Gates Foundation Commits $50M to Fight Ebola Outbreak

by Vikas Vij

SOURCE: Justmeans

DESCRIPTION:

According the World Health Organization (WHO), global health security faces an ongoing danger from emerging and re-emerging epidemic diseases. WHO calls for the reduction of the devastation resulting from epidemics through key imperatives, including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities. The current Ebola outbreak in Africa is the worst in the history of the virus, and emergency response needs to be stepped up to prevent it from becoming a global crisis.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced a commitment of $50 million to support emergency efforts to contain the threat caused by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. UN agencies and other international organizations engaged in Ebola response will immediately receive flexible funds from the Gates Foundation. These funds will enable the organizations as well as local governments to purchase critically needed supplies and scale up emergency operations in the affected regions.

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Image Credit: Flickr via NIAID

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: .@gatesfoundation commits $50M to fight worst #Ebola outbreak in the history of the virus- http://bit.ly/1oC98Vn via @Justmeans

KEYWORDS: Health, Philanthropy, ebola, Gates Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), africa, UNICEF, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Fiat S.p.A. named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index World

SOURCE: Chrysler Group LLC

DESCRIPTION:

September 12, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Fiat S.p.A. has once again been included in the prestigious Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World. The company received a score of 87/100 compared with an overall average of 58/100 for companies in the Automobiles industry evaluated by RobecoSAM, the specialists in sustainability investment. This result places Fiat Group’s economic, environmental and social performance  among the world’s leading companies. 

For the full release, click here: http://www.fiatspa.com/en-US/media_center/FiatDocuments/2014/Settembre/Fiat_SpA_named_to_Dow_Jones_Sustainability_Index_World.pdf

Additional information about Sustainability at Chrysler Group can be found at: http://www.chryslergroupllc.com/sustainability 

Tweet me: .@Fiatspa named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index World http://3bl.me/m3ahgh #DJSI #Chrysler

Contact Info:

Mary Gauthier
Chrysler Group LLC
+1 (248) 622-8243
mary.gauthier@chrysler.com

KEYWORDS: Awards and Recognition, Fiat, Chrysler Group, #sustainability, Fiat Chrysler, Dow Jones Sustainability Index, Dow Jones Sustainability Index World

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Total Fatalities in Refuse, Recyclable Material Collectors Up in 2013

National Waste & Recycling Association Expresses Concern

SOURCE: National Waste & Recycling Association

SUMMARY:

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) has expressed concern over the latest statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regarding refuse and recycling material collector fatalities.

DESCRIPTION:

WASHINGTON, September 11, 2014 /3BL Media/ – A total of 33 fatalities occurred among refuse and recyclable material collectors in 2013, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The incidence rate for this occupation was also 33.0, meaning that for every 100,000 refuse and recyclable material collectors, 33 fatalities occurred. In the final report for 2012, the actual number and the incidence rate for fatalities were 26 and 27.1, respectively.

“While we are not surprised by the BLS data, we are disappointed to see the slight increase in fatal injuries in our industry,” said John Haudenshield, director of safety at the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA). “NW&RA has been proactive in expanding our safety program  by developing ANSI standards, implementing the Safe Driver Certification program and publishing the Manual of Recommended Safety Practices for the Waste & Recycling Industry.

“Most of these fatalities are the result of workers being struck by vehicles,” Haudenshield continued. “To address this, NW&RA is actively promoting Slow Down to Get Around legislation across the country. Earlier this summer, West Virginia passed SDTGA into law, and we continue to seek partnerships for this important legislation to be the champion of safety for the waste and recycling industry.”

Across all professions, the fatality incidence rate decreased in 2013, from 3.4 to 3.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers. The actual number of fatalities also decreased in 2012 from 4,628 to 4,405.

# # #

The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NW&RA, visit www.wasterecycling.org.

Tweet me: .@WasteRecycling expresses concern over @BLS_gov’s latest refuse collector fatality stats http://bit.ly/1pcgtu7

Contact Info:

Thom Metzger
National Waste & Recycling Association
+1 (202) 364-3751
tmetzger@wasterecycling.org
@WasteRecycling

KEYWORDS: Business & Trade, Sustainability Professionals, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), John Haudenshield, safety, waste and recycling, waste management, industry safety, Slow Down to Get Around, Safe Driver Certification

  

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Cisco Recognized for Raising 55 Million Pounds of Food for Local Charity

by Ricardo Benavidez

SOURCE: Cisco Systems Inc.

DESCRIPTION:

Last night I was proud to join other Cisco staff and executives in accepting four “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank near our San Jose headquarters.

Cisco has supported Second Harvest for more than 20 years, and in that time we have raised the equivalent of 55 million pounds of food for the organization!

Our employees volunteer there and make donations through our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, and we’ve provided several product and cash grants over the years, most recently to help the organization’s clients better utilize the CalFresh food stamp program (read my earlier blog on CalFresh). In 2012 Cisco employees contributed more than 4900 volunteer hours to Second Harvest.

Second Harvest does important work. One in 10 residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties receives food from Second Harvest, and 40% of them are children. According to the 2014 Hunger in America report, clients receive assistance from Second Harvest Food Bank an average of 13 times per year, compared to the national average of 8 times. This could be a reflection of the high cost of living in California’s Bay Area.

“The vast majority of our clients earn less than $20,000 a year,” said Second Harvest CEO Kathy Jackson. “In an area where it takes an annual income of more than $82,000 for a family of four to pay their bills and put food on the table, we know that $20,000 doesn’t leave much for food.”

“I’m proud to be part of a company that comes together every year to fight global hunger,” said Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby, who serves on the Second Harvest board of directors. “It means a lot to me because I come from a background that had to take advantage of these kinds of services when I was young.  The need still exists in this valley and we can do something about it.”

“Our employees, the people, it’s amazing how all of them give of their time, and their talents, and their means to take care of other people,” said Curt Hill, Cisco vice president of technical support. “That’s one of the things that makes culture great at Cisco.”

Cisco’s support of Second Harvest Food Bank demonstrates our commitment to addressing social issues in communities where we have an employee presence. Read more about how we support critical human needs around the world. 

Tweet me: .@Cisco recognized w/4 #MakeHungerHistory awards for raising 55 MM lbs of food for @2ndharvest http://cs.co/9008o34E via @CiscoCSR

KEYWORDS: Awards and Recognition, Cisco, Second Harvest Food Bank, Making Hunger History, Hunger, Hunger Awareness Month

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Lilly: Connecting Caring And Service To Leadership

SOURCE: Eli Lilly and Company

DESCRIPTION:

Today’s guest blog is by Sergio Leon, human resources manager for Lilly operations in Peru, Chile, and Ecuador. That’s his day job. He’s also an ambassador and advocate for Connecting Hearts Abroad—Lilly’s global service program that sends teams of employees to communities in need across the world, including Peru.
 
Since 2012, I have served as the Lilly host for half a dozen teams of Connecting Hearts Abroad ambassadors to Peru. We talk about our country, culture, the Peruvian health system, and the opportunities and challenges facing our industry. They ask many questions, especially about the needs of people in impoverished communities.
 
In 2013, I experienced Connecting Hearts Abroad from a different perspective when I was selected to serve as an ambassador to Morocco, where I worked with young children. It was an amazing experience. I learned that often we can have a big impact by doing small things.

Read on for more about Sergio’s “mini” Connecting Hearts Abroad experience and how the program helps participants see through another lens.
 

Tweet me: “What we do is all about people.” Read more about Sergio’s #volunteer experience w/ Lilly’s Connecting Hearts Abroad. http://ow.ly/ALSCT

KEYWORDS: Health, Lilly, Connecting Hearts Abroad, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, morroco, Eli Lilly and Company, ambassadors

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Nevada: The Paradoxical State

SOURCE: Sea Change Radio

DESCRIPTION:

From an environmental standpoint, Nevada is a state of stark contrasts. When we think of the Silver State, most of us picture the Las Vegas strip, but Nevada is also home to picturesque canyons, rare desert wildlife and majestic, snow-peaked mountains. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from two participants from the 7th annual Clean Energy Summit which took place on September 4th in Las Vegas.

First, we focus on southern Nevada as host Alex Wise discusses Las Vegas’ energy needs with Rose McKinney-James the chairperson of the Clean Energy Project. Then, we turn to the northern part of the state and hear from David Bobzien, a state assemblyman from Reno who talks about the efforts of the Conservation Lands Foundation as well as the recent announcement that Tesla will be building a major electric vehicle battery plant in his part of the state.

Tweet me: This week’s @SeaChangeRadio – “Nevada: The Paradoxical State” – interviews from last week’s Clean Energy Summit http://is.gd/XEu3XF

KEYWORDS: Environment and Climate Change, Energy, alex wise, Clean Energy, clean energy summit, Conservation Lands Foundation, David Bobzien, Harry Reid, las vegas, nevada, reno, rose mckinney-james, sea change radio, Tesla

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New Guidelines to Bring Nature Play to Every Community

Keep America Beautiful Partners with National Wildlife Federation and National Learning Initiative on Guidelines for Creating and Managing Nature Play and Learning Places

SOURCE: Keep America Beautiful

DESCRIPTION:

STAMFORD, Conn., September 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ — Every parent who has ever watched a child play in nature has cause to rejoice. Today, National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) at the College of Design, North Carolina State University released “Nature Play & Learning Places: Creating and Managing Places Where Children Engage with Nature.”  The guidelines define nature play places as well as explain how to plan, design, and manage them, and how to bring them to children and families in every community.

“Nature Play & Learning Places” draw from principal author Robin Moore’s extensive landscape design experience, case studies of 12 existing nature play areas across the country, and the contributions from the members of a national steering committee and a technical advisory committee, which consisted of representatives from more than 20 national organizations, including Keep America Beautiful. The project was funded by the US Forest Service.

“Playing outdoors in nature gives children the chance to develop a connection with nature and wildlife, and is good for their overall well-being,” said Kevin Coyle, vice president for education and training at NWF. “These guidelines will make it easier to incorporate nature play environments in every playground, schoolyard, and childcare center.”

Nature Play & Learning Places is a tool for those who manage areas where children gather, including park and recreation professionals, educators, urban planners, and developers. The guidelines explain how to design a nature play and learning area and provide detailed descriptions of activity setting designs including entrances, pathways, plants, and permanent play structures. Guidance is also provided for managing soil, plants, and other natural elements at nature play areas, and for managing risk, including an eight-step risk management protocol.

“In order to build and sustain vibrant communities, we must offer children an opportunity to connect with nature. The framework provided through ‘Nature Play & Learning Places’ helps design places where children will develop an appreciation for the outdoors and to sustain those places for future generations of environmental stewards,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.

“Ensuring children have the chance to regularly experience and interact with nature is a priority for local parks and recreation,” said Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association. “With these guidelines in hand, park and recreation departments can design, build and maintain successful nature play areas in any type of community for all people to enjoy.”

The guidelines will also be helpful to managers of state parks, national parks, and other public lands.

“Nature play and learning places are an innovative and fun way to connect families with our public lands,” said Fran Mainella, former director of the National Park Service and a visiting scholar at Clemson University. “They can help us improve children’s health and learning and encourage appreciation for wildlife and natural systems.”

To download and read the full text of the guidelines, visit www.natureplayandlearning.org.

About the National Wildlife Federation
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. For more information, go to nwf.org.

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. For more information, visit kab.org, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

Tweet me: The best minds in nature play design, management have a guide for creating places for kids to connect with nature. http://bit.ly/1AvByWD

Contact Info:

Cecile Carson
Keep America Beautiful
+1 (203) 659-3030
ccarson@kab.org
http://www.twitter.com/kabtweet
http://www.facebook.com/keepamericabeautiful
http://www.youtube.com/kabnetwork

Allen Cooper
National Wildlife Federation
+1 (512) 610-7769
coopera@nwf.org
http://natureplayandlearning.org/

KEYWORDS: Education, National Wildlife Federation, National Learning Initiative, Keep America Beautiful, Nature Play and Learning Places, National Guidelines, US Forest Service

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Third Annual ‘teamGM Cares Week’ Celebrates Commitment to Giving Back

GM employees volunteering within U.S. communities from September 8-12

SOURCE: General Motors

DESCRIPTION:

DETROIT, September 9, 2014 /3BL Media/ – Communities and nonprofits across the country will receive a helping hand from General Motors’ employee volunteers next week as part of the company’s third annual “teamGM Cares Week.” From delivering Teddy Bears to cancer patients to cleaning up beaches and neighborhoods, countless projects will take place from Sept. 8-12. 

“Along with our commitment to customers, our company is dedicated to giving back and supporting the communities in which we live and work,” said GM CEO Mary Barra. “Through the philanthropic efforts of the GM Foundation and our employee volunteers, we look for opportunities to make a difference and positively impact those in need.”

Last month, more than 3,000 GM employees participated in Life Remodeled, a weeklong effort during which teams helped remodel a public high school in a high-crime area of Detroit and worked to board up 254 vacant houses; remodel 16 others and clear brush and debris from 170 blocks around the school.

Examples of projects that will take place during the week of service, or during other specially designated volunteer times, include:

Arizona

Michigan

  • Nearly 50 volunteers from GM facilities across Southeast Michigan will participate in the Detroit Blitz Build with Habitat for Humanity Detroit. They will perform various construction activities in the Morningside Commons Neighborhood, including a GM Foundation-sponsored home.
  • Volunteers from the Warren Technical Center will assist at local food banks including Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners Food Bank.
  • About 150 volunteers will work on the Junction Street Clean Neighborhood project, a longstanding community initiative that connects Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision, Ideal Group and other local businesses to their neighbors. GM volunteer teams will remove blight, pick up trash, cut grass and paint over graffiti in a beautification effort.
  • 170 volunteers from GM’s Flint-area facilities and Warren Tech Center will volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County, assisting in construction efforts for home builds in the area.

Georgia

  • Volunteers from the GM IT Innovation Center in Roswell, Ga. will join the United Way to sort items in preparation for sale at the North Fulton Community Charities thrift store.

Indiana

  • Nearly 40 volunteers from GM’s Marion Metal Center will volunteer with community agencies including a hospital and senior center performing various duties. Additionally, the group will join Habitat for Humanity of Grant County to assist in construction for a local home build.

Maryland

  • Volunteers from the GM Baltimore Transmission Plant will pack food at the Maryland Food Bank.

New York

  • Employees from the GM Lockport facility are hosting a Food Drive to support food pantries across Niagara County. Additionally, volunteers  from Lockport will perform various indoor and outdoor clean-up projects at a local United Way office building and the YWCA, and 16 volunteers will finish dry wall and siding installation on a GM Foundation-funded Habitat for Humanity home in Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Thirty volunteers from GM’s New York regional office will join the Central Park Conservancy in cleaning and painting park benches throughout Central Park.  
  • On National Teddy Bear Day next Tuesday, volunteers from GM Asset Management will donate 49 teddy bears to young patients at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an affiliate hospital of the Sunrise Association.

Ohio

  • Volunteers from GM’s Lordstown Plant will serve meals to the homeless at the Dorothy Day House in Youngstown.

Texas

“This week truly underscores GM’s commitment to service, but it’s essentially a snapshot of the causes and projects our volunteers are involved with all year long,” said Sabin Blake, global marketing manager for Cadillac, and head of the teamGM Cares program. “We’ve witnessed firsthand how this program not only impacts our neighbors.” 

Throughout the year, thousands of teamGM Cares Volunteers participate in numerous projects and dedicate their time and resources to many organizations across the country. GM employees are active in mentoring youth, conducting food drives, revitalizing neighborhoods through clean-up efforts and home-building projects, assisting with disaster relief efforts, among other efforts.

Through the company’s “Dollars for Doers” program, the GM Foundation provides a $200 grant per year to eligible nonprofits each time an employee or employee team contributes 50 hours of service to the organization.

To learn more about the teamGM Cares Volunteers, visit www.teamgmcares.com. For more information on the charitable work of the GM Foundation, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.

About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

About the GM Foundation
Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.

Tweet me: .@GM Third Annual ‘teamGM Cares Week’ Celebrates Commitment to Giving Back http://bit.ly/WOpenn

KEYWORDS: Philanthropy, Volunteerism & Community Engagement, GM, General Motors, teamGM Cares, GM Foundation, Mary Barra

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