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Black & Veatch's Nutrient Removal Project Stands Up to Record California Wet-Weather Event

Black & Veatch

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., December 6, 2021 / 3BL Media/– When the combination of two weather phenomena – a bomb cyclone and atmospheric river – inundated Northern California with record-breaking rainfall in October, Sacramento’s recently completed biological nutrient removal (BNR) facility did more than just weather the storm: it flexed its muscle in keeping the Sacramento River, and subsequently the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, clean. With a maximum capacity of 330 million gallons/day (MGD), the Sacramento Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant (SRWTP) is one of the largest BNR projects ever designed by nutrient removal leader Black & Veatch, and it incorporates some of the latest advancements in BNR technology. The BNR facilities were placed fully into service just before the newly equipped SRWTP would face its first major test – when the bomb cyclone and atmospheric river combined to dump a record 5.44 inches of rain on the capital city. This was the most rain Sacramento had seen in one 24-hour period in more than 141 years, and it put a strain on the region’s critical infrastructure, including wastewater conveyance and treatment facilities owned and operated by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (Regional San). “This was a gigantic storm, one that far exceeded the ‘100-year storm’ event. At one point, there were more than 500 MGD coming into the wastewater treatment plant,” said William Yu, Senior Civil Engineer with Regional San. “We were able to run the maximum 330 MGD through the treatment plant while storing the remainder in equalization basins for later treatment. The facilities performed well, demonstrating the necessary flexibility to handle such an extreme event while continuing to discharge cleaner effluent into local waterways.” Black & Veatch provided planning, design, construction support and start-up and commissioning services for the new BNR facilities. The BNR system relies on microbial populations within aerobic and anoxic environments to remove nearly all ammonia and most nitrate from the effluent, addressing concerns of both local and downstream ecosystem impacts. The BNR project is a cornerstone project in the Regional San EchoWater program, initiated in 2010 to address stricter effluent discharge mandates issued by the State of California. The new BNR facility and additional tertiary treatment facilities, designed by others and currently in construction, will help Regional San to meet compliance and discharge cleaner water into the Sacramento River, driving enhanced environmental water quality in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Regional San also provides recycled water for potential non-potable reuse. “Anticipating peak flows is always a critical design consideration when building these large-scale wastewater treatment facilities,” said Sean Goris, Black & Veatch project manager. “We designed the SRWTP BNR facilities with significant flexibility that allow operators to bring additional treatment basins on-line rapidly. As illustrated by this last event, this flexibility helped fortify resilience for the utility, Regional San; the Sacramento community; and the local and downstream environment.” Editor’s Notes: The new BNR facilities replaced former carbonaceous oxidation basins and were constructed downstream from the primary sedimentation tanks and upstream of the secondary sedimentation tanks. Regional San’s 2010 discharge permit contained strict mandates that required it to construct new treatment facilities for ammonia and nitrate removal, as well as enhanced filtration and disinfection with projects completed by 2021 and 2023, respectively. About Black & Veatch Black & Veatch is an employee-owned global engineering, procurement, consulting and construction company with a more than 100-year track record of innovation in sustainable infrastructure. Since 1915, we have helped our clients improve the lives of people around the world by addressing the resilience and reliability of our most important infrastructure assets. Our revenues in 2020 exceeded US$3.0 billion. Follow us on www.bv.com and on social media. Media Contact Information: MELINA VISSAT | +1 303-256-4065 P | +1 617-595-8009 M | VissatM@BV.com 24-HOUR MEDIA HOTLINE | +1 866-496-9149 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Black & Veatch on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 03:01 PM Eastern Standard Time

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The Spring District’s Block 13 Pre-Leased by Meta

Wright Runstad

Wright Runstad & Company (“Wright Runstad”) and Shorenstein Properties (“Shorenstein") today announced they have pre-leased their planned 213,000 square foot Block 13 project in the Spring District to Meta. It is the fifth building in the Spring District to be leased by Meta, bringing its total leased area in the neighborhood to over 1.4 million square feet. The Block 13 project will be located between Block 20, the former REI headquarters which was purchased by Meta in 2020, and the University of Washington’s Global Innovation Exchange. The Block 13 project was designed by NBBJ and will be constructed by BN Builders as the general contractor. Construction will commence in 2022 and completion is expected in 2024. “The successful pre-lease of the Block 13 project further exemplifies the considerable demand for commercial space in the thriving Spring District,” said Greg Johnson, CEO of Wright Runstad. “We look forward to providing our tenants with the unique and industry-leading amenities they have come to expect from us.” The transit-oriented and sustainable Spring District is Bellevue’s most exciting new neighborhood. In addition to Meta’s significant presence, it is also home to the Global Innovation Exchange, which opened in 2017. It also features over 800 residential units and Bellevue Brewing Company’s new location which is scheduled to open in 2022. More information about The Spring District can be found at www.thespringdistrict.com. About Wright Runstad & Company: Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company develops, acquires, manages and leases high-quality commercial office and mixed-use buildings located primarily in the Pacific Northwest. The company is in its fifth decade as one of the region's premier real estate development and operating companies, delivering outstanding property performance and superior investment returns. Wright Runstad & Company maintains an exceptional reputation among tenants and institutional investors for its demonstrated commitment to integrity and high levels of quality and service. For additional information visit: www.wrightrunstad.com About Shorenstein Properties: Founded in 1960, Shorenstein Properties LLC is a privately-owned, real estate firm that owns and operates high-quality office, residential and mixed-use properties across the U.S., with offices in San Francisco and New York. Since 1992, Shorenstein has sponsored twelve closed-end investment funds with total equity commitments of $8.8 billion, of which Shorenstein committed $723.5 million. The firm uses its integrated investment and operating capabilities to take advantage of opportunities that, at the particular time in the investment cycle, offer the most attractive returns. Investments have included ground-up developments, asset repositioning and stabilized assets; investment structures have included asset acquisitions, mezzanine loans, preferred equity investments and structured joint ventures. More information is available at www.shorenstein.com. Contact Details Forrest Carman +1 206-859-3118 forrestc@owenmedia.com Company Website https://thespringdistrict.com/

December 06, 2021 12:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

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How to Tell Scammers to Take a Hike This Holiday Season

T-Mobile

In October,  a hiker  was late returning to his car in the Colorado Rockies. Fearing he was lost, search and rescue tried calling him… repeatedly. And after multiple unanswered calls, teams were deployed across the mountain to seek out and save the lost hiker. Except he wasn’t lost. And he had cell reception the whole time. In fact, he got search and rescue’s calls. He just didn’t pick up because he didn’t recognize the unknown caller’s number. And, as it turns out, he’s not alone in his thinking.  A recent survey by T-Mobile partner  First Orion  — which specializes in network solutions to create call transparency — showed that  9 out of 10 folks say they don’t feel comfortable answering their phone when the caller is someone they don’t recognize. And 78% said they have missed at least one important call for this reason in the past month.  During the holidays, we expect important deliveries, organize parties and look forward to calls from friends and family filled with seasonal well wishes, but we are also screening calls in fear scams and robocalls. In fact, 68% of those surveyed reported missing a legitimate call regarding an order or delivery because they didn’t recognize the number calling.   And it’s with good reason. Scammers love the holidays. The last six weeks of the year are the busiest time for scams and unwanted robocalls. During this holiday season, it is projected that Americans will receive over 27 billion scam calls, resulting in a potential 21 million scam victims and over $10 billion in losses.  First Orion’s holiday scam report showed 57% of consumers say they receive more scam calls during the holiday season. Last year, there was a 53% increase in scam calls from the holiday season compared to the end of September.  Thankfully, if you have T-Mobile or Metro by T-Mobile, there’s a better way to get through the season of scammers. T-Mobile has network level protection built-in to give you the information you really need to decide whether to answer a call. With Scam Block and Caller ID working together, you can rest easy knowing you will never miss the calls you want and can ignore the ones you don’t want (or never even see them at all!). This holiday season, give yourself the gift of peace of mind by making the most use of a feature you might not even realize you have: The free Scam Shield app, which is part of the  comprehensive set of protections  offered to T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers against the pervasive problem of scams and robocalls. With these calls already at an all-time high, clocking in at over 127 million scam calls every workday, it’s more important than ever to make use of the holiday-saving app that is available to download right now.  What’s Included with the Gift of Scam Shield? T-Mobile automatically warns every customer if a call is “Scam Likely” to keep you better informed — no action is required to get this benefit. And you can turn on Scam Block from your T-Mobile phone simply by dialing #662#. And T-Mobile is the only major wireless provider to give all their customers free Caller ID, so you know who is calling, even if they aren’t in your Contacts. And at T-Mobile you also get a verified check mark displayed when the call has been authenticated by  STIR/SHAKEN  so you know the number on the display has not been spoofed by a scammer! T-Mobile postpaid and Metro by T-Mobile customers can download the  Scam Shield  app on the  App Store  or  Google Play  and have a dashboard at their fingertips for all the Scam Shield tools. Once the app is downloaded you can enable Scam Block (and stop those “Scam Likely” calls at the network, before they even ring) and have access to turn on Caller ID so you always know who is calling, even if they are not in your contacts! This surge of scam calls doesn’t end until after December 23, according to T-Mobile research. (Looks like scammers like to take time off and celebrate the holidays too!) Internal data shows that 91% of T-Mobile customers who use scam protections report a noticeable positive effect, so just imagine the peace of mind you can experience if you download the Scam Shield app today and get the full spectrum of protections ahead of scammers’ favorite time of the year!  Oh, as for that hiker? In the end, everything turned out okay, and after more than a day of being lost amidst alpines, he found his way back to safety — but not without a stern warning from the rescue agency itself: “If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a search and rescue team trying to confirm you’re safe!” Perhaps the best testimonial yet for taking two minutes to protect yourself, no matter where you are, and download the Scam Shield app.  Survey data from First Orion 2021  View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from T-Mobile on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 02:41 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Acre's Sustainable Finance Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Survey 2021: Launch Press Release

Acre

December 6, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Acre today announced the launch of its first Equity, Diversity & Inclusion survey focussed specifically on the Sustainable Finance market. The first and only survey of its kind, the survey is designed to develop a baseline understanding of today’s state of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within sustainable finance professions. “We have seen dramatic growth in the Sustainable Finance & impact investing space over the past ten years and in the last 2 years a greater acceleration than ever before. An indication perhaps that momentum is building to seek to address the socio-environmental challenges humankind faces,” says. “We can only hope to succeed in creating the right solutions if we support the move towards a sustainable, diverse and more equitable future. We recognise Acre’s role in driving positive change for both our industry and the planet, and we hope that you’ll support us in our mission by taking part in the survey.” The survey is now open until 14th December, and all impact investing and sustainable finance practitioners are encouraged to participate. You’ll answer questions on gender and ethnicity, socioeconomic background and salary – taking 5-10 minutes to complete. The answers to those questions will be used to give a picture of: How diverse is Sustainable Finance across race/ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, social mobility, education, religion, disability and neurodiversity What does the diversity pay gap look like? An understanding of the routes taken to enter Sustainable Finance industry and experiences within the sector The hope is that the data will further the markets’ understanding of EDI, within sustainable finance, as we seek to move towards a more inclusive society. Acre aims to play a key part in driving that understanding of EDI and embedding sustainable changes into our clients’ organisations. “It is our ambition that, through engaging with data collected by surveys such as this one and driving positive action, we’ll soon see an equitable and equal playing field that enables an increase in employee engagement, a shift to more inclusive stakeholder relations, and a profession where diversity of thought and experience is embedded in every organisation and their value systems.” Says If you are interested in a discussion on career options or benchmarking your own salary and compensation levels when the data is validated – or you’d like to address any asymmetries in compensation within your organisation, or provide opportunities for individuals from underrepresented backgrounds – please get in touch with. The Sustainable Finance Equity, Diversity & Inclusion survey can be taken here: https://forms.office.com/r/0TSjuhkkm About Acre Acre has led the market in sustainable finance search,recruitmentand talent development since 2003, being the first recruitment consultancy with a global team specialising in responsible investment, sustainable finance, and impact investing. Acre’s pioneering work has created the largest and most established global recruitment network for sustainable finance professionals Since 2017, Acre hassuccessfully completed over 200 searches across asset managers, asset owners, private equity & debt funds, real estate & infrastructureinvestorsand NGOs, placing influential leaders to help push forward the adoption of sustainable finance, ESG and impact investing across the financial services industry.  Amsterdam: +31 20808 1900 | London: +44 (0)20 7400 5570 | New York: +1 917 475 0461 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Acre on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 02:36 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Enhancing Cyclist Safety With Durable Green Bike Lanes

DOW

In many countries, there is an increasing focus on safe bicycle infrastructure as cycling helps promote healthy lifestyles and reduce emissions and road congestion. Clear bicycle lanes also help other road users anticipate the presence of cyclists. In Philadelphia, a team from Dow Coating Materials worked with the City of Philadelphia and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to use Dow’s newly developed traffic paint technology for broad area markings to help expand the city’s green bike lane network across the city. Green-colored bike lane surfacing is a safety feature that tells road users that a portion of the roadway has been set aside for preferential or dedicated use by cyclists. “The City of Philadelphia and the Bicycle Coalition wanted to expand their green bike lane network, but didn’t have a cost-effective way of doing so,” said Eric Greyson, development leader for Dow Industrial and Functional Coatings. “We partnered with city officials and the Bicycle Coalition to install real-world trials that demonstrate how the new paint technology for green bike lanes is both durable and delivers cost savings for the city.” The project is funded through the Dow Business Impact Fund, a competitive grant program that designates corporate contributions toward projects that are designed to help address social problems through our technology and expertise. Proposals for funding come directly from Dow employees around the world, tapping into their unique skills, business knowledge, and diversity of locations and experiences. Here’s a look at how the Dow Coating Materials team is hoping that investing in affordable, green bicycle lanes can help encourage bike commuting and cut greenhouse gas emissions. CHALLENGE Increasing road safety for cyclists Cycling  has been shown to have many physical and mental benefits for urban commuters, including helping improve energy levels and social well-being, while reducing fatigue and stress. And, bicycles, unlike the majority of cars, do not emit greenhouse gas emissions. In fact,  University of Oxford research  found that choosing a bike over a car just once during a day of commuting reduces an average person’s carbon emissions from transport by 67%. Still, road safety is an issue for cyclists commuting on chaotic urban streets. Green-painted bike lanes help increase the visibility of cyclists, identify potential areas of conflict with turning motorists, and reinforces priority to cyclists. Plus, a  new study  suggests that adding bike lanes to urban streets can encourage more people to commute by bike. Then, why not build more green bike lanes? For starters, cost is an issue. When the project kicked off in 2018, only 1% of bike lanes in Philadelphia were green-colored due to cost and application complexity, despite the fact that the green bike lanes were shown to increase the number of cyclists and improve overall road safety. SOLUTION Green bike lanes using cost-effective and durable traffic paint Dow used its newly developed DURATRACK™ 2K Technology on roughly 35,000 square feet of new bike lanes in the Philadelphia area. The green bike lane coatings offer the handling and sprayability of a waterborne system, while also providing performance and durability. This innovation yields superior adhesion to concrete and asphalt surfaces, skid resistance, UV durability and resistance to snow-plow abrasion. The technology also is quick-drying, which helps enhance work-zone safety through a speedy and efficient installation process. Plus, the new traffic paint technology is projected to cut cost per mile by around 80 percent, which will hopefully lead to more miles of green bike lanes. “Bike lanes give citizens an efficient alternative to getting around, while also promoting a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Joy Gallagher, global segment leader for Road Markings at Dow. “The solution we’re offering is relatively fast to apply, durable – even in the range of climates in Philly – and cost-effective.” RESULTS Building on the “safe streets” momentum Installation of the bike lanes was completed in October. Going forward, the Dow team will work with the city of Philadelphia and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia to evaluate the performance of the bike lanes one year after installation and determine whether their installation increased cyclist volume. Surveys by the Bicycle Coalition also will measure whether the green-colored lanes increased awareness of the value of bike lanes. “As people took up cycling during the COVID-19 pandemic, we believe they will appreciate having safe, green bike lanes for getting around the city,” Greyson said. “We’re excited to help Philadelphia and other cities enhance the safety, enjoyment, health and mobility of its citizens through green bike lanes.” Learn more about the Dow Business Impact fund and other projects in the ESG report View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from DOW on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 02:31 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Paying It Forward by Giving Back

Regions Bank

It was launched by two New York nonprofits in 2012 as an annual day promoting philanthropy. It’s become a national movement that could surpass more than $3 billion in donations this year alone. Held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving,  Giving Tuesday  encourages people to support nonprofits through volunteerism, donations and advocacy. This marks the third year Regions Bank has celebrated Giving Tuesday with contributions to our community partners in several states. Below are a few examples – and see some additional ways bank associates are committed to making an impact all year long  here. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri – St. Louis, Mo. For nearly 120 years,  Big Brothers Big Sisters of America  has been partnering adults with youth to create lasting connections. Regions Bank in Greater St. Louis supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri’s (BBBSEMO)  ABC Today  program promoting attendance, behavior and course performance at 19 area schools. The bank is also involved with the nonprofit’s “101 Bigs in 101 Days” campaign matching 101 adult mentors with 101 “Littles” in just 101 days. To celebrate Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank leaders in Greater St. Louis presented a $30,000 contribution to benefit both programs. Read more about BBBSEMO’s commitment to shaping strong, educated and confident young adults  here. 225GIVES – Baton Rouge, La. It began in 2020 as a way for people in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to step up and support nonprofits serving in new and urgent ways. It continues as a vital source of support during uncertain times. For the second year in a row, Capital Area United Way (CAUW) is hosting  225GIVES, a regional Giving Tuesday event to raise funds for over 200 nonprofits. Regions contributed $10,000 both to support important community work and raise awareness of the critical roles nonprofits serve. Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas – Jonesboro, Ark. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 38 million Americans are considered food insecure, meaning they do not have consistent access to enough food. Each week, the  Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas  (NEA), one of 200  Feeding America  food banks nationwide, works with 140 partners to distribute nearly 120,000 meals to people in need throughout 12 counties. Regions Bank in Jonesboro has supported the Food Bank of NEA for several years through financial donations and associate canned food drives. For Giving Tuesday 2021, the bank donated $1,000 to the nonprofit,  resulting in 10,000 meals  for our Northeast Arkansas neighbors. Humphreys County Holiday Assistance Program – Waverly, Tenn. 17 inches of driving, non-stop rain in just 24 hours. It resulted in catastrophic losses and significant damage for the residents of Waverly, Tennessee, this past August. Toys collected by the Humphreys County Holiday Assistance Program, donated to local families each holiday season through the Angel Tree program, were also ruined in the flood. On Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank in Waverly presented a $1,500 contribution to the Humphreys County Assistance Program to replenish some of the lost toys. Bank associates are also personally donating toys to make the holiday season a little bit brighter for area children. J.L. King Center – Starkville, Miss. J.L. King Center is providing a pathway to sustainable jobs for people in Starkville, Mississippi. For more than 50 years, the nonprofit has served people across Oktibbeha County to help them with job readiness. For Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank made a $5,000 donation to support financial literacy programming, a key part of the nonprofit’s Pathway to Prosperity program. Read more about J.L. King Center’s work  here. LISC Central Illinois – Peoria, Ill. Across 44 states, the  Local Initiatives Support Corporation  (LISC) is dedicated to equipping struggling communities with the capital, strategy and expertise to become places where people can thrive. One way the nonprofit does this is through LISC’s 100  Financial Opportunity Centers, places helping residents find good jobs, improve their credit, build their savings and expand their overall net worth. Regions Bank in Peoria presented  LISC Central Illinois  with a $25,000 Giving Tuesday contribution to advance this work in our commitment to economic development and financial education. The gift will support Financial Opportunity Centers in Peoria, Springfield and Bloomington. Moore Community House – Biloxi, Miss. For nearly 100 years,  Moore Community House  in Biloxi, Mississippi has served the families of the Mississippi Gulf Coast by providing early childhood education, and workforce training for women in the construction and advanced manufacturing fields. One of the nonprofit’s programs – Women in Construction – prepares women for careers in apprenticeship and nontraditional career pathways to support their families and helps employers meet the demands of the advanced manufacturing industry and skilled craft trades. For Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank is supporting the mission of Moore Community House with a $3,500 contribution to support the Women in Construction program. Ready Kids! – Pensacola, Fla. Maximum potential. Maximum results. In Northwest Florida,  Ready Kids!  helps children go the extra mile in preparing for kindergarten and beyond. The nonprofit does it through a three-pronged approach that includes mentoring pre-k students, building capacity for families to enhance learning at home, and providing classroom resources to teachers. On Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank presented $5,000 to ReadyKids! to help close gaps made wider by COVID-19’s learning disruptions and to support families on their journeys to help children academically achieve. The STAR Center – Jackson, Tenn. Their motto is “Education, Employment, Independence.” Their work was inspired  by the founders’ quest to help their own children. For more than 30 years, The  STAR Center  in Jackson, Tennessee, has been empowering children and adults with disabilities to reach their full potential by providing employment programs, therapy services, assistive technology, in-home companion care and more. Regions Bank in Jackson presented a $5,000 gift to The STAR Center in celebration of Giving Tuesday. The contribution will support a workforce development program for adults. Still Serving Veterans – Huntsville, Ala. Personalized attention to address veterans’ needs. Honoring their military service. A one-stop shop for military families. In Huntsville, Alabama, Still Serving Veterans is helping veterans and their families find post-service employment, access their VA benefits, and connect with the resources needed to build civilian lives after military service. Working with a team of veteran counselors, clients receive personalized attention to help access their benefits. From education support to long-term care assistance, Still Serving Veterans counselors work on-on-one to support those who dedicated their service to our country. For Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank is making a $10,000 contribution to support the assistance and benefits program. To learn more about Still Serving Veterans, visit its website  here. Women are Dreamers Too – Atlanta, Ga. The leaders of this organization believe every child deserves a safe home, every child deserves a violence-free community, and every woman deserves the self-sustaining economic wherewithal to care for her children and herself. That belief daily inspires  Women Are Dreamers Too- wadt, an Atlanta, Georgia, nonprofit to provide a powerful response to domestic violence – and economic one. On Giving Tuesday, Regions Bank donated $5,000 to WADT to aid them in their mission of breaking the vicious cycle of poverty through investments in micro-enterprise training for the women victims of domestic violence, and after-school math and science tutoring for the children of victims. Take a look back at how Regions supported additional nonprofits during Giving Tuesday in  2019  and  2020. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Regions Bank on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 02:21 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Engineering Impact: Product Quality and Safety

Medtronic

Our business success and growth of our financial capital depend upon our ability to provide safe and effective products and services. By paying close attention to product quality, we build and maintain trust with our key stakeholders and uphold our reputation with patients and healthcare professionals. The quality, safety, and reliability of our products are essential to the well-being of patients receiving our treatments and vital to delivering on our Mission. We never compromise on quality, and we monitor it throughout every stage of our value chain. Our approach to patient safety and product quality Quality throughout the life cycle From design and manufacturing through product testing and post-market surveillance, we monitor compliance with our quality standards at every point in a product’s life cycle.  Our risk management process — aligned to ISO 14971 — enables us to identify and escalate potential issues immediately. Our quality management systems are aligned to relevant regulations and international standards, including ISO 13485. Safety We take our responsibility to patients and caregivers seriously. Our robust quality management system ensures we maintain high-quality manufacturing practices and all new products adhere to rigorous internal and external regulatory standards for design, testing, and safety. Our Medical Safety Council oversees and promotes a culture of safety across Medtronic. Internal medical safety clinicians evaluate actual and potential safety issues, harm, and health risks to patients or users of Medtronic products and therapies. Our new quality panels, comprised of independent external physicians and healthcare practitioners, provide expert, unbiased clinical input on patient safety. Quality culture Our “Quality Begins with Me” culture requires everyone at Medtronic to share responsibility for quality and uphold four key expectations: Put the patient first Be courageous Strive to prevent issues before they arise Hold each other accountable Formal oversight of quality ultimately sits with our board and executive leadership. The board's quality committee oversees risks relating to product quality and safety, cybersecurity, and research. Our chief quality officer sits on the executive committee and reports directly to the CEO on all quality matters. Our companywide assessment model enables a consistent measure of quality culture, helps us identify root causes, and tracks improvement. We reinforce this approach through regular employee communications and training. In FY21, 120,000 employees were assigned training on “Quality Begins with Me.” Ensuring quality and value Safeguarding quality is vital, especially as we develop more value-based healthcare (VBHC) models with partners around the world. Our quality team works with our businesses using our Quality Framework to ensure the design of VBHC partnerships minimizes compliance risk and delivers consistent processes, capabilities, and measures of success. Product design and development Design, reliability, manufacturability Our design, reliability, manufacturability (DRM) methodology is a set of best practices that drive product quality, safety, and reliability. We embed DRM in every stage of the product design and development process through: Customized DRM training for project development teams Project assessments to assure consistent use across our project portfolio Annual assessments and improvement plans at product development locations Skills and capability development for key functions, such as Research and Development, Operations, Quality, and Marketing Progressive training and certification to improve companywide skills Our DRM methodology includes best practices for all types of Medtronic medical devices, including standalone software products and those that include software. DRM sits at the heart of our predictive engineering process, which our engineers use to simulate product use, forecast performance, and pinpoint potential improvements. At the end of FY21, we assessed more than 64% of all new products in our pipeline using this approach. In FY21, due to COVID-19, we delivered all DRM training virtually through a mix of prerecorded video lectures and virtual workshops. Product security We take the risk of cyberattacks on medical devices seriously and proactively work to identify and address vulnerabilities in our products. Our Product Security Office manages our product security program and promotes rigorous product development, including vulnerability testing, updates, and remediation, as well as impact assessment for device functionality and patient safety. We engage internally and externally to monitor current practices and emerging risks — including with employees, regulators, peers, healthcare organizations, and security researchers. Our Global Quality Management System integrates security requirements. Subject matter experts within each business are responsible for integrating security considerations throughout the product life cycle. Transparent communication is vital to identify and address security measures effectively. In FY21, we publicly disclosed eight security vulnerabilities through our Coordinated Disclosure Process. These vulnerabilities included original bulletins, updates to previous bulletins, and security notices responding to third-party risks that were not applicable to Medtronic, but helped address customer inquiries. We publicly recognize the work of independent security researchers who have demonstrated ethical behavior and followed coordinated disclosure processes to advance our product security. We encourage anyone with questions or concerns, or who believes they have identified a potential security vulnerability in one of our products or services, to contact us via Medtronic.com/security. In FY21, we finalized our new product security strategy and roadmap, which includes a focus on pre- and post-market product security rigor and engagement in industry activities to help shape regulations, standards, technology, and practices. We participate in several industry bodies, including the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center and the Medical Device Innovation Consortium. Many of our team members lead initiatives in these groups to help advance product security for the entire industry. Also, in FY21, we: Conducted our seventh Product Security Symposium, online this year, with a focus on regulatory, clinical, and patient security matters Helped sponsor the Biohacking Village at the virtual DEFCON event, volunteering products, technology, and hours to ensure active engagement from attendees Developed product security overview training, which was viewed by over 22,000 employees in functions related to product security Collaborated with academia on several medical device security projects, helping to develop an industry pipeline of security professionals Manufacturing quality Our standardized manufacturing quality programs ensure a consistent approach across product manufacturing processes. Our FTQ methodology achieves a 90% reduction of targeted high-business-impact risks and quality instabilities. Our FTQ strategy focuses on building engagement across the workforce, developing targeted skills, and increasing deployment of FTQ across the product life cycle. We use our SOAR process to prioritize work with higher-risk suppliers, where our investment can have the greatest impact. In FY21, we expanded the number of SOAR partnerships to more than 70 strategic suppliers, compared to 42 in FY20. Facility quality and compliance We assess quality management systems at our manufacturing, design, and distribution centers through Medtronic Corporate-wide Assessment for Regulatory Excellence (MCARE). Our MCARE assessments — undertaken remotely in FY21 — focus on maintaining consistently high-quality management levels and complying with evolving regulatory requirements. External regulatory audits help keep us accountable, aware of regulatory priorities and focused on making necessary changes to policies and practices. We share learnings and actions from these assessments via our Knowledge Management process. In FY21, external audits were primarily conducted remotely. In FY21, we received an average of 0.02 findings per regulatory inspection and 0.02 findings per U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspection — continuing to demonstrate year-on-year improvements. These figures were impacted by a reduction in FDA inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic and we expect them to increase in FY22. However, the overall number of inspections in FY21 remained consistent with previous years, as we still conducted notified body audits remotely and saw an increase in E.U. Medical Device Regulation audits. Preclinical research Preclinical research lets us examine how potential new treatments will function in practice, prior to evaluating them in clinical trials. Our biomedical research sometimes involves human cadaver and modeling work, animal-related research, and the use of animal-derived stem cells, but does not involve use of human embryonic stem cell lines. Animal-related research Animal research and testing is sometimes a regulatory requirement for the development of new medical products. We use animals in research activities only when no acceptable alternatives exist, as described in our Policy Regarding the Use of Animals. The policy applies to: Research that contributes significantly to patient welfare Work specifically mandated by regulatory agencies to ensure patient safety or effectiveness Any animal-related research or testing is first externally approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. We comply with the U.S. Animal Welfare Act and other relevant standards and requirements set by the National Academy of Sciences Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. We are committed to a respectful, humane approach and take the welfare of animals used in research seriously. Our work with scientists, veterinary surgeons, and other experts helps refine our methods, always aiming to alleviate or minimize harm and distress. Alternatives to animal-related research Where possible, we reduce the use of animals and replace animal-related research with other methods, including: Submitting research findings to inform the work of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on a standard for the testing of human skin cell-based irritation without the use of animals Investing in our Corporate Research Group’s fundamental modeling work to reduce the number of animals used in future research Clinical trials Following preclinical research, we advance the most promising innovations to clinical trials. Our Clinical Research and Medical Science functions collaborate on trials that are a vital step in establishing the safety and effectiveness of our products. More than 2,000 clinical research and medical science employees work to ensure robust, ethical practices in our studies. With a focus on both gender and racial and ethnic diversity, we are increasing the representation in our clinical trials around the world to ensure our products benefit everyone who needs them. COVID-19 impact In FY21, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact our clinical trials. We shifted to remote study monitoring in many cases, with nearly 95% of visits in the United States and approximately 40% in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia completed remotely. We also utilized direct-to-patient follow-up via telehealth solutions. This shift has been positively received by clinical sites and has improved efficiency by 20%, mainly because travel was avoided. There has been no difference in the level of monitoring report action items or internal audit observations compared to in-person monitoring. We expect to maintain a significant level of remote monitoring activities post-COVID-19. Standards and regulations Our internal Code of Conduct and Global Business Conduct Standards Policy guide our approach to clinical trials. We adhere to all relevant laws and regulations, including the E.U. Medical Device Regulation and the revised ISO 14155:2020 standard for clinical research. Collaboration, engagement, and data sharing Effective medical research depends upon transparent data sharing and collaboration. We share knowledge in several ways: Along with other companies operating in the United States, we disclose information on applicable trials to the U.S. Clinical Trials Registry — a database of more than 380,000 studies. We publish trial findings in peer-reviewed journals. We collaborate with research scientists, institutions, and physicians to advance our clinical trials practice. We contribute to the advancement of clinical standards by working with the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, and the Medical Device Innovation Consortium. Product use and performance Post-market surveillance Once we launch a product, we monitor its use and performance to measure and improve safety and inform future designs. Through our post-approval clinical surveillance process, we collect patient outcome data in partnership with hospitals, physicians, clinics, governments, and third parties. We also gather data from: Post-market clinical studies on specific products and therapies Customer feedback analyzed via our global complaint handling system — now consolidated into a single companywide organization to improve our ability to detect product performance issues and resolve them quickly We develop standardized models to measure and improve patient safety and clinical outcomes. We regularly engage the U.S. FDA and other regulators to make sure we meet their post-market surveillance expectations. Caring for patients We work to improve the patient experience through many avenues, including how patients interact with our products and the outcomes they experience. For example: The PillCam™ is the only noninvasive diagnostic test that directly visualizes the colon for the evaluation of polyps in patients who are at major risks for colonoscopy or moderate sedation. This vitamin sized capsule endoscope is taken orally and does not require sedation, anesthesia or radiation, making it more convenient than other invasive colon exams. The TYRXTM Absorbable Antibacterial Envelope reduces the rate of significant infection by 40% and pocket infection by 61% in patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices, compared to standard-of-care preoperative antibiotics. An important indicator of patient experience and product quality are complaint rates. We continuously strive to reduce complaints. For example, we achieved a greater than 40% reduction in customer reported complaint rate for our pacemaker/defibrillator devices and lead systems during a previous multi-year period. As we seek to enhance product quality and patient experience, we set a new performance target to achieve a 10% reduction in aggregate product complaint rate by FY25, compared to a FY20 baseline, for key product families. Product-related regulatory actions We take prompt action whenever we are alerted to regulatory or field-safety issues with a Medtronic product. Following immediate assessment, we take corrective action, including voluntary product recalls, when needed. We examine underlying issues and root causes and work to resolve these to avoid recurrence. Our new Design Quality Center of Expertise works to implement quality and reliability improvements via our product-development process, including incorporating lessons learned from post-market surveillance. Our Risk Management Center of Expertise provides oversight of the post-market safety process, ensuring consistency of decision-making across Medtronic. In FY21, 10 Medtronic products were subject to voluntary Class I recalls. This represents 0.005% of product models offered by Medtronic in FY21. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of patients. Anytime a signal is identified that calls product performance into question, Medtronic acts swiftly to engage in transparent communications, reduce risk, and ensure optimal patient management. A recent example of this can be found in the Valiant Navion recall. In this case, Medtronic investigated and assessed the risk of the issue, resulting in removal of the product from the market and communication to existing users within just weeks of receipt of the first signal. With each recall, we not only focus on correcting safety issues, we conduct rigorous root-cause investigations focused on the product and our processes. Through these root-cause investigations, we have not identified common root causes that reflect a systemic issue. There is no goal more important to us than continuing to strive for perfection in quality and continuous improvement in patient safety. Read report. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Medtronic on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 02:16 PM Eastern Standard Time

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LogiTalk | Carson Tueller on Diversity & Intersectionality of Disability

Logitech

LogiTalk welcomes Carson Tueller, a speaker, coach, and accessibility advocate, whose experiences as a disabled person and a member of the LGBTQ community have driven his activism in diversity, equity, and inclusion. He discusses his journey to rediscovering his worth inside of his disability, and the need for global change in how we approach accessibility. Hear from more incredible people on our LogiTalk podcast feed, available wherever you listen. About LogiTalk This interview series recognizes the people who are pushing beyond reason to inspire and change the world. In each episode, Gabriella Deyi sits down with our guests to explore who they are and how they defy logic with their passions, their identities, their activism, their careers, their platforms, their entrepreneurship, and especially their stories. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Logitech on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 01:11 PM Eastern Standard Time

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SCE Quadruples Rebate Offer for Pre-Owned EVs

Edison International

By Paul Griffo, Energized by Edison Writer  @SCE_PaulG Southern California Edison announced that it is  offering a $4,000 rebate  to income-qualified customers who buy or lease pre-owned electric vehicles. SCE has been offering a $1,000 rebate through its Pre-Owned EV Rebate program to residential customers who purchase or lease a used EV. But the electric company has now quadrupled the rebate amount for those who either live in a state-designated, income-qualified household or who are enrolled in certain state or federal income assistance programs. “We want the benefits of clean transportation to be available to all our customers, including those who are buying pre-owned EVs,” said Carter Prescott, SCE director of Electrification. “And now we’re happy that we can provide additional help to customers who may need it.” Rebates for new and used EVs have been available to SCE customers since 2017. Earlier this year, the utility extended its program for used EVs to lend a hand to more cost-conscious customers seeking to go electric.  Federal and state  government programs also offer rebates and other incentives to lower the cost of buying new electric cars. The Pre-Owned EV Rebate program is available to first, second and third owners or lessors of pre-owned EVs. By overcoming one of the key barriers to EV ownership — affordability — the program aims to stimulate EV adoption, a key component in helping the state meet its critical climate and air quality goals. “Many people, regardless of income, would rather buy pre-owned vehicles instead of new, and SCE’s pre-owned EV rebate may make the difference between those customers buying an EV rather than a car powered by fossil fuel,” Prescott said. “At SCE, we also strive to ensure that our programs help communities that are most impacted by harmful vehicle emissions.” Applying for the rebate can be done online in a few minutes. SCE customers simply need to go to  evrebates.sce.com  and enter their SCE service account number and current vehicle registration card number. Up to three consecutive owners of a single EV are eligible for a rebate, and up to three EVs at each SCE customer address can receive rebates. Those applying for the higher rebate amount will be asked to provide information proving that they qualify. "We want the benefits of clean transportation to be available to all our customers, including those who are buying pre-owned EVs. And now we're happy that we can provide additional help to customers who may need it.” - Carter Prescott, SCE Director of Electrification Customers can also shop for used EVs online and compare the price of owning them to similar gas-powered cars at  cars.sce.com. The site shows how EVs can save on fuel, maintenance and other costs. Charging an electric car at home is equal to paying less than $2 per gallon of gasoline. The Pre-Owned Rebate is funded by the California Air Resources Board’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program, which helps combat climate change by encouraging the use of clean fuels, like electricity, in vehicles. SCE is helping to accelerate EV adoption through its innovative  Charge Ready  charging infrastructure programs, which support the installation of electric car charging at workplaces, schools and public places and multifamily dwellings, as well as charging for fleet and industrial vehicles. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Edison International on 3blmedia.com

December 06, 2021 01:01 PM Eastern Standard Time

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