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Sappi North America's Ultracast Viva® Wins Awards for Sustainable Innovation

Sappi North America

January 21, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Sappi North America, Inc., a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper, packaging products and pulp, has been named a 2021 SEAL Sustainable Product Award winner for its Ultracast Viva® casting and release paper. Ultracast Viva was also selected by the International Design Awards Jury for an Honorable Mention for textile design. Ultracast Viva  is the new standard for high-fidelity casting and release papers, offering compatibility with solvent-free casting systems, serving as the mold for coated fabrics by transferring texture and gloss to create authentically pleasing synthetic leathers and other coated materials. The textured surfaces are then used for end products people use every day, such as shoes, car seats, handbags, apparel and more. After use, the release paper is stripped away and can be reused multiple times. The SEAL Awards celebrate the companies and leaders across the globe that make measurable contributions to sustainability and develop innovative initiatives that will positively impact the environment for centuries to come. The International Design Awards recognize, celebrate and promote exceptional design visionaries and discover emerging talent in architecture, interior, product, graphic and fashion design worldwide. "Sustainability and innovation are what drives Sappi North America, and it is the inspiration for each of our products," said Mark Hittie, Director, Release Business Strategy, Sappi North America. "We launched Ultracast Viva with a commitment to environmentally-friendly manufacturing to help our customers reduce their own environmental footprint. We're thrilled that it is getting the recognition it deserves as the first high-fidelity textured release paper line compatible with solvent-free systems, and we look forward to the progress this innovative and technologically advanced release paper will spur." Ultracast Viva is a first-of-its-kind product that sets the standard for sustainable casting and is designed for companies dedicated to using sustainable alternatives when creating high-quality coated fabrics and textured materials. Ultracast Viva was developed proactively to align with the  Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Program, and it answers a long-standing call for  a release paper that enables production via solvent-free manufacturing systems. To see the full list of 2021 SEAL Sustainable Product Award winners, please visit:  sealawards.com. To see the full list of 2021 IDA winners, please visit:  idesignawards.com   To learn more about Sappi North America's sustainability efforts, please visit:  sappi.com.  About Sappi North America, Inc.  Sappi North America, Inc., headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of our three diversified businesses – high-quality graphic papers, pulp and packaging and speciality papers – is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Our high-quality graphic papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerse, and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books, direct mail and high-end print advertising. We are a leading manufacturer of dissolving pulp with our Verve brand, a sustainable fiber, which is used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods. We deliver sustainable packaging and specialty papers for luxury packaging and folding carton applications with our single-ply packaging brands, Spectro and Proto, and for the food and label industries with our specialty papers, LusterPrint and LusterCote. We are also one of the world's leading suppliers of casting and release papers with our Ultracast, PolyEx and Classics lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Customers rely on Sappi for high technical, operational and market expertise; products and services delivered with consistently high quality and reliability; and state-of-the-art and cost-competitive assets and innovative spirit.  Sappi North America, Inc. is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Sappi Limited (JSE), a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 12,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 150 countries.  About The SEAL Awards SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership) Awards is an environmental advocacy organization that honors leadership through our  business sustainability awards  &  environmental journalism awards  while funding research and pursuing our own environmental impact campaigns. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Sappi North America on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 03:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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What the Financial Industry Is Asking About ESG Reporting

Workiva

By Bryce Wagner & Mark Mellen Though banks and lenders have been watching environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues for years, the demands to publicly report on their ESG performance are growing. Seven in 10 individual investors believe organizations have a responsibility to demonstrate ESG performance, and they want companies to use data to help them judge ESG efforts, according to a recent survey commissioned by Workiva, the business reporting platform. At KPMG, consultants have noticed a few trends influencing how financial institutions have been advancing their ESG reporting processes and what questions remain to be resolved. Common ESG reporting challenges for banks Today, reporting on ESG performance—as well as how a lender evaluates ESG risk and creates ESG-related products—is often managed manually across many teams. At KPMG and Workiva, clients have told us they want to efficiently collect data to respond to different ESG frameworks and maintain consistent disclosures, without creating too much duplicative work for internal data providers. A big trend we're starting to see is companies trying to find ways to make those processes more efficient, to increase the confidence in the information they're using. We are seeing more companies start to: Centralize ESG data collection Create data dictionaries as a first step in data governance Use reporting technology, such as ESG data collection software or data management software, to automatically collect data from disparate sources like general ledgers, human capital management (HCM) systems, enterprise risk management (ERM) systems, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. ESG ownership ESG reporting is still evolving, even for lenders that have created corporate social responsibility and sustainability reports for years. A consensus has not yet emerged of who should own ESG reporting. It could be anyone from SEC reporting teams, corporate communications, investor relations, legal, or human resources teams. Sometimes a cross-functional committee oversees the report. A few members of the financial industry have said if stakeholders expect the same rigor and reliability from ESG data as they do from financial data reported to the SEC, finance teams that produce SEC filings may end up owning ESG reporting as well. As for who owns ESG data, companies are trying different models. In a distributed model, data ownership is spread across the organization. That way, subject matter experts can own and develop the data specific to their areas, whether it’s within human resources, research, or board governance, for example. Similar to Sarbanes-Oxley processes (SOX) or a Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR), a SOX compliance or CCAR team might own documentation, but subject matter experts might maintain documentation for the underlying data that’s part of their practice. Climate disclosure regulations Michael Scarpa, Managing Director in the KPMG Regulatory Risk practice, notes many recent actions financial regulators have taken on ESG matters. In the U.S.: The Securities and Exchange Commission is preparing a proposed mandate for climate risk disclosures The Federal Insurance Office is seeking comments on how it can collect data to help stakeholders assess climate risk in the insurance sector The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency this year appointed a Climate Change Risk Officer to help develop and adopt climate risk management practices at banks The Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau also have focused on ESG, including social impacts of providing fair access to mortgages and financing The United Kingdom is working toward mandatory climate-related disclosures by 2025. This year the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed climate-related financial disclosure rules for asset managers, life insurers, and FCA-regulated pension providers. Meanwhile, businesses and investors are hopeful the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) will start to simplify the worldwide landscape of ESG standards. "Our clients are taking a very slow, incremental approach,” Michael said. "They're looking for practical ways to infuse ESG thinking into their risk management, specifically focusing on evaluating the customer base for ESG risks, and potentially also evaluating vendors and third parties to see where they stand with regard to ESG goals." Sharing ideas As ESG reporting evolves, teams can share ideas with peers at upcoming events hosted by KPMG and Workiva. Check out the Workiva calendar of events and webinars for more. Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients and their affiliates or related entities. Click here to see how Workiva and KPMG deliver integrated risk management and compliance. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Workiva on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 01:40 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Stitch Fix and Venus Williams Tackle “Gymtimidation”

Porter Novelli

As a new year kicks off, many people take this as a time to set personal health goals and hit the gym. But for many women, especially millennials and new moms, getting back to their fitness routines can be intimidating. Today we explore how one company is emboldening women to be more confident and comfortable in achieving their wellness ambitions. Continue reading the full insight here. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Porter Novelli on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 01:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

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A Look at Racial Equity This Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Regions Bank

By Taleisha Ming-White | January 14, 2022 It was 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In the summer of 2020, when George Floyd was killed, we all were affected. In the days following Floyd’s death, demonstrations across the U.S. took center stage in a way that forced our country into necessary and far-too-delayed conversations about racism and racial equity. These are productive conversations that should continue. But we also need more action. In 2020, we saw many corporations rise to the calling along with their employees. That fall,  CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, a coalition of 1,300-plus CEOs, of which Regions’ president and CEO John Turner is a signatory,  committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in the workplace, by launching the  CEO Action for Racial Equity Fellowship  with a specific focus on advancing social justice through public policy. The fellowship is focused on dismantling systemic racism that has deeply impacted the 47 million Black Americans in this country – building on the foundation laid by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others committed to creating a more equitable and just society. Over the last 15 months,  I have had the privilege of  representing Regions Bank as a fellow  (the only one in the state of Alabama) and working alongside more than 250 individuals from over 100 companies. In our quest to better understand racial equity and where gaps exist, we started by pinpointing areas where data shows there are different outcomes based on race. From there, we identified barriers and challenges at a systemic level that can be addressed through public policies and corporate engagement. Based on those findings, we built partnerships with community organizations and community, education and thought leaders from around the country to focus on  12 priorities  across four key areas where racial equity is a persistent challenge: public safety, education, economic empowerment and health care. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of a team that is focused on  advancing the collaboration between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and corporations. As a proud HBCU graduate (go Tuskegee Golden Tigers), this initiative has been especially impactful for me. HBCUs play an important role in creating racial equity by focusing on the needs of their students (many of which are first generation college students) and providing the tools and guidance necessary for them to succeed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in fact, was also an HBCU graduate of Morehouse College in 1948. Despite a long history of funding and resource challenges, HBCUs enroll 10% of all African American students, are responsible for 22% of all African American Bachelor degrees, contribute approximately $15 billion annually in gross domestic product and generate approximately 135,000 jobs for their local and regional economies. As an HBCU graduate and HR professional, I’ve seen firsthand the value HBCUs and the students they serve bring to organizations and to the community as a whole. The private sector, including Regions, is playing an important role in  strengthening HBCUs, and enabling them to fulfill their missions. Through collaboration, the business community has the opportunity to continue advancing racial equity as an ally and advocate for HBCUs. The CEO Action for Racial Equity fellowship is facilitating this process by encouraging CEO Action member companies to connect with HBCUs and identifying areas where the corporate community can support HBCUs in a holistic and sustainable way. Examples include investments, efforts to connect HBCU students with employers; through advocacy, and leveraging the strength and reach of the corporate community. The work of CEO Action draws its strength from the energy, ingenuity and commitment of the individuals – fellows, supporters, staff and volunteers who are each playing a role. But you don’t need to be part of a coalition or have a fancy title to make a difference. As individuals we each can create equity through our words and actions. The best way to honor Dr. King on this day and the days to come, is for both organizations and individuals to continue doing the work. The hard work. The necessary work. There were many in the background supporting Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement in their own ways. The most important thing was that they wanted to contribute to the work and that they did. May we honor Dr. King’s life and legacy by truly putting people first so that our “garment of destiny” is one that we can wear with pride, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and beyond. Taleisha Ming-White serves as the Learning and Development Organizational and Leadership Development Business Partner for Regions Bank.She has represented Regions as a CEO Action for Racial Equity fellow since 2020. Ming-White is a graduate of Tuskegee University. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Regions Bank on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 01:15 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Your Old Timberland Boots Can Now Become Your New Timberland Boots

Timberland

“Circularity” has become a buzzword in the fashion world, with brands using the catchall term to refer to everything from using eco-friendly materials to selling secondhand goods. But becoming a truly circular company is harder than it looks, as  Timberland, the iconic American boot brand founded in 1973, is discovering firsthand. Today it launches a program called “ Timberloop ” that invites customers to return used Timberland products so they can be refurbished or disassembled and then upcycled. For a brand that generates upward of $11 billion in annual revenue, this program was a major undertaking, requiring it to partner with experts across its global markets—including the U.S., Europe, and Asia—who could take apart shoes and clothes and transform them into new products. Now the big question is whether enough consumers will be willing to go through the effort of returning their old products, and whether Timberland can scale this program. Read the full article View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Timberland on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 12:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

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The Value of Donating Your Skills for Social Change

Taproot Foundation

Thursday, January 27 at 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT / 11 AM MT / 10 AM PT   Register now 95% of nonprofits report not having the resources to fully accomplish their missions. Your experience in HR, tech, operations, marketing, data, (the list could go on!), could be just the thing a resource-strapped social good organization needs in the New Year. Join the Taproot team for their free webinar on Thursday, January 27 at 1 PM ET for everything you need to understand just how valuable your skills are to nonprofits in need—and how to start volunteering them! Webinar participants will leave with advice and inspiration from an experienced Taproot volunteer, pro bono project management best practices, a walk-through of how to find opportunities alongside great causes through the Taproot Plus online platform. Register now for this free one-hour event! Bring your colleagues—there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to go around. Access to this webinar and the  Thursday, January 27 at 1 PM ET / 12 PM CT / 11 AM MT / 10 AM PT   Register now View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Taproot Foundation on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 12:05 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Medtronic Foundation Launches New STEM Partnerships to Serve Over 60,000 Underserved and Underrepresented Students

Medtronic

DUBLIN and MINNEAPOLIS, January 21, 2022 /3BL Media/ - The Medtronic Foundation today announced 13 new partnerships with leading organizations serving underrepresented and underserved K-12 students in Minnesota, Northern California and Puerto Rico. Partnerships will address the root cause of persistent inequities by creating opportunity for economic advancement and improving lives through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. Within a two-year span, the Medtronic Foundation will invest nearly $4 million to collectively serve over 60,000 underserved and underrepresented students across three priority locations. Key locations have been prioritized based on evidence of racial and economic disparities where Medtronic employees have the greatest footprint and capability to drive social change. "Long-lasting, community driven changes start locally. Our partners have trust of communities, and the expertise to lead transformative change in STEM education," said Jess Daly, director of programs and partnerships, Medtronic Foundation. "Together with our partners and Medtronic employee volunteers, we're narrowing in on places we are uniquely equipped to help create a world where there are no barriers to health, wellbeing and prosperity." In addition to funding, Medtronic employee volunteers will partner with each organization to deploy employee talent in the form of mentorship to students and other skilled volunteerism for organizations, strengthening systems of care and sustainable outcomes. "The Medtronic Foundation's commitment to students, educators, and the communities they serve is inspiring, and Project Lead the Way could not be more excited to partner with Medtronic employee volunteers to provide students in high-need schools with transformative, real-world learning experiences," said Dr. Vince Bertram, Project Lead the Way president and CEO. "This impactful investment will positively influence student outcomes by equipping them with key subject matter and transportable skills that will enable them to thrive in life long after they've left the classroom." Partnerships with STEM organizations are part of a larger effort by the Medtronic Foundation to elevate its focus on STEM and promote equity and representation with the goal of improving lives of underserved communities. This builds on existing community health partnerships with Northern California Center for Well-Being and HealthFinders Collaborative in these key locations. For more information, please see the complete list of new Medtronic Foundation partnerships below or visit medtronicfoundation.org. 10,000 degrees (California) Career Technical Education Foundation (California) Ciencia PR (Puerto Rico) Eureka Enrichment Services (Puerto Rico) Girls Who Code (Minnesota) LandPaths (California) Project Lead The Way (California, Minnesota) Puerto Rico Science and Research Trust (Puerto Rico) Science for Scientists (California, Minnesota, Puerto Rico) Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (California, Minnesota, Puerto Rico) Spark-Y (Minnesota) Starbase MN (Minnesota) Wallin Education Partners (Minnesota) About Medtronic Foundation Medtronic plc is the sole funder of Medtronic Foundation, whose focus is on improving lives for underserved populations worldwide, as well as supporting communities in which Medtronic employees live and give. For more information, please visit medtronicfoundation.org. Contacts: Danielle Bunker Public Relations danielle.bunker@medtronic.com View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Medtronic on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 11:55 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Fifth Third Bank Demonstrates Inclusion through Art

Fifth Third Bancorp

Fifth Third recently hosted an evening of art and culture that featured an exhibition of the work of renowned artist Brian Washington. The event, hosted by the Bank’s Inclusion and Diversity team, focused on including minority, veteran and LGBTQ+ performers, artists and vendors.   Washington, a self-taught, world-class artist who also is an award-winning attorney and an advocate for the arts, displayed several works from his collection “The Continual Struggle: The American Freedom Movement and the Seeds of Social Change.” The collection emphasizes the struggle for equality and racial reconciliation in American society. Also at the event, Volare, a Cincinnati-based dance company, performed a mambo style piece, and Jazz at Dusk, a Cincinnati jazz band, performed live music. Art created by local emerging artists was also on display. “Just as art plays an important part in our social fabric, so does Fifth Third Bank,” said Tim Spence, Fifth Third’s president. “We have a responsibility to help build stronger, more inclusive communities and to stand up for equity, equality and inclusion in myriad ways. One of those is supporting artists who remind us how far we’ve come and how far we must still go in this continuous struggle for equality and racial reconciliation.” Fifth Third Bank has a strong legacy of supporting the arts. During challenging socioeconomic times, Fifth Third has maintained its support of the arts, and the Bank’s leaders through its history have recognized the power of the arts to heal, communicate important messages, bridge divides and enhance the social aspects of the communities it serves. “The Banking on Inclusion through Art event provided a unique approach to bring culture and the arts to the community,” said Stephanie Smith, Fifth Third’s chief inclusion and diversity officer. “Art has played a part in Fifth Third’s history through good times as well times of strife. We are honored to continue supporting the work of artists that provoke us to ask questions, consider diverse perspectives, and help build a stronger and more equal community and sense of belonging.” In addition to hosting the recent inclusive art event, as Fifth Third implements updated technology and more relaxed elements to its banking centers – collectively referred to as Next Gen design – the Bank is also collaborating with ArtLifting to add artwork to some of its Banking spaces. ArtLifting is a public benefit corporation that creates opportunity, empowerment and validation for artists impacted by housing insecurity and disabilities. “A key goal of Next Gen is to create a modern environment in which our customers feel welcomed and comfortable,” said Vikas Srivastava, assistant vice president and retail design lead in Enterprise Workplace Services. “Through our work with ArtLifting, we are displaying art that is often inspired by overcoming adversity and that our customers can relate to. Whenever possible, it is created by local artists. This adds a layer of personalization and connection in the space, and it supports our efforts to be diverse and inclusive.” ArtLifting creates a platform for artists who traditionally have been underrepresented in the contemporary art market. Each artist has a unique perspective, style and story based on the diversity of their experiences, talents and innovative processes. The powerful combination of their artwork and stories inspires communities and drives social change. Every artist earns 55% of the profit from the sale of his or her work, and 1% from each sale goes into a fund that provides art supplies to art groups nationwide. “Providing our employees, customers and communities with the opportunity to explore the arts in our spaces demonstrates our support of local and diverse talent, and it also allows the people who we serve to see themselves represented where they bank,” Smith said. To learn more about Fifth Third Bank’s inclusion and diversity efforts, please visit www.53.com/diversity. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Fifth Third Bancorp on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 11:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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American Airlines Names Gregory D. Smith to Its Board of Directors

American Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas, January 21, 2022 /3BL Media/ - American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) today announced the election of Gregory D. Smith, 55, to its board of directors. Smith will serve on the board’s Audit Committee and Corporate Governance, Public Responsibility and Safety Committee. “We are very pleased Greg has agreed to join the American Airlines board,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “Greg is a highly accomplished leader who has held key finance, operations and strategy roles over the course of three decades at Boeing. His experience and strong knowledge of the aviation and aerospace industry will be tremendous assets to American.” Smith retired from The Boeing Company in July 2021 after a more than 30-year career. He most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, with responsibility for the company’s Enterprise Operations, Finance, Strategy and Shared Services organizations. He managed Boeing’s overall financial activities and drove operational excellence by overseeing the company’s manufacturing, operations, supply chain, quality and program management teams. He also led the company’s global financing arm, Boeing Capital, its corporate audit function, and its environmental, social and governance work. During his time at Boeing, Smith held a number of other key leadership roles, including Vice President of Finance, Corporate Controller and Chief Accounting Officer, and Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis. In between his two stints at Boeing, he spent four years at Raytheon Company as Vice President of Investor Relations. Smith currently serves on the board of directors of Intel Corporation, as well as Lurie Children’s Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Healthcare in Chicago. About American Airlines Group American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting  news.aa.com  and connect with American on Twitter  @AmericanAir  and at  Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from American Airlines on 3blmedia.com

January 21, 2022 11:20 AM Eastern Standard Time

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