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How one company is doing their part to look after the planet and its people

Image: Mars

Last year, 64 percent of CEOs increased their business’ investment in corporate social responsibility. Thanks to new technology and the internet, along with advancements in science and medicine, companies have become more informed about their social and environmental impact. Armed with the evidence needed to change business practices for the greater good of employees, consumers, and the environment, there has never been a better time to put this knowledge and these insights into action.

From climate change to poverty, these are trying times. But these challenges are not insurmountable. If companies, countries, and citizens all come together in search of attainable solutions, this generation can leave this planet better than we found it.

Governments across the world have collaborated to create initiatives like the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement in an effort to ensure that future generations can enjoy a high quality of life. If we fail to meet the goals set by these agreements, we could face dire consequences such as more frequent, stronger hurricanes and unmanageably high sea levels.

Now that those frameworks are in place, addressing the often uncomfortable topic of poverty is also a pressing concern that demands immediate attention. More than 1.3 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day, which is considered extreme poverty. Many of the estimated 200 million smallholder farmers who are producing food within the world’s supply chains are also living in poverty, so the role of businesses operating in these industries is critical in order to drive systemic change.

As consumers become more socially and environmentally conscious and demand more from the companies that make the products that they buy, businesses and brands are rallying to make lasting contributions to our planet, its people, and their overall wellbeing.

Mars is a part of that movement and has launched its Sustainable in a Generation Plan, which focuses on three interconnected ambitions essential to driving sustainable growth:

Image: Mars

Healthy Planet

Humanity’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have changed the composition of our atmosphere and the climate that surrounds us. Around the world, people are beginning to feel the effects, from increased average and extreme temperatures, to changes in rainfall patterns, to more severe and less predictable storms.

Science tells us that to avoid the worst consequences, we should limit global warming to less than the two degrees Celsius threshold outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Mars has been working on cutting its own emissions for many years and in 2015 achieved its interim target of reducing its GHG emissions from its direct operations by 25 percent. While Mars has set a goal to eliminate 100 percent of its GHG emissions from its direct supply chain by 2014, the business recently announced that it will go even further, setting its sights on a much bigger goal. Mars has begun focusing not just on its direct operations, but its whole value chain, seeking to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent by 2025, and 67 percent in the 25 years following.

Mars has also tracked all of the water sources along its supply chain in order to pinpoint problem areas along the way. The organization plans to cut its unsustainable water sources in half by 2025, and completely eliminate them in the long term.

The company is also working with farmers to make better use of their land through innovative farming techniques and training, allowing them to increase their yields without increasing their footprint.

Image: Mars

Thriving people

The environment is not the only thing that needs to be sustained; the careers and livelihoods of workers need to be nurtured, as well.

Millions of people around the world work hard every day producing and selling products that many millions of consumers enjoy – from the rice we cook with at meal times, to the gum we chew, to the candy we enjoy as a treat, to the food we feed our pets. We will only continue to have secure and sustainable access to these crops if the farmers cultivating them see farming as an attractive career that will allow them to earn a sufficient income and have a decent standard of living.

Mars believes everyone touched by its business should have the opportunity to be successful. When people thrive, they are more productive and better able to meet their own needs, as well as the needs of their families and communities.

Image: mars

Nourishing wellbeing 

Doing good is about looking after everyone across the supply chain, from the farmers at the start of it, to the consumers at the end of it. Businesses like Mars are increasingly focused on helping consumers make informed choices about the products they consume while improving their own products, increasing choice, and investing into research to advance food safety and security.

Mars’ goal is to advance science, innovation, and marketing in ways that help billions of people and their pets lead healthier, happier lives.

Mars is committed to offering more nutritious foods including vegetables, fruits and wholegrain, and will continue to dial back sugar and sodium. The company will also be encouraging families to come together at dinner times, highlighting the importance of togetherness and familial bonds in an increasingly digital world.

Familial bonds aren’t just between humans either; they’re also about our relationship with pets. As a leader in pet care, Mars is creating a better world for pets through advanced nutrition, veterinary care, and through research to better understand the benefits of animal and human interaction.

By helping to protect the planet and helping its people and pets to thrive, Mars and other companies all over the world are using their size and scale to make a positive impact.

In the coming years, we can expect to see even more of this good work from companies coming together in support of a better future for the planet and its people.

Join the conversation with #GenerationForChange and learn more about how you can make a difference.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/20/companies-doing-good/

Also check Everything You Need To Know About Salt

How these 4 women are disrupting the tech scene

Image: FotoshopTofs / pixabay

Despite receiving the same education as their male counterparts, women with STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are actually less likely to work in a STEM occupation.



One important step to closing the gender gap in STEM fields is sharing the stories of women thriving in these careers and not just the role models of STEM women in history, but the stories of those in the field today. University of Phoenix believes that shining a spotlight on women who are making waves will help inspire future generations of female tech geniuses.

Following are stories about four intrepid women who are making a name for themselves in tech and who are helping to shape the future of the industry.

Image: University of Phoenix

Meilani Conley

Meilani Conley knew early on that she was destined to pursue a career in science and mathematics. Though the adults in her life tried to dissuade her telling her that women have fewer opportunities in STEM fields than men Conley persevered and currently holds a Bachelor of Computer Science and Mathematics from Southwest Baptist University and a Master of Information Systems from University of Phoenix.

Conley’s passion for computers began when she was nine years old. She was constantly fascinated by the inner workings of electronics. While the kids in her class daydreamed about summer vacation, Conley’s mind was filled with metal, wires and electricity. She’s proved that you can beat the status quo by pushing yourself and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Clarkson University.

Image: UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

Kirsten Hoyt

Kristen Hoyt, Academic Dean for the College of Information Systems and Technology at University of Phoenix, has a lot to say about women pursuing careers in tech.

“In 1996, women made up about 37 percent of the IT workforce, but in 2010 that number dropped to 25 percent,” said Hoyt in one radio interview. In fact, as of 2014, the most common occupations for women were secretaries, administrative assistants, and teachers.

Hoyt’s program at University of Phoenix is directly fighting back to change this statistic by developing partnerships to advance women in technology. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is projected that there will be 1.4 million computer-science jobs by 2020 but not enough individuals with the skills to apply for those jobs.

Hoyt was persistent in her interests while growing up and says she was fortunate enough to take a coding class early on. This led to a degree in programming that ultimately brought her to the role of Academic Dean for University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology.

What else is to be done to ensure equality in the workforce? Hoyt said she believes in establishing a technology-based foundation from the earliest days of our children’s educations, and cites her own experience as the reason she believes in jumpstarting technology education for students at a young age.

Image: UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

Stephenie Gloden

Stephenie Gloden is the vice president of Enterprise Resource Management for Apollo Education Group, a position she earned through her persistence and years of hard work. With more than 20 years of IT experience primarily focused on software development and IT operations leadership Gloden sought out a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and a Master of Business Association from University of Phoenix, along with a Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University.

Gloden’s most recent initiative is University of Phoenix startup, the RedFlint experience center located in downtown Las Vegas. As co-founder and business lead for strategy, Gloden is responsible for educating, incubating and accelerating ideas that solve the problems facing small businesses and the local community – including non-profits, schools and hospitals. Gloden’s diehard entrepreneurial spirit brought her to where she is today something both men and woman should strive for in their careers.

Image: UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX

Charity Jennings

What can you do to be an ally to women and ensure you’re doing everything in your power to help them succeed? The answer is far simpler than you may think.

According to Charity Jennings, to cultivate and sustain diverse perspectives and expand the pipeline of IT talent, women must feel welcome in the industry.

Jennings serves as the program dean for University of Phoenix College of Information Systems and Technology, and has expanded her role to take on high profile technology projects that have University-wide impact.

Whether women are writing code or leading the next IT startup in Silicon Valley, it’s critical to get our young women engaged and excited about becoming future engineers, web developers, tech entrepreneurs and executives.

Jennings says that the responsibility lies in the hands of educators, corporations, policy makers, community leaders and parents to help cultivate and nurture the interests of young women and help them reach their goals.

So when you see your daughter, cousin, niece or student taking apart her PC or fiddling with the HTML of a website, you can play a role in helping her explore opportunities in STEM by encouraging her interests and by showing her all of the opportunities for a career in tech.

The message to women everywhere is clear: the tech industry needs you.

Watch next: ‘There is a difference between difficult and impossible’: Three girls pursuing STEM careers in Egypt

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/05/women-in-stem-uop/

US Geological Survey Report on Polar Bears and Climate Change is not supported by Evidence in Canadian Study says Friends of Science

IPCC Climate Models predict high temperatures but observations show stagnation for 18 + years

CBC News reported on July 2, 2015 that a US Geological Survey says “Canada’s High Arctic could become the last stable refuge for polar bears” citing climate change due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions as a factor, but Friends of Science dispute this claim pointing to “The Arctic Fallacy” a research study on polar bears published June 8, 2015, by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Author Dr. Susan Crockford explains that fluctuations of arctic ice are linked to natural variabilities of atmospheric oscillations like the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

Crockford said: “The assumption that Arctic sea ice is a naturally stable habitat over short time frames is a biological fallacy. Predictive population models based on this myth are flawed, their results illusory.”

Crockford’s report indicates that polar bears consume about 2/3rds of their annual food intake in the spring and far from suffering on a small floe of ice, as often pictured by environmental groups, polar bears are great swimmers.

According to Crockford’s report the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the US government have accepted modeled (future) population declines of Arctic species based on modeled (future) summer sea ice changes as valid threats to their survival, but Crockford argues this is “all built upon this fallacy.”

Crockford’s paper indicates that contrary to popular opinion, “Polar bear population declines that were clearly caused by thick sea ice conditions in spring are now blamed on summer sea-ice declines.” She says this is due to the fact that the polar bears’ prey, the ring seals, are better protected by the thicker ice.

Crockford says: “Many of the effects of a longer open-water period have been unexpectedly positive for polar bears. For example, polar bear condition and reproduction in the Chukchi Sea (between Russia and Alaska) was much better over a recent period with a long open-water season than it was in the 1980s, when there was a short open water season. Ringed seals flourished during the recent long open-water sea, so they had a longer time to feed and consequently reproduced well.”

“Given what we now know about the animals and their naturally changing habitat, it is time to concede that the data does not support predictions that polar bears, walrus, and Arctic seals are threatened with extinction due to habitat instability,” said Crockford.

Crockford’s report refers to the work of ecologist Daniel Botkin : “The idea that nature can be restored to a single best condition is also part of a modern nature-myth, the belief in nature as a machine….”

Friends of Science Society point out that for 18 years and 6 months Remote Surface Sensing satellite monitors have shown that global temperatures have flat-lined with little change in surface temperatures, despite a significant rise in carbon dioxide, meaning aspects of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, especially model predictions, are in question.

This view is supported by a June 20, 2013 interview with Hans von Storch in Der Speigel in which he is quoted as saying: ” If things continue as they have been, in five years, at the latest, we will need to acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with our climate models. A 20-year pause in global warming does not occur in a single modeled scenario.”

Consequently Friends of Science says that making policy decisions to the year 2050 based on predictive models that have failed to forecast this stagnation seems very unreliable, particularly when there is clearer evidence that natural forces are more influential than human carbon dioxide emissions.

About

Friends of Science have spent a decade reviewing a broad spectrum of literature on climate change and have concluded the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2). The core group of the Friends of Science is made up of a growing group of Earth, atmospheric, astrophysical scientists and engineers who volunteer their time and resources to educate the public.

Friends of Science Society

P.O. Box 23167, Mission P.O.

Calgary, Alberta

Canada T2S 3B1

Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597

Web: friendsofscience.org

E-mail: contact(at)friendsofscience(dot)org

media(at)friendsofscience.org

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