGA | Cities Summit in San Francisco to deepen their partnerships, announce the 23 most promising solutions, debate their challenges, and kick-start implementation.
San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee, says: “San Francisco is excited to be the first city in the United States to host the LLGA | Cities Summit. San Francisco, as the Innovation Capital of the World, will facilitate a vigorous exchange of ideas and help develop innovative solutions to common urban challenges including transportation, the environment and healthcare that will build a better world.”
The winning solutions are:
Barcelona (Spain): Turning empty Space into an opportunity by 3Space
Boston (USA): Underground Technologies Elevation Units by Quality Water Products
Christchurch (NZ): Philips Lighting Control systems- a solution for the new Christchurch by Philips Eindhoven (The Netherlands): Contactless tags to bridge real and virtual worlds by Connecthings
Fukuoka (Japan): Guidebook by Guidebook
L'Hospitalet (Spain): NANA (Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing) by NANA
Lagos (Nigeria): Wireless Lagos: Free & Far Reaching by OTG Playa Entity LLC
Lavasa (India): Enabling Livelihoods by LabourNet
London (UK) 1: Realtime Energy Opportunity System (REOS) by Brighter Planet Technology Services
London (UK) 2: Delivering Scalable Energy Efficiency in Global Cities by First Fuel
Maringá (Brazil): Modern Urban Transport Information by Clever Devices
Mexico City (Mexico): Butler, improving elderly wellbeing by Universidad Jaume I de Castellón
Oulu (Finland): Augmented Museum Tour by metaio
Paris (France): Urban Parasol by Urban Parasol
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Online Emergency Triage Training Platform by Virtualwaregroup
Rosario (Argentina): Sustain-A-Raisers! by Global Awareness Local Action
San Francisco (USA): ClickSoftware Field Service Optimization by ClickSoftware
Sant Cugat (Spain): estonoesunsolar by pdimonte
Sheffield (UK) 1: Econotherm - Waste heat to District Heating by Econotherm
Sheffield (UK) 2: Borehole Thermal Energy Storage by - REHAU
Tacoma (USA): OPOS: One Planet Operating System for Cities by BioRegional
Terrassa (Spain): CityMakers by The Good Life For All
York (UK): Sunday Streets and Play Streets For All by Livable City
The LLGA winners reflect the many approaches available to solve cities’ problems ranging from the technological to the social. For example, on the technological side, OTG Playa answers Lagos’ need to bring digital connectivity in bandwidth-challenged environments. OTG Playa proposes to deploy a network of boxes, which will broadcast a wireless internet cloud that is open and free to anyone in the area. This solution shows how civic technology businesses can help solve some of the most urgent global needs even in areas with limited urban services and infrastructures. On the other hand, 3Space, winner for Barcelona, is an innovative charity which unlocks the potential of empty commercial property by making it available for temporary community use. This responds, in a non-technological way, to the widely experienced problem in many cities of urban decay and dereliction.
Sascha Haselmayer, CEO of Citymart.com says: “LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future has transformed the way cities and the innovation community collaborate. With the announcement of 23 winning solutions, selected out of more than 2,500 candidates, companies and organizations from around the world have shown their enthusiasm and ability to collaborate with cities in solving the most pressing urban and social challenges today.”
The participation of cities and solution providers in LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future is a joint commitment to spread proven innovations in a more cost-effective and sustainable way, helping build more resilient and smarter communities. 557,000 local governments spend $4.5 trillion each year to deliver the services that shape the quality of life of the majority of the world’s population.
The LLGA initiative helps cities discover innovative, yet ready solutions to meet their problems and matches their commitment to act with the willingness of businesses and organisations to share early risks. Past editions of LLGA have proven that this process can deliver solutions to citizens at least 3 times faster and at 80% lower costs by leveraging smart solutions and avoiding re-invention.
Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, says: “LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future is a great opportunity to identify and share solutions to the global challenges that cities are facing. Every city is a world in itself, and we are living in an urban world, this is why it is so important to identify those common problems which require shared solutions. Barcelona has participated in all LLGA editions, and shares the vision of this transparent process with leading technology companies, social entrepreneurs, and international research centers. Furthermore, LLGA is a great opportunity for Catalan companies to join in and participate in this global process.”
Next to the 22 Partner Cities, LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future is supported by a global group of strategic partners including the City of San Francisco, Oracle, The Climate Group, and the UN Global Compact Cities Programme.
About Citymart.com / LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future
Citymart.com is a global marketplace for cities based in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Barcelona (Spain), working with more than 80 cities and 1,200 companies, NGOs and research centers in
Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Its mission is to accelerate the sharing of solutions for cities by matching social and urban challenges early-on with ready solutions around the world. In the past four years Citymart.com has published 70 Calls for Solutions.
Citymart.com and its one-of a kind program LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future, has been recognized by leading global organizations such as the Clinton Global Initiative, the UN Global Compact Cities Programme and Ashoka Innovators for the Public for its transformative impact on improving decision-making, transparency and accountability in cities around the world.
Oracle’s City Platform solutions leverage the company’s best-in-class portfolio of products to address complex business processes relevant to the public sector, helping speed time to market, reduce costs and gain a competitive edge.
For more information about Oracle, visit www.oracle.com.
About The Climate Group
The Climate Group is an independent, not-for-profit organization, which brings together a global coalition of the world’s most powerful governments, brands and public figures across Asia, Europe and North America. Since 2004, they’ve been working with governments, business leaders and the world’s most influential individuals to push for the policies, technologies and investment we need to make the Clean Revolution commercially viable. Together, we have the power to create a smarter, better, more prosperous future for all.
For more information about The Climate Group, visit www.theclimategroup.org.
About the UN Global Compact Cities Programme
The UN Global Compact Cities Programme was initiated by former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan in 2003. It is a discrete component of the Global Compact, based in Melbourne and New York. The UN Global Compact Cities Programme provides an innovative framework for cities to develop and implement sustainable solutions to urban challenges of a long-term and often intractable nature. It was developed in response to the need to rethink sustainability approaches and to enable meaningful engagement of cities across all their activities—economic, ecological, political and cultural. By utilizing a common methodology, ‘Circles of Sustainability’, UN Global Compact Cities Programme combines the knowledge, experience and resources inherent within municipalities, business and civil society to bring together the strengths of each.
For more information about The UN Global Compact Cities Programme, visit www.citiesprogramme.com.
EIRIS and Conflict Risk Network today announce that Conflict Risk Network has become part of EIRIS’ global research platform. EIRIS is a leading global provider of research into corporate environmental, social and governance performance. Its mission is to empower responsible investors with independent assessments of companies and advice on integrating them with investment decisions.
Conflict Risk Network includes institutional investors, financial service providers and related stakeholders that are calling on corporate actors to fulfill their responsibility to respect human rights and to take steps that support peace and stability in areas affected by genocide and mass atrocities. Its goal is to increase such behavior by corporate actors, and thereby reduce conflict risk. The Network’s membership encompasses pension funds, some of the world’s largest asset management firms, government entities, university endowments, foundations, financial service providers and socially responsible investment firms with a combined total of more than $6 trillion in assets under management.
Conflict Risk Network is the pre-eminent source of timely, reliable and focused information on corporations operating in Sudan. Its quarterly Sudan Company Reports provide 80 investor members with authoritative research on 75 corporations. Applying the research model it developed for Sudan, the Network is now shining a spotlight on the potential high risks of investment in Burma.
According to EIRIS CEO Peter Webster, “This acquisition combines EIRIS’s ESG research with Conflict Risk Network’s deep expertise on Sudan, Burma and other conflict-affected areas. The resulting synergies will benefit investors, permit EIRIS to augment its profile and client base in the U.S. and gives EIRIS the opportunity to offer CRN’s service to the broader global market.”
Until recently, Conflict Risk Network was a program of United to End Genocide, the largest activist organization in America dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews said, “This is a win-win for both organizations and the movement to promote human rights and end genocide. We look forward to continuing to work with EIRIS, through Conflict Risk Network, to raise human rights issues with investors.”
Conflict Risk Network Director Kathy Mulvey said, “Joining the EIRIS global research platform will preserve and enhance the Network’s authoritative research, effective engagement and informed advocacy, and make our offerings available to a wider base of investors and financial stakeholders.”
EIRIS and Conflict Risk Network will be present at a number of key events in the U.S. in May and June—including the US SIF and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) conferences.
The Conflict Risk Network—encompassing about 80 members including pension funds, some of the world’s largest asset management firms, government entities, university endowments, foundations, financial service providers and socially responsible investment firms—harnesses the collective weight of more than $6 trillion in assets when challenging corporate behavior that might enable human rights abuses that lead to genocide or mass atrocities. Network experts examine what is driving conflicts and how corporations are connected to conflicts. The Network works with corporations, organizations on the ground, and leading business, human rights and country experts to develop specific recommendations for respecting human rights and supporting peace and stability in conflict areas. The Network also engages directly with corporations that have the greatest potential to enable or prevent mass atrocities.
EIRIS (www.EIRIS.org) is a leading global provider of independent research into the environmental, social, governance (ESG) and ethical performance of companies. Wholly owned by the EIRIS Foundation, EIRIS is an independent, not-for-profit organization, working to help our clients develop the market in ways that benefit investors, asset managers and the wider world. Its mission is to empower responsible investors with independent assessments of companies and advice on integrating them with investment decisions. EIRIS now provides responsible investment services to more than 100 asset owners, asset managers, banks, stock brokers and governments around the world—as well as major index providers. EIRIS has 30 years' experience of promoting responsible investment and helping consumers, charities and advisers invest responsibly. EIRIS has offices in London, Paris and Boston. EIRIS’ Boston office has been established since 2005. In addition to overseas offices, EIRIS has a global network of research partners to further extend its research coverage and keep abreast of responsible investment issues at the local level.
Insurance brokerage Griswold & Griswold, founded in 1948, announced today it has become Torrance’s first Certified B Corporation. Certified B Corporations must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. The nonprofit B Lab evaluates and certifies applicants based on company governance, worker and other stakeholder interest, community engagement and impact, environmental resource and energy consumption, and other concrete, market-based benchmarks.
“Becoming a B Corp is a logical extension of our company’s ethical values and a natural next step given our history of industry leadership and innovation,” said Steven Griswold, vice president of Griswold & Griswold. “It also demonstrates that our profits do not come at the expense of people, planet, or progress.”
As Torrance’s first B Corp, and B Lab’s third insurance brokerage to qualify, Griswold & Griswold is setting a standard for ethical business practices both locally and globally. Worldwide, there are more than 700 Certified B Corporations, representing more than 60 industries and more than 20 countries.
For decades, the Griswold family’s guiding principles of social and professional responsibility have made them role models in the South Bay community and in their industry. From charitable contributions to hands-on volunteerism, the company believes in making the largest possible community impact while leaving the smallest possible environmental footprint.
Since a significant number of Griswold & Griswold clients are nonprofit corporations, the company's policy is to give back to these organizations in the form of sponsorship, event participation, or donations. Its company principals also serve on a number of boards and associations for organizations dedicated to children’s health, literacy and education, conservation, and animal protection.
In addition to a Certified B Corporation, the company is also certified as a Green Business by Green America.
About Griswold & Griswold Insurance
Insurance brokerage Griswold & Griswold, founded in 1948, specializes in business and professional services insurance including medical/dental practices, veterinary practices, banking and financial companies, nonprofits, associations, and entertainment production studios. Griswold & Griswold provides industry-specific policies such as professional liability, commercial property and auto, as well as worker’s compensation and employee group benefits. A family-owned company, its commitment to community service, client satisfaction, independence and integrity has made Griswold & Griswold a trusted name for more than 60 years and the recipient of multiple awards from civic and professional organizations. For more information see http://www.griswoldinsurance.com.
About B Lab
B Lab is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Lab drives systemic change through three interrelated initiatives: 1)building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and just good marketing; 2) accelerating the growth of the impact investing asset class through use of B Lab’s GIIRS impact rating system by institutional investors; and 3)promoting supportive public policies, including creation of a new corporate form and tax, procurement, and investment incentives for sustainable business. For more information see http://www.bcorporation.net.
Chevron's CEO John Watson and his management team are misleading shareholders over the company’s $19 billion Ecuador judgment and potentially breaching U.S. securities laws, according to a new report published today.
Written by New York securities lawyer Graham Erion, the report describes “a stunning portrait” of a company ignoring its legal obligations to provide full and complete disclosure of material facts about the Ecuador liability. Chevron currently faces seizure actions targeting roughly $20 billion in company assets in Argentina, Brazil, and Canada.
The report is being released two weeks before Chevron’s annual meeting on May 29th, when Watson once again will try to push back against shareholder resolutions demanding corporate governance changes exposing the company’s bungling of the Ecuador liability. See here.
Watson will be confronted at the annual meeting by indigenous leaders from Ecuador furious with the company’s refusal to comply with court orders that it clean up its pollution in Ecuador.
“Chevron’s strategy to keep the investing public in the dark over its substantial risk from the Ecuador liability can only result in further backlash from regulators and shareholders,” said Erion, who analyzed deficiencies in the company’s recently filed 10K annual report and proxy statement.
Among the defects in Chevron’s latest public disclosures:
- Chevron has been misleading investors on the threat enforcement actions pose to its operations and business relationships including, most prominently, the embargo of $2 billion in assets in Argentina that has been upheld on appeal in that country;
- Chevron keeps its investors guessing about the risk and range of loss the company faces from the Ecuador judgment, despite the fact the judgment was upheld unanimously on appeal there and enforcement actions targeting roughly $20 billion in company assets are pending in three countries;
- Chevron’s disclosures fail to mention multiple adverse rulings against it in federal courts in the U.S., including one that reached the U.S. Supreme Court, either refusing to rule on or outright rejecting its core defense of trying to block international enforcement of the judgment; and
- Chevron repeats demonstrably false statements about the merits of the lawsuit that are contradicted by court rulings in the U.S. and Ecuador.
The release of an initial version of Erion’s report last April produced criticism of Watson and his management team. At Chevron’s annual meeting last year, over 38% of shareholders voted to strip Watson of his dual roles as CEO and Chairman of the Board. This year the company leaned on the SEC to allow it to omit putting the same resolution to a shareholder vote.
Shareholders with over $580 billion in assets under management also demanded that Watson “fully disclose ... the risks to [Chevron’s] operations and business from the potential enforcement" of the Ecuador judgment, and a group of shareholders and a U.S. Congresswoman petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Chevron had breached its disclosure obligations.
Rather than address these concerns, Watson and his senior management team have retaliated by targeting shareholder critics with subpoenas and claiming they are colluding with the Ecuadorian villagers to “extort” money from the company. Several shareholders and journalists have condemned the strategy as unethical and ineffective.
A full copy of Erion’s report, In The Dark, can be found HERE.
Six Youth Named as Hasbro Community Action Heroes for Outstanding Service and Leadership in Their Communities
In recognition of extraordinary achievements in community service, Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) in partnership with generationOn, is honoring six inspiring kids and teens who have created unique ways to address challenging issues in their local and global communities. The six young service leaders will be named Hasbro Community Action Heroes during the fourth Annual generationOn Benefit in New York City on May 15, 2013, at 583 Park. The event will also honor Bank of America, Chelsea Clinton, and Julie Fisher Cummings. These steadfast supporters are recognized for embodying generationOn’s mission: to inspire, equip, and mobilize youth to take action that changes the world and themselves through service.
“We are thrilled to recognize these six young people who have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to creating change in their communities,” said Karen Davis, vice president of Community Relations for Hasbro, Inc. “The power of youth service to transform our world is at the core of Hasbro’s commitment to youth leadership and we are proud to honor these impressive young people as heroes for the tremendous mark they have made on the world.”
GenerationOn, the youth enterprise of Points of Light, partnered with Hasbro to select the six new Hasbro Community Action Heroes and nine semi-finalists, ages 6 to 18, among hundreds of nominations submitted on behalf of young people across the nation. Each of the six awardees will travel to New York to accept their award and receive a $1,000 educational scholarship.
“GenerationOn believes that young people have a gift to give and a contribution to make. And, we know that with the right support and tools that contribution can transform young people into community leaders, dedicated activists and ultimately, engaged citizens of our increasingly global community,” said Concetta Bencivenga, executive director of generationOn. “The Hasbro Community Action Hero Awards recognizes young people who are making their mark through service, and in doing so, inspire others to realize that they too can make a difference.”
The 2013 Hasbro Community Action Heroes are:
- Yash Gupta (Irvine, CA, age 17) founded Sight Learning, a non-profit organization with a single goal: to provide eyeglasses to students in need of them. In just two years, Yash has collected $350,000 worth of eye glasses and impacted 15,000 lives through eye exams primarily in Mexico, Honduras, and Haiti. He has also helped young people in nine states become leaders in their own communities by implementing their own Sight Learning collections and programs.
- Carter Jenkins (San Juan Capistrano, CA, age 15) founded Students for Safe Water, a non-profit with the goal of impacting the world water crisis by bringing latrines to families in Nicaragua. Through his dedication and passion, Carter raised $54,000 which allowed him to install 22 latrines in a village of over 400 people. He also helped bring clean water to over 300 people in Saba, Honduras through the installation of new wells.
- Stephanie Jennis (Montville, NJ, age 17) is the founder of Pathways for Exceptional Children, a non-profit launched in 2002 that has trained 15,000 youth mentors in New Jersey to work with children with disabilities. In 2008, Stephanie also created Project Win-Win, an initiative designed to help reduce unemployment among disabled adults by providing employment training programs in food service, entertainment, videography, photography, graphic arts, and more. To date, Pathways has raised over $550,000 and is in 54 different New Jersey communities.
- Zachary Morgan (Watson, LA, age 8) wanted to do something to help kids so he decided to give hats to children in hospitals. With the help of his mother, he created Zach’s Lidz for Kidz which aims to “put a hat on your head, a smile on your face and hope in your heart.” To date, Zachary has collected over 1,000 new, kid-sized baseball caps, which he donates to children receiving chemotherapy treatments through a partnership with his local hospital.
- Grace Anne Remey (Tucson, AZ, age 9) has always been a “military kid.” Her family has moved across the country while her father was deployed seven times. Well aware of the stress and anxiety caused by deployment, Grace Anne decided to share some of her ideas to help other young people cope by writing and illustrating Lion's Pride: A Tail of Deployment, a book about a young lion cub whose father deploys far away. Her second book, Lion's Pride On the Move, published in March, explores what happens when the lion family has to move to a new country.
- Katie Stagliano (Summerville, SC, age 14) founded Katie’s Krops in 2008 to bring kids together to produce locally grown, healthy food for area soup kitchens. The organization has since donated over 7,500 pounds of food and served over 3,000 meals to families in need. To date, Katie has empowered more than 1,000 youth to give back through sustainable agriculture and there are now more than 60 Katie’s Krops gardens across the United States.
The Hasbro Community Action Hero Awards are an integral part of Hasbro’s ongoing partnership with generationOn. As the founding partner, Hasbro supports generationOn by lending its expertise through a multi-year $5 million investment by the Hasbro Children’s Fund. This critical support helps generationOn provide kids of all ages with the tools and hands-on opportunities to understand the issues in their communities – and to become part of the solution. The generationOn Benefit serves as an opportunity to honor members of the community who are committed to youth service and to celebrate all of generationOn’s volunteers – from young people to civic and corporate leaders – for their exceptional dedication to the transformative power of service to bring positive change to their communities.
GenerationOn is the global youth service movement igniting the power of all kids to make their mark on the world. As the youth service enterprise of Points of Light, generationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes youth to take action through generationOn service clubs, schools, youth organizations, campaigns and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to youth, families and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service. To learn more about how to get involved, visit www.generationon.org.
About Hasbro, Inc.
Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS) is a branded play company providing children and families around the world with a wide-range of immersive entertainment offerings based on the Company's world class brand portfolio. From toys and games, to television programming, motion pictures, digital gaming and a comprehensive licensing program, Hasbro strives to delight its global customers with well-known and beloved brands such as TRANSFORMERS, LITTLEST PET SHOP, NERF, PLAYSKOOL, MY LITTLE PONY, G.I. JOE, MAGIC: THE GATHERING and MONOPOLY. The Company's Hasbro Studios develops and produces television programming for markets around the world. Programming in the U.S. is distributed on The Hub TV Network, a multi-platform joint venture between Hasbro and Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK). Through the Company's deep commitment to corporate social responsibility, including philanthropy, Hasbro is helping to build a safe and sustainable world for future generations and to positively impact the lives of millions of children and families every year. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Learn more at www.hasbro.com. © 2013 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.