Frontlines of Climate Change: Mass Extinction

SOURCE: Green Builder Media


To quote American nature writer Kenneth Brower, “A living planet is a rare thing, perhaps the rarest thing in the universe, and a very tenuous experiment at best.” A living planet is comprised of complex ecosystems that nourish myriad species, each one interdependent, relying on the others to play their role to such perfection that only exists in nature.

When ecosystems fall out of balance, chaos ensues. The cycle of life is interrupted, and species perish. Without sustainable natural systems, there is no provision for communities, no sustenance for societies, no nourishment for economies.

Since our arrival some 60,000 years ago, humans have had a major impact on the planet’s ecosystems. Our presence has—slowly at first and now quite rapidly—caused the extinction of a broad spectrum of species across the globe.

Earth has experienced 5 previous mass extinction events, all produced by natural cataclysms or external forces (such as asteroid impacts). Today, we’re in the midst of a sixth mass extinction—this one caused not by the cycles of nature or an external force, but by the destructive activities of a single species: humans.

Read more…

Tweet me: Frontlines of #climatechange – Mass extinction. via @SaraGBM #humans #biodiversity #conservation

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, WWF, climate change, biodiversity, sustainability, Conservation


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Greenbuild 2014 Showcases Efforts of Google and Brad Pitt’s Make It Right

by Vikas Vij

SOURCE: Justmeans


Green building is more than just a development trend. It involves a range of environmental aspects such as emissions reduction, water conservation, storm water management, temperature moderation, and waste reduction. Greenbuild 2014, the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, which began in New Orleans, highlights these aspects and showcases the latest technologies and innovations in sustainable building.

Make It Right, the organization founded by Brad Pitt, which builds LEED Platinum certified projects for people and communities in need, has showcased the 2014 Greenbuild LivingHome. This LEED Platinum net-zero home is created by LivingHomes in partnership with Make It Right to demonstrate how cutting-edge sustainable building techniques can support affordable housing for people in need.

To continue reading, click here

Image Credit: Flickr via Som Energia

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of “The Power of Money” (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations “Decisions for Life” run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.

Tweet me: What do Brad Pitt and #GreenBuilding have to do with each other? Now on @Justmeans

KEYWORDS: Technology, Green Building, Greenbuild, Make it Right, brad pitt, Google, LEED, William McDonough, US Green Building Council

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Yum! Brands Featured in the U.S. Green Building Council's Latest Report

SOURCE: Yum! Brands


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has issued a new report detailing the retail industry’s involvement with LEED and the impact of globally recognized green buildings on the consumer experience. The LEED in Motion report outlines the many ways LEED certification delivers a superior consumer experience, including the benefits of circulating fresh air, setting a consistently comfortable temperature and utilizing daylight wherever possible. Additionally, the report shows that 100 percent of retailers participating in LEED reduced the pollution and land development impact of their buildings by meeting LEED’s sustainable site standard.

The report profiles the involvement of Yum! Brands and interviews Jonathan Balas, Senior Manager of Global Sustainability, on the company’s LEED strategy. “With more than 40,000 restaurants, and continued rapid growth around the globe, we’ve embraced our responsibility to be environmentally responsible corporate stewards,” said Balas. Balas also discusses:

  • Why Yum! chose LEED to certify its restaurants
  • How LEED helps Yum! connect with its customers, and
  • The most exciting green building initiative he’s worked on.

View the entire LEED in Motion : Retail report here.

Tweet me: .@USGBC #LEED in Motion: Retail report: – @YumBrands’ pledge to be environmentally responsible corporate stewards

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Business & Trade, LEED, U.S. Green Building Council, USGBC, Yum! Brands, Retail, csr, sustainability

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BNY Mellon and the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania Launch $1 Million Social Innovation Challenge

Partnering with The Forbes Funds to help Pittsburgh-area nonprofits identify technology solutions to social challenges



PITTSBURGH, October 24, 2014 – BNY Mellon, a global leader in investment management and investment services, together with the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania, has launched a $1 million social innovation challenge that will help nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania solve critical social challenges and crowdsource technical solutions. 

As part of the program, BNY Mellon and the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania have partnered with The Forbes Funds to develop a platform that links nonprofits with the private sector to create break-through innovations that advance critical social missions.

Nonprofits, university researchers and other stakeholders will work with The Forbes Funds to identify shared community challenges that could benefit significantly from technological innovation. Local entrepreneurs and for-profit companies will then be invited to develop and submit innovative solutions for the defined challenge areas through a competitive process, where top submissions will be pitched to a panel of judges that includes experienced investors. The winning concepts will be advanced through a process that will include funding, product development and business incubation partnerships for design, prototyping and deployment to regional nonprofits and the broader market.

“Too often, our nonprofit partners don’t have access to the same innovation that drives improved outcomes in nearly every other industry,” said James P. McDonald, BNY Mellon’s director of global philanthropy and president of the Foundation. “Through this program, we want to level the playing field and build a new platform for private sector innovation that can have measurable social impact.”

“More than ever, nonprofits are rethinking their approaches to some of these most complex community challenges,” said Kate Dewey, president of The Forbes Funds. “At the same time, we’ve seen an extraordinary growth in for-profit entrepreneurs that measure their success by both financial and social impact.”

“Pittsburgh has all the components to lead the world in developing innovation that solves major world challenges,” said Matt Zieger, Executive in Residence for Social Innovation and former President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Foundation, Team Pennsylvania Foundation. “The game changer with this project is BNY Mellon’s investment and commitment to accelerating ideas to market, and we hope ultimately to substantial scale.” Zieger will be leading the initiative for The Forbes Funds.

For more information about the program, please contact Matt Zieger at The Forbes Funds at or 412-394-4271.

The Forbes Funds builds the management capacity and impact of community-based nonprofits individually and collectively. A supporting organization of the Pittsburgh Foundation, The Forbes Funds has more than 30 years of experience in providing technical assistance, research, and leadership to advance a more effective and sustainable nonprofit sector. Additional information is available at or by following on Twitter @theforbesfunds.

In 2013, BNY Mellon and its employees around the world donated more than $34 million and volunteered 105,000 hours. Learn more about the company’s world-wide commitment to social responsibility at

The social innovation program is consistent with BNY Mellon’s ongoing focus on continuous innovation, which has helped position it as the investments company for the world.  BNY Mellon has consistently been recognized for the development of innovative new business solutions that help clients succeed and employee programs that foster and reward innovative actions and ideas. 

BNY Mellon is a global investments company dedicated to helping its clients manage and service their financial assets throughout the investment lifecycle. Whether providing financial services for institutions, corporations or individual investors, BNY Mellon delivers informed investment management and investment services in 35 countries and more than 100 markets. As of Sept. 30, 2014, BNY Mellon had $28.3 trillion in assets under custody and/or administration, and $1.6 trillion in assets under management. BNY Mellon can act as a single point of contact for clients looking to create, trade, hold, manage, service, distribute or restructure investments. BNY Mellon is the corporate brand of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (NYSE: BK). Additional information is available on, or follow us on Twitter @BNYMellon.

Tweet me: BNY Mellon launches $1m innovation program to help Pittsburgh nonprofits develop tech solutions to social challenges

Contact Info:

Lane Cigna
+1 (412) 234-0575

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Finance & Socially Responsible Investment, BNY Mellon, Forbes Funds, Pittsburgh Foundation, Pittsburgh, Innovation, social innovation

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Arrow Cardboard Engineering Challenge

SOURCE: Arrow Electronics


Catapults, spaceships, a 50s-era diner, even a working violin – all were made from cardboard and other scrap materials by Colorado schoolchildren as part of a global cardboard engineering challenge.

Arrow Electronics is the title sponsor of the Cardboard Engineering Challenge at the Cherry Creek School District, the public school district serving the company’s headquarters location in southeast metro Denver. The October 8th competition featured 680 teams with 750 participating student innovators.

Now in its third year, similar challenges were held during October in schools, youth centers and libraries in 50 nations. More than 100,000 children around the world participated.

The Cardboard Challenge is a celebration of child creativity inspired by the popular short film, “Caine’s Arcade.” Kids are challenged to create and build using cardboard, recycled materials and imagination. 

“The cardboard engineering challenge is an ideal first step in our program to nurture new innovators,” said Joe Verrengia, director of corporate social responsibility for Arrow Electronics. “There are no barriers in terms of money or tools. That means the kids can focus all their energy into transforming their ideas into fun, working models. We hope to expand this challenge to other Arrow communities here and abroad.”


Tweet me: Fostering little innovators with big ideas @ the #CardboardChallenge w/@ArrowGlobal @CCSFoundation @imagination

KEYWORDS: Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Business & Trade, Arrow Electronics, Cherry Creek Schools, Cardboard Challenge, Imagination Foundation, csr, STEM, Education, Communities


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CBRE Appoints Tim Schroeder Co-Executive Sponsor Of LGBT Network Group

Los Angeles, CA, October 23, 2014 /3BL Media/ – CBRE Group, Inc. today announced that Tim Schroeder, a CBRE Managing Director has taken a leadership role in the Company’s LGBT Network Group (LGBTNG). Mr. Schroeder joins Chris Ludeman, Global President of Capital Markets, as a Co-Executive Sponsor of CBRE’s network group dedicated to its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender professionals.

“Tim has done a terrific job leading our McKesson account and I am confident he will bring the same passion and excellence to his expanded role with the LGBTNG,” Lance Wilken, Senior Managing Director for Global Corporate Services, said.

The LGBTNG provides an open-minded support system for conducting business and addressing the personal requirements of CBRE’s LGBT community. The network acts as an advocate for and advisor to LGBT employees, while helping shape CBRE practices and programs to ensure a merit-based business environment. The group was instrumental in identifying and advocating policy changes that have provided greater equality and inclusion within the Company. Founded in 2009, CBRE’s LGBT group was the first such networking group in the commercial real estate services industry.  In 2014, CBRE was the first commercial real estate company to receive a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index and earn designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality. Continue reading

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Joe’s Burritopalooza: What Living Más is All About

Eleven year-old Joe Redmond and Taco Bell have two things in common: a love of burritos and of showing Más Heart. When the brand heard that Joe had combined the two to help other people, they knew they wanted to celebrate and honor him in true Taco Bell style.

The brand first learned about Joe and his burrito passion in June, when Joe’s dad shared a video with the Taco Bell team. The video was of Joe practicing a public speaking project about the history of the burrito. Joe, who has Down syndrome and is very shy, rehearsed his speech several times at home before delivering it in front of his classmates.

Taco Bell loved Joe’s video but soon learned it wasn’t the only way he had shown enthusiasm for his favorite fare. The year before, Joe held a fundraiser at his elementary school – appropriately dubbed “Joe’s Burritopalooza” – and sold homemade burritos and baked goods to raise money for his two favorite charities, the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and York Region Down Syndrome Association. Continue reading

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TD Forests “Art for Trees” Artwork to be Auctioned, Proceeds Going to New York City Environmental Non-Profits

NEW YORK, October 23, 2014 /3BL Media/ – On October 31, the 10 original pieces of environment-focused artwork commissioned as a part of TD Bank’s “TD Forests: Art for Trees” campaign will become available for purchase in an online auction. Following the close of the auction on November 14, all proceeds raised will be donated to four New York City environmental non-profits.

Those interested in purchasing the artwork can view all of the pieces and prices online now. There will also be an option for collectors to buy the artwork immediately at full value.

All proceeds from the sale of the original art will be equally distributed amongst the New York Restoration Project, Friends of the High Line, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Trees New York. Continue reading

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