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Call for Nominations Now OPEN for WEC 2022 Gold Medal Award for Corporate Sustainability

World Environment Center

October 22, 2021 /3BL Media/ - As the world moves to rebuild our economies and to tackle climate change and systemic injustices, corporate leadership on sustainable development is more important than ever. The Gold Medal Award recognizes excellence and provides inspiration to other companies worldwide. Nominations are now being accepted for the World Environment Center’s (WEC) 2022 Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development. The Gold Medal Award is presented annually to a global company that demonstrates deep, organization-wide commitment to sustainability in its business practice and beyond. Submissions of the 2022 WEC Gold Medal Award Nomination Form must be received by Friday November 5, 2021. Self-nominations are welcome. WEC membership is not required as a criterion for submitting a nomination nor for receiving the award. Now in its 38th year, the WEC Gold Medal Award is the most prestigious recognition of a global company's contributions to sustainability, as embodied by the winning company’s global engagement and ongoing commitment to sustainable development. An independent jury of international experts in business and sustainability selects the Gold Medal awardee. In 2021, the independent Gold Medal Jury selected Microsoft’s application for integrating sustainability into the core of their business, company’s strong sustainability record and ambitious commitments. The Jury recognized Microsoft for advancing global progress beyond its core business by its investment in carbon removal, its Climate Innovation Fund, and its public policy engagement on climate change. Previous recent recipients of the WEC Gold Medal Award include Ford Motor Company (2020), Ingersoll Rand (now Trane Technologies, 2019) Ecolab (2018), HP (2017), CH2M (now Jacobs, 2016), SC Johnson (2015), Unilever (2013), IBM (2012), Nestlé (2011), Walmart (2010), The Coca-Cola Company (2009), and Marks & Spencer (2008). About the World Environment Center WEC is an independent, global non-profit, non-advocacy organization that advances sustainable development through the business practices and operations of its member companies and in partnership with governments, multi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities and other stakeholders. WEC’s mission is to promote business and societal value by advancing solutions to sustainable development-related problems. It manages projects for companies across their global operations, builds executive level learning and competency in incorporating sustainable development principles across a number of business sectors, and recognizes performance excellence through an annual awards program. WEC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in China, El Salvador and Germany. # # # If you would like more information on the Gold Medal Award or the nomination process, please contact Smitha Konduri at info@wec.org View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from World Environment Center on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 10:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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BOOK IT!® Welcomes Pre-K Classrooms To Enroll and Announces Reading Giveaway

Yum! Brands

Starting October 1, 2021, BOOK IT! will launch in more than 70,000 classrooms and 50,000 homeschools, allowing students to work toward meeting monthly reading goals in order to earn a Reading Award Certificate, which is good for one free Personal Pan Pizza® at participating Pizza Hut locations 1. The BOOK IT! program was created in 1984 with the goal of motivating children to read by rewarding their reading accomplishments with praise, recognition, and pizza. The program is simple, flexible, fun, and free to use in classrooms and in homeschooling environments and currently reaches more than 14 million students through 37,000 PreK-6 grade schools annually. For its 37th year, BOOK IT! will launch some exciting changes to the program. This year, the program is open to PreK classrooms and homeschooled students to encourage a love of reading among younger learners. PreK-6th grade classrooms (ages 4-12) are eligible for BOOK IT! and  enrollment is still open  for teachers and homeschool parents in our Digital program. Reading Giveaway Eligible parents of enrolled students, who earn Reading Award Certificates for a free, one-topping Personal Pan Pizza® for all six months of the program, may enter the BOOK IT!® Reading Giveaway for the 2021-22 school year. One parent has a chance to win our grand prize – a $10,000 College Plan for their child and a $5,000 grant for their child’s school library! Twenty additional parents have the chance to win $1,000 in cash and books for their child. The entry form can be found on the  BOOK IT! website. No purchase is necessary. Void in Puerto Rico, Guam, outside of the 50 United States & D.C., & where prohibited by law or school district/board. Sweepstakes is open to the parents or legal guardians of all PreK-6 students participating in the BOOK IT! Program within the  50 United States & D.C. Not sure what to recommend students read to meet those goals? We have you covered. Our  revamped website  features an entire section of recommended reading, with links to find books at local bookstores, libraries, or the First Book Marketplace so you can get your hands on the goods. Peek at BOOK IT! Recommends to find diverse reading suggestions, related activities, interviews with authors, and illustrators, and more. Read on, The BOOK IT! Team 1  One certificate per student per visit may be redeemed. The certificate is non-transferable and is not valid at Pizza Hut Express® locations or Taco Bell® and KFC® locations offering Pizza Hut products. California residents: Substitutions that meet the USDA’s Smart Snacks in Schools standards are available upon request by contacting or visiting your local Pizza Hut. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Yum! Brands on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 10:31 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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AmeriLife Appoints Ford Stokes Senior Vice President, Annuity Marketing

AmeriLife

AmeriLife Group, LLC (“AmeriLife”), a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing annuity, life, and health insurance solutions, today announced that it has hired Ford Stokes as senior vice president, Annuity Marketing. Stokes, reporting to AmeriLife Chief Marketing Officer Ovi Vitas, is charged with providing expert marketing strategies and implementation to AmeriLife affiliates, with the goal of helping financial advisors grow their advisory, insurance and annuities business. Most recently, Stokes served as an advisor to AmeriLife affiliate V2 Financial Group, where he implemented an aggressive, strategic marketing approach that helped grow V2’s profit 113.78% year over year in 2021. At AmeriLife, Stokes will, among other responsibilities, help define AmeriLife’s annuity marketing value proposition across its distribution network; help affiliates better activate cross-selling opportunities for annuities and retirement planning solutions; and drive third-party credibility of appointed advisors through exclusive thought leadership programs. "I can't wait to get started supporting AmeriLife’s affiliates and their advisors,” said Stokes. “Our affiliates work hard to protect and grow the hard-earned and hard-saved assets of their clients, while also ensuring they can help generate critical income for their clients’ retirement futures. We will work just as hard to help them help more Americans build a sound, successful retirement.” "Ford brings to AmeriLife a significant amount of consumer and financial industry expertise, business knowledge, and strategic acumen,” added Vitas. “I couldn’t be more excited to have Ford join the team, and I would encourage any financial advisor or insurance agent to get appointed with one of our affiliates to take advantage of the incredible expertise and qualified prospects that Ford and our team can provide.” Prior to joining AmeriLife, Stokes served as the chief marketing officer with a $2B independent marketing organization and was a former minority owner of a $3.4B registered investment advisor. He will continue to maintain his private wealth management practice based in Atlanta. Stokes earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Auburn University; holds a Series 65 Securities license; and is a licensed life and health insurance agent in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Texas and North Carolina. Stokes resides in Atlanta with his wife Diana and their twin girls, Grace and Madison. ### About AmeriLife AmeriLife’s strength is its mission: to offer insurance and retirement solutions to help people live longer, healthier lives. By putting its mission into practice, AmeriLife has become recognized as a national leader in developing, marketing, and distributing life and health insurance, annuities and retirement planning solutions to enhance the lives of pre-retirees and retirees. For 50 years, AmeriLife has partnered with the nation’s leading insurance carriers to provide value and quality to customers served through a national distribution network of over 250,000 insurance agents and advisors, over 40 marketing organizations, and nearly 50 insurance agency locations. Visit www.AmeriLife.com and follow AmeriLife on Facebook and LinkedIn for more information. Contact Details Jeff Maldonado +1 321-297-1112 jmaldonado@amerilife.com Company Website https://amerilife.com/

October 22, 2021 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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IR, Governance and Sustainability Professionals to Discuss How to Articulate Material ESG Issues at Upcoming ESG Integration Forum

IR Magazine

October 22, 2021 /3BL Media/ - There are more than 300 potential ESG topics which could be material to a publicly listed company. IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary are bringing the ESG Integration Forum back as a virtual event for the fourth year in a row to help companies understand which focus areas need more attention. The two-day event will bring together governance, investor relations and sustainability professionals to develop an integrated approach when responding to investor expectations around ESG factors. The format, far removed from a traditional webinar, consists of panel discussions, live speaker Q&A, 1-to-1 networking, virtual roundtable discussions, fireside chats and more. Over the course of the day, the discussions will address how companies can engage all functions of a company with the materiality process, understand the processes required to prioritize and focus on issues which are most relevant to shareholder engagement and learn how an ESG story can be condensed into easily digestible messages to be used during investor days and presentations. “ This year, we have seen ESG activism, momentum building regarding policy on sustainability, new diversity requirements for public companies and increased focus on net-zero commitments. It’s safe to say this year has been like no other for the ESG movement. The ESG integration forum is the only event that brings together the key functions within a public company to tackle the challenges in this rapidly developing space. We believe that businesses don’t operate in silos, and neither should our events!” – Steven Wade, head of event content, IR Magazine and Corporate Secretary. Attendees will include investors, analysts and publicly listed companies from across the US and Canada. The ticket prices are currently US$245 and are available for purchase on the event website. The conference has many prominent partners supporting the event and providing expertise, including 3BL, Corbin Advisors, Cowen and Company, DFIN, Diligent, Fortis, IHS Markit, Merchant Cantos, Nasdaq, Okapi Partners, OneTrust ESG, Q4 and Workiva. About IR Magazine IR Magazine is a publication of IR Media Group, a business media company renowned for its magazines, websites, events and research. Initially launched in 1988 by the Economist Group, IR Magazine is renowned for providing quality insight and a global perspective. IR Magazine, available in digital and hard copy form, helps investor relations professionals globally achieve more in their IR programmes, benchmark their efforts and connect to their peers in the IR community. In addition to reporting the latest developments, writing in-depth features, producing research reports, and broadcasting podcasts, IR Magazine also hosts events worldwide. Our region-specific awards have been the definitive hallmark of IR excellence and best practice for over 20 years now, while our think tanks offer a unique opportunity for high-level executives to share ideas with their peers and with our expert panels. IR Magazine also hosts conferences and webinars as part of our commitment to providing ongoing education to the IR community. About Corporate Secretary Corporate Secretary is a publication of IR Media Group, a business media company renowned for its magazines, websites, events and research. Corporate Secretary is a digital and print platform, providing a forum where governance experts and service providers can share their experience, insights and best practice recommendations on a wide range of critical issues, from corruption, internal investigations, e-discovery and records management to succession planning, executive compensation, proxy actions and shareholder engagement. Corporate Secretary was founded in 2002 to help corporate secretaries and other governance professionals develop a deeper understanding of their roles and become more effective in them at a time when publicly listed companies’ regulatory compliance requirements began to escalate amid a series of high-profile corporate accounting scandals. Corporate Secretary is independently owned and today continues to serve a vital role in highlighting the achievements and expertise of a group of people who work outside the spotlight and are often isolated as the only individuals in their organizations focusing on these complex matters. Contact information Chloë Rutter chloe.rutter@irmagazine.com +44 20 3002 0396 For more information on the event, please visit: www.irmagazine.com/esg View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from IR Magazine on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 09:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program Announces First Group of Physicians to Be Trained

Bristol Myers Squibb Company

PRINCETON, N.J., October 22, 2021 /3BL Media/ - The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF), together with its partners, National Medical Fellowships (NMF) and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), today announced the first group of 52 physicians selected for its Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program (BMSF DCTCDP ). The 52 early-stage investigators are the first of 250 community-oriented clinical trialists who will be trained through the program by 2027. The 52 physicians selected by an independent selection committee are an accomplished group working at a broad range of healthcare institutions in 22 states across the U.S. The physicians include 34 women and 18 men who represent a diverse cross section of races and ethnicities and bring a widely varied perspective and range of experiences to the program, as well as to their therapeutic focus areas of cancer (hematologic or solid tumors), immunologic disorders and cardiovascular diseases. “I’m awed by this inaugural group of clinicians, who have demonstrated their passion for and dedication to addressing the disparities in clinical research through community engagement,” said Robert A. Winn, M.D., Director, Massey Cancer Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Chair of the National Advisory Committee of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program. “And, I’m confident that when they complete this program, these scholars will have the skills not only to conduct high impact clinical trials, but also to work within communities to build trust with at-risk populations, getting past the fear and skepticism that can often exist, to give the underserved better access to this important tool in healthcare research.” The BMSF DCTCDP was launched as one of a number of different health equity and diversity and inclusion commitments made last year by the Foundation and its donor, Bristol Myers Squibb. Building on the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation’s legacy of promoting health equity and improving the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases, the BMSF DCTCDP was launched to address the lack of diversity in clinical trials in the U.S. In fact, evidence shows that nearly 80% of patients taking part in clinical trials are white.1 Through the BMSF DCTCDP, participants will be trained as world-class clinical research scientists with additional knowledge, skills and competencies in effective community outreach and engagement. This new generation of physician investigators will have the potential to transform the clinical research landscape by conducting clinical trials designed with the goal of increasing the diversity of their participants. A Unique Program Focused on Long-term Outcomes “The ultimate aim of this program is to improve public health through the development of therapeutics for all populations,” said Michellene Davis, Esq., President and CEO of NMF. “To truly bring about the change we want and need, we must accept the clarion call to eliminate systemic and structural racism that contribute to racial disparities in healthcare. ​NMF is proud to serve as implementation partner and one of the curriculum partners in this transformative initiative, contributing substantially to its concept, design, development, and management. Community-oriented, equity-minded health professionals are needed more than ever to address the historical causes of mistrust in healthcare systems and increase the engagement and participation of underserved populations.” The multi-dimensional program is uniquely designed to foster clinical and translational research that is community-informed, designed and conducted. Participants receive training in evidence-based methods of community outreach and engagement. They participate in a multi-level mentorship model with established community-based Principal Investigators and with medical students through a major component of the program called the Clinical Investigator Pipeline Program (CIPP). The CIPP is an intensive summer service-learning externship that exposes promising rising second year medical students who are underrepresented in medicine to the basics of clinical trials and to working in underserved community health settings to provide outreach, education and engagement on clinical trials. “Many aspects of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Diversity in Clinical Trials Career Development Program make it unique,” said Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health. “Its focus on helping clinical trialists become experienced in community engagement research methods is key to developing the trust necessary to realize an increase in clinical trial participation by people of color, yet we have not seen this in any other program of this kind. The program is also designed for long-term impact -- engaging both practicing clinical trial physicians and diverse medical students, developing mentoring relationships that will build a pipeline of clinicians that are skilled in clinical trial diversity. All of these elements are rarely found.” John Damonti, president, Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, said that the response to the BMSF DCTCDP has been overwhelming. “The number of applicants exceeded our expectations, as did the stellar credentials of the physicians who applied. In fact, we expanded the cohort to include as many of these exceptional candidates as possible.” He added that the BMSF DCTCDP is a significant priority for the Foundation, which has been working for decades to improve health equity in the United States and around the world. “I could not be more pleased that we are realizing our vision for this program.” “We are thrilled to contribute in a major way to this extraordinary program,” said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), Chief Executive Officer of the AACR. “This educational workshop will provide these early-career physicians with the remarkable opportunity to interact with and be mentored by leading clinical investigators, as well as leading biostatisticians and community engagement experts to learn the principles of excellent clinical trial design, and to develop the skill sets needed for building community networks. This program, along with the long-term mentorship offered to the participants, will prepare them to become independent clinical trialists and have the overarching benefit of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.” The first cohort of scholars will begin their two-year participation in October 2021 with a program orientation, followed in early November by a six-day intensive educational workshop on clinical research, called BMSF-AACR Design and Implementation of Clinical Trials Workshop. Applications for Future Participants – Cohort II Physicians and Cohort I Medical Students Letters of intent are being accepted now through January 14, 2022 for the second cohort of clinical trial physicians. For medical students, the application period for the CIPP will open on November 15, 2021, and close on January 28, 2022. Interested applicants can learn more and apply by visiting the program website at www.diversityinclinicaltrials.org. About the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation The Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation, an independent charitable organization, focuses on communities most at risk of suffering the impacts of serious diseases in regions of the world that are hardest hit. It empowers partners to develop and test innovative solutions to advance health equity and improve access to quality healthcare for patients. Grant making focuses on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and immunologic disease, as well as clinical trial diversity in the United States, and prevalent cancers in nine African countries, Brazil and China. The mission of the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation is to promote health equity and improve the health outcomes of populations disproportionately affected by serious diseases by strengthening healthcare worker capacity, integrating medical care and community-based supportive services and mobilizing communities in the fight against disease. For more information, visit Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (bms.com). About National Medical Fellowships Seeking to empower and support aspiring physicians and health professionals underrepresented in medicine to contribute to the health of our nation, National Medical Fellowships’ mission is to provide scholarships and support for students underrepresented in medicine and the health professions. Founded in 1946, NMF is one of America’s first diversity organizations. Today, as the only national organization solely dedicated to providing scholarships to medical and health professions students in all groups underrepresented in healthcare, NMF is reducing healthcare disparities by creating new generations of clinicians and healthcare leaders who are dedicated to realizing health equity. NMF is supported by a national network of more than 32,000 Alumni who serve tens of millions of patients annually. Together we continue to move health equity forward as we build the next generation of diverse healthcare leaders. About the American Association for Cancer Research Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world’s first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes 49,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 128 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops—the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting, with more than 74,000 attendees for the 2020 virtual meetings and more than 22,500 attendees for past in-person meetings. In addition, the AACR publishes nine prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org. Footnote https://www.fda.gov/media/143592/download About Bristol Myers Squibb Company Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop, and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Bristol Myers Squibb Company on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 09:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Amid 2021's Challenges, Helping Our Stakeholders Persevere

Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)

By Ralph Izzo: Chairman, President and CEO at PSEG Since the start of 2020, our nation has faced extraordinary challenges, including extreme weather, social unrest and the continuing COVID-19 pandemic – with each of these also creating new uncertainties for the economy. Through it all, PSEG has been able to withstand adversity and focus on the many diverse communities we serve by relying on our committed and highly skilled workforce, and ensuring that health and safety remained our top priorities. The challenges of 2020-21 also brought into sharper focus the mounting risks of extreme weather and climate change and the urgent need for comprehensive action. In order to continue to provide our stakeholders with greater transparency into the opportunities and risks created by these challenges, PSEG has published our first-ever combined 2021 Sustainability and Climate Report, which includes updates on the company’s goals for air emissions, energy efficiency, transportation and waste minimization. In 2020, for example, PSEG’s generation portfolio emission rates for NOx and SO2 were down year-over-year by 58% and 77% respectively, reflecting emission rates that are significantly below industry averages. The report also includes updates on biodiversity commitments and support for environmental justice and diversity, equity and inclusion across PSEG’s many diverse stakeholder groups and communities. As a combined Sustainability and Climate Report, our new document also dives into the potential physical and transitional risks of climate change to help PSEG better plan and prepare for the changes ahead, including actions taken to achieve the company’s new net-zero climate vision for 2030. Positive force in a changing world Since our founding in 1903, PSEG has sought to make our communities better places to live and work. Today, PSEG’s mission has expanded as we seek to be a positive force in a changing world, and to support our customers and communities as we persevere together. Our successful response to the turbulence of the past 18 months reflects the resilience of our employees, our leadership and our business. Our accomplishments through 2020 and 2021, and our evolution as a clean energy infrastructure-focused company, have set us firmly on the path toward a future that continues the fight against climate change, while also leading our nation and our industry toward the actions we must take to address its cause. PSEG’s net-zero climate vision for 2030 is one of the first and most aggressive targets for a large utility and power generator – accelerating our goal for achieving greenhouse gas- and carbon-free generation by two decades and adding net-zero for scope 1 and 2 utility operations. We are on track to eliminate nearly all fossil-fueled generation from our portfolio by late 2021 or early 2022. Moving forward, our power generation will be composed almost exclusively of our carbon-free nuclear plants, complemented by new investments and regional opportunities in offshore wind and grid-connected solar. During the coming year, PSEG will continue its evolution as a primarily regulated clean energy infrastructure-focused company, driven by investments in universal energy efficiency and smart technology, electric vehicles, battery storage and system-wide grid modernization. As we carry out this shift, we are committed to a fair, equitable and transparent process – one that is grounded in treating people with dignity and respect, especially in difficult times. Each of our efforts and investments are aimed at achieving PSEG’s Powering Progress vision for the future, in which people use less energy, and that energy is cleaner and delivered more reliably than ever. Our commitments to social justice and a just transition From programs aimed at recruiting more women and people of color into our workforce to our semi-annual pay equity analyses designed to eliminate bias in compensation, we made significant progress to advance a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and we intend to continue our work to elevate PSEG’s commitment to social and environmental justice. PSEG is committed to a fair and just transition to a new clean energy economy, committed to ethical behavior and environmental justice for all communities, committed to the principles of ethical governance that will drive us there, committed to the health and safety of our workforce and especially the people who comprise the many diverse communities we serve. The challenges of 2021 aren’t over. The pandemic remains a paramount concern, upending the economy and the nature of work for many. Severe weather is growing more frequent and more damaging – from flooding to wildfires to historic drought. Our political landscape remains polarized. We shall continue to help all of our stakeholders persevere. There is no better or more critical time to be good stewards of the planet and work to leave it better than we found it – with lower emissions, less waste and a path to the future. For the sake of our families, our neighbors and our communities – and yours – we cannot let up. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 09:03 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Emerald South and Comcast Launch the South Side Connectivity Collaborative, an Internet Connectivity Initiative Focused on areas of Chicago's South Side

Comcast Corporation

October 19, 2021 /3BL Media/ - The  Emerald South Economic Development Collaborative  and Comcast today announced the launch of the South Side Connectivity Collaborative (SSCC). Powered by Comcast, the new initiative is designed to connect more residents of four South Side neighborhoods to the Internet through a combination of new resources and existing programs. The neighborhoods include Bronzeville, Grand Boulevard, Washington Park and Woodlawn. “Our goal is to connect more South Side residents by giving them more opportunities to access reliable, high-speed Internet in locations within their communities and educating them about how they can connect at home via existing broadband adoption programs,” said Emerald South CEO, Ghian Foreman. “The participating organizations are coming together to both increase connectivity in locations throughout the four neighborhoods and play a leading role for Chicago families as they build digital and other skills that will help them succeed in school and in the workforce.” Comcast Lift Zones will connect kids and adults to the Internet at community centers throughout the four neighborhoods In the coming months, Comcast will launch 11 “Lift Zones” at community-based organizations (CBO) across the four neighborhoods. Lift Zones are WiFi-enabled safe spaces where students can get online to do schoolwork and adults can get online to learn digital skills, access government and other important services and search for employment. SSCC Lift Zone locations include: Black Star Project, 3509 S. Martin Luther King Dr., in Bronzeville Concord Community Organization, 6319 S. Kimbark Ave. in Woodlawn Bright Star Community Outreach, 735 East 44th in Bronzeville* Centers for New Horizons  (four locations), 4150 and 4305 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Bronzeville, and 4301 S. Cottage Grove Ave. and 226 E. 43rd in Grand Boulevard Equality Should Be Normal, 239 E. 51st in Washington Park Future Ties, 6418 S. Martin Luther King Dr. in Woodlawn K.L.E.O.  Community Family Life Center, 119 E. Garfield Blvd., in Washington Park* Project Hood, 6620 S. Martin Luther King Dr., in Woodlawn *Lift Zones in these locations opened in December 2020 and will become part of the SSCC Lift Zone network. “KLEO was proud to partner with Comcast to open one of the first Lift Zones in the nation back in December 2020,” said Ereatha McCullough, K.L.E.O Executive Director. “Since then, hundreds of people have come in and connected to the reliable, high-speed Internet onsite. This has been especially important for kids participating in distance learning programs and families that need a community resource during the pandemic. Without the Lift Zone, some kids wouldn’t have been able to attend school or participate in KLEO’s youth programs, which are so important to their development and to the future of our city.” Comcast to provide funding and laptops to participating CBOs In addition to the Lift Zones, Comcast will provide a total of $60,000 in donations to participating SSCC CBOs to support digital skills training and other programs and services. The company will also donate laptops to the Lift Zone host organizations for use by families. SSCC to educate area residents about existing broadband adoption programs and other digital resources Emerald South and Comcast will partner with the participating CBOs to educate residents about existing programs that can get – and keep – families connected to the Internet at home, ranging from the City of Chicago and Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS)  Chicago Connected  program and Comcast’s  Internet Essentials  program to the federal  Emergency Broadband Benefit  (EBB). Through Chicago Connected, Comcast’s Internet Essentials Partnership Program (IEPP) joined with CPS and dozens of CBOs to connect tens of thousands of students to the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to partner to expand access to Chicago families. Comcast is also working with 75 other regional school districts, government agencies and not-for-profits to ensure connectivity is available to qualified student households. Internet Essentials is a widely available low-cost at-home broadband Internet service for qualified low-income families, seniors, veterans, college students, people with disabilities and others participating in public assistance programs, ranging from Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to the federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and housing assistance programs. Many Chicago households may qualify to have their Internet service subsidized by the EBB, a temporary subsidy program from the Federal Government designed to help low-income households connect to the Internet and stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Under EBB, qualified households can receive a monthly credit of up to $50/month (up to $75/month for customers in Tribal lands) toward their Internet service and leased Internet equipment until the program’s funding runs out. Internet Essentials is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Since it launched in 2011, the program has connected more than 10 million people nationwide – including more than 1.3 million Illinois residents alone –  to the Internet at home. Comcast plans to open more than 1,000 Lift Zones across the country by the end of this year – with more than 60 in the Chicago area and locations throughout Central Illinois and Northwest Indiana. “These neighborhoods have the available infrastructure to connect households to the Internet today, but we need to link families to resources, such as Chicago Connected, Internet Essentials and the Emergency Broadband Benefit, to activate this incredible tool for equity,” said Chicago 4th Ward Alderman Sophia King. “The SSCC will not only help residents learn more about these programs, the Lift Zones will add an important new layer by providing high-speed Internet access and educational content in safe spaces at nearly a dozen new community locations.” “The collaborative is an incredible vehicle that shows what happens when communities, non-profit organizations and companies like Comcast come together to address important issues like digital equity,” said Chicago 3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell. “The SSCC will not only have a positive impact on the South Side, it will serve as an example of how parties can come together for the betterment of the communities they serve.” “We recognize having the Internet at home can change lives. Our goal as a member of the collaborative is to put digital equity at the center of communities by working together with our partners to ensure Chicago families know there are multiple options to bring broadband into their homes,” said Matthew Summy, Comcast’s Regional Vice President of External and Government Affairs. “I’m proud that Comcast recognized the impact of the digital divide early and continues to step up, this time partnering with Emerald South and the other south side CBOs to offer real solutions like the SSCC and Lift Zones that can strengthen communities.” Comcast continues to offer two months of free service to new Internet Essentials customers that enroll by June 30, 2022. Comcast also has extended free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2021. The hotspots are located in public places, ranging from small businesses and parks to transportation hubs, and are in addition to the Lift Zones. For more information about Lift Zones and to find locations near you, click  here. About  Emerald South generates community wealth and amplifies local culture through shared pride, power and investment for Chicago’s mid-South Side. Emerald South’s mission is to attract and coordinate investment through community convening and collaborative partnerships that increase local ownership and prosperity. About  The Black Star Project is committed to improving academic and economic prosperity in Black and Latinx communities. Black Star works through a variety of educational economic empowerment programs, workshops and events to empower these communities of color. About  Concord Community Organization is a nonprofit organization dedicated to combatting the violence and the effects of violence in the Woodlawn community. About  Bright Star’s mission is to empower residents to share in the responsibility of building community through resource development and collaborative partnerships. We will accomplish our mission by developing innovative performance-based practices and programs to address the need for Violence Prevention, Community Engagement, Economic Development, Education, Healthy Children/Youth and Families. About  Founded in 1971, Centers for New Horizons is a nonprofit organization that assists children, youth and families in becoming self-reliant, improving the quality of their lives and participating in rebuilding their community. About  Equality Should Be Normal’s mission is to eradicate racism while advocating for violence prevention, reforming education, mentorship and enriching the Black community. About  Future Ties provides homework help and after school activities five days per week, as well as a summer camp when school is not in session. About  K.L.E.O. is a non-profit organization and facility dedicated to strengthening families and providing a safe haven, through Education, Public Safety, Health and Human Services and Economic Development. About  Project H.O.O.D.’s goal is to end the cycle of poverty, violence and incarceration. Project HOOD believes that all people hold the power to transform their own lives and become peacemakers, leader, and entrepreneurs. Project H.O.O.D. provides mentorship, training and community for residents of Woodlawn and Englewood. About Comcast Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit   www.comcastcorporation.com  for more information. With nearly 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region ( https://chicago.comcast.com ) serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting  @Comcast. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at  @ComcastIllinois. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Comcast Corporation on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 09:02 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Landfill Gas Has Big Potential in the Circular Economy

TriplePundit

As momentum for the circular economy grows, some companies are finding ways to build a simple circle into a complex web that deploys more than one sustainability strategy. That is the case with the fiber and paper company Sustana, which has combined its focus on recycled paper products with the use of recycled biogas from a nearby municipal landfill. Employee engagement is key to the circular economy Municipal landfills provide ideal environments for microorganisms that digest food waste and other organic material. As they eat, they emit copious amounts of the potent greenhouse gas methane, which is also the key component of natural gas. Under conventional practice, landfill gas is flared on site to produce carbon dioxide, which is a less potent greenhouse gas than methane. A more sustainable approach is to capture and deploy landfill gas to replace fossil energy sources. As always, the main barrier is cost. Landfills are often located far from large industrial or commercial facilities, which adds to transportation costs. Depending on the use of the gas, it may also require additional processing and treatment. Sustana’s experience in supplying biogas for its Rolland paper mill in Canada illustrates how landfill gas opportunities can materialize for decarbonization as well as cut costs and ensure a steady, reliable source of energy. In Rolland’s case, employee engagement was the essential ingredient in introducing this process to the paper mill. With the Rolland mill located conveniently near a municipal landfill, in 2003 an employee in the purchasing department suggested studying the use of landfill gas instead of fossil energy for the mill’s heat-related processes. Gas from the landfill was first introduced to the Rolland facility in 2004. An initial adjustment period worked out the kinks, and by 2006 the system was fully operational. Fifteen years later, the landfill system is still running smoothly, and it currently supplies 93 percent of the thermal energy needs of the Rolland mill. What’s more is that leveraging this renewable energy reduces the mill’s carbon emissions by 70,000 tons a year. Finding the right biogas solution The conversion to landfill gas was almost as simple as it sounds, with a number of factors enabling the Rolland paper mill to take full advantage of its proximity to a municipal landfill. The need for large amounts of process heat was one important factor that made landfill gas a reliable, economical resource for the Rolland mill — a scenario that may look different at facilities with less need for process heat and more need for electricity. Fitting landfill gas into a company’s overall energy purchasing profile is a related consideration. Rolland’s electricity supply was already decarbonized through its location on a hydropower grid. That enabled the Rolland mill to focus on process heat for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions, as well as cutting costs. Rolland’s experience also suggests that companies looking into landfill gas might be able to partner with nearby facilities, enabling these systems to scale up to an economical level. Landfill gas and the human factor Pierre-Michel Raymond, Rolland’s mechanical engineer and energy supervisor, also emphasized the role of employee engagement in the ongoing success of the landfill gas system. Municipal landfills are, in a sense, living creatures influenced by biological processes. Their gas output varies along with seasonal changes, day-night cycles and temperature fluctuations. At Rolland, monthly meetings with the landfill operator were established from the outset and continue to the present time, providing staff at the mill with regular opportunities to touch base with their counterparts at the landfill and ensure the system keeps running smoothly. The landfill gas system has also fostered additional opportunities for employee engagement at the mill. Over the years, staff at Rolland has been involved in maximizing output from the landfill and improving energy efficiency within the mill, as well as providing opportunities for facility managers outside the company to visit and learn how the system works. “Fifteen years later, the landfill gas system continues to work well,” Raymond told TriplePundit. “It was an easy transition, and the project is still alive because of the participation of each party. We still have monthly discussion about how the system is going.. We consistently work to refine the process and yield.” Raising interest in landfill gas When the Rolland mill first converted, few facilities were seeking landfill gas as an alternative to fossil energy. Now the interest is rising, partly thanks to outreach by Rolland and other early adopters. That’s a good thing. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that municipal solid waste landfills account for more than 15 percent of human-related methane emissions, making them the third-largest source of methane from human activity. The agency points out that landfill gas is now displacing fossil energy in a wide variety of use cases across numerous industrial sectors, from automaking to pharmaceuticals and consumer products. In the U.S., about 70 percent of the landfill gas captured today goes to generate electricity in various kinds of turbines and engines, as well as fuel cells. It can also be used in boilers to produce steam, as is the case at the Rolland mill. Dryers, kilns and greenhouses are examples of other thermal applications. Another source for renewable natural gas When further refined, landfill gas can also be upcycled to produce renewable natural gas. A project of that type is currently under way in South Carolina, where the firm Energy Power Systems is working on a system that will process landfill gas and inject it into a local natural gas system. As one indication that interest in landfill gas is accelerating, earlier this year a Pennsylvania company called Archaea Energy reformed through a special acquisition merger and announced plans to build onto its existing landfill and agricultural gas business. One key area of focus will be upscaling its roster of landfill gas-to-electricity projects into renewable natural gas production, possibly with an eye on recent activity including a new commitment by UPS to increase its use of compressed renewable natural gas from landfills in its fleet. In California, SoCalGas has been instrumental in pushing that market, including gas from wastewater treatment plants and livestock operations as well as landfills. Industry stakeholders estimate that activity in that area could generate $14.3 billion in economic growth for the state and create more than 130,000 jobs in related fields including engineering and operations as well as maintenance and manufacturing. A new report from the firm Allied Market Research also suggests that demand for landfill gas will rise alongside the increase in public awareness of climate issues. AMR notes that North America had the highest market share of landfill gas globally in 2020, and is “expected to dominate the market by 2030.” “This lead is possible due to the rise in health and environmental awareness among the people,” alongside technology improvements that have expanded the opportunities for using landfill gas, the AMR researchers noted. When the Rolland mill first converted to landfill gas, skeptics were everywhere, but persistence paid off. By supplementing activity in other renewable energy sectors, landfill gas can play a significant role in the circular economy and in accelerating decarbonization in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe. This article series is sponsored by Sustana and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team. Image courtesy of Sustana View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from TriplePundit on 3blmedia.com

October 22, 2021 09:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Peninsula Fiber Network Announces Nannestad, Patterson, and Proudfit Join Marquette Office

Peninsula Fiber Network

Peninsula Fiber Network, LLC (PFN), a leading provider of fiber optic-based telecommunications and Next Generation 911 services throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota today announced the addition of Alec Nannestad, Holly Patterson, and Kelly Proudfit to its corporate office team based in Marquette. Nannestad and Patterson join PFN’s Finance team as Regulatory Support Specialists and will be responsible for working with the State of Michigan Public Service Commission on Next Generation 911. Nannestad is a recent graduate from Northern Michigan University holding a B.S. degree in economics and political science. Patterson comes to PFN from the insurance industry where she worked in group health insurance benefits. She is also a NMU Magna Cum Laude graduate with a B.S. degree in finance. Proudfit joins PFN’s Sales team as Sales Support Specialist. She will work with PFN’s growing sales organization to help insure a positive customer experience. Kelly has extensive quality assurance and customer service experience and will apply those skills in her new role. Scott Randall, General Manager of Peninsula Fiber Network, stated, “PFN is growing rapidly, and we feel fortunate to hire Alec, Holly, and Kelly in a very tight labor market. Their experiences and skills will help PFN continue to expand its reach serving key customers throughout our three states.” #### Alec Nannestad Nannestad is a graduate from Marquette Senior High School and Northern Michigan University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from NMU majoring in economics and political science where he was also the recipient of the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award from the political science department. While at NMU he worked for NMU’s wireless broadband program as a customer support specialist. Alec resides in Marquette. Holly Patterson Patterson came to PFN from Upper Peninsula Insurance Agency where she was responsible for HR, IT, and marketing. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Northern Michigan University holding a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. She and her husband Jerad reside in Marquette. Kelly Proudfit Proudfit joins PFN after a successful role in the Quality Systems department of a medical design and manufacturing firm. Previously she was a small business owner in the UP applying solid experience in quality assurance and customer service. Kelly and her family live in Marquette. Contact Details Peninsula Fiber Network, LLC (PFN), General Manager Scott Randall +1 906-232-1012 srandall@pfnllc.net

October 22, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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