Category Archives: Sustainability News

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Toyota Lends Mobility Impairment Rehabilitation Partner Robots to Hospitals Across Japan

SOURCE: Toyota


Toyota Motor Corporation has begun lending its “Walk Training Assist” and “Balance Training Assist” rehabilitation-aid partner robots for clinical trials to be conducted in medical facilities across Japan. The robots are designed to aid the rehabilitation of patients who find it difficult to walk or maintain balance due to illness or injury.

The first of the Walk Training Assist and Balance Training Assist robots to be lent were installed today at the Ukai Rehabilitation Hospital in Aichi Prefecture. In total, 23 Walk Training Assist robots and 21 Balance Training Assist robots are scheduled to be installed at a total of 34 medical facilities.

Development of these robots began at the end of 2007 in collaboration with Fujita Health University Hospital in Toyoake, Aichi Prefecture. Since 2011, Toyota has been working together with medical facilities to complete pilot testing of the robots, and has significantly improved on-site user-friendliness.

The wider-scale clinical trials are aimed to further evaluate the effectiveness of the robots. Toyota is accelerating development of the robots with the aim a commercial launch at the earliest opportunity.

Click here for more information about the rehabilitation-aid partner robots and the facilities scheduled to receive them.


Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants.  There are nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the U.S. which sold more than 2.2 million vehicles in 2013. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota’s annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $26 billion.

For more information about Toyota, visit or


Tweet me: Check out @Toyota #robots, designed to aid the #rehabilitation of patients for walking and balance.

KEYWORDS: Health, TMC, Toyota motor corporation, Innovation, robot technology, physical rehabilitation aid, robots, Toyota, Walk Training Assist, Balance Training Assist


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Family Reunion Gossip: What Really Happens When…

By Roman Smith, AT&T Director – Sustainability Operations



Last month, AT&T hosted the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) Assembly at our headquarters in Dallas, TX. we welcomed a room full of the world’s leading service providers and vendors from the  ICT (Information Communication Technology) sector.   In other words, sustainability heavyweights from around the world.

GeSI is a collaborative organization made up of  major companies that are active in the ICT sector, as well as  international organizations, all  committed to creating and promoting technologies and  practices that foster economic, environmental and social sustainability. All of which drive economic growth and productivity. AT&T has been a GeSI member for years, and I’ve been able to see the great work the group has done –most notably the Smarter2020 Report that analyzes the environmental benefits of ICT – but I’ve never seen what really happens when this group gets together.

I don’t know why – maybe it was the impending holiday family gatherings – but it felt like a family reunion of sorts, complete with favorite uncles and previously unknown cousins.

Here’s what happens when this ICT family gathers for their annual reunion: we check our differences  at the door and collaborate to discover new ways to work together to improve the way we think about how technology can create solutions for some of our most pressing challenges.

In particular, we talked about:

  • The strategic, material and thought leadership initiatives that GeSI will drive in the next three years to propel ICT as an enabler for sustainability and profitable growth, specifically in the areas of climate change, industry responsibility, human rights and cross-sector engagement;
  • Integrating sustainability into core business and product/service development;
  • Communicating more effectively by understanding and creating effective messages for our different audiences like internal business leaders, customers, investors and employees; and
  • Collaboration:  working together to address our  common sustainability challenges and opportunities. 

It was a very productive few days with our ICT family and an absolute pleasure to host them in Dallas. On the last night of the meetings, AT&T invited  the family to a Texas-sized dinner that included favorites such as local grass fed steaks and rattlesnake chili. We hope our cousins had great stories to tell when they got home!

To learn more about how we collaborate to address persistent social and environmental challenges, check out our issue brief.

Tweet me: .@ConnectToGood “Family Reunion Gossip: What Really Happens When…” #ATTimpact

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, AT&T

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Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan FIRST Robotics Teams, Students Gear Up for Competition with $250,000 from The Chrysler Foundation

Latest round of grants will enable an estimated 1,100 students to participate in FIRST Robotics Competition and FIRST Tech Challenge programs

SOURCE: Chrysler Group LLC


Since 1995, The Chrysler Foundation has awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to FIRST programs


December 15, 2014 /3BL Media/ – The Chrysler Foundation today announced more than a quarter of a million dollars in grants to support students participating in FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) (grades 9-12) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) (grades 7-12) programs in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. In total, The Chrysler Foundation will distribute 47 grants valued at $250,250 to help young people discover and develop a passion for science, technology, engineering and math.   

VIDEO: Students share their FIRST experiences –

“Chrysler Group’s ability to compete and succeed in the future depends in part upon our ability to maintain the pipeline of students that pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers,” said John Nigro, Head of NAFTA Product Development – Chrysler Group LLC.  “The real-world experience that students gain through their participation in FIRST is invaluable in preparing students for the future.”    

The Chrysler Foundation grants – ranging from $750 to $5,000 per team – will enable an estimated 1,100 middle and high school students to participate in regional and district competitions. Subsequently, The Chrysler Foundation will award a total of $21,000 in grants to teams that advance to the 2015 FIRST Championship, April 22-25, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. 

“The Chrysler Foundation is proud to play a role in helping students discover the rewards and excitement of education and careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Jody Trapasso, Senior Vice President – External Affairs, Chrysler Group LLC and President of The Chrysler Foundation. “We are equally proud of our employees who generously give their time and skills to help mentor students and serve as competition coordinators.”  

The Chrysler Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to each of the following FRC teams:
Format: School(s) – Team Name, Team Number

Kingman High School – Bionic Bulldogs, 60                                      
Belvidere, Belvidere North & North Boone High Schools – Flaming Monkeys 4-H Robotics Club, 3352      
Northwestern High School (Kokomo) – CyberTooth, 3940           
Western High School (Russiaville) – Panthertech, 292                   
Almont High School – Shock and Awe-sum, 4961
Ann Arbor Huron High School – The RatPack, 830
Berkley, Hazel Park and Shrine Catholic High Schools – Da Bears, 247
Birmingham Seaholm and Birmingham Groves High Schools – Automation Nation, 2960
Bishop Foley Catholic High School (Madison Heights) – The Foley Freeze, 910
Bloomfield Hills High School – Bionic Black Hawks, 2834
Brandon and Holly High Schools – Truck Town Thunder, 68
Capac Community Schools – Metal and Soul, 2604
Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School (Marine City) – RoboSapiens, 4779
Chelsea High School – Technical Difficulties, 1502
Dundee High School – Dundee Vi-Borgs, 4395
Genesee Robotics Area Youth Team (Fenton) – GRAYT, 1322
Goodrich High School – Martians and More Martians, 494 and 70 (Note: Teams will share a single $5,000 grant)
Grand Blanc High School – EngiNERDs, 2337
Hartland High School – Electro Eagles, 3536
Imlay City High School – Spartronics, 5048
Lake Orion High School – The Dragons, 302
Lapeer County Ed-Tech – Galaktech Invaders, 3535
Linden High School – RoboEagles, 3568
Macomb Academy of Arts and Sciences (Armada) – Fighting Pi, 1718
Marysville High School – ViBots, 5167
Notre Dame Preparatory (Auburn Hills) – Killer Bees, 33
Oakland Tech Northeast (Pontiac) – The Juggernauts, 1
OSMTech Academy at Clarkston High School – Team RUSH, 27
Our Lady of the Lakes High School (Waterford) – Lakers, 5053
Oxford Community Schools (Oxford) – TORC, 2137
Pontiac High School – The Wings of Fire, 51
Rochester Adams and Stoney Creek High Schools (Rochester Hills) – Adambots, 245
Rochester High School (Rochester Hills) – The FEDS, 201
Skyline High School (Ann Arbor) – Eagle Imperium, 3322
South Lake High School (St. Clair Shores) – The Mighty CavBots, 5214
South Lyon Community Schools and South Lyon Robotics – The Flying Toasters, 3641
Southeastern High School of Technology (Detroit) – JungleBots, 4851
Stevenson, Henry Ford II and Utica High Schools – Crevolution, 2851
Walled Lake Schools – The Monsters, 308
Warren Consolidated Schools – Steel Armadillos, 818
Waterford Kettering High School – The Captains, 3098
The Chrysler Foundation awarded a $750 grant to each of the following FTC teams (all in Michigan):
Bloomfield Hills Middle School – Mechanical Monkeys, 7047
Home Middle School (Fenton) – Lightning Boltz, 5954                     
Life Learning Community School (Ann Arbor) – The GearCats, 7305                                                
Linden Middle School – Battle Blazers, 7031                                    
Our Lady of the Lakes (Waterford) – OLL Laker Bots, 8133          
Additionally, FIRST in Michigan will receive a $2,500 grant to support its FIRST LEGO League program, which introduces students (grades 4-8) to the fun and excitement of science and technology.
Additional facts about The Chrysler Foundation’s support of FIRST:

  • In 2014, The Chrysler Foundation awarded grants to 41 U.S. and Canadian-based robotics teams.
    • 34 of those teams were based in the United States: 1 in Arizona; 1 in Illinois; 2 in Indiana; and 30 in Michigan, which led the nation in the number of registered FIRST Robotics Teams;
    • 14 of the 41 teams sponsored by The Chrysler Foundation (12 Michigan and 2 Canadian teams) qualified to compete in 2014 FIRST Championship. Overall, 400 teams competed in the FIRST Championship;
      • Team RUSH, CSM Tech Academy and Clarkston High School, Clarkston, Mich., received the prestigious Championship Chairman’s Award. Camron Razdar, a member of Team RUSH, was one of 10 National Dean’s List Winners.
    • 70 U.S.-based Chrysler Group employees served as FRC team mentors; employees also supported regional and district events as competition coordinators and event volunteers. 
  • Since 1995, The Chrysler Foundation, a FIRST Founding Sponsor, has invested more than $2.3 million to support FIRST programs in the United States and Canada.
  •  Go “Inside the Hive” with the Killer Bees FRC team — read “Dream Factory” ( on

Tweet me: .@FIRSTweets The Chrysler Foundation pledges $250,000 to Gear Up @FRCTeams @FTCTeams. #ChryslerCares

Contact Info:

Kevin E. Frazier
Chrysler Group LLC – Corprorate Communications
+1 (248) 512-2678

KEYWORDS: Technology, Awards and Recognition, FIRST Robotics, STEM, Science, engineering, math, steam, high school, STEM grants, Grants, STEM and girls, Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan


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Boeing and South African Airways’ New Biofuel Creates Triple Bottom Line

SOURCE: Cone Communications


As companies search for sustainable solutions, sometimes the advantages extend far beyond just the environmental benefits. Boeing and South African Airways’ newest innovation provides a multi-layered solution – combining health, economic development and sustainability gains.

Boeing and South African Airways recently announced that they will soon be able to harvest the first crop of tobacco plants for biofuel use. In its search for a fuel that could be made from renewable sources, Boeing and South African Airways along with partners SkyNRG and Sunchem SA landed on Solaris, a nicotine-free tobacco plant with seeds that can be converted into bio-jet fuel. The new fuel will not only significantly reduce operating expenses and overall carbon footprint for the company (moving to biofuels could cut the airline industry’s overall carbon footprint by 80 percent), but will also provide a two-fold boost to the community. When it came to producing the tobacco plants, the airlines turned to local South African farmers, many of whom were already growing tobacco for cigarettes.

To read more on Cone’s Prove Your Purpose blog, please click here

Tweet me: Boeing and South African Airways’ New #Biofuel Creates Triple Bottom Line via @Cone #CSR

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Energy, Cone Communications, Boeing, South African Airways, Biofuel

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National Waste & Recycling Association Comments on California Recycling, Safety Regulations

California OSHA, Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery receive NW&RA comments

SOURCE: National Waste & Recycling Association


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) recently provided comments to two California regulatory bodies on two separate rule proposals, respectively involving the state’s recycling goals and waste collection vehicle safety.


The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) recently provided comments to two California regulatory bodies on two separate rule proposals, respectively involving the state’s recycling goals and waste collection vehicle safety.

NW&RA submitted its comments to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) and the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA).

In response to CalRecycle’s recent recommendations for further action to meet the state’s recycling goal of 75 percent by the year 2020, NW&RA expressed concern with the agency’s lack of specificity and foresight of how to reach the benchmark.

“While Association members support recycling and have invested heavily in building California’s existing recycling infrastructure, CalRecycle fails to explain how its recommendations will aid California in achieving its legislatively mandated goal of 75-percent source reduction, recycling and composting,” wrote Chaz Miller, NW&RA’s director of policy/advocacy, in the association’s comments.

Specifically, Miller wrote that CalRecycle failed to include specific discard tonnages for its list of seven priority packaging products and failed to analyze where those products are generated, how they will be recovered or what a realistic recovery rate would be for those products.

“These questions are crucial to the success of meeting an ambitious source reduction, recycling and composting target, yet they are unaddressed,” Miller said.

NW&RA also rejected CalRecycle’s recommendations for mandatory initiatives issuing “extended producer responsibility” for package producers, as well as a possible ban on recyclables being sent to landfills.

“Extended producer responsibility as practiced [elsewhere] is, at best, a flawed funding mechanism,” he said. “Producers only pay for what they consider to be the ‘reasonable’ costs of recycling packages. They will not pay a local government its full costs if they do not consider those costs to be reasonable.”

Regarding safety, NW&RA commented to Cal/OSHA, concerned that its recent proposal to reduce the allowable speed for “right side drive” waste collection vehicles will instead undercut recent national momentum in improving worker safety in the waste industry.

“No federal, state or local government safety fact sheet concerning the industry has ever identified falling out of a right side drive vehicle as a priority concern,” said David Biderman, NW&RA’s vice president of government affairs. “Cal/OSHA’s proposed revisions are contrary to national best practices for such vehicles and drivers as set forth by the American National Standards Institute, and undercut the ANSI Z245 safety standards.” 

To view the full comments NW&RA provided to CalRecycle, please click here. To view the comments provided to Cal/OSHA, please click here.

Tweet me: .@WasteRecycling offers comments on #safety and #recycling regulations to @CalRecycle, Cal/OSHA

Contact Info:

David Biderman
National Waste & Recycling Association
+1 (202) 364-3743

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Business & Trade, CalRecycle, David Biderman, Chaz Miller, California, regulations, occupational safety, National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), Cal / OSHA


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SAP to Host 4th Annual EHS and Sustainability Conference in 2015

SAP Customers, Experts Will Focus Keeping Operations and Products Safe Across the Extended Supply Chain



December 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ – SAP has announced it will host the 4th annual SAP Conference for Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Management on February 24-25, 2015 in New Orleans, LA.   This event is the largest annual gathering of SAP customers, experts, and partners focused on best practices for deployment of SAP EHS solutions that enable companies to drive sustainable business performance. 

The two-day agenda features customer case study presentations, keynotes, interactive roundtables, and in-depth workshops that are designed to facilitate learning and best practice sharing.   The sessions will re-enforce the conference theme of “Breakthrough EHS Management: Driving Operational Excellence and Sustainable Business Performance.”

A major highlight of the conference will be 10 customer case study presentations on how SAP solutions for EHS are helping companies simplify their processes and run sustainably.  The line-up of customer speakers spans all major aspects of EHS including product safety, workplace health and safety, operational risk management, and environmental compliance across all industry sectors.  Participants will hear presentations by and interact with:  Al Hosn Gas, Colgate-Palmolive, CommScope, Cristal Chemicals,  Dow Corning, Micron Technology, Milliken, Peabody Energy, Southern California Edison, and Varian Medical. 

The conference is designed for SAP customers currentlly running SAP solutions for EHS management, or considering doing so.  It is the prime opportunity in 2015 to learn from and network with key SAP EHS experts, including implementation partners ERM, Arcadis, CSC, GroupeX, Wipro, LeverX and Linx/AS.  The content is geared towards EHS professionals and managers business, and their IT counterparts responsible for EHS systems.

To learn more and register, visit the conference website:

KEYWORDS: Events, Conferences & Webinars, ehs, environment, sustainability, safety, risk management, SAP

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Values Add Value to Food Buys, From Whole Foods to McDonald’s

“Values matter.” That’s the slogan that Whole Foods has chosen for its first national brand marketing campaign. The message is, Whole Foods provides value to its customers through the values the company uses to select the food products on its shelves. That is, values for money in shopping for groceries is as important as bargain pricing, which Whole Foods is not known for.

The company believes that consumers will find that value in the increased information it provides about where the food comes from, and how it was grown, raised, and made. Whole Foods is serious about getting out this message. The campaign’s budget is estimated at between fifteen and twenty million dollars. It’s the latest example of what Madison Avenue calls variously “conscious capitalism,” “cause marketing,” and “purpose marketing.” Continue reading

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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.”

Continue reading

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