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Monthly Archives: March 2017

NN Investment Partners Enhances ESG Integration Edge By Adding Extensive Environmental Insights

Press Release – The Hague, Netherlands, and Zurich, Switzerland, 28 March, 2017 – NN Investment Partners (NN IP) ensures that investment decisions are based on the best available information on carbon, waste and water by partnering with the leading service provider in the market, South Pole Group. This pioneering step allows NN IP to gain accurate insights across all asset classes into the emissions intensity of companies and to meet the most detailed information requirements posed by clients.

Climate change and an overexploitation of natural resources are likely to have an impact on companies around the world. Companies that are able to use resources efficiently are less likely to experience negative shocks due to resource scarcity, and are more likely to outperform inefficient peers in the event of new government legislation. By tailoring South Pole Group’s portfolio screening tool to NN IP’s specific requirements, NN IP is now better able to identify these companies and related risks and opportunities.

Jeroen Bos, Head of Equity Specialties at NN Investment Partners, commented: “We have a fiduciary duty towards our clients to invest in our client’s best interests. Sound investment decisions start with having the right information. The solution provided by South Pole Group provides an important add-on to the other ESG information on companies and countries that we have from other partners, brokers and proprietary internal research. Moreover, this tool allows us to further enhance the quality of our investment decisions as it provides wide-spread coverage of companies on Scope 1, 2 and 3* emissions as well as other environmental data such as water and waste.”

NN IP is committed to investing responsibly and meeting clients’ growing demand for products that generate solid financial returns while minimising social and environmental risks. NN IP’s ongoing goal is to have more comprehensive insight into the risks and opportunities that the companies and countries that they invest in are facing. To fully understand how resource-intensive companies and countries are, the most comprehensive carbon emissions data is required.

Alex Zuiderwijk, Senior Portfolio Manager Sustainable Investments, at NN Investment Partners commented: “By adding this environmental screening tool to our investment process, we are able to gain a complete overview of our investments’ carbon emissions across Scopes 1, 2 and 3 – beyond the current market standard scope of 1 and 2. The availability of reliable data on water and waste allows us to enrich our environmental risk framework to account for additional natural capital indicators. Also, we are better able to provide on-demand ESG-reporting to our clients and to meet current and future information needs.”

“Understanding the carbon and climate exposure of portfolios is slowly becoming a housekeeping item within the financial industry, but the true leaders will be the ones who build their actions on the most reliable, comprehensive carbon and environmental data,” emphasises Maximilian Horster, Partner, Financial Industry, South Pole Group.

JDRF New York City Chapter Partners with Mike Natter of Portraits for Good at TypeOneNation Summit April 1st, 2017

Press Release – New York City, NY, March 20, 2017 – JDRF NYC Chapter is proud to announce that Mike Natter, artist with PORTRAITS FOR GOOD will conduct an art presentation during the Kids Track at the TypeOneNation Summit taking place on Saturday, April 1st, 2017 at The Westin Grand Central. Mike Natter, a type one diabetic, diagnosed at age 9, has a strong connection to T1D and JDRF. Mike is a native of New York City to which he attributes much of his initial creative influence. Growing up blocks away from beacons of culture, such as Lincoln Center, exposed him to the arts early on.

The body of his work is largely inspired by his medical studies, human form, and the human condition. He has gained national recognition for his use of visual study techniques and his doodling of his medical journey on Instagram, which was highlighted on Buzzfeed. With each artwork created by Mike and sold through PORTRAITS FOR GOOD, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to JDRF.

“We are pleased to partner with JDRF and support the organization’s ongoing work to find a cure for type 1 diabetes, and to improve the lives of those who live with this disease in the meantime,” said Alix Greenberg, Founder, PORTRAITS FOR GOOD.

T1D affects millions of people and can be diagnosed at any age. It is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. People with T1D must administer insulin multiple times every day to survive. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and, at present, there is no cure. Continued investments in promising research are needed to put an end to T1D and its devastating complications. For more information about T1D or how to donate to JDRF, visit jdrf.org.

Charles Antis Honored By Alzheimer’s Orange County

Founder and CEO of Southern California Roofing Company Accepts Honor for Service and Partnership

Press Release – IRVINE, Calif. (MARCH 27, 2017) – Charles Antis, founder and chief executive officer of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, was recently named a Corporate Partner Honoree at the Alzheimer’s Orange County (AOC) 19th annual fundraiser gala. Antis, a longtime philanthropist, was honored for his dedicated volunteer work and partnership with AOC.

“Charles’s efforts on behalf of Alzheimer’s Orange County knows no bounds,” said Jim McAleer, chief executive officer of Alzheimer’s Orange County. “He and his company have repeatedly stepped up and offered man-power, supplies and financial support when we needed it. We appreciate everything he has done, so in terms of honoring an individual that makes an impact for AOC, Charles was our natural choice.”

The Care Support Cure Gala, held on March 25 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, helps fund the organization’s no-cost care and support programs and services for the 84,000 Orange County residents affected by Alzheimer’s disease, as well as accelerates local research to find treatments and prevention.

Antis Roofing’s Longstanding Support of Alzheimer’s Orange County

Antis Roofing and Waterproofing has participated with AOC in many ways since their initial collaboration in 2015. After the devastating loss of two grandparents to dementia in the last 10 years, Antis was motivated to partner with AOC and support their ongoing research to find a cure.

“We are proud to call ourselves a trusted ally of Alzheimer’s Orange County, and look forward to continually building on our partnership,” said Antis. “This award is truly an honor for our entire company, as we all receive great fulfillment from donating our time and resources to helping this phenomenal organization – one that’s making a tangible, positive difference on behalf of those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia.”

Antis Roofing gives annual grants to AOC through cash and in-kind donations, helping thousands of individuals living with Alzheimer’s and dementia access vital programs and services. In 2016 alone, Antis Roofing attended and supported the Alzheimer’s Orange County Walk4ALZ, the annual golf tournament, the Women’s Visionary Luncheon and the Red Shoe Society Fundraiser events. The company also donated many hours of labor, material and support for maintenance and leak repair on the Alzheimer’s Orange County corporate office building and the Adult Day Care Service Center.

Additionally, the company made Alzheimer’s Orange County the Platinum Partner in its ‘Philanthropy Suite’ at the Honda Center, allowing the organization to create and deepen relationships with potential donors, executives and community leaders.

Antis Roofing and Waterproofing is deeply committed to charity and social responsibility, working toward their mission to keep families happy, healthy, safe and dry with a roof over their heads. Antis donates hundreds of hours of time and offers financial support to non-profit partners every year.

For more information about Alzheimer’s Orange County visit www.alzoc.org and to learn more about Antis Roofing and Waterproofing go to www.antisroofing.com.

About Antis Roofing and Waterproofing

Founded in 1989, Antis Roofing and Waterproofing is a fully licensed, bonded and insured provider of roofing, waterproofing and decking services for homeowner’s associations and multi-family residential communities in Southern California. Utilizing innovative technology, comprehensive photo-documentation systems and the industry’s most experienced technicians, Antis has built its reputable brand on superior workmanship, honesty and transparency. With 80 employees, Antis has served Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties for more than 28 years. Antis is not only one of the most trusted names in the roofing industry, but also a respected leader in community philanthropy. For more information, visit www.antisroofing.com.

About Antis Foundation

Antis Foundation was founded in 2016 as the philanthropic entity of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, deeply committed to charity and social responsibility from its inception. Antis Foundation was established with the mission to provide a safe shelter to keep families happy, healthy, and dry. To maximize its efforts and impact, the foundation gives back through roof maintenance, but also by supporting both local and national charitable organizations that contribute to the many demographics in the community. Antis Foundation is set up as a donor-advised fund with OneOC, a nonprofit organization committed to accelerating nonprofit success.

About Alzheimer’s Orange County

Alzheimer’s Orange County provides programs and services, free of charge, to Orange County residents with Alzheimer’s and related dementia disorders, their families, caregivers, and the community. Alzheimer’s Orange County began as an independent 501c3 nonprofit in 1982, became a chapter of a national association in 1984, and in December 2015, became an independent nonprofit again with all fundraising going toward care, support and research in Orange County, Calif. Alzheimer’s is a devastating neurodegenerative illness that weakens the memory and other cognitive and emotional functions. For more information, call the 24/7 Helpline at 1-844-HELP-ALZ, or visit www.alzoc.org. Find Alzheimer’s Orange County on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Over and Above Africa Brings Global Supporters to the Front Lines of the Fight to End Poaching of Endangered Animals

Non-Profit’s Campaigns Focus on Country’s $14 Billion Poaching Trade

Press Release – LOS ANGELES, March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/Over and Above Africa, a new non-profit on a mission to bring a global community to the front line of the fight to protect Africa’s most endangered animals, announced today the launch of its highly-anticipated, content and subscription platform.

The Company, founded by award-winning film producer Kerry David (Agent Cody Banks, My Date with Drew), aims to make the plight of endangered animals in Africa personal for individuals around the world and remove the current disconnect between donation and visible action on the ground where it counts.

“Our concept is very simple: Members pay a five dollars monthly subscription fee. These funds are pooled to finance highly targeted and vetted anti poaching initiatives that we know to be effective. Every initiative which receives our support is closely followed by us as our filmmakers, drone operators and photographers document the outcome and then transmit directly to our members to SEE and EXPERIENCE the clear impact their contributions have on the poaching crisis. We call it ‘Affordable Philanthropy,'” explained Founder, Kerry David.

Although not officially launched yet, Over and Above Africa has received such strong support they have already funded their first initiative – “Boots for Rangers” video.

“Poaching is a complicated problem that isn’t going away. It can however be stopped and for that to happen, there has to be a point where we collectively stand up and say no more. Over and Above Africa is a way that anyone – for the price of a cup of coffee – can play a part in that change,” added Executive Director, Jennifer Pfister.

Leading figures from the worlds of conservation and technology oversee their Advisory Board and include; Dereck & Beverly Joubert, Emmy-winning filmmakers and Explorers-in-Residence at National Geographic, Steve Galster, Founder of Freeland and A.R.R.E.S.T, Alan Feldstein, Founder, Infinite Safari Adventures & The Cheetah Conservation Trust, and technology luminary, Jon Epstein of Sentient Technologies.

“Over and Above Africa’s innovative new platform is introducing an entirely new source of funding to the wildlife trafficking crisis in Africa. It’s a very exciting prospect for us in the field and extremely timely,” said Advisory Board Member, Intelligence Expert, Founder of Wildleaks and Elephant Action League, Andrea Crosta.

“Over and Above Africa has aligned itself with exemplary NGO’s both as beneficiaries and as advisors on the ground in Africa to ensure its allocated funds support effective, complementary and proven anti-poaching initiatives that when used in conjunction with each other, strike a forceful blow to poaching and wildlife trafficking,” stated Advisory Board member, Assemblywoman, Autumn Burke.

For more information or to become a member, please visit – https://www.Overandaboaveafrica.com

On Wednesday, March 29: Jersey Mike’s Donates 100 Percent of Sales To Local Charities

Press Release – MANASQUAN, N.J., March 27, 2017 – This Wednesday, March 29, eat a sub and help a charity. That’s when more than 1,200 Jersey Mike’s Subs restaurants nationwide will donate 100 percent of sales to fund neighborhood needs. (View/download b-roll).

Day of Giving is the culmination of Jersey Mike’s 7th Annual Month of Giving fundraising campaign in March, supporting nearly 150 local charities across the nation. Partners include schools, hospitals, youth organizations, food banks and more. For a list of participating restaurants and charity partners, please visit www.jerseymikes.com/mog/charities.

Last year’s Month of Giving initiative raised more than $4 million for local charities nationwide and the company hopes to raise even more this year. (See new commercial)

As part of the campaign, Jersey Mike’s, known for its authentic fresh sliced/fresh grilled subs, has collected donations from customers all month.

“On March 29, Day of Giving, we give to give by donating 100 percent of sales to our nearly 150 partner charities nationwide,” said Peter Cancro, founder and CEO, Jersey Mike’s. “The opportunities to give are all around us so please seek out your opportunity to give and make a difference in someone’s life.”

The more you order, the more Jersey Mike’s gives. Proceeds from every single sale including subs, chips, drinks and catering orders go to the charities this Wednesday.

“Giving…making a difference in someone’s life” has been the mission of Jersey Mike’s from the beginning. Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $20 million for worthy local charities and have distributed more than 1.5 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes.

For more information about Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving, please visit: www.jerseymikes.com/mog

About Jersey Mike’s

Jersey Mike’s, a fast-casual sub sandwich franchise with more than 1,500 locations open and under development nationwide, believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. Jersey Mike’s offers A Sub Above®, serving authentic fresh sliced subs on freshly baked bread – the same recipe it started with in 1956 – and is passionate about giving back to its local communities. For more information, please visit www.jerseymikes.com or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jerseymikes) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/jerseymikes).

Global Sustainable Investment Alliance Releases Biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016

Media Web Conference Scheduled for March 27 at 11:00 a.m. ET  

Highlights

  • At the start of 2016, global sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investment assets reached $22.89 trillion, a 25% increase from 2014.
  • Europe accounts for over half of these assets (53%), while the United States accounts for 38%.
  • In nearly every market represented in the report, sustainable investing has grown in both absolute and relative terms since the beginning of 2014.
  • The largest sustainable investment strategy globally is negative/exclusionary screening, affecting $15.02 trillion in assets, followed by ESG integration, applied to $10.37 trillion in assets.
  • Growing global concern over climate change has resulted in rising interest in green finance, including climate-aligned bonds.
  • Fiduciary duty and client demand are key growth drivers for sustainable investing.

Press Release – WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27, 2017 – Today the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016, showing that global sustainable investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the start of 2016, a 25% increase from 2014.

The Global Sustainable Investment Review brings together the results from regional market studies by the sustainable investment forums from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand. Market information on Japan was provided by JSIF—Japan Sustainable Investment Forum; data on Asia ex Japan was provided by the Principles for Responsible Investment. GSIA leaders Flavia Micilotta, Executive Director of Eurosif: The European Sustainable Investment Forum; Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment; Meg Voorhes, Research Director at US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment; and Simon O’Connor, CEO of Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), will host a media web conference on Monday, March 27th at 11:00 a.m. ET to discuss report findings.

In nearly every market represented in the report, sustainable investing grew in both absolute and relative terms since the beginning of 2014. Europe accounts for over half the global SRI assets (53%), and the United States for 38%. The fastest growing region is Japan—due in part to an expanded survey that provided information for the first time on the sustainable investing activities of numerous institutional asset owners—followed by Australia/New Zealand.

The largest sustainable investment strategy globally is negative/exclusionary screening ($15.02 trillion), followed by ESG integration ($10.37 trillion) and corporate engagement/shareholder action ($8.37 trillion). Negative screening is the largest strategy in Europe, while ESG integration leads in the United States, Canada, Australia/New Zealand and Asia ex Japan. Japan’s primary sustainable investment strategy is corporate engagement and shareholder action.The fastest growing strategy, although also the smallest in absolute dollar terms, was impact/community investing.

Several GSIA members reported that the consideration of fiduciary duty was an important driver for sustainable investing, along with client demand.

While institutional investors still dominate the SRI market, with pension funds often comprising the largest percentage of institutional SRI assets, interest by retail investors is growing. The relative proportion of retail SRI investments in Canada, Europe and the United States increased from 13% in 2014 to 26% at the start of 2016. Over a third of SRI assets in the United States were retail.

Growing global concern over climate change has resulted in rising interest in green finance, including climate-aligned bonds. In fact, the growing interest in green bonds over the last two years has shifted the average SRI asset allocation. In 2016 in Canada and Europe, most SRI assets were in bonds (64%) followed by equities (33%). This is a flip from 2014 when 50% of assets were in equities and only 40% in bonds. China is another important contributor to the rise in green bonds as China is now the world’s largest issuer of climate-aligned bonds, with $220 billion in issuances according to the Climate Bonds Initiative.

To download the full report please visit www.gsi-alliance.org.

About the Global Sustainable Investment Review

Now in its third edition, the biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review is the only report presenting results from Europe, the United States, Canada, Asia, Japan, and Australia and New Zealand. The report draws on in-depth regional and national reports from GSIA members—Eurosif, Responsible Investment Association Australasia, RIA Canada and US SIF—as well as data and insights from the Principles for Responsible Investment, JSIF (Japan), LatinSIF and the African Investing for Impact Barometer. Together, these resources provide data points, insights, analysis and examples of the shape of sustainable investing worldwide.

The Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016 was made possible through the generosity of the report sponsor, Bloomberg.

About The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance

The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) is a collaboration of membership-based sustainable investment organizations around the world. It includes US SIF, UK SIF, Eurosif, RIA Canada, VBDO (Netherlands) and the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA). The GSIA’s mission is to deepen and expand the practice of sustainable, responsible and impact investing through intentional international collaboration. Our vision is a world where sustainable investment is integrated into financial systems and the investment chain and where all regions of the world have coverage by vigorous membership based institutions that represent and advance the sustainable investment community. www.gsi-alliance.org

Hope Animal Sanctuary Unveils New Facility Plans for Abused Animals

Tennessee Company Begins Work on Mississippi Sanctuary with Ground-Breaking Ceremony

Press Release – Grenada, Miss. (March 28, 2017) – In Defense of Animals’ Hope Animal Sanctuary is kicking off construction of brand new facilities for Mississippi’s abused animals with a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. at Hope Animal Sanctuary, 52 County Road 241. Grenada, MS 38901 (please call for directions, do not use GPS). Sanctuary Director Debbie Clark, Operations Manager Sharon Stone and the Germantown Tenn. based David Clark Construction Company will be joined by several canine residents to break ground to begin work on the major facelift.

Facilities at Hope Animal Sanctuary are now showing their age after 25 years of taking in thousands of castoff animals. Since 1993, In Defense of Animals’ Hope Animal Sanctuary has rescued, provided refuge, and fought for justice for abused animals in rural Mississippi and beyond. Dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, pigs, horses, and even chickens have all come to Hope Animal Sanctuary either beaten, blinded, burned, sick, starved, or simply forgotten.

Plans for the sanctuary reveal a new operations center, a brand new cattery, and 20 “dog homes” that will house dogs and puppies. The cozy, brightly colored community dog homes will comfortably accommodate four rescued dogs, allowing each of them to live in a home-like setting while they wait for their loving new family. Specially designed to be warm in winter and cool in summer, each home will be nestled around a cul de sac and scenic walking path, complete with a covered porch perfect for afternoon napping. Each will also have a soft grassy dog run, for the play these friends have been deprived of for so long.

Renovation plans have been given the seal of approval by veterinarians at Mississippi State Veterinary College, an animal sanctuary architect, and other dedicated professionals.

Grenada is a region devoid of animal shelters and other vital animal control services, making the ongoing work of Hope Animal Sanctuary beyond critical in providing hope for animals continuing to suffer in America’s Deep South. The Sanctuary must raise $600,000 to construct the new buildings that will allow the charity to continue to rescue and give shelter to homeless and abused animals.

Hope Animal Sanctuary receives no government funding, so community residents and businesses are encouraged to support this vital community service by dedicating a pathway brick, bench, lamp post, or building, which can be inscribed to recognize the donor.

Please visit www.idausa.org/donate

BrightFocus Announces $13.3 Million in New Research for Alzheimer’s and Vision Diseases Record Level of Investment for Foundation

Press Release – Clarksburg, MD – BrightFocus Foundation today announced a record $13.3 million in new grants for promising science toward finding cures for Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

“At a time of proposed cuts in federal research, it is more important than ever for private foundations like BrightFocus to support the science that can defeat these diseases,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller.

“With the graying of the Baby Boomers, we must change the trajectory of age-related diseases,” Haller said, noting that for the first time in history people age 65 and older will soon outnumber those age five and younger.

The grants, the largest ever for the Foundation, were approved by its Board of Directors after thorough review by panels of leading scientists. With these latest awards, BrightFocus will have invested in more than $176 million in research since its inception, with more than $45 million in the last four years alone.

BrightFocus supports promising ideas in science, helping spark new discoveries. Researchers who have received funding from BrightFocus have won two Nobel Prizes, as well as other prestigious recognitions such as the MetLife, Helen Keller Prize, and American Academy of Neurology awards.

BrightFocus, a Maryland nonprofit which receives no government funding, currently manages a portfolio of nearly 160 research projects around the globe. “The generosity of our donors makes it possible for us to support such an innovative groundbreaking science,” Haller said.

The names of this year’s grant recipients will be announced this summer, after completion of final agreements with researchers and supporting institutions.

To learn more about BrightFocus, and to find resources for families impacted by Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma, visit BrightFocus.org

Amsterdam-based Tony’s Chocolonely Brings Mission of 100 Percent Slave-Free Chocolate to the U.S.

Tony’s Chocolonely now available for purchase throughout the U.S.

Press Release – Portland, Ore. (March 2017) Tony’s Chocolonely, a B-Corp certified chocolate maker that grew to be the largest Dutch chocolate company in less than 10 years, made a big entry into the U.S. with the launch of their chocolate in Portland, Ore. last fall. Today, the colorfully wrapped chocolate bars are available for purchase throughout the U.S. via the company’s website (uswebshop.tonyschocolonely.com) and numerous retailers. The chunky six-ounce bars six are unequally divided to illustrate the inequality in the chocolate industry. Right now, slaves are working on cocoa farms in West Africa, many of them children. Tony’s Chocolonely exists to change that. Their mission is to change the industry by making 100 percent slave-free the norm in chocolate.

Tony’s Chocolonely was founded in 2005 by Dutch journalist Teun van de Keuken (‘Tony’) when he discovered the world’s largest chocolate companies were buying cocoa from plantations that used child slavery. According to recent study by Tulane University, more than 2 million children were found in hazardous working conditions in the cocoa production industry in Ghana and the Ivory Coast. After learning these facts, van de Keuken ate 12 chocolate bars and turned himself in to the police as a ‘chocolate criminal,’ citing that he had purchased an illegally manufactured product. When the trial didn’t result in his conviction, he decided to start a chocolate company, Tony’s Chocolonely, a company dedicated to creating a 100 percent slave-free chocolate industry.

Tony’s Chocolonely shows that chocolate can be made differently. Through direct, long-term relationships with cocoa farmers and other supply chain partners, the company has created a completely transparent and traceable bean-to-bar process. They agree on better prices for the farmers and provide business and agricultural training, to increase productivity on their farms. Furthermore, one percent of Tony’s Chocolonely net revenue is donated to its Chocolonely Foundation, supporting projects to eradicate slavery in the cocoa chain.

“‘We lead by example and want to show other chocolate makers that it is possible to be commercially successful without exploitation and slavery,” said Tony’s Chocolonely Chief Chocolate Officer Henk Jan Beltman. “Our successful launch in Portland was a big step in that direction as we follow our roadmap towards a 100 percent slave-free chocolate industry. The U.S. chocolate market is home to some of the largest chocolate makers in the world. Our role is to inspire both consumers and chocolate companies to take responsibility. The more people choose slave-free and share our story, the sooner 100 percent slave-free becomes the norm in chocolate.”

Tony’s Chocolonely’s unequally divided six-ounce chocolate bars are available on retail shelves and online at uswebshop.tonyschocolonely.com. Current selections include:

  • Milk Chocolate (32 percent cocoa)
  • Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt (32 percent cocoa)
  • Dark Chocolate (70 percent cocoa)
  • Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt (51 percent cocoa)
  • Dark Chocolate Coffee Crunch (51 percent cocoa)
  • Dark Chocolate Pecan Coconut ((51 percent cocoa)

The Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt and Milk Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt are also available in smaller 1.8-ounce bars. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the big bars is $4.99 and $1.99 for the small bars. Tony’s Chocolonely hopes U.S. chocolate lovers will share its chocolate and its story helping to make 100 percent slave-free the norm in chocolate.

About Tony’s Chocolonely

Tony’s Chocolonely is an Amsterdam based chocolate company committed to bringing an end to slavery in the chocolate industry. When journalist Teun van Keuken (“Tony”) discovered the world’s largest chocolate companies were buying chocolate from cocoa plantations that used child slavery, he turned himself into the police as a “chocolate criminal” who purchased an illegally manufactured product. Tony’s Chocolonely has since dedicated its efforts to educating people about the inequality in the chocolate industry, as well as creating its own chocolate bar as an example of the reality of slave free chocolate. Employing an industry scalable process, Tony’s works with the world’s largest chocolate manufacturer, Barry Callebaut, to create traceable bean-to-bar offerings. As part of the company’s bean-to-bar concept, Tony’s has built direct, long-term relationships with the farmers who grow its cocoa to solve the underlying causes of modern slavery. As the company continues in its mission to create change, it recently expanded to the US. For more information, please visit: http://www.tonyschocolonely.com/us/.

Travel Professionals Give Back At Lake Merritt, Fairyland And Downtown Oakland

Tourism Cares and 175 travel industry volunteers help improve visitor and local experience

Press Release – OAKLAND, CA – MARCH 24, 2016 – Tourism Cares—the philanthropic community of the tourism industry—kicked off Tourism Cares for Our Cities here today, teaming volunteers with local partners to help improve the Oakland experience for locals and visitors alike.

“Tourism Cares highlights the impact of tourism as an economic driver for cities,” says Mark Everton, president and CEO of Visit Oakland. “Visitors spend $1.5B in Oakland annually, supporting local businesses, attractions and communities. Being the only 2017 West Coast destination of the program reminds locals and industry professionals that enhancing Oakland’s unique, urban offerings that attract visitors will ultimately improve the Oakland way of life.”

Oakland is undergoing a renaissance with a hot culinary scene, edgy art and vibrant nightlife. In addition to direct impact on the ground, Tourism Cares for Our Cities showcases culturally rich destinations with much to offer to an influential national audience.

Volunteers worked at three different sites today:

  • Lake Merritt is a 3.4 mile heart shaped shoreline in the center of the city, is home to the oldest designated wild life refuge, and joins all Oakland parks in being pesticide free. City employees rely on volunteers to help with large scale plantings and landscape projects. Tourism Cares volunteers pruned and planted a rose garden and created seed balls for a youth education program.
  • Iconic Children’s Fairyland has been bringing joy to children for 60 years and was the inspiration for Disney World. With close to 60 storybook sets, kid-size rides, friendly animals and 10 acres of gardens—there is so much to care for and with limited staffing. Today volunteers improved the animal exhibits, built storage sheds, a greenhouse and helped with general cleaning and painting projects.
  • A small group worked with a local artist to add to the already impressive art on city streets by working on a mural in Old Oakland that will become part of a developing urban art tour.

Tourism Cares for Oakland is made possible by United Airlines, Visit Oakland, AAA Travel, Pleasant Holidays, Booking.com, Google, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, National Tour Association, Courier, FTA, Trip Mate, United States Tour Operators Association, Virgin America, Visit California, Gray Line of San Francisco and MaCher.

Tourism Cares is focusing on City Tourism in 2017 in keeping with the UN World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) recognition of City Tourism as a critical force in sustainable development and livability. This is the first event in the series, continuing in Detroit in May, Providence in September and Toronto in October. To learn more, visit www.tourismcares.org/cities.

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