Making it RAIN in Africa Saves Lives


The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and its partners are working with local African governments, NGOs, water service providers and communities to build infrastructure that supplies clean drinking water and sanitation facilities across Africa. These efforts will help to minimize the spread of disease and empower local communities with educational opportunities and economic prosperity.

Dr. Susan Mboya is the President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and the Group Director of the Eurasia Africa Group (EAG) for women’s economic empowerment at The Coca-Cola Company. She leads the Group’s deployment of the 5by20 initiative, a global Commitment by Coca-Cola to economically empower 5 million women by the year 2020. Susan is responsible for the development of strategic plans and initiatives in the 90+ countries that make up the EAG. Susan has raised over $116 million in funding towards the 5by20 initiative to date and is working with international partners including USAID, DFID, TechnoServe, MercyCorps and the IFC. She is also the First Lady of Nairobi County, in Kenya.

Why has the Coca Cola Foundation created the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) program and what are some of the challenges the organization is addressing?

At the highest level, the challenge is to make water available on a predictable and steady basis throughout Africa. The program was created in response to the severe water challenges faced by more than 300 million people living in Africa.

The initiative was introduced by The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) in 2009 with an original financial commitment of $30 million. The first target we set was to provide access to safe water for 2 million people …

Practicing Radical Transparency and Shared Prosperity at Ben & Jerry’s


Companies that commit to radical transparency and shared prosperity gain loyalty and increased profits, as consumers begin to buy from companies that share their values.

Jostein Solheim is Chief Executive Officer, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. and Chair, CEO Connection® Social Impact Committee. CEO Connection leverages the combined resources of the mid-market community to provide mid-market companies ($100 million to $3 billion in revenue) programs they cannot get on their own, which makes the collaboration a natural fit.

As Chief Executive Officer at Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Inc. since 2010, Solheim manages a team of 100 at the corporate offices in South Burlington, Vermont along with his international teams based in London and Singapore. He is a devoted advocate for diversity, environmental conservation and social justice issues and is deeply involved in Ben & Jerry’s social mission, which focuses on changing ways to improve the quality of life on a local, national and global level.

Why did you decide to chair the CEO Connection Social Impact Committee and work together with the Wharton Social Impact Initiative?

This is an important cause to me. I dedicate 20% of my time to engaging others to join us in building social impact programs.

In my world we don’t call it corporate social responsibility – CSR, we call it our Social Mission, which dictates our standards of how we conduct our business process. We aren’t just selling a lot of ice cream and making a lot of money. We’re contributing to causes that align with our company values and making it an integral way of doing business. People buy our ice cream because we are in their community and addressing issues that are important to them and it’s the best ice cream out there…

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals: Defending Women in Asia, Africa, and Latin America


Womankind Worldwide has helped more than 18 million women and their families across the globe over the last 26 years with issues of discrimination, poverty, and violence. The organization sees the newly passed U.N. Sustainable Development Goals as a path toward the future and as a way to engage all levels of government and civil society in the safety and empowerment of women and their families.

Claire Hickson is the Head of Policy and Communications at Womankind Worldwide. She has over 15 years’ experience working in international development policy and advocacy, working for the UK Department for International Development in London and Nigeria, Tony Blair’s Commission for Africa, international NGO Saferworld and as a consultant to a wide range of international organizations, including Amnesty International UK, Farm Africa, Self Help Africa and Save the Children UK.

What is the mission of your organization and how does it differ from the other women based organizations?

We are an international women’s rights organization. The partnership principle is central to what we do, and is what defines us. Rather than having our own staff in countries across the world, we work with organizations that focus on women’s rights in those countries. We believe this is the most effective way to promote women’s rights at a local and global level. We support partners with funding and by helping build their capacity. We work with them on how they advocate locally but we also work with them on international advocacy.

How were the countries Womankind supports chosen and why?

We try to select organizations that work across the countries across the three continents in which we work: Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The availability of suitable partners is important to our selection of countries. We work with organizations that are a good fit for what we are doing. We have long term relationships with our partners. It’s not about just providing funding but long-term support.

Private Sector Programs Fill the Affordable Housing Gap


Interview with Rob Likes, KeyBank Real Estate Capital

Funding for affordable housing is needed more than ever as demand continues to rise. Private sector banks and institutional investors see this as an opportunity to revitalize neighborhoods and generate profits. KeyBank sees this as an opportunity to balance its margin with its mission.

Rob Likes is the National Manager, Community Development Capital / National Affordable Housing Platform, at KeyBank Real Estate Capital. Robert Likes has over 25 years of experience in the real estate banking industry and is the National Manager for KeyBank Real Estate Capital’s National Affordable Housing Platform. He leads a Team of 60 people in the origination of debt, equity, and perm products in the multi-family and affordable housing industry, and leads the Team in the management of a portfolio in excess of $2 Billion. He is a graduate from Brigham Young University in Business Management Finance with additional emphasis in Accounting and Economics. He also completed the certificate program in Management for Execution from Cornell University. He is actively involved in numerous real estate industry organizations.

Why is there a housing shortage in the lower end market and how is it being addressed?

The capital markets collapse in 2008 caused construction of new multifamily units to come to a screeching halt. Both market rate and affordable multifamily construction starts were affected and construction volume didn’t begin to recover until the 2010 -2011 period, albeit at a lesser pace. During the same period, population growth continued, foreclosure rates soared to an all-time high, and more people found themselves in need of affordable housing. The demand for multifamily units has consistently outpaced supply, creating a gap, causing multifamily rental rates to increase dramatically.

At this time, many families owe more than 50% of their income to rent each month, and statistics tell us that as rental rates have continued to grow, incomes have gone flat. It’s not economically or socially advantageous to continue raising the cost of rent because it leaves people with less income for important items like food, health care, education, and transportation.

Your supply chain is safer with gender equity


Women working in global supply chains are most at risk for being victims of unfair practices, violence and slavery. The United Nations recognizes this and has created the Women’s Empowerment Principles to help companies view these issues through the gender lens.

Joe Keefe is president and CEO of Pax World Management. He is a U.N.-recognized advocate for women’s equality and implements change by encouraging investors to align their investments with their values by supporting global organizations that promote the empowerment and advancement of women.

In partnership with Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevate Asset Management, Keefe launched the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, the first U.S. mutual fund focused solely on investing in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women. He is the recipient of the United Nations’ 2014 Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Award — Business Case for Action.

Kelly Eisenhardt: What are the Women’s Empowerment Principles?

Joe Keefe: The Women’s Empowerment Principles are a set of principles created to guide businesses on how to better empower women in the workplace and community. These principles were created as a joint initiative between the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Initiative with a focus on gender equality and opportunity.

There are seven broad principles that are considered guide posts for the steps that a strong company would take to better advance women in the workplace.

We believe that in order to promote the broader concepts that are within sustainability, it is imperative that gender equality be at the heart of the matter and that the private sector make it a top priority and part of their overall corporate strategy.

Making Supply Chains Safer with Gender Equality Principles


Interview with Joe Keefe, President and CEO, Pax World Funds

Women working in global supply chains are most at risk for being victims of unfair practices, violence, and slavery. The United Nations recognizes this and has created the Women’s Empowerment Principles to help companies view these issues through the gender lens.

Joe Keefe is President and CEO of Pax World Management LLC. He is a UN-recognized advocate for women’s equality and implements change by encouraging investors to align their investments with their values by supporting global organizations that promote the empowerment and advancement of women. In partnership with Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevate Asset Management, Joe launched The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund, the first U.S. mutual fund focused solely on investing in the highest-rated companies in the world in advancing women. He is the recipient of the United Nations’ 2014 Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Award – Business Case for Action.

What are the Women’s Empowerment Principles?

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are a set of principles created to guide businesses on how to better empower women in the workplace and community. These principles were created as a joint initiative between the United Nations Global Compact and the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Initiative with a focus on gender equality and opportunity.

There are seven broad principles that are considered guide posts for the steps that a strong company would take to better advance women in the workplace.

We believe that in order to promote the broader concepts that are within sustainability, it is imperative that gender equality be at the heart of the matter and that the private sector make it a top priority and part of their overall corporate strategy.

T. Rowe Price Invests in Baltimore with Financial Education


Interview with Renee Christoff, VP, T. Rowe Price, and Head, Corporate Social Responsibility

To have the biggest impact companies need to invest in the communities in which they operate. T. Rowe Price believes Baltimore is worth the investment.

Renee Christoff heads T. Rowe Price’s Corporate Social Responsibility department, focusing on strategic, effective, and impactful ways for the firm and its associates to engage in the community. She oversees the corporation’s volunteerism, sponsorships, environmental sustainability, financial education outreach, and civic initiatives. She also serves on the Boards of Port Discovery Children’s Museum, the United Way of Central MD, and the United Way Baltimore Community City Partnership; and is a trustee of the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Renee earned an M.B.A. from the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore and an M.A. and a B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University.

How has your company engaged in the immediate relief efforts needed in light of recent events in Baltimore?

T. Rowe Price has a long standing community engagement program in Baltimore. It’s where we’re headquartered and it’s our home city.

The latest events in Baltimore have been tragic. In an effort to help, we’ve given $145,000 to support immediate relief efforts. We also enlisted associates in a drive to donate badly needed supplies since there were no drug stores available. We collected over 34 boxes of toiletries, dietary supplements for seniors, diapers, formula, etc.

Everyone in the community wants to get to the heart of these issues and solve them. We have an outreach strategy that includes working with the mayor and other prominent leaders in Baltimore, as well as international thought leaders on urban unrest, to identify the root cause of the issues and find solutions to make life better for everyone. This is not only where our associates work. It’s their home, too.

“Fast-Pass” to Service with Verified Volunteers


Providing safe and vetted volunteer resources is important for today’s nonprofits and the people they serve. Verified Volunteers was founded three years ago with the goal of transforming the screening process for America’s nonprofits.

Tom Klein, Executive Director of Verified Volunteers, leads the organization’s mission to propel service organizations and nonprofits by empowering volunteers. Prior to launching Verified Volunteers, Tom handled acquisition and business development activities for SterlingBackcheck, one of the largest background screening companies in the world. Previously, he worked for Calera Capital Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm. Tom began his career with Goldman, Sachs & Co. and spent a year with American International Group in Thailand as a Princeton-in-Asia fellow. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an A.B. from Princeton University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Tom volunteers actively in New York and works closely with Harlem Academy, an independent school serving grades 1-8. Tom is based in New York City.

For years now, Human Resource departments have been running background checks on potential employees. What prompted you to build a company based on verifying volunteers in the nonprofit and social sector?

Statistics tell us that as many as 50% of volunteers give their time and resources to three or four organizations or volunteer programs. If each of these organizations screen their volunteers, this can become extremely frustrating for the individual who wants to serve – and it can delay their onboarding with each organization. This can also become very expensive for nonprofits (or for volunteers if they are expected to pay for their own background screens).

Having identified these problems, we decided to conduct focus groups with nonprofits to learn more about how they were verifying volunteers and the obstacles that nonprofits face when bringing people onboard. We found out a lot. For instance, nonprofits were receiving poor background checks, lacked the tools they needed to perform the checks and were undergoing arduous screening processes.

Integrating Sustainability into Traditional Education: Revamping the M.B.A.


Business school graduates who understand the concepts of sustainability and demonstrate practical knowledge, stand a better chance at landing positions with today’s leading companies.

Giselle Weybrecht is the author of The Sustainable MBA: A Business Guide to Sustainability (2nd edition 2014 Wiley). She has 20 years of experience working in the field of sustainability and business with a focus on embedding sustainability into management programs. She is Special Advisor to the UN Global Compact and works with a wide range organizations, business schools, and businesses globally on engaging students and employees in making sustainability a part of every job, regardless of the job. @gweybrecht www.thesustainablemba.com

Why did you decide to take on the challenge of getting business schools to implement and adapt sustainability into their curriculum?

I spent many years working with the United Nations on the sustainability issues in particular water. Back then, there was a distinct lack of engagement from the business sector. It was clear to me that in order to move forward, we had to involve them.

So I decided to learn the language of business. I wanted to understand how the next generation of business leaders were being trained. With this in mind, I enrolled at London School of Business.

What struck me odd right away was that the students and the faculty at the business school knew little of the world I had just come from and the sustainability concepts I had always been immersed in never came up in the context of classes within the business degree.

Many of the students became interested in the topics I was discussing. At that point, I knew it was important to help schools integrate sustainability practices and processes into their curriculums and campuses. I started working on my book during my business degree, writing simple one-page briefs that introduced sustainability and correlating it to traditional business degree disciplines.

My goal was to raise awareness and show that sustainability is integrated into business and not separate. When I graduated I spent a year interviewing business leaders from around the world and wrote The Sustainable MBA: A Business Guide on Sustainability. The book introduces sustainability as it relates to the core business topics: Accounting, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, HR, Operations, Strategy, and Marketing, and gives tips and tools for readers to bring sustainability into their job, regardless of what job they have. It is currently used by university students at all levels around the world as well as a large number of businesses to train their employees.

Green Giants Make Over $100 Billion with Sustainability


Interview with Freya Williams, author, “Green Giants”

There are nine corporations that make over $1 billion in annual revenues from products or services with sustainability or social good at their core. These companies are known as the Green Giants.

Freya Williams is North America CEO of Futerra, a global sustainability communications and consulting firm whose clients include Danone, SAB Miller, Estee Lauder, AXA Insurance and Unilever. Her longstanding career as advisor to such companies, in addition to her work with the United Nations, has helped provide insights for her new book, GREEN GIANTS: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses. With a primary focus on teaching companies how to incorporate sustainability, responsibility and social good into their businesses and brands, and make money at the same time, she has many successes to share.

You have a new book coming out called “GREEN GIANTS: How Smart Companies Turn Sustainability into Billion-Dollar Businesses.” What is a Green Giant and how are Green Giants defining business history?

The Green Giants are nine companies each generating over a billion dollars in annual revenue from products or services with sustainability or social good at their core. Selling everything from burritos to airplane engines, they realized the potential to not just conserve, but make, money from sustainability-inspired innovations. Collectively, these more sustainable business lines generate over $100 billion annually.

How do these companies impact the lives of global consumers and can you share a few examples?

Their impact is broad and large but perhaps their biggest impact is that they’ve made products not just greener, but better, so consumers no longer have to choose between performance and sustainability.

Tesla is one of the Green Giants. They saw that the majority of environmentally friendly vehicles traded off performance for sustainability and as a result, only appealed to a niche “green” customer. Tesla wanted wider appeal. They wanted to build an environmentally sound product that appealed to consumers focused on performance. Tesla is not just an environmentally superior product, it’s the highest performing car Consumer Reports has ever tested. Its competition is not the Toyota Prius, it’s the traditional luxury automakers.