Category Archives: Green Business

CSX and the Conservation Fund Announce Grant Recipients; Improve Access to Healthy Food in Underserved Communities

SOURCE: CSX Corporation


ARLINGTON, Va., February 27, 2015 /3BL Media/ – CSX and The Conservation Fund, partners in a program aimed at improving the transportation and distribution of fresh, healthy food to communities in need, announced today grant awards to 10 charitable organizations in Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Tennessee. Each organization will receive $10,000 to enhance food delivery services so that they can bring fresh, nutritious food to their communities.

In many underserved communities food distribution organizations, such as food pantries, encounter difficulty getting fresh, healthy food. Many producers and organizations also face challenges retaining quality and safety as they sell, store, package and distribute fresh food. As a result, more than 23 million Americans across the country have limited or no access to fresh produce, dairy, meats and seafood. 

As a leading supplier of efficient rail-based freight transportation in North America, CSX recognizes the integral role that transportation plays in connecting communities.  

“At CSX, it’s our job to connect communities through transportation every day, so we are proud to work with The Conservation Fund to support the local distribution of healthy and fresh food across many of the communities where we work and live,” said Tori Kaplan, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, CSX. “Partnering with local organizations helps us live our commitment to improving the health and wellness of communities across our 21,000 miles of track.” 

The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding conservation solutions that balance environmental and economic needs, has partnered with CSX to help address gaps in local food distribution and enhance delivery capabilities.

“With CSX’s partnership, we’re not only helping to connect America’s families to fresh fruit and produce but we’re also supporting our local farmers and working farms,” said Kris Hoellen, Vice President of Sustainable Programs at the Conservation Fund.  “The Healthy Food Transportation Grant Program is a clear win for American families and farmers.”

The grant program supports organizations that distribute fresh produce and perishable food in the 23 states where CSX operates. Combined, the 10 recipient organizations provide nutritious food to approximately six million people per year, bringing nearly 118,000,000 pounds of food equaling 98,000,000 meals served each year.

Grant Recipients  

Capital District Community Garden, Troy, N.Y. 
Capital District Community Garden will use its grant to purchase loading dock equipment for its expanded food hub distribution center, the Urban Grow Center. This will allow the organization to double the amount of fresh, affordable produce reaching urban food deserts. Capital District Community Garden has cultivated a gleaning food rescue program called Squash Hunger. They also have two mobile product markets known as the Veggie Mobile and Veggie Sprout, which sell fresh wholesale-priced product at 32 low-income inner-city market stops and an urban farm, as well as programs serving corner stores and small institutions.

Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Chattanooga, Tenn. 
The Chattanooga Area Food Bank will use its funding to purchase two manual foot pedal clipping machines and associated supplies allowing them to efficiently bag bulk produce in smaller, easier to handle sizes. The organization leads a network of partners in eliminating hunger and promoting better health in its region. It purchases fresh food from local farmers in bulk since most of its partner agencies do not have the capacity to accept, transport, store and distribute 50 pound bags of potatoes, for example, nor do elderly clients and children in need have the ability to transport and cook 50 pounds of potatoes. The new machinery will allow them to package food in smaller quantities. Underserved and vulnerable populations will benefit from increased access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the Food Bank’s increased buying power will support local farmers and food systems.

The Deep South Community Agriculture Network (DSCAN), Darien, Ga. 
DSCAN will use its grant to acquire a refrigerated truck, and insurance for aggregation and cooling space for products produced by a network of value chains in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. DSCAN is comprised of six organizations working to develop chains in the following three sub-regions: Southeast Alabama, the Mississippi Delta and a two-state sub-region of West Alabama and East Mississippi. The organization works to help African-American farmers achieve financial success. It sees agricultural value chains through capacity support, coupled with first-hand agricultural knowledge and deep relationships across communities, as a means for black farmers to combine their resources to overcome these barriers by fulfilling the increasing demand for local food in the region.

Farm Share, Inc., Homestead, Fla.  
Farm Share will use its award to acquire more donated food from farmers and businesses throughout Florida and nearby states and transport it into Florida communities to feed more low-income households. Food Share is a charitable packinghouse dedicated to distributing nutritious food for people in need. It administers a combination of produce recovery operations and USDA commodity programs, and works within a network of nearly 1,000 community groups to help distribute food to those who need it most in the state of Florida year round. The agencies receive food from Farm Share warehouses and sister organizations in Homestead, Quincy, Jacksonville and Pompano Beach, Fla., located in the heart of local farming areas. Food Share also does daily direct-to-community food distribution to Florida’s food deserts and impoverished neighborhoods.

Feeding America Tampa Bay, Tampa, Fla. 
Feeding America Tampa Bay will use its grant funds to purchase a forklift to support its warehouse operations and thereby increasing its capacity to load, move, and transport additional fresh food over its service area (10 counties – 9,300 square miles) in West Central Florida. The organization acts as the main hub for emergency food supplies, distributing perishable and nonperishable food throughout 10 counties of West Central Florida: Hillsborogh, Pinellas, Pasco Polk, Citrus, Sumter, Hardee, Highland, Manatee and Hernando. Its mission is possible by redirecting food that would otherwise be wasted, and providing it to organizations that can safely distribute it to those in need.

Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, Comstock Park, Mich. 
The organization will use its grant to purchase a Refrigerated Straight Truck which will expand its program capacity and broaden mobile pantry distribution to additional individuals within communities in need of fresh food in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry is particularly effective in areas where there is inadequate “hunger infrastructure,” such as a lack of food pantries or pantries that are limited in hours or refrigerated store capacity. The Refrigerated Straight Truck will bring 21 additional new distributions of fresh food annually to more than 7,000 underserved, food-insecure individuals in the Upper Peninsula by January 2017.

Food Pantries for the Capital District, Inc., Albany, N.Y.
The grant will be used to order a greater quantity of food to support product and meat distribution to 53 food pantries serving 45,000 vulnerable and underserved people. The organization’s food pantries fill a gap by providing a minimum of three days’ worth of nutritious grocery items for many people on a monthly basis in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga Counties.

Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Inc., Indianapolis, Ind.
Gleaners Food Bank will use its grant fund to purchase six 600-quart and one 200-quart portable food chests to increase portability and distribution of frozen protein items and fresh foods and produce to food-insecure residents through the Gleaners Mobile Pantry program and senior programming, including the pilot Senior Mobile Pantry program. Each Mobile Pantry truck is typically loaded with more than four tons of flash frozen meat, fresh product, dairy products, and high quality shelf-stable items. Clients “shop” for food items, preserving their dignity and ensuring the food they receive will be eaten.

Grow Appalachia, Berea, Ky. 
The grant will be used to purchase a truck and refrigerated trailer to serve as a Grow Appalachia food aggregator, delivering perishable produce from Kentucky to markets and other hubs of distribution. Grow Appalachia supplies financial aid and technical support to 43 nonprofit organizations and will use their refrigerated truck to collect product from its growers in Kentucky and deliver it to markets, food hubs, and other centers of distribution.

Lake-to-River Food Cooperative, Youngstown, Ohio
The grant funds will be used to purchase a delivery vehicle for transporting products from member farms and processing facilities to Lake-to-River Food Cooperative locations. Lake-to-River Food Cooperative serves people, schools and workplaces in need within food deserts in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana Counties. The cooperative has a weekly delivery to four to eight schools, ensuring that students have the chance to eat at least one healthy meal each day. One hundred percent of Youngstown schools offer free lunches.

About CSX 
CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural and consumer products. For more than 185 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and small farming towns alike.

CSX is committed to helping communities it serves live healthier, greener, safer lives. The company recognizes the importance for these communities to gain regular access to locally grown, nutrient-rich, fresh food. That’s why CSX is supporting these grants to enable local charitable organizations to transport and provide fresh food to people who need it, as part of a healthier lifestyle.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we combine a passion for conservation with an entrepreneurial spirit to protect America’s most important lands and waterways for future generations. A hallmark of our work is our deep, unwavering understanding that for conservation solutions to last, they need to make economic sense. We strive to implement strategies that support sustainable economic development, spark cutting-edge conservation and bridge connections between people and the land. Top-ranked, we’re advancing vibrant, healthy communities.


Kaitlyn Barrett    
CSX Corporate Communications

Robin Murphy
The Conservation Fund

Tweet me: .@CSX and @ConservationFun Announce Grant Recipients, Improve Access to Healthy Food in Underserved Communities

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Business & Trade, CSX, csr

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How Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is Helping Solve the Diabetes Epidemic

SOURCE: America’s Charities


For millions of children and adults living with diabetes today, a cure would mean the ability to restore natural insulin production and normalize blood sugar levels without imposing other risks.

Finding that cure is why Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) exists.  Founded in 1971, DRIF was formed by a small group of parents of children with diabetes who were dedicated to finding a cure.  Today, the Diabetes Research Institute leads the world in cure-focused research, and is aggressively working to shrink the timeline toward the discovery of a biological cure for this disease.  DRIF is supporting the institute’s progress by providing the funds necessary to cure diabetes now. 

In this Q&A, President & CEO, Joshua Rednik, shares his role in executing the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation’s mission.

Q&A With Joshua Rednik:

What attracted you to this job & particular cause?

Diabetes is an enormous – and, unfortunately, growing – problem in the U.S. and around the world.  Current estimates put the total number of Americans living with diabetes at roughly 30 million, which represents about 10% of the country’s population.  That is a staggering figure for our country to face.  Worldwide, the situation is no better, with nearly 400 million people living with diabetes (inclusive of Americans).

Truly, the world is facing a diabetes epidemic.

What attracted me most was the opportunity to work on finding a cure for such a devastating disease, thus easing – and potentially saving – the lives of those living with diabetes.  I can’t imagine a more challenging yet interesting cause to focus on at this time in world history.

How are you making an impact through your work?

As an organization, the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation serves as the fundraising and public relations arm of the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI).  We generate the financial resources that our colleagues at the DRI need to concentrate on their cure-focused research, moving us closer each day toward our goal.

Personally, in my work as a fundraiser and public representative of the DRI, I feel that I make an impact with each and every gift that I secure in support of our efforts.  

What advice would you give to anyone with a similar position, or to someone interested in working for a nonprofit like yours?

This probably sounds so obvious, but be sure to engage with the people most affected by your organization’s work – directly – as often as possible.  The day-in, day-out machinations of working in a non-profit are no different than they are working in any industry.  They can wear you down and remove you from your mission.  You can sit in an office and forget why you’ve chosen to focus your life’s work on a particular cause.  To combat that, I’ve found that it’s best to spend time – face to face – with the people most affected by your organization’s mission.  Doing so re-charges your battery and helps you stay focused on what is truly important in your work.

What excites you most about your organization’s work right now?

We are preparing to activate the first few patients in a new clinical trial that will allow us to test a new site for the transplantation of islet cells.  Islet cells express insulin in response to blood sugar and are the particular types of cells that the immune system kills off during the onset of type 1 diabetes.  The new transplantation site we are testing is the omentum, an apron-like lining inside the abdomen. Transplanting islet cells into the omentum is appealing because islet cells require the most oxygen of any cell in the body and the omentum is rich with oxygen. Encouraging preliminary data in experimental and pre-clinical models has shown that islet cells in the omentum can engraft and improve blood glucose control.

What we learn from this trial – and, potentially, others we hope to launch in 2015 – could significantly move the needle in terms of our ability to restore natural insulin production to those living with diabetes, type 1 or 2.  Nothing excites me more than knowing we’re getting closer to our goal, and, while completely solving this problem may still be years down the road, being on the path to that eventual success is truly gratifying.

Our thanks to Joshua Rednik for sharing his time and expertise with us!  To learn more about the impact Joshua’s organization is making, click here to visit their website, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and support their work with a donation.  

Tweet me: How Diabetes Research Institute Foundation @Diabetes_DRI is Helping Solve the #Diabetes Epidemic via @AmerCharities

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Corporate Social Responsibility, employee giving programs, diabetes, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, America’s Charities, Employee Engagement, cause marketing, workplace giving, csr


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Businesses in California Reduce Water Use

by Gina-Marie Cheeseman

SOURCE: Justmeans


Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown asked the Golden State’s residents to reduce water use by 20 percent. The reason he asked is that California is experiencing one of the worst droughts in its recent history. Despite recent storms in northern California, almost the entire state is still experiencing drought, and a big swath is experiencing exceptional drought. 

Water conservation is badly needed. and Californians are responding by reducing water use, as an Associated Press report shows. A recently released survey found that in December California residents had reduced water use by 22 percent statewide from December 2013 levels. Some cities have gone even farther, such as San Diego which reduced water use by 24 percent. 

To continue reading, click here

Photo: Ricky Romero

Gina-Marie Cheeseman is a central California-based journalist who writes about sustainability, environmental issues, and healthy living. With a degree in journalism and a passion for social responsibility, she writes for a number of online publications. She believes that collaboration between the public and private sectors can help solve many problems facing the planet and its people. named Cheeseman as one of the “75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter.”

Tweet me: #California businesses reduce water use via @Justmeans @gmcheeseman

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Green Business, California, Water Conservation, Adobe, AT&T California, MillerCoors, comcast, Major League Baseball

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Valpak Celebrates Its History with a Fresh Face and Reinvigorated Commitment to Neighborhoods

Direct Marketing Leader Transforms Itself to Deliver Even More Savings to Consumers Nationwide

SOURCE: Cox Enterprises


Click here to watch the video: Valpak – Open the Neighborhood


February 12, 2015 /3BL Media/ – For nearly five decades, Valpak has helped consumers save money and enjoy a better lifestyle, with deals on everything from restaurants and personal care services to automobile and home maintenance. In celebration of its history of helping consumers and businesses in neighborhoods nationwide, Valpak announced today a new logo, brand positioning and engaging programs to deliver even more savings through its blue envelope and extensive portfolio of digital products. 

“At the heart of our business, Valpak helps neighborhoods,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, provider of Valpak. “We help local businesses connect with their neighbors to find great offers and deals that essentially improve their lives and positively impact their household budgets.

“We are now better representing our essence, beliefs and mission as a direct marketing leader focused on delivering even more value in neighborhoods everywhere,” said Vivio.

As the brand has evolved in recent years to incorporate technology, Valpak will continue to find ways to excite consumers about couponing, with even more offerings in the digital space, which supplement its flagship blue envelope.

“Most importantly, Valpak is focused on providing local deals relevant to consumers’ wants and needs when and where they need them,” added Vivio. “We want to continue to be that awesome neighbor you have come to trust over all these years.”

Valpak’s programs do more than provide advice on where to go for savings. The company is directly involved in the communities it serves. The first example of this continued commitment will be this spring when Valpak partners with KaBOOM! to help bring play in all its forms to neighborhoods around the country. KaBOOM! is a national non-profit that creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy lives and communities. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has built, opened and improved nearly 16,000 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 7.4 million children.

For years, Valpak has provided savings to consumers, but through this new partnership will be joining with communities in giving back to establish playgrounds and promote play time throughout the country, specifically in underserved neighborhoods.

The new Valpak logo and positioning are designed to bring fun and energy to the product and to share with both consumer and merchant audiences more about Valpak’s commitment to its customers where they live, work and play. In addition to its expanded community initiatives, Valpak has unveiled its new logo and signage on its website, on its envelope, and at Valpak’s new corporate headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla. Valpak moved into the new space in December as part of the evolution of the brand. Designed by Junto Design Studio in Tampa and led by John Mistretta, the new Valpak home is divided into neighborhoods, reflecting the approach adopted by the company.

“It’s modern and open so that our employees are encouraged to be collaborative and creative. Amenities and breakout rooms focus on a fun, team-focused approach to serving our customers,” added Vivio. “It’s also designed to recruit and retain talent and reflect the needs of working in a 21st century company.”

To learn more about Valpak, please visit

Discover more about Valpak®
Valpak is at the heart of communities across North America, helping people save, businesses grow and neighborhoods thrive through a network of local franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Our marketing consultants live and work in your neighborhood, and we can help you take the guesswork out of advertising with real-world marketing solutions that drive measurable results. From the mailbox to online to mobile devices, Valpak continues to find innovative ways to connect businesses with consumers. Monthly, close to 40 million homes receive The Blue Envelope® of savings and nearly 70 million shoppers visit for coupon codes and offers. Backed by the muscle of Cox Target Media, Inc., your local Valpak office has the means and know-how to custom build a marketing campaign that meets your needs and budget. Let us introduce you to the neighborhood. Call Valpak at 1-800-676-6878.

About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and, a leading online source for savings. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online


Marsha Strickhouser
805 Executive Center Drive West, Suite 100
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
727-399-3175 — office
@marshas19 @valpakcoupons

Tweet me: .@valpakcoupons celebrates history w/fresh face, reinvigorated commitment to neighborhoods

KEYWORDS: Volunteerism & Community Engagement, Cox Enterprises, Reinvigorated Commitment, valpak, community involvement, csr, sustainability

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Mary Kay Lobbying for Good: Austin

SOURCE: Mary Kay


Mary Kay is deep in the heart of Austin, Texas today with the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) advocating for laws protecting survivors of domestic violence. This is part of Mary Kay’s national Lobbying for Good program and Don’t Look Away company campaign to educate, prevent and end domestic violence before it begins. Learn more about Mary Kay’s efforts at

Tweet me: Taking the fight against #domesticviolence to #Austin @MaryKay & TCFV bring #dontlookaway to the TX capitol

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, domestic violence, Mary Kay, csr, Austin, Don’t Look Away, lobbying for good, Texas Council on Family Violence

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19-Year-Old New Jersey Native Recognizes Grandmother’s Care in Touching Musical Tribute

Whirlpool Brand and Award-Winning Artist Hunter Hayes Reveal “Care is Musical” Contest Winner’s

SOURCE: Whirlpool Corporation


Whirlpool brand and triple-threat entertainer Hunter Hayes reveal the winning performance of “You Are My Sunshine” that will be part of a 60-second commercial airing in front of tens of millions of people. Selected from more than 400 submissions around the country, Alex Bell’s winning performance is an extraordinary “thank you” to her grandmother for her tireless love and support. This is the inspiration behind Whirlpool brand’s Every day, care™ campaign, which honors the pivotal yet often unnoticed value caregivers provide their families by doing chores like washing, cooking and cleaning.

“Music is a powerful way to celebrate the people you care for and who care for you,” said Hayes. “I hope Alex’s grand gesture inspires others to find unique ways to express their appreciation.”

The 19-year-old New Jersey native submitted an emotional tribute to her late grandmother Veronica, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2010. “You Are My Sunshine” was Veronica’s favorite song and despite her advanced dementia — which left her unable to recognize her loved ones at times — the sound of her granddaughter singing the song triggered her memory.    

“My grandma cared through it all – she was there to see me succeed and support me when I failed,” said Bell. “When I was a kid, I took a lot of the little things she did for granted, so it’s great to be able to finally thank her.”  

 “Simple acts of cooking, cleaning and washing may feel tedious and insignificant, but the hundreds of submissions prove that this care has the power to shape who we are,” said Jon Hall, senior brand manager Whirlpool brand. “Alex’s beautiful tribute is proof that every act of care we give helps the people we love, become people who love.”

To learn more about the Every day, care™ campaign, visit and follow @WhirlpoolUSA.

Tweet me: Meet the winner of Whirlpool’s Care is Musical Contest, Alex Bell from NJ. #CareIsMusical #EveryDayCare

KEYWORDS: Media & Communications, Hunter Hayes, Country Music, whirlpool, Whirlpool brand, Every day care, csr

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Mary Kay Lobbying for Good: Atlanta

SOURCE: Mary Kay


Mary Kay’s national Lobbying for Good program advocates for laws that protect victims and survivors of abuse. This week, Mary Kay joined forces in Atlanta with the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and painted the Capitol pink! To learn more about Mary Kay’s efforts to prevent and end domestic violence visit

Tweet me: Joining forces against #domesticviolence @MaryKay and @gcadv hit the pavement in #Atlanta #dontlookaway

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Mary Kay, georgia coalition against domestic violence, csr, Corporate Social Responsibility, atlanta, domestic violence

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5 Things Sustainable Companies Do: The Power of Principles

SOURCE: United Nations Global Compact


According to the UN Global Compact’s Guide to Corporate Sustainabiliy, to be sustainable, companies must do five things, which starts with a company’s value system and a principled approach to doing business. This means operating in ways that, at a minimum, meet fundamental responsibilities in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.

Responsible businesses enact the same values and principles wherever they have a presence, and know that good practices in one area do not offset harm in another. By incorporating the Global Compact principles into strategies, policies and procedures, and establishing a culture of integrity, companies are not only upholding their basic responsibilities to people and planet, but also setting the stage for long-term success.

Download the full guide:


Tweet me: .@globalcompact says corporate #sustainability starts w/ a company’s value system

Contact Info:

Kristen Coco
UN Global Compact
+1 (917) 367-8566

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, united nations, Global Compact, Guide, Guidance, sustainability, Business, private sector, Human Rights, environment, Labour, Anti-Corruption, csr


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