Category Archives: Green Business

Building a Stronger World Through the Power of Giving

by Tae Yoo

SOURCE: Cisco Systems Inc.

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Here in Silicon Valley and many towns across the globe, it’s that time of year. The time of year when we’re looking forward to spending time with family and friends. It’s also the time of year when we turn our attention to giving back to those who are less fortunate.

This season, I want to direct the focus to just a few of the Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners and non-profits who work tirelessly to give back all year long. These connections are what make the CSR work we do possible. Our partners give us the ability to scale our efforts and create exponential social, environmental, and business impact.

One of our CSR focus areas is education. As the world becomes more connected, new career growth and opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields are more plentiful than ever. Yet the majority of U.S. students lack foundational skills in STEM. MIND Research Institute set out to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems. By developing the game-based Spatial Temporal (ST) Math instructional software program, MIND Research Institute is revolutionizing math education through visual learning. Amazingly, schools that fully implement ST Math see double, and even triple, the growth in math proficiency than comparable schools. Cisco has partnered with MIND Research Institute for over a decade now, helping the organization scale delivery and access to ST Math by transitioning the software to a web-based platform. I’m extremely proud that this work and investment has increased access from 55,000 students in 2007 to more than 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 40 states, and is helping develop the workforce of the future.

Cisco CSR is also focused on critical human needs. Every year, natural disasters cause devastation around the world. We support organizations such as NetHopeCAREFeeding AmericaHabitat for Humanity, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to deliver life-saving resources to those in need. Reaching 150 million people in 189 National Societies through the work of over 17 million volunteers, the Red Cross and Red Crescent federation is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. Through this partnership, we’re able to reach millions of people affected by disasters – from fires to hurricanes and floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous material spills, accidents, and more – each year. Just last week, millions of people were displaced and at least 27 killed in the Philippines when Super Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, hit. The response efforts of the Red Cross and Red Crescent are invaluable in both international and local situations that leave so many devastated.

And while disasters ravage societies in one unsettling event, many people face dire consequences on an ongoing, daily basis. Three billion people – nearly half the world’s population – live on less than US$2 per day. Those who live in poverty often have no recourse or resources to change their situation, leaving them chained to a cycle of poverty that plagues generations, not only affecting individuals but entire communities and regions. The Grameen Foundation provides access to essential financial services and information on agriculture and health – assistance that can have wide-scale impact by helping people become economically self-sufficient. Cisco joined forces with Grameen Foundation in 2006, and in that time the non-profit has developed and expanded adoption of its technology-based tools among organizations working to alleviate poverty. Its financing, mobile health, and mobile agriculture solutions have benefited 4.7 million people worldwide.

This is just a small sampling of the many partners that Cisco CSR works with to address some of society’s biggest challenges around education, critical human needs and disaster relief, healthcare, and economic empowerment. This season, and throughout the year, I want to acknowledge the efforts and initiatives that each of our partners drive. When we give back to society, we create a powerhouse that not only touches and changes the lives of individuals, but builds a stronger, more resilient world – a world that doesn’t merely exist, but thrives.

Watch this blog and follow Cisco CSR on Twitter as we continue to discuss ways to multiply impact and bring positive change in the world.

Tweet me: Building a stronger world through the power of giving http://cs.co/9006QYUM #WeAreCisco via @CiscoEdu @CiscoCSR

KEYWORDS: Education, Business & Trade, MIND Research, steam, STEM, csr, Cisco

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Why your company should have a Sustainability Audit

currentstate sustainability audit

What is a Sustainability Audit?

A sustainability audit is a powerful tool.  A sustainability audit takes an inventory of all of the policies, procedures and practices of an organization and compares these to the best practices in their industry.  In essence, an audit is a gap analysis and a maturity analysis of the sustainability practices of an organization. It is meant to document ‘what you are doing’ and ‘to what extent’ across a wide range of categories.  By doing so, and organization can better know where to concentrate is efforts and resources to get the maximum impact.

What it is Not

The objective of an audit is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of current policies, procedures and practices.  Therefore it is not an exercise in counting carbon or tallying the financial implications of sustainability initiatives.  Nor is a audit an in-depth examination of any specific program of work.

Why should your company get one?

Having an audit is ideal for any company.  Whether your organization has a mature sustainability program in place or whether it is just beginning, the information an audit provides will be very useful.

If you have a program in place, the audit will let you know what things you are doing well and (perhaps more importantly) what items you should consider doing.  Sustainability touches all corners of an organization – from Green IT to Facilities to business practices.  Therefore it is quite probable that even sophisticated programs have overlooked many potential area to green operations.

For an organization that is just beginning its journey, an audit will provide a detailed roadmap on what programs and practices should be put into place.  It will also provide ‘quick win’ initiative that take little effort and resources, but can have a significant impact and help jump-start your program.

Benefits of a implementing initiatives

The benefits of sustainability are well documented and numerous.  Companies that have meaningful and successful sustainability programs in place perform better financially.   Recently the Wall Street Journal and many other publications have writing stories about the correlation between sustainability and the stock and financial performance of companies.  What they have found is that because sustainability focusses on increasing efficiencies, reducing waste and risk and improving compliance and reputation, business that have initiatives in these areas make more money – for themselves and their shareholders.

For information about the CurrentState Sustainability Audit, Click HERE.

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Chevrolet Supports Spelman College’s Clean Energy Efficiency Initiatives

ATLANTA, October 17, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Spelman College has partnered with Chevrolet to build upon the College’s mission to achieve climate neutrality. As a result of the College’s sustainability initiatives, Spelman will sell the automaker carbon credits, which will net the institution up to $100,000. In recognition of the partnership, Spelman will host a presentation with Chevrolet on Oct. 22, Campus Sustainability Day.

Spelman is one of 12 colleges and universities to take part in Chevrolet’s campus energy efficiency campaign to reduce carbon emissions and the only women’s college, Georgia college and historically black college or university.

“Spelman has made significant progress in reducing our ecological footprint with the implementation of our Climate Action Plan and the integration of specific goals to achieve a ‘greener community’ into our Strategic Plan for 2017,” said Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. “We are excited about our partnership with Chevrolet as it is recognition of Spelman’s ongoing efforts to increase our stewardship of our natural resources.”

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Let’s Change the World Girls + STEM + AT&T = Success!

I feel energized, inspired and ready to tackle any challenge this morning. I’m surrounded by hundreds of the most ambitious young women on the planet at the 2014 Girl Scout Convention in Salt Lake City.

I was a Girl Scout myself growing up in St. Louis, so I know what it’s like to be in these young ladies’ shoes. They’re here to discover new things, make new friends and put their minds together to help solve problems. They’re here to prove how “Girls Change the World,” the theme of this year’s convention.

I’m proud to serve on the Girl Scouts Board of Directors, and I’m here today to help guide a group of more than 100 girls working on projects to help solve problems in education. Specifically, I’m talking with them about how they can use their collective brain power to get more girls to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM fields.

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LG Electronics USA Partners With EPA For ‘ENERGY STAR® Change The World’ National Tour

CG42292LOGO-dDENVER, Oct. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — As momentum continues to build for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “ENERGY STAR Change the World Tour,” LG Electronics USA has partnered with The Housing Authority of the City and County of Denver (DHA) as the exclusive ENERGY STAR Technology provider for tomorrow’s tour stop here at the Mulroy Opportunity Center.

LG Electronics logo.
This is part of LG’s role as official sponsor of the Change the World Tour, a month-long nationwide effort that brings together public and private organizations to make a positive difference in people’s lives through a range of community service projects focused on energy-efficiency improvements. The theme of the tour is the Power of Positive Energy.

“Through this tour, our ENERGY STAR program and partners are making a difference in local communities through energy efficiency service projects that will save money and energy, while cutting harmful pollution and combating climate change,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EPA is working with private sector organizations and companies to improve the quality of life for families across the country through energy efficiency projects.”

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New York Life Supports Improvements to Ronald McDonald Family Room® at Texas Children’s Hospital

October 16, 2014 /3BL Media/ – New York Life, one of the largest mutual life insurance companies in the United States, has partnered with CBS EcoMedia through its WellnessAd program to make critical renovations to the Cancer and Hematology Inpatient Unit Ronald McDonald Family Room at Texas Children’s Hospital. The upgrades will enhance the environment in the Family Room, offering home-like surroundings and needed amenities for families of children facing a life-threatening condition.

Ronald McDonald House Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital offers four relaxing Family Rooms situated throughout the hospital that provide a haven for rest and relaxation inside hospitals, allowing families to remain steps from their sick child. The room offers snacks, a relaxing atmosphere, supportive volunteers and an opportunity to connect with other families going through similar situations. Additionally, Ronald McDonald House Houston operates a 20-bedroom House inside Texas Children’s Hospital which serves families of neonatal, pediatric and cardiovascular intensive care patients.

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Groupe Dynamite donates over $1M in clothing to Big Brothers Big Sisters local agencies

Groupe Dynamite - Garage LogoMONTREALOct. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Groupe Dynamite is proud to announce their support of the Big Brothers Big Sisters local agencies with a one-time donation of 140,000 items of clothing worth over $1M.

“We want to help the Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies as much as we can and really believe in their work”, says Anna Martini, President, Groupe Dynamite. “They have a huge network spanning from Canada and the USA so we wanted to make sure that our large donation gets distributed through a well-established organization like theirs”.

Clothing will be collected from Dynamite and Garage store locations across Canada and the USA and will then be distributed through the Big Brothers Big Sisters network across both countries.

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Free Webinar: Managing Food Waste

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizenship Center is hosting the Best Practices and Solutions for Addressing Food Waste Webinar, in partnership with The Dow Chemical Company, City of Phoenix, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Houston Advanced Research Center. Attendees will learn more about the food waste challenge, and explore how cities, government, and businesses are leveraging partnerships, technology, innovation and other strategies to eliminate food waste.

Food waste is a huge issue. Around one-third of edible food produced globally each year – 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted. In the U.S. alone approximately 40% of food, or 36 million tons worth $162 billion, goes to waste annually. Every time food is wasted the embedded water, energy, and other resources that went into making that food is also wasted. The main causes of food waste are numerous – including overproduction, packaging and product damage, inadequate storage, and excess portions prepared – and occurs throughout the entire food chain, from farmers to the food industry to retailers to end consumers. Given that the world will need to increase food production by 70% to keep pace with population growth, 870 million people are starving, and industry cannot afford to lose up to 40% of production, we need new and innovative approaches to address food waste going forward. This includes recognizing food waste as a recoverable and valuable resource that can save money, create new lines of business, stimulate the economy, improve community health and well-being, and reduce negative environmental impacts.

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