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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

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Devin D. Thorpe

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CSR

This category includes articles about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), typically including donations to or other support for nonprofit organizations.

China To Set Pace On Environmental Policy In 2014

Sustainable Insight Capital Management Reveals its Predictions for the Year

NEW YORK – February 4, 2014Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), an investment management firm focused on companies with superior environmental, social, and governance practices, expects China will set the pace on global environmental policy this year. The company’s newly released “Sustainable Insights: 2014” report predicts trends in sustainability.

“Companies across all industries and governments throughout the world must realize the need to incorporate sustainable practices throughout their entire organization, in order to invest not only in their future but the future of the planet,” said Kevin Parker, Chief Executive Officer of SICM. “Our report reveals that in the year ahead certain industries will be making progress, but there still remains much work to be done.”

The persistent smog in many Chinese cities cannot be disguised and rising concerns over the long-term impacts will continue to worry many urbanites, according to the report. The firm predicts that there will more restrictions on vehicle registrations, financial penalties on the worst industrial emitters and development of new carbon trading schemes in the region.

In its report, SICM also predicts that:

  • Financial markets will become increasingly nervous about the issue of standard carbon assets
  • The Sustainable Accounting Standards Board will develop sustainable accounting standards for 10 sectors and over 80 industries
  • The conditions of the Earth’s oceans will receive significantly more publicity this year
  • The debate over genetically modified organisms will continue
  • Little progress will be made by politicians – both nationally and abroad – on climate change policy
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will garner more media attention, with important papers planned for release
  • Oil majors might open up the renewables investment tap, most likely in biofuels
  • Oil majors will also drop their objections to a carbon tax
  • The long-short hedge fund strategies will see the emergence of the first sustainable funds

“Carbon dioxide is increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere at an alarming rate,” Parker noted. “It is the responsibility of the greatest contributors to the problem to act swiftly, and while there are gaps that still need to be filled, we are generally pleased that our predictions indicate corporations and governments are taking this obligation seriously.”

To download the full report, please visit: http://www.sicm.com/docs/SICM%20Predictions-2014.pdf.

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About Sustainable Insight Capital Management: Sustainable Insight Capital Management (SICM), a leading investment management firm, was founded to enable investors to benefit from the transition to a resource-constrained economy. The firm believes today’s most forward-thinking companies are responding to challenges and opportunities created by population growth, natural resource scarcity, climate change, urbanization and globalization. SICM’s research suggests that markets are inefficient and not accurately pricing securities to reflect these macro trends. Leaders who manage these sustainability risks have historically demonstrated superior performance, more stable cash flows, and higher dividend growth over time.

The above research materials are for informational purposes only. They are not an offer or solicitation for any security or investment product managed by SICM and should not be construed as investment advice. Investment strategies implemented by SICM on behalf of its clients may or may not trade or hold positions in the securities referred to above. Further, investment accounts managed by SICM may or may not employ strategies based on or related to the above research.

IKEA Lights Up UNHCR Refugee Camps With Sustainable Lighting

Brighter Lives for Refugees campaign supports camps in Asia, Africa and Middle East with Sustainable Lighting and Improved Access to Renewable Energy and Primary Education

(Conshohocken, PA- February 3, 2013) It’s a bright idea for a good cause with the introduction of the new IKEA Foundation campaign, ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees.’ Running February 3 – March 29, 2014, the global IKEA store initiative includes a donation of one euro ($1.35)* to the UN refugee agency UNHCR for every IKEA LEDARE – LED light bulb sold. Raised campaign funds will help to provide solar street lights, indoor solar lanterns, and other renewable energy technologies such as fuel efficient cooking stoves in UNHCR refugee camps in countries including Ethiopia, Chad, Bangladesh and Jordan.

In addition the campaign will also fund improved primary education.

Today, there are nearly 10.5 million refugees globally, around half of which are children. Some refugees have no choice but to live in refugee camps where an absence or lack of light after sunset can have a devastating effect on safety and security. Simple activities such as visiting the toilet, collecting water or returning to the shelter from elsewhere can become difficult and dangerous, particularly for women and girls. The improvements funded by the campaign will make each refugee camp a safer and more suitable home for refugee children and their families.

“In 2013, over 2 million people became refugees – a near twenty-year record. With each new humanitarian emergency the support of the private sector becomes more vital and more urgent. This campaign represents a new, unique chapter in our relationship with the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR’s largest private sector partner. Together, we hope to be able to transform the lives of many refugees,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

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The IKEA Foundation believes that every child deserves a safe place to call home. Since 2010 the IKEA Foundation has partnered with UNHCR, helping to provide shelter, care and education to families and children within refugee camps and surrounding communities.

“Life in a refugee camp can be very hard, particularly for children. The absence of powered light limits everyday activities we take for granted such as sharing a meal or doing your homework. It impacts safety and security and the ability for families to generate an income. The ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign will help bring lights and renewable energy into the streets and homes of refugees camps, so UNHCR can help build a better everyday life for refugee children and families,” explains Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation.

IKEA continues to lead in sustainable business practices. In October 2012, IKEA US announced it would make a bold move to sell only LED lights in all its US stores by 2016. Already well on its way, the IKEA sale of only LED lights and lamps will and has enabled millions of people to live a more sustainable life at home, and save on their energy bills. IKEA also phased out all plastic bags in its stores in 2007 and incandescent bulbs in 2010.

*One euro is equivalent to approximately $1.35

For further information about the ‘Brighter Lives for Refugees’ campaign, please contact:

US IKEA:
Mona Astra Liss
IKEA US Corporate PR Director
Mona.liss@ikea.com, 610.834.0180 ~ ext. 5852

US UNHCR:
Nick Slijepcevic
Director, Corporate Relations
nslijepcevic@usaforunhcr.org. 202.644.7161

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About IKEA

The IKEA vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. There are currently 305 IKEA Group stores in 26 countries. There are 38 IKEA stores in the US. In FY 13, the IKEA Group had 135,000 co-workers, 684 million visitors to the stores and 1.3 billion visitors to IKEA.com. IKEA incorporates sustainability into day-to-day business and supports initiatives that benefit children and the environment.

The Yearly Summary FY13 and the IKEA Group Sustainability Report FY13 are available on IKEA-USA.com. Visit facebook.com/IKEAUSA, @IKEAUSANews, and http://pinterest.com/IKEAUSA/.

About IKEA Foundation

The IKEA Foundation aims to improve opportunities for children and youth in the world’s poorest communities by funding holistic, long-term programs that can create substantial, lasting change. The Foundation works with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life: a place to call home; a healthy start in life; a quality education; and sustainable family income. Currently-funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children by 2015. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org and www.facebook.com/IKEAfoundation

About UNHCR

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, also known as the UN refugee agency, was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR safeguards the rights and well-being of refugees. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. It also has a mandate to help people who have become forcibly displaced inside their own countries, and stateless people. UNHCR is on the front lines of the world’s major humanitarian crises, including Syria, Mali, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and countless other emergencies.
Read more at www.unhcr.org

Nomacorc Launches First Plant-Based Wine Bottle Closure Using Braskem’s Green Polyethylene

ZEBULON, N.C. (January 28, 2014) – Nomacorc, the leading producer of alternative wine bottle closures, is the first to create a plant-based closure, Select® Bio, using Braskem’s I’m greenTM Polyethylene. Green PE is made from sugarcane ethanol, a 100 percent renewable material. Its major advantage is the fact that it is made from raw materials derived from renewable resources, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m greenTM Polyethylene not only removes CO2 from the atmosphere due to its renewable feedstock but also contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuel. For each ton produced, “green” polyethylene sequestrates more than 2.0 tons of CO2, a significant gain compared to traditional polyethylene*.

Select® Bio closures are 100 percent recyclable. The closures mirror Nomacorc’s current Select® Series portfolio in oxygen management performance. As with other Select® Series products, Select® Bio minimizes the environmental impact of wines by preventing spoilage and waste from wine faults such as oxidation and reduction. By consistently delivering the right amount of oxygen into the bottle using a carbon neutral closure, sustainability-minded wineries will now be able to deliver their wines just as they intend.

“Braskem is a strong organization with a history of creating reliable, sustainable polymer materials for leading manufacturers around the world,” said Dr. Olav Aagaard, Nomacorc’s principal scientist. “By using Braskem’s sugar-cane based green polyethylene, we can confidently offer to our customers a carbon neutral wine closure which will not only be consistent and optimal for their wines, but also now allows them to create a more sustainable packaging solution.”

Braskem has been making I’m greenTM polyethylene since 2010 in its Triunfo Plant in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south region of Brazil. The plant’s capacity is 200 kton/year and the total investment amounts to U.S. $290 million. Using agricultural products as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel to produce materials has great potential in Brazil. Brazil has approximately 330 million hectares of arable land of which 67% is in use. Sugarcane cultivation uses 9.2 million hectares which is highly concentrated in the state of Sao Paulo (which is located more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) from the Amazon region). Expansion of sugarcane fields is highly regulated to be done in a sustainable way. Brazil is producing annually more than 8 billion gallons (30 billion liters) of bio-alcohol of which only 2.3% is used to make I’m greenTM polyethylene.

“Braskem is excited that Nomacorc, the global leader in wine closures, has chosen Braskem’s I’m greenTM Polyethylene to develop a more sustainable wine closure solution. With this, Nomacorc is showing its leadership position in the market and their drive to innovate in developing more sustainable solutions for their customers,” said Marco Jansen, Braskem’s Renewable Chemicals Commercial Director for Europe and North America.

ABOUT NOMACORC

Nomacorc is a worldwide leader in wine closures and the No. 1 closure brand for still wines in many countries including France, Germany and the United States. Dedicated to technological innovation, Nomacorc manufactures its portfolio of products using a patented co-extrusion process. As a result, Nomacorc closures provide consistent, predictable oxygen management and protect against off-flavors due to oxidation, reduction or cork taint. Nomacorc’s 100 percent recyclable products are available through a vast network of distributors and sales agents on six continents. With 500 employees worldwide and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the United States, Belgium, China and Argentina, Nomacorc produces more than 2 billion closures annually. Working with renowned wine research institutes worldwide, the company leads the wine closure industry in fundamental and applied research into oxygen management in wine. For more information, visit nomacorc.com or follow Nomacorc on Twitter (@Nomacorc) and Facebook (Nomacorc).

ABOUT BRASKEM

Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the world’s leading biopolymers producer, manufacturing green polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year, creating more environmental-friendly, intelligent and sustainable solutions through chemicals and plastics that improve people’s lives.

Braskem is a component of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Emerging Markets, the Carbon Efficient Index (ICo2) and the Corporate Sustainability Index of the BM&FBovespa – Securities, Commodities and Futures Exchange. Braskem is a member of the United Nations’ platform for more sustainable industries and its sustainability annual report is rated level A+.

Braskem America is the leading producer of polypropylene in the United States, with five production plants located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and a Technology and Innovation Center in Pittsburgh. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Braskem America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A. For more information, visit www.braskem.com

*based on Braskem cradle to gate Eco efficiency analysis done by Fundação Espaço Eco, 2007

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Media Contacts:

Katie Myers

1-214-766-4566
kmyers@nomacorc.com

Whitney Rigsbee

1-919-460-2274
wrigsbee@nomacorc.com

Stacy Torpey

1-215-841-3194
stacy.torpey@braskem.com

The US SIF Foundation Releases New Sustainable Investment Guide for Foundations

Report documents current trends in sustainable investing among foundations, provides practical resources

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the US SIF Foundation released Unleashing the Potential of US Foundation Endowments: Using Responsible Investment to Strengthen Endowment Oversight and Enhance Impact.

The report, using extensive data from primary and secondary sources, assesses the current range and state of foundation involvement in sustainable and responsible investing (SRI). It suggests that the number of foundations engaged in SRI, often employing such terms as mission-related investing and impact investing, has been growing in the last few years.

The guide encourages foundations to adopt SRI strategies in order to have tools, in addition to grantmaking, with which to generate positive impact and to fulfill their fiduciary duties. It profiles a number of foundations whose approaches to SRI—including shareholder advocacy at publicly traded companies and investments in vehicles supporting community development, land conservation and other sectors— have resulted in meaningful environmental, social or corporate governance (ESG) outcomes. Another strategy foundations employ is to consider ESG criteria in addition to traditional financial indicators when selecting companies for their portfolios. Many of the foundations profiled in the guide provide background on the process they followed—with staff, trustees and consultants—to develop or update their responsible investing policies and procedures.

The report concludes with a list of practical steps that foundation staff and trustees can take to help their institutions align a broader portion of their assets with their programmatic or broader institutional goals. To assist these first steps, an extensive appendix of resources provides links to:

  • organizations offering assistance in sustainable and responsible  investing, including such specialties as impact investing, community investing and shareholder engagement;
  • research papers on SRI and financial performance and on fiduciary duty for foundations; and
  • investment policies, proxy voting guidelines and case studies of several foundations that are active sustainable and responsible investors. 

US SIF Foundation CEO Lisa Woll said: “This guide provides compelling examples of foundations that have made the commitment to utilize their endowments for positive social and environmental impact. We hope that the information and tools provided in this report will motivate many more foundations to follow their example.”

The US SIF Foundation is grateful to The J.A. and H.G. Woodruff Charitable Trust, Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and Goodfunds Wealth Management for their generous support of this report.

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The US SIF Foundation is a 501c3 organization that undertakes educational, research and programmatic activities to advance the mission of US SIF. The US SIF Foundation offers an online course on the Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment, a resource for investment advisors, financial planners and other financial professionals who want to learn the basics of sustainable and responsible investment.

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF’s members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, banks, credit unions, community development organizations, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners. Learn more at www.ussif.org.

Contact: Megan Smith, msmith@ussif.org, 202-747-7820

The School of American Ballet announces 2014 WINTER BALL: Celebrating SAB’s 80th Anniversary

At the David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014

The School of American Ballet announces the 2014 Winter Ball at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Monday, March 3, 2014, sponsored for the seventh consecutive year by legendary French Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. Cocktails begin at 7pm and dinner will commence at 8pm, followed by The Encore dessert and dancing at 9pm. Attire is black tie. To purchase tickets, a table, or for more information, please contact Natalie Schweizer at nschweizer@sab.org or (212) 769-6610.

This glamorous annual dinner dance is attended by 500 patrons, including the School’s board members and alumni as well as leaders from the New York corporate and social communities.

A highlight of the evening includes a one-time-only performance by the advanced students of The School of American Ballet choreographed by Silas Farley, selected for the second consecutive year by Peter Martins, Artistic Director and Chairman of Faculty for the School of American Ballet.

The proceeds from this event enable SAB to distribute $1.8 million annually in student scholarships and support the School’s renowned faculty and state-of-the-art facilities at Lincoln Center.

This year’s event will be a Starry Night celebrating SAB’s 80 years of dedication to the field of ballet, as attendees toast the School’s good fortune at this momentous anniversary. Ron Wendt Design will create another unforgettable atmosphere for the event.

For the seventh consecutive year, Van Cleef & Arpels is the lead corporate sponsor of the gala. This partnership salutes the storied friendship between SAB’s founder George Balanchine and Van Cleef & Arpels founder Claude Arpels.

The Encore is the Winter Ball after-party. Following dinner, 200 of the city’s most sophisticated philanthropic young professionals join the Winter Ball for dancing and dessert. Dinner tickets include admission to The Encore and after-party-only tickets are also available.

The event is led by Chairmen Diana DiMenna, Julia Koch, and Serena Lese; and Young Patron Chairmen Noreen Ahmad, Amanda Brotman and Chelsea Zalopany.

ABOUT SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET

The School of American Ballet, the official training academy of the New York City Ballet, was established in 1934 by legendary choreographer George Balanchine and philanthropist Lincoln Kirstein as the first and most essential step in their quest to create an American classical ballet company.

SAB, located at New York City’s Lincoln Center, is the premier ballet academy in the United States, training more students who go on to become professional dancers than any other school. SAB’s former students fill the ranks of the New York City Ballet and other leading U.S. and international ballet companies.

CPAs to tackle 2014 challenges at state’s largest nonprofit finance conference

NEW YORK (January 6, 2014) – The 2014 agenda for nonprofit organizations includes an array of complex accounting and regulatory changes that will impact every charity’s operations including New York’s newest law overhauling oversight and improving public trust.

The New York State Society of CPAs, www.nysscpa.org, is ready to provide clarity about these latest developments at its 36th Annual Nonprofit Conference to be held Thursday, Jan. 9 in Rochester and again Thursday, Jan. 16 in New York City.

Non profit executives, board members and financial employees are invited to attend the conference: “The Age of Clarity – Changing Standards and Changing Legislation”, the Society’s largest event of the year, to learn more about the changes in governance, specialized accounting techniques and reporting requirements for philanthropic groups.

The Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 – which was signed into law December 18 by Governor Andrew Cuomo – aims to reduce unnecessary and outdated burdens on New York nonprofits and to enhance nonprofit governance and oversight to prevent fraud and improve public trust. The Act is the first substantial overhaul of New York’s nonprofit laws in more than 40 years.

The new law is one of several conference sessions topics that will also include stakeholder communications, electronic contribution and government aid. Yellow Book and Continuing Professional Education credits are available for this event. For the complete conference schedule and to register go to nysscpa.org/nonprofit14.

  • The conference will be held Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 at the RIT Inn and Conference Center in West Henrietta, N.Y. from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • It will also be held again Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square in New York City from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • The conference is also available via live webcast.

“With the issuance of a new audit and accounting guide and a bipartisan cooperation within the New York State legislation to overhaul and modernize the state’s nonprofit law, both the accounting and regulatory landscape have changed,” said David M. Rottkamp, chairman of the Society’s Not-For-Profit Organizations Committee and the Not-For-Profit Practice Leader at Grassi & Co.

For media credentials and additional inquiries please contact Alonza Robertson at arobertson@nysscpa.org or call 212.719.8405.

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About the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA)

NYSSCPA is one of the largest state accounting organization in the U.S. and currently represents the issues, standards and public services efforts of certified public accountants who practice in New York State. Incorporated in 1897, the Society fulfills its mission through its 15 chapters with 29,000 members, more than 60 technical and administrative committees and a 39-member Board of Directors. For more information visit www.nysscpa.org or contact Alonza Robertson, arobertson@nysscpa.org or call 212.719.8405.

Good Deeds Don’t Go Unnoticed

Survey: Four in 10 Job Seekers Want to Work for Companies That Give Back to the Community

MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 12, 2013 — Nice guys may finish last, but a new OfficeTeam survey suggests that nice companies often finish first when it comes to recruiting. More than four in 10 (42 percent) professionals said an organization’s participation in charitable activities is at least somewhat of a factor in their decision to work there.

The survey of office workers was developed by OfficeTeam, a leading staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 400 U.S. workers 18 years of age or older and employed in office environments.

Workers were asked, “To what extent does a company’s participation in charitable activities influence your decision to work there?” Their responses:

View an infographic of the research results on companies that give back.

“Although not everyone cares about working for companies that give back to the community, the segment of the workforce that values corporate altruism can’t be ignored,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Philanthropy programs can be a selling point when recruiting candidates and also help improve employee retention. Organizations can increase team morale and participation in charitable activities by aligning with causes that resonate with staff.”

OfficeTeam identifies five ways to incorporate philanthropic activities into your company’s workplace:

  1. Give back. Organize a clothing, toy or food drive that benefits a nonprofit organization.
  2. Get involved. Provide the opportunity for employees to volunteer as a group at a soup kitchen or beach cleanup. This doubles as a great team-building activity.
  3. Show your support. Sponsor, host or participate in a charity event such as an auction or 5K run.
  4. Chip in. Donate to causes that matter most to employees, such as disaster-relief efforts or local schools.
  5. Match it. Consider offering a matching-gifts program that supplements workers’ charitable contributions or activities.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. More information, including online job search services and OfficeTeam’s blog, can be found at officeteam.com.

Bromley Caldari’s Design Helps Safe Horizon Protect Victims Of Violence

New York, NY/December 18, 2013 – New York-based architecture firm Bromley Caldari Architects today celebrated the groundbreaking of a new 15,000 square foot Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in the Bronx for Safe Horizon. The center will provide support to the victims of violence and abuse, and their families. The facility, Safe Horizon’s first CAC in the Bronx, will be full operational by January 2015.

“Our new Bronx Child Advocacy Center will provide coordinated protection and support to abused children and their families,” said Liz Roberts, Chief Program Officer of Safe Horizon. “Bromley Caldari has been instrumental in the design and planning process and we consider them strong allies in our mission to help victims of violence move from crisis to confidence.”

The CAC brings together staff from law enforcement, the District Attorney’s office, the Administration for Children’s Services, as well as pediatric medical providers. The facility is split into three parts: a place for victim interviews and counseling, administrative offices, and suspect holding and questioning.

The goal of this child advocacy center, which is reflected in its design, is to streamline the interview and counseling process for the victims of abuse and violence and make the children feel as safe and comfortable as possible during a difficult time.

Bromley Caldari designed the children’s reception area to accommodate a high amount of traffic if needed, while not feeling crowded. The reception area also features a place for children to play, large windows to allow in natural light, and a relaxing color palette.

“Safe Horizon provides vital and important services to ensure the safety of families and their children in New York City and we feel privileged to be a part of the team,” said Jerry Caldari, Principal at Bromley Caldari Architects.

Last year, Safe Horizon gave support to over 7,500 New York City children and, with the opening of this new center, Safe Horizon will become one of the largest single providers of child advocacy services in the US.

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About Bromley Caldari Architects
Bromley Caldari Architects (BCA) is an independent practice of architects, planners, and technical experts. Since 1991 the firm has served New York City, Long Island, Fire Island, and Upstate New York. Sustainability lies at the heart of BCA’s modernist designs, and the firm often incorporates aspects of green design into its projects. Bromley Caldari is best known for designing New York City’s first rooftop farm, Brooklyn Grange in Long Island City. They have previously worked with Safe Horizon to build a 24-unit safe house in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood, in addition to providing general design consulting services on several other projects. Bromley Caldari have also provided design services for the American Federation of Arts, Spence-Chapin Services to Families and Children, and the New York Psychotherapy and Counseling Center in the Bronx.

About Safe Horizon
Safe Horizon is the nation’s leading victim assistance organization and touches the lives of more than 250,000 affected by crime and abuse each year. Whether Safe Horizon is responding to child abuse, domestic violence, or other violent crimes in New York City, Safe Horizon helps victims and their families heal and rebuild their lives. For more information, please visit www.safehorizon.org.

STUDY BASED ON REPRISK ESG DATA WINS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT RESEARCH

Zurich, December 12, 2013 – A study on the effect of negative news on credit risk has won the UNPRI award as part of the PRI’s annual Academic Network conference in Paris last month.

Julian Koelbel, a PhD student at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, won the best student paper award, sponsored by Sustainalytics, for his study “The effect of bad news on credit risk: a media based view of the pricing of corporate social responsibility”. Professor Timo Busch of the University of Hamburg co-authored the study.

The study combined two data providers: Bloomberg for Credit Default Swap (CDS) spreads and RepRisk for negative news related to corporate social responsibility (CSR). For each company, the study authors counted the number of RepRisk news per quarter that criticizes the company for environmental, social or governance (ESG) issues. They included news from a broad range of sources including international and local media, NGOs, government agencies, think tanks, blogs and more; news items that appeared in a media outlet with broader readership were assigned a larger weight.

The sample size was determined by the availability of the CDS data and consists of 413 firms from all industries excluding financial services during the period from 2007 to 2012. The results show that the news count has a significant, positive coefficient, which means that more negative news on CSR issues are associated with higher credit default swap spreads.

Julian Koelbel stated: “What I like about this study is that it frames CSR as something that is very dynamic, not a one-size-fits-all approach. What CSR is and what it should be is not set in stone, but is debated every day. I think this is a very realistic approach and the data shows us that it works.”

The PRI-CDC (Caisse de Dépôts) Academic Network Conference 2013 attracted more than 160 delegates from 60 universities and research institutions and featured presentations on more than 40 new papers.

“Receiving an award as a young researcher is a great motivation to continue and produce more work that I hope will also be valuable in the academic and business world and contribute to the debate on CSR” concluded Julian Koelbel.

The study’s executive summary is available here

Contact:

Alessandra Oglino
Marketing and Client Relationships
RepRisk AG
Stampfenbachstrasse 42, 8006 Zurich, Switzerland
Phone: +41 43 300 54 48
Email: oglino@reprisk.com

About RepRisk AG

RepRisk is the leading provider of business intelligence on environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks. As such, RepRisk systematically collects and analyzes criticism, controversy and negative incidents related to companies and projects worldwide. It does so on a daily basis and in 13 languages from thousands of public sources including international and local media, government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), newsletters, social media and blogs.

The RepRisk database currently includes information on over 39,000 companies, 9,000 projects, 6,000 NGOs and 5,000 governmental bodies. These numbers are continuously growing as relevant ESG information is added.

The use of RepRisk business intelligence allows companies and financial institutions to proactively assess ESG issues that may present financial, reputational and compliance risks. For more information about the usage and benefits of RepRisk in relation to the effective management of ESG Risk, please visit our website: www.reprisk.com

D&AD’S WHITE PENCIL JOINS FORCES WITH THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE (TIE) TO CREATE NEW LEAGUE OF ‘SOCIAL INTREPRENEURS’

Nominees get the chance to go on a groundbreaking NGO placement Fighting major obstacles faced by worldwide NGOs at a grassroots level

The D&AD White Pencil rewards creative ideas with a social purpose. The Award is the world’s top prize for design, advertising or digital work that addresses key social, political or ethical issues.

In order to demonstrate its increasing commitment to supporting positive change through creativity, D&AD is collaborating with The International Exchange (TIE) to offer two placements to White Pencil nominees.

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise within agencies and studios with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. It takes talented communications leaders and enables them to share their experience and skills in areas of urgent need.

TIE counts many of the world’s top agencies as clients. Alice Hooper, now Board Account Director at Leo Burnett London, co-founded Leo Burnett Change on the back of her TIE experience back in 2011, in which she helped to develop a communications campaign for a small grassroots NGO working with extremely vulnerable children and adolescents within Recife, Brazil.

Change is a collective dedicated to making powerful communications with positive social impact. This initiative led to Leo Burnett worldwide taking on the inaugural White Pencil challenge, and saw them take home the first White Pencil for ‘Recipeace’ by Leo Burnett Chicago.

Philippa White, Founder and Managing Director of TIE, said “By collaborating with D&AD, our reach around the world will be that much bigger, and the skill sets offered that much more diverse. We’ll not only be helping many more NGOs and communities around the world with our powerful communications skills, but together we’ll also be enabling more talented communication leaders to learn and grow from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

“The opportunity for change is huge, both abroad, but also back at home. On the back of the TIE placements, more commercially sustainable ways to fix problems will be discovered and the industry will be better placed to know how to grow business by doing the right thing.

“The more TIE placements that take place, the more our industry will start to change from the core. Our industry will be made to stand for more and we’ll all feel even prouder of our chosen profession. Here’s to a very exciting collaboration.”

Making ethical business behavior the norm

Tim Lindsay, CEO of D&AD, said: “Our responsibility is to help agencies, studios and individuals to understand and get involved in more sustainable ways of doing business. To encourage a movement that puts corporate social responsibility at the cornerstone of all corporate growth plans and that makes ethical business behavior the norm, not the exception.

“Ahead of the curve, as they so often are, Unilever liked this and now generously sponsor the White Pencil and through their support we’ve been able to collaborate with TIE to help push the White Pencil agenda forward.

“The White Pencil, now split into two categories – one for advertising and one for design – is about encouraging and rewarding brands, and their agencies, who are looking to grow those brands and businesses, but in a way that benefits everyone involved.

“And if everyone – consumer, supplier, retailer, employee and employer – benefits, then the motivation becomes irrelevant. In the end, everyone will have to join in or see their business diminish and eventually disappear.

“It’s a great opportunity for the advertising and design industries to help our clients, and their consumers, by inventing a new vocabulary; developing new capabilities and leading from the front. In short, to demonstrate that commercial communications can be a force for good. The White Pencil is designed to help the industry bring this about. Over to you.”

Recent TIE Success Stories

Melissa Parsey, Lead Strategist for JWT Ethos, has recently completed her own TIE placement in Recife, Brazil, and is now working on the Al Gore Brief with Jon Steel, WPP Planning Director, to tackle the Global Legacy Project – changing habits to change the world. This brief has also been set to our young creative community through the D&AD New Blood Awards.

Trevor Gilley, a designer at Wieden+Kennedy New York, worked in Malawi to create a presentation for government officials that showed people, for the first time, the shocking reality of charcoal production and its impact on deforestation in Malawi. At launch, more than 10,000 fuel-sufficient stoves had been ordered.

Sarah Walker, Director of R&D at Millward Brown London (WPP), explained her recent experience in Brazil: “I have just returned from working with a group of NGOs in Brazil to raise awareness of some of the corruption and human rights atrocities that are being committed in the name of ‘preparations’ for the coming World Cup… We had four weeks to plan, create and implement a campaign, with a budget of little more than £1000, in a media environment largely controlled by the government. It was one of the most enjoyable, but also intense, learning experiences I have ever had.”

All nominees for this year’s White Pencil will have the chance to apply for a spot on a TIE placement of up to 30 days. Everyone in the nominated team can apply, from the ECD to the Account Manager, to the Strategist. The individual who is selected will then have the full support of their team back at their home ‘base’, meaning everyone can play a part.

For more information on this collaboration, visit: http://www.dandad.org/dandad/news/latest/white-pencil-and-the-international-exchange

You can enter work for D&AD’s White Pencil by going to: www.dandad.org/awards14

The pinnacle of creative achievement across the design, advertising and digital industries, the D&AD Awards have been running since 1962.

Follow D&AD @DandAD #DandAD14 #WhitePencil

ABOUT TIE

TIE Film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjxVcDvlP2o#t=138

TIE is a leadership development program that combines the expertise of communication professionals with the needs of NGOs to create positive, sustainable change. We enable talented communications leaders to learn and grown from the experience of sharing their skills with the emerging world.

TIE develops future leaders. The program takes them out of their comfort zone by getting them to run all aspects of a campaign from start to finish, drawing on skills they already have but may not use every day. Individuals are given the chance to develop their skills whilst making a difference to people who really need it. People return from the program more confident and brimming with fresh ideas.

ABOUT D&AD

Since 1962, D&AD has been inspiring a community of creative thinkers by celebrating and stimulating the finest in design and advertising. A D&AD Award is recognized globally as the ultimate creative accolade, entered and attended by the best creative decision makers from around the world. Set to reward, promote and enable creative brilliance in all areas of creative communication, a Yellow – or Black – Pencil remains the pinnacle in many careers.

But it’s much more than just awards. Members join a vibrant global community, whilst creatives and clients are inspired by a world-class training and development programme. Students are supported with projects, awards and exhibitions, which give them a vital leg-up as they enter the industry.

As a non-profit, all of D&AD’s surpluses go straight into programmers that develop the next generation of creative talent while campaigning for the creative industries to help solve the world’s toughest social and environmental issues.

Contact

Dan Bryant
D&AD | +44 (0)20 7840 1122| dan.bryant@dandad.org

Matthew Parker
D&AD | +44 (0)207840 1121 | matthew.parker@dandad.org

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