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From the Fifth Third Bancorp 2021 ESG Report: A Leadership Message

Fifth Third Bancorp

Thank you for your interest in Fifth Third’s 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report. This is an exciting time for our Company. On July 5, 2022, Greg is retiring as CEO after many years of successful leadership of our Company and will remain Executive Chairman of the Board. Tim Spence, who has been a part of Fifth Third’s leadership team since 2015, will become chief executive officer in addition to his current role as president of Fifth Third Bancorp. It is an honor for us to address you jointly to discuss the progress we’ve made along our ESG journey over the past year with the goal to deliver sustainable value to all our stakeholders. Everything we do is rooted in our purpose: to improve the lives of our customers and the well-being of our communities. We activate our purpose everyday through our core values and vision to be the one bank people most value and trust. Our ESG strategy is informed by our stakeholders—customers, employees, communities, investors and regulators—who we engage with regularly. We recently completed our second stakeholder materiality assessment with oversight from an industry-leading third party. Delivering on our commitment to ESG excellence is key to our ability to deliver long-term sustainable value to all we serve. We recognize that climate change is bigger than us and that the financial sector has an important role to play in addressing it. In February, we published our second TCFD Report, which details our climate strategy and efforts. In May, we completed the acquisition of Dividend Finance, a national point-of-sale consumer lender focused on the rapidly growing solar and sustainable home improvement markets. This strategic acquisition adds residential financial services to our ability to lead the transition to a sustainable and inclusive future. Just recently, we achieved our $8 billion renewable finance goal, more than two years earlier than our 2025 goal. We are committed to continuing our leadership in sustainability through our new 10-year target to provide $100 billion in environmental and social financing by the end of 2030. We also achieved four out of five of our bold 2017 operational sustainability goals ahead of schedule—and then pushed ourselves further, including a new 2030 goal to reduce our location-based greenhouse gas emissions by 75%. For 2021, we maintained carbon neutrality and expanded our reporting for Scope 3 emissions. By joining the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials in March 2021, we committed to measuring and reporting our Scope 3 financed emissions, enabling the Bank to continue our transparency and develop a net-zero aligned strategy. These efforts and others led to Fifth Third again receiving an A- leadership score from CDP for the third consecutive year. Accelerating inclusion and diversity is another top ESG priority for Fifth Third, as evidenced by our being named a Best Employer for Diversity by Forbes. We have made significant progress on our three-year, $2.8 billion Accelerating Racial Equality, Equity and Inclusion initiative by delivering over $1.3 billion, 46% of the plan, by year end 2021. We also made progress on our six bold inclusion and diversity goals and have published our baseline for reporting progress. These include ensuring the diversity of our workforce reflects the markets we serve and ensuring the leadership positions reflect the overall workforce. In 2021, our tier one diverse supplier spend was $88.4 million, an increase of 17% over 2020, and about 9% of net addressable spend. Our employees are our greatest asset and we invested over $2.5 billion in total rewards for our employees last year. We paid special COVID-19 bonuses to 7,500 employees, while providing on-site vaccinations, flexible work arrangements, additional paid time off and sick time as well as expanded back-up family care and support. We also announced a special equity award for eligible employees. In April 2022, we announced our planned increase in our minimum wage to $20 per hour, a first among our peers. Concurrently, we announced a wage adjustment for our first four job levels that are above the Bank’s new minimum wage. In total, more than 40% of our workforce will receive a midyear compensation increase. Under Greg’s leadership, we have been proud to lead in increasing our employees’ wages. We led the industry in 2018 by increasing our minimum wage $15 from $12 and we were among the first to increase to $18. Our investment in employees led to Fifth Third ranking in the top quartile versus peers for employee retention in a leading industry survey. Our customers truly are the center of everything we do, and we continually invest in our ability to differentiate our brand and deliver innovative products and services. During the pandemic, we Strong banks need strong communities— strengthening them is foundational to who we are as a Bank, and we are committed to being the catalyst for fundamental change. kept 99% of our branches open and made nearly 13 million outreach calls to customers to offer assistance. We launched our award-winning Fifth Third Momentum® Banking in 2021, an unparalleled new approach to banking that combines the best of fintech innovation with the strength, access and human touch of a traditional bank. Our Express Banking account earned the Bank On certification from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund for safe and affordable accounts. Earlier this month, we eliminated all non-sufficient fund (NSF) fees for all consumer accounts. This was part of our deliberate multiyear strategy to reduce punitive consumer fees. We have the lowest revenue concentration in punitive fees among peers with significant consumer operations. Strong banks need strong communities— strengthening them is foundational to who we are as a Bank, and we are committed to being the catalyst for fundamental change. Our $180 million Fifth Third Empowering Black Futures Neighborhood Investment Program is key in that. Through this program, which is a part of our $2.8 billion AREEI initiative, we are infusing $20 million into each of the nine minority communities and working with community partners to execute tailored economic mobility plans in each. In addition, we provided $1.3 billion in community development lending and investments last year, $41 million in charitable donations with $6 million in employee giving, and we provided 4.6 million meals to fight hunger across our nation as part of our Fifth Third Day celebrations in May. In support of our efforts, our employees logged nearly 100,000 hours of community service, many of which were dedicated to our financial education programs, which have now helped nearly 3 million people since 2004. Our Company also responded when war broke out this year in Ukraine. The Fifth Third Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross for humanitarian relief efforts, and our generous employees personally donated nearly $39,000 to support individuals in the war-ravaged country. Thank you for your continued support of our Company. We are committed to continued transparency and consistent progress in executing our ESG priorities. We are both excited about the future at Fifth Third and believe this will be our decade to accomplish even greater things. Learn more in Fifth Third Bank's 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance Report View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Fifth Third Bancorp on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Applied Materials Highlights Progress Toward Its 10-Year Sustainability Roadmap

Applied Materials

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 5, 2022 /3BL Media/ -- Applied Materials, Inc. has published its latest Sustainability Report, detailing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) programs and results from the past year. The report charts the company’s progress toward a series of 10-year initiatives, introduced in 2020, that encompass its own operations, how Applied works with customers and suppliers, and how its technology can be used to advance sustainability on a global scale. “At Applied Materials, we recognize that our position as a global technology leader comes with tremendous responsibility to our employees, to our customers and to society,” said Gary Dickerson, President and CEO. “The opportunity for technology to shape a more equitable and sustainable world has never been more promising, and Applied is committed to working across the ecosystem to drive critical advances that can enable a better future for generations to come.” Semiconductors have become essential to the world as technology plays an ever increasing role in peoples’ lives and in enabling discoveries that can help solve global challenges. As the world uses more semiconductors, it is crucial for the industry to continue developing cleaner and more efficient processes for manufacturing chips. As part of its contribution to a more sustainable industry, Applied is making progress on reducing its carbon footprint and is taking steps to increase transparency in its environmental reporting. From 2019 to 2021, Applied’s use of renewable electricity increased from 37 percent to 57 percent globally. In the U.S., Applied has reached 80-percent renewable electricity and is on track to achieve its goal of 100 percent by the end of this year. Through these efforts, Applied’s Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions – those produced directly by the company and by the energy it purchases – were reduced by 28 percent, even as its overall energy consumption rose by approximately 7 percent to support new facilities and expanded production. In addition, using 2019 as the base year, Applied quantified and disclosed all relevant categories of its Scope 3 emissions – those generated across the entire value chain – for its semiconductor products and achieved third-party assurance of the data. For the first time, the company reported its carbon impact and risks in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Having a more complete picture of its carbon footprint will help Applied deliver on its commitment to set science-based targets for its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by the end of this year. Applied Materials has been reporting on social responsibility and environmental matters since 2005. The company’s latest Sustainability Report and Annex reflect activities and results through the end of fiscal year 2021. To access the full reports and learn more about Applied’s environmental actions as well as the company’s efforts to advance its culture of inclusion and human rights initiatives, please visit: https://www.appliedmaterials.com/company/corporate-responsibility/reports-policies. About Applied Materials Applied Materials, Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Our expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale enables customers to transform possibilities into reality. At Applied Materials, our innovations make possible a better future. Learn more at www.appliedmaterials.com. Contact: Ricky Gradwohl (editorial/media) 408.235.4676 Michael Sullivan (financial community) 408.986.7977 View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Applied Materials on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 11:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Tapestry's Approach to Employee Growth and Wellbeing

Tapestry, Inc.

We want our employees to love where they work. To create this positive environment, we uphold a culture that strives to improve work-life balance and the wellbeing of our employees. By investing in learning and development, we are strengthening our company and building and supporting future leaders. LISTENING TO OUR EMPLOYEES Our approach to employee listening is focused on helping us become more agile, data driven and customer-centric around employee surveys. This evolved approach includes a shift from a single annual comprehensive engagement survey with in-depth action planning, towards multiple, smaller surveys and continuous action-taking. Our goal is to understand our employees’ experiences and needs by checking in with them more frequently. In addition, we aim to empower People Managers to make more responsive, meaningful decisions for their teams. We also include our EI&D index in all our surveys, providing leaders and managers with real-time, up-to-date feedback. With these insights, our leadership can identify areas for improvement and target ways to increase a sense of belonging on their teams. We are implementing more frequent surveys with varied content, and by doing so, we are able to draw connections between behaviors and drive and sustain positive change. We use survey insights to refresh our development programming and offer targeted skill-building, business learning and exposure for employees at all career stages. We also use surveys to measure critical moments in an employee’s life cycle such as onboarding and exit. LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT In FY2021, we adapted our learning and development strategy to better fit the needs and expectations of our leadership and employee groups. We found that real-time and relevant development support is critical to employee growth. Key FY2021 Learning and Development highlights include: Change and Transition Support: To help our leaders and team members navigate the rapidly changing external and internal environment, we offered large-scale, virtual open-enrollment workshops covering 2 topics: Leading Through Adversity: Equipped leadership with tools to navigate uncertainty and change in the workplace Navigating Change: Supported leadership, corporate and store team members in the disruptive business environment by providing tools and resources to optimize productivity Better Conversations Every Day: Facilitated by the Center for Creative Leadership, this workshop focused on leadership coaching behaviors applied to real workplace challenges to help build trust, fuel collaboration and support better business outcomes. As a follow-up to the workshop, participants also engaged in 30-60- 90-day check-ins to support their development. Nearly 90% of our global senior leadership team participated. Coaching Culture in China: All Directors and Senior Leaders in Greater China attended ‘leader as coach’ training. We provided opportunities to apply this training to the employees’ daily work. All participants then attended a coaching fair to match each senior leader with a mentee within Tapestry. In the future, we aim to expand these trainings throughout our operations in Asia. ESG/Sustainability Learning Sessions: Tapestry’s ESG and Sustainability Team partnered with the Design Studio Management Team to host weekly learning sessions on various climate-related topics, including: climate change, waste, circularity, design for the environment (DFE), plastics and recycling, sustainability philosophy, UN SDGs, materials, systems thinking, and regenerative agriculture. These sessions took place over 11 weeks and were offered to our product and materials development teams. The recorded sessions were then circulated to our employee base through our internal intranet. Emerging Leaders Program: We launched our fourth cohort of this one-year development program that aims to accelerate the growth of our global mid-level leaders. Historically, this program was nomination-based. In FY2021, we changed our approach by opening the program to applications from Directors and Senior Directors. By doing so, we intended to increase the program’s visibility and encourage people to have career and development conversations with their managers. We received positive feedback on this approach. During reunion meetings, past participants shared the enduring impact of their program experience and highlighted their improved self-awareness, relationship-building and leadership skills. Senior Leader Transition Accelerator: We designed and launched this program in FY2020 to help senior leaders who are transitioning into new roles navigate the responsibilities and expectations of their new positions. Based on positive feedback from the first 3 cohorts we continue to offer this program to our teams. The Common Thread: The Common Thread is Tapestry’s global People Manager development program that teaches proven leadership techniques. It is founded on the belief that great leadership has a multiplying effect. In FY2021, we launched new topics for virtual learning, including Emotional Intelligence and Strategic Thinking, and for our corporate teams, Empowering Innovation. These 3 topics emphasize our focus on remaining agile as an organization, developing strong team relationships and employing strategic thinking in all areas of our business. We also developed a supplemental tool called the Roadmap to help employees navigate and employ The Common Thread resources to achieve their individual goals and desired outcomes. In addition, we introduced resources to help equip new People Managers with foundational skill building as they transition from being individual contributors to leaders. This included an Introduction to People Management learning session, an onboarding guide for new People Managers, and self- development tools around topics like Delegation, Building Relationships, Growth Mindset, Giving Feedback and Prioritization. INCLUSION@TAPESTRY Inclusion@Tapestry aims to build inclusive teams and environments through live and virtual trainings. In FY2021, we launched our Inclusion@Tapestry program for our EU workforce and initiated inclusion trainings for our Asia employees. Inclusion@Tapestry in the EU: We hosted live, instructor-led trainings as well as eLearning opportunities that included participation from 85% of corporate People Managers and 97% of Store Managers. Inclusion@Tapestry in Asia: We focused on generating EI&D support from executive and senior leaders in Asia and initiated inclusion education with all employees at the Director level and above. In FY2022, we plan to introduce our Asia Inclusion Council and implement inclusion training, workshops and initiatives for corporate and Asia store employees. Read more View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Tapestry, Inc. on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 11:20 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Balancing Action With Affordability in Water Infrastructure Development

WSP

As water becomes an increasingly scarce resource in California and across the United States, water and wastewater infrastructure owners are being pushed to explore more expensive sources, while keeping rates as low as possible for consumers. With most of the easier or cheaper options already attempted or used, this task has proven to be a formidable challenge for owners. Differential rates – charging rates based on one’s ability to pay – are not always an option and owners must evaluate the impacts to all ratepayers and find the best option possible for all consumers. “Owners will tend to study projects at length to ensure that they are not spending more than they need,” said Juan Diaz-Carreras, Southern California/Nevada District water business leader at WSP. “Traditionally owners have put off rate increases as long as possible until forced to act.” That delay can have consequences, including degradation of service or legal action from regulatory bodies. If the consequences are severe, resolution usually outweighs the desire to keep rates low, and unless there is financial relief provided by elected officials to mitigate the increase for consumer, these changes likely lead to higher rates. Today the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, has upended some of those traditional approaches and limitations, as water utilities are seeing possibilities for more available funding that can help leverage existing resources. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), other programs including the EPA-funded and state-administered state revolving fund (SRF) programs are also providing options. Additionally, SRF has now been directed to provide “loan forgiveness” in the IIJA, essentially transforming it into a partial grant program in certain cases. Scope, Readiness, Environment Today, owners need to think creatively about how they fund projects and look beyond traditional sources and local resources. Water infrastructure owners should focus their request on addressing three key areas that will determine which projects officials consider the best positioned to deserve funding: scope, readiness and environmental concerns. In addition, the IIJA puts equity front and center, with certain funding programs directed towards historically underserved communities. “Funding agencies are looking for multi-benefit projects — creative approaches can really help,” Diaz-Carreras said. “Looking at the scopes of projects, pieces can be added or modified to make the project eligible for different categories of funding. While you are replacing that water line, it might be possible to explore if funding is available to install a green street, cool pavement, or lead pipe replacement. If those projects have money coming to them, why not maximize your project’s potential?” Regardless of the funding source, owners should follow a few key steps early in the process: understand the criteria and adapt projects to how applications will be scored; talk to the funding agencies beforehand to better understand the criteria, the funding process and, if the opportunity presents itself, explain your situation to help them understand your biggest challenges and encourage them to frame the regulations in a way that will lead to you providing improved services; start the application process early, before funding notices are available and competition expands; and contact your congressional delegation for help connecting with federal agencies and writing letters of support that can be included in funding applications. Consider the Underserved It is also critical to initiate proactive engagement with the community before applying for funding. “All funding program officials want to know that the community supports a project, and most will explicitly ask for this information as evidence to support your request,” Diaz-Carreras said. “As you engage, you will also likely learn of the specific needs of your communities, possibly leading to scope ‘tweaks’ that will make your project more accepted, as well as more eligible for funding.” The IIJA also makes a specific case for getting projects to underserved communities and this aspect is increasingly desired in most funding programs. Infrastructure owners should be openly and honestly answering many questions about their operations: Where has there been historic underinvestment in the community? How can our agency engage with those communities to understand their needs and adapt projects to address those needs? Can elected officials serve as a liaison to connect with leaders in the community to begin the engagement and understand those needs? “First and foremost, involving underserved communities in the process is the right thing to do,” Diaz-Carreras said. “Consideration of disadvantaged communities has taken on an even greater significance. But community engagement need not be complex or scary. Just starting the conversations – mostly listening – will be the first step toward understanding the biggest needs and can guide what you will want to incorporate into your plans." Future Focus Funding agencies want to know that the projects being funded will work and provide the benefits being promised. It is important to make the case not only for the individual project or projects in your application, but also for how the completed project will interact with existing and future infrastructure to accrue benefits to the community. “You need to make the case for the existing and future context of the needs of your community and demonstrate how the existing infrastructure is going to fall short of addressing those needs, and how your project will provide solutions,” Diaz-Carreras said. “And yes, every project needs to be examined through an equity lens.” Funding agencies want to know projects meet or exceed goals for benefits to disadvantaged communities. If a project disproportionately affects one community without benefits that offset impacts, the project will have difficulty moving forward. Lastly, sometimes a challenge could present an opportunity for ancillary community benefits. “If you have to disturb a park or other open space for your project, perhaps you can propose improvements to those areas as part of the restoration process,” he said. “If you are digging up a street, can you make improvements to traffic flow during the rebuild? These ancillary benefits will make projects more attractive to funding agencies and the community.” Diaz-Carreras and WSP have already been helping forward-thinking water infrastructure owners analyze the benefits of projects and adapt them so that the benefits more closely mirror the funding criteria in preparation for their major improvement projects, as well as mitigate project impacts and shape projects that will address critical community needs. “It has been invigorating to help WSP clients think holistically about their projects, explore what the needs are, examine potential impacts on the community, and identify the best strategies to acquire funding and ensure projects are accepted and desired,” Diaz-Carreras said. “They are starting to realize that what is possible now often extends beyond what they originally envisioned.” [To subscribe to Insights, contact the editorial staff at insights@wsp.com.] View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from WSP on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 11:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Walt Disney Company Announces the Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University To Support the Next Generation of Black Storytellers

The Walt Disney Company

BURBANK, Calif., July 5, 2022 /3BL Media/ - At ESSENCE Festival of Culture™, The Walt Disney Company announced the creation of the Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University, which will create opportunities for historically underrepresented students to have future careers as storytellers and innovators in media and entertainment. The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard University will provide stipends over a five-year period for student projects focused on storytelling across a variety of media including animation, digital design, gaming, journalism, live action, performing arts, product design, visual design, virtual reality and more. Disney will also provide access to speakers, mentors and internships to students in the program to spark interest in these fields and help them build the skills necessary for a future career in entertainment. “Across Disney’s brands, we are working to amplify underrepresented voices and untold stories. The Disney Storytellers Fund at Howard will help us support students and the innovation and creativity that the university has cultivated for more than 150 years. We are excited to help the next generation of Black storytellers bring their ideas to life,” said Jennifer Cohen, executive vice president, Corporate Social Responsibility, The Walt Disney Company. “Our students at the College of Fine Arts find their creative expression in many ways – in the performing arts, in animation, in the design of the products that we use in life. The Disney Storytellers Fund is a great support for our emerging artists as they explore and develop their potential within and across disciplines,” said Phylicia Rashad, dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts. In addition to the Disney Storytellers Fund, Disney will fund the development of a creative collaborative space that will be housed inside the new Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts and the Cathy Hughes School of Communications at Howard University. Through social investments and collaborations like these, Disney is increasing access to careers in storytelling and innovation for those who have been historically underrepresented. From arts and STEM programs for school-age children to scholarships, storytelling and technical skills-building programs for teens and young adults, Disney is helping today’s youth to pursue their dreams, build their talents and skills, and become who they imagine they can be. Contact: Bruce Lam Corporate Communications (818) 560-6420 bruce.lam@disney.com View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from The Walt Disney Company on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 10:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Supporting LGBTQ+ Pride Month as a Cadence DEI Intern

Cadence Design Systems

by Francie Huebner As a second-time HR intern at Cadence, I am so proud to see how the LGBTQ+ community and allies at Cadence came together for this year’s LGBTQ+ Pride Month. As a new member of the LGBTQ+ community in the corporate world, I was worried that I would have to hide my identity to fit in with my peers. Instead, I am celebrated for my authenticity and individuality by my coworkers and managers every day. For the past two years, I have had the opportunity to work with our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group and HR team to organize Pride activities, including bringing inspiring speakers to Cadence. As a member of our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group, I have found a supportive community that has my back. For my Cadence colleagues, I strongly recommend this group and our other inclusion groups to people who don’t have the dominant voice in our society and to their allies who are looking for ways to support these communities. It has been so rewarding for me to see Cadence continue to expand our celebration of our LGBTQ+ community and to see more employees joining that celebration. We host leaders from the community, facilitate inclusion group meetings and socials, send out companywide emails with resources on allyship, and so much more. It’s one of the reasons why Cadence has been recognized by the Human Rights Campaign as one of the Best Workplaces for LGBTQ Equality. One of my favorite initiatives I worked on last year was implementing a new program that made it easy for employees to add pronouns to their email signatures and Zoom names. It’s been so fun for me to come back this summer and see how many more of my colleagues have added their pronouns to their email signatures, as well as their Zoom titles when I have a meeting with them. It makes me feel included and valid, as someone who uses both she/her and they/them pronouns. My favorite activity celebrating Pride Month this year was hearing from Amita Mehta, who brought her insights as a “proud, outspoken member of the LGBTQ+ community" to our entire company in a fireside chat with our LGBTQ+ Inclusion Group Lead, Rene Spring. My two favorite quotes from her talk were: “Use your voice, your platforms, elevate other underrepresented groups” and “It is my story to tell, and I will always be authentic.” As someone who focuses on intersectionality in everything I do, these inspirational words will ring in my ears as I continue my own academic and career paths. I love that employees have the opportunity to set aside time during their workday, where they can learn about other people’s stories, challenges, and career journeys. In addition to these activities, Cadence hung progress flags across multiple sites in North America and Ireland! I’m based at our headquarters in San Jose, CA, and when I drove onto the Cadence campus, my heart smiled seeing such a public display of support for the LGBTQ+ community. Cadence's holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion allows our message to be clear: Cadence is a company that supports the LGBTQ+ community. Cadence continues to make their mark during the popular Bay Area Pride celebrations. We participated in the Silicon Valley Pride March last August, and we plan to sponsor again this year. By making our name known to the LGBTQ+ community, we are opening our doors to more diverse recruits who will have access to LGBTQ+-inclusive benefits and support from their team members every day at work. All these acts of Pride are something I hope to see more companies and organizations adopt as we move towards a more welcoming and accepting workplace. If you’d like to hear from other employees on the importance of Pride, please watch this video! View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Cadence Design Systems on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 10:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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The Home Depot's Homer Fund Launches 2022 Orange@Heart Employee Assistance Campaign

The Home Depot

The Homer Fund, The Home Depot’s employee assistance program, is funded by associates and the company to help associates in need. Orange at Heart, the annual fundraising campaign, celebrates the generosity of our workforce. Every dollar donated goes right back to assisting fellow associates. The Homer Fund provides support no matter where, no matter when. At home. At work. At the auto shop. At any time. Wherever and whenever an associate needs support, we’re there. Because we’re all Orange at Heart. Since 1999, The Homer Fund has granted nearly $233 million to more than 165,000 associates in need, thanks to the collective support from fellow Home Depot associates. Since 2020, The Homer Fund supported associates through the unexpected pandemic with grants for COVID-19 related struggles, including necessary travel, loss of childcare, illness, bereavement and more. To learn about donation options, check eligibility or apply for a grant, visit THDHomerFund.org. Keep up with all the latest Home Depot news! Subscribe to our bi-weekly news update and get the top Built from Scratch stories delivered straight to your inbox. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from The Home Depot on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Trane Technologies Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Trane Technologies

SWORDS, Ireland, July 5, 2022 /3BL Media/ - Dave Regnery, chair and CEO of Trane Technologies (NYSE: TT), a global climate innovator, issued the following statement regarding the 6-3 ruling from the Supreme Court of the United States in the environmental enforcement case West Virginia v. EPA. “The urgency to solve for climate change grows greater every day, and Trane Technologies has made it our purpose to boldly challenge what’s possible for a sustainable world. With the recent Supreme Court ruling on climate, there is an even greater imperative for Congress to work in a bipartisan way to bring effective climate legislation forward. The technology to solve climate change already exists today – we now need to scale it up and accelerate adoption. It will take industry, government, NGOs and citizens working together to protect our planet. We will continue to work closely with the White House and with lawmakers to help shape sound climate policy and legislation to build a sustainable future for generations to come.” About Trane Technologies Trane Technologies is a global climate innovator. Through our strategic brands, Trane® and Thermo King®, and our portfolio of environmentally responsible products and services, we bring efficient and sustainable climate solutions to buildings, homes, and transportation. For more on Trane Technologies, visit tranetechnologies.com. View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Trane Technologies on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Regenerative Agriculture: The Case For Palm Oil

Musim Mas

What is Regenerative Agriculture So, what is regenerative agriculture? While there’s no universally accepted definition of regenerative agriculture, it is an amalgamation of agricultural methods that aim to sustain soil health and not deplete resources such as water while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, regenerative agriculture might improve farmer livelihoods by providing better productivity and enhancing food security as it usually involves planting multiple types of crops. In essence, the key benefits for the environment are as follows: Climate: carbon sequestration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions Soil: Sustaining soil health and preventing its degradation Water: Increasing water percolation, filtration, and retention Biodiversity: Promoting and sustaining biodiversity Why it Matters The agricultural sector contributes to over a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 1, while the growing world population continues to mount pressure on the agriculture industry. Therefore, it is necessary to consider how agriculture can sustain itself without degrading the land it grows on and meet climate targets. If we continue our current trajectory of soil destruction (erosion, chemical pollution, desertification), we might face a nutritionally degraded food supply and run out of arable topsoil to feed ourselves within 50 years 2. The Application of Regenerative Practices for Palm Oil The demand for vegetable oils is ever-growing with its versatility of applications. These include cooking oils, emulsifiers for baked goods, biofuels, and even industrial additives. Oil palm remains the most sustainable vegetable oil as alternative oils such as soy and rapeseed require 4 to 7 times more land to produce the same amount of oil. To meet the demand, palms are grown mainly in a mono-crop model that maximizes production and efficiency. Oil palms are perennials as the typical lifespan of a productive oil palm is around 20-25 years, in contrast to annual crops replanted yearly. Perennials such as palm oil are well suited for regenerative practices, and some principles are already commonly applied, while some regenerative practices are less relevant. For example, crop rotation to prevent topsoil degradation is more applicable to annual crops. The extensive root system of perennials enables them to store carbon more effectively in the sail and subsequently increase water holding capacity and infiltration, nutrient retention, and reduce soil erosion (which boosts soil microbial life). Here’s how oil palms relate to the principles of regenerative agriculture. Climate and Soil Musim Mas’ mills with plantations reduce climate-related impacts through the company’s zero-waste mills initiative. After crushing, by-products such as empty fruit bunches and palm oil mill effluent (POME) are processed and reapplied to the plantations as organic fertilizer, reducing the reliance on synthetic fertilizers. Oil palms are harvested by manual labor, which reduces tillage impacts on the soil, unlike soybeans typically harvested using machinery. To reduce pesticide use, one of Musim Mas’s initiatives is the deployment of barn owls, which prey on rats. Rats are a menace in oil palm plantations as they feed on young stems. Water In line with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) principles which Musim Mas adheres, the company’s plantations maintain riparian areas around wetlands to prevent runoff. As the company’s oil palms are grown in tropical regions with heavy rainfall, no additional widescale irrigation is used. Biodiversity Monoculture crops like oil palm support less biodiversity than tropical forests. That is why Musim Mas maintains a No Deforestation policy. The group is also committed to conserving HCV and HCS forests, taking it even further by restoring and regenerating areas affected by fires or encroachment. As of 2020, Musim Mas manages 28,210 hectares of conservation area. This represents a 34% increase in size compared to 2017. Musim Mas is also collaborating with the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) to assess the company’s efforts to improve biodiversity over the last 10 years against actual results. The Potential for More Regenerative Agriculture in Palm While some elements of regenerative agriculture are already in practice, there might be potential to do much more. Collaborating with the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, Musim Mas, in partnership with SNV, Mars, L’Oréal, and Danone, is participating in a  10-year study to discover how regenerative agriculture can advance palm oil sustainability. The project also aims to regenerate 8,000 hectares of degraded land, restore local biodiversity in 3,500 hectares, and improve the livelihoods of 2,500 independent smallholder farmers. This project will explore the potential for intercropping and agroforestry in the oil palm sector. Intercropping is the system of cultivating two or more annual crop species, and agroforestry involves planting a mix of trees and other crops together. These systems aim to enable the plants to complement each other, minimize competition for resources, sustain soil health, require less pesticides, and improve carbon sequestration and biodiversity. Intercropping might also enable smallholder farmers to diversify their livelihoods by producing more than one crop for sale. However, the relevant supply chains would need to be in place to serve as a viable income source, e.g., having buyers for those crops. Regenerative Agriculture is Paving the Way for Sustainable Farming Regenerative agriculture can be crucial in improving agricultural sustainability, including oil palms. The increased demand for food, compounded with the depletion of arable soils, necessitates new farming systems. To that end, Musim Mas is embarking on a landmark ten-year study with SNV, the Livelihoods Fund, and downstream users of the commodity to explore its potential for the industry. 1:  https://ourworldindata.org/food-ghg-emissions 2:  https://regenerationinternational.org/why-regenerative-agriculture/ View additional multimedia and more ESG storytelling from Musim Mas on 3blmedia.com

July 05, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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