With over £1 Billion in Profits, £80 Billion in Investments, and 300,000 Jobs on the Line, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Issues Warning ahead of Crucial Brexit Talks

Automobile, Business, World

The warning could not have been starker. Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the UK’s largest car manufacturer, issued a strongly worded statement ahead of a crucial cabinet meeting to be held today, which is meant to provide a blueprint for the UK’s controversial Brexit deal. In it, Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO, asserted: “A bad Brexit deal would cost Jaguar Land Rover more than £1.2 billion in profits each year. As a result, we would have to drastically adjust our spending profile.”

He went on to add, “I don’t want to threaten anybody but we have to make transparent the implications of the move. We want to stay in the UK. JLR’s heart and soul is in the UK.”

With this, JLR joined other major global companies, including Airbus, BMW, and Nissan who have openly expressed their fears about the potentially devastating impact of Brexit on their businesses. “If the UK automotive industry is to remain globally competitive and protect 300,000 jobs in Jaguar Land Rover and our supply chain, we must retain tariff and customs-free access to trade and talent, with no change to current EU regulations,” warned Speth.

“JLR has been a vocal proponent of free and frictionless trade with the EU for two principal reasons,” explained Sarwant Singh, Senior Partner and Head of Frost & Sullivan’s Mobility Practice. “Firstly, mainland Europe is one of the company’s largest markets, where it sells nearly a fifth of its cars, and, secondly, Brexit could make it increasingly challenging for JLR to buy automotive components—due to import duties—and sell its products—due to sizeable levies on vehicle exports—in what constitutes its largest market.”

The prospect of the UK exiting the EU in March 2019 is pressuring the British government to provide businesses with greater clarity and reassurances in a post-Brexit world.  Unfortunately, the continuing maelstrom of uncertainty has only made companies even more jittery about their ability to make a smooth transition.

As a result, the upcoming negotiations, which will bring together the entire British cabinet in the hope of agreeing on the UK’s future relations with the EU, are critical. Once there is consensus, a whitepaper will be tabled to the EU as a basis for further negotiations. This outcome is doubtful, however, as the battle between hardliners and soft Brexiteers in the cabinet has only grown shriller in the past several weeks.

The Prime Minister’s Office has indicated that among the plans being considered are allowing the UK to establish its own tariffs on goods being imported, and also determine which tariffs—the UK’s or the EU’s—will be imposed on these goods. Another proposal is to have the UK stick closely to EU regulations but allow Parliament the authority to determine where they should differ.

However, whether the cabinet will vote ‘aye’, in unison, on these proposals or, indeed, whether the EU will be amenable to them, remains unknown.

“Many businesses are understandably concerned about what kind of agreement will be hammered out today,” noted Singh. “They will be rooting, no doubt, for a deal that reflects their own preferences and ensures that frictionless trade continues with mainland Europe.”

The stakes are high at today’s cabinet meeting. For JLR, an unfavourable outcome would spell an “unpredictable future.” It could result in massive layoffs and put a huge question mark over an estimated £80 billion of investment envisaged for the next five years.

With projections like this, the cabinet would do well to take note: on their decision will rest not just the future of businesses like JLR but that of the entire British economy.

Google and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids Collaborate to Bring Evidence-Based Resources, Actionable Support to Parents and Families

Society, World

Google Has Helped More Than 4 Million Families Find Help at Drugfree.org


The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, the leading nonprofit that supports families whose son or daughter is struggling with substance use, has expanded its partnership with Google to ensure that parents can find and have access to evidence-based resources to address a substance use disorder within their families.

This spring, Google announced a matching gift campaign to boost the Partnership’s Parent Helpline, which provides families with expert guidance and personalized help when struggling with the challenges of their child’s substance use. Families connect to the Partnership by phone at 855-DRUGFREE, through live chat services, text, email, and Facebook Messenger, as well as through its one-on-one parent coaching network.

So far, this campaign has driven $1,000,000 – and counting – of additional resources to the Parent Helpline.  Since 2015, Google has highlighted the Partnership’s Parent Helpline in Google search results when U.S. families search or help with a child’s substance use.

Google matched $250,000 in donations from individuals, dollar-for-dollar, during the active matching gift campaign. The challenge doubled the amount of total donations made to the charity organization from late April through early June, which also doubled the impact of the Parent Helpline in effectively delivering support services to families.

Google also provided the Partnership with a $500,000 corporate gift with hopes of helping the Partnership raise an additional $1 million through private sector partners, between now and the end of 2018. The Trailblazers for Hope Corporate Challenge couples Google’s investment with the support of other corporate leaders to help an additional 30,000 families cope with their child’s substance use and addiction. More easily than ever before – and bolstered with support from Google – parents can now find solace and assistance through the Partnership’s one-on-one services, extended Helpline hours and through an expansion of the Partnership’s Support Specialist team.

“We are truly grateful for the dedication and generosity of our partners at Google and to every individual that helped us raise these critical funds in record time. This match will help guarantee that our Parent Helpline and free, customized, family support services can operate at capacity and reach every parent that comes to the Partnership in need of assistance and guidance,” said Fred Muench, President and CEO of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.

“Every single day, families are searching for information to help their child on Google – and every single day, a Google search will bring them to our resources. However, due to the severity of the opioid epidemic, we’ve been deluged with calls, texts and live chat requests. We needed these vital support dollars to meet the increased demand,” continued Muench. “We thank Google for their long-standing commitment to ensuring that families searching for answers, fearful that their child will be the next statistic, will instead find help and hope at the Partnership.”

Partnership Resources, Tools Reaching More Parents and Families with Google Support

Since 2015, Google has helped more than 4.3 million families find support and guidance at drugfree.org. Through support for the Parent Helpline, free advertising provided to the Partnership and via links in Google Search on various “knowledge panels,” utilizing the Partnership’s information and linking to drugfree.org, Google is helping make sure that parents find reliable, credible help more easily.

Google ads are now the leading driver of web traffic to Partnership’s Helpline page and Google ads have been responsible for 22 percent of site visits in the past year, followed only by natural search.

The Partnership is also working as part of a committee to advise LegitScript in their effort to create a certification process for legitimate treatment providers who want to advertise their services on Google. The goal is to use this certification process to prevent predatory treatment providers from preying upon families desperate to find help for a loved one who is facing a substance use disorder.

To learn more, please visit drugfree.org.

Local Entrepreneur Mass Producing Unique Environmental Product to Combat Plastic Waste Contamination through Public Support

Science, World

Marc Mataya, Charlotte resident and serial inventor, created the Leaf Burrito®, a reusable yard waste removal bag, which is designed to help eliminate detrimental single-purpose plastic bags. Currently in use in Charlotte, the Leaf Burrito® won the 2017 Sustain Charlotte Award in the Waste Reduction category. “Leaf Burrito won the Sustain Charlotte Award for a reason. Great product, easy to use, making where we live a better place for us and generations after us. It is a cutting edge leader in the Sustainability arena,” stated Shannon Binns, executive director of Sustain Charlotte.

“I came up with the idea several years ago when I was assisting the City of Charlotte Solid Waste staff with unloading my burrito-shaped tarp. However, tarps are not approved containers. I have always had a strong passion for environmental sustainability, green initiatives and with all the current news on what plastic contamination is doing across the world I wanted to do my part,” shared Marc Mataya, local entrepreneur. “After being recognized with the Sustain Charlotte Award and being endorsed by the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services, I wanted to get the Leaf Burrito® in the hands of as many folks in the landscape business, corporate entities or weekend warriors in Charlotte and eventually at most homes across the country. Crowdfunding seemed the best venue to educate the public, create awareness and get production started more quickly.”

Crowdfunding will allow Leaf Burrito® to increase production and reduce the cost of the product with larger production runs. Leaf Burrito® works to educate customers and cities about the impact of single-use plastic on the environment and their communities. Leaf Burrito® will donate 5% of all funds raised, as well as 5% of future revenues, to support local Greenway development organizations.

On Earth Day 2018, the Earth Day Network shared these facts about worldwide plastic contamination. 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s.The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated). 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. Most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, it could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.100 billion plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times. 8 million metric tons of plastic winds up in our oceans each year.

Disappearing A’s, B’s and O’s: Red Cross launches #MissingType campaign to urge new blood donors to give

Health, World

New survey reveals the public underestimates how frequently lifesaving blood transfusions are needed


Today, the American Red Cross launches the Missing Types campaign, an international effort to encourage new blood donors, as well as donors who have not given in years, to give blood and to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients in need.

As part of the campaign, the letters A, B, and O – letters used to identify blood types – are disappearing across the country and around the world from corporate logos, favorite brands and frequently visited websites. Many may not realize just how important these three letters can be until they are gone.

“Everyday thousands of patients across the United States rely on generous blood donors for critical blood transfusions,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “However, we have seen a troubling decline in the number of new blood donors. We urge the public to roll up a sleeve and fill the missing types before these lifesaving letters go missing from hospital shelves.”

In fact, for the past four years, new Red Cross donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. The blood donor base is shrinking. This is not just a Red Cross trend, but a challenge blood collection organizations face across the country and around the world – which is why many are rallying behind this campaign today. Missing Types highlights just how important A’s, B’s, and O’s are – After all there is no _meric_n Red Cr_ss without the A’s and O.

Join the #MissingType movement—make an appointment to give blood by visiting redcrossblood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed.

Survey shows public misconceptions about blood needs
A recent survey, conducted on behalf of the Red Cross, revealed a troubling disconnect between the public’s perception of blood donations and the realities of patient transfusion needs.

Three-quarters (74 percent) of the public underestimate how frequently blood transfusions occur.* Most people perceive blood is needed in the U.S. every 15 minutes or even every hour or two hours when in fact, every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood.

Nearly half of the public (45 percent) know someone who has been helped by a blood transfusion.* Yet only three percent of the U.S. population donates each year.

More than one-third (35 percent) of the public has never considered that blood may not be available when they or a loved one need it.* Blood shortages are not uncommon in the United States and can only be prevented when more people roll up a sleeve to give.

More than half (53 percent) of the public believe they need to know their blood type to donate.* Good news – Potential blood donors do not need to know their blood type before giving blood. After individuals give blood, the Red Cross provides each donor their blood type. Join the movement and find out your blood type this summer.
A missing letter can change everything for a patient
Tymia McCullough, of Georgetown, S.C. is a spirited 12-year-old who aspires to be a pediatrician and model when she grows up. She is also battling sickle cell disease, an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. Sickle cell disease patients can suffer a range of conditions, including acute anemia, tissue and organ damage, terrible pain and even strokes.

With no widely used cure, regular blood transfusions are one of the most common treatments for sickle cell disease. Last year, when McCullough arrived at the hospital, the blood type she needed for her transfusion was not available.

“It was the scariest, most frightening moment of a mother’s life, because I thought that she would not be able to get it,” said Susie Pitts, Tymia’s mother. “In that moment, in that experience, I was very afraid. I was scared for my daughter’s life—what was going to happen if she didn’t get the blood she needed?”

Eight hours later, the nurse came running through the door with the needed blood product.

Watch Tymia’s story.

Partners join the movement to raise visibility
The Red Cross appreciates the support of its lead partners who have joined the Missing Types campaign, including: Adobe, Anheuser-Busch, AvalonBay Communities, Inc., Domino’s, Dropbox, Google, IBM, Land O’Lakes, Inc., Mastercard, Nationwide, Neiman Marcus, the New York Yankees, Oreo, PayPal, Salesforce, State Farm®, Sunoco and U.S. Bank.

Each day, blood and platelets are needed for accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. We are grateful for our partner support to raise visibility for this ongoing need.

Blood donation information
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Supplemental Information about Survey Methodology
*These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted April 16 – 18, 2018 on behalf of the Red Cross. For the survey, a sample of 503 adults ages 18 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online, in English. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of ±5.0 percentage points for all respondents surveyed.

Puerto Rico Launches Largest Public Health Campaign Since Hurricane Maria

Society, World

One-day campaign aims to immunize a record-setting 25,000 people at more than 50 locations across island

SAN JUAN, Puerto RicoMarch 10, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — One of the world’s largest-ever one-day vaccination campaigns happens Saturday, March 10, across Puerto Rico. Up to 25,000 people will be vaccinated against influenza in a daylong event conducted by the VOCES Puerto Rico Vaccination Coalition, Puerto Rico’s Department of Health, The CDC Foundation, Direct Relief and others.

“A year-round flu season, combined with the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria to Puerto Rico’s vaccine inventories, has left the island’s population severely vulnerable to influenza and other conditions,” said Lilliam Rodríguez, President and Founder of VOCES Puerto Rico. “Immediate action through immunization is needed to protect the lives and health of the population. Today’s island-wide vaccination campaign aims to close the immunization gap and promote health for all.”

Puerto Rico’s healthcare system was devastated by Hurricane Maria last September, leaving fewer Puerto Ricans vaccinated this flu season. Dozens of clinics were shut and most lost the electrical power needed to refrigerate vaccines. Many clinics still don’t have electrical grid power.

Free influenza vaccinations will be offered Saturday at the 18,500-person capacity Jose Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in San Juan and more than 50 vaccination centers, pharmacies, hospitals and primary health centers throughout the island.

The humanitarian aid group Direct Relief provided 40,000 doses of influenza vaccine donated by pharmaceutical maker Sanofi S.A. for the initiative. Direct Relief is also providing logistics support and funding to rent the Coliseum and hire support staff for the event.

“Sanofi Cares North America is proud to partner with Direct Relief in supporting this unprecedented flu vaccination campaign for the residents of Puerto Rico,” said Peter Lalli, President of Sanofi Cares North America. “We stand with the people of Puerto Rico as the recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Maria continues.”

Flu has been widespread in Puerto Rico this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday reported that “34 states plus Puerto Rico continue to report widespread flu activity,” and while activity dropped from this year’s peak, it still matches the height of the 2015-16 season.

“We remain committed to making vaccines accessible to the Puerto Rican community, and to reach any region of the Island that needs it,” said Dr. Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, Secretary of Health, in a Spanish-language statement issued by VOCES.

In the six months since Hurricane Maria made landfall, Direct Relief has supported 58 health facilities across Puerto Rico with $61.9 million in medications and medical supplies.

“Hurricane Maria dealt a doubly cruel blow to Puerto Rico, devastating countless lives and livelihoods while damaging the health facilities, systems, and infrastructure needed to recover,” said Thomas Tighe, president and CEO, Direct Relief. “That’s why the work of VOCES and others to promote health and wellbeing across Puerto Rico are so critical. It’s a privilege for Direct Relief to support today’s mass immunization campaign and participate in these exceptional efforts to help people in Puerto Rico recover and live healthy lives.”

About Direct Relief

A humanitarian organization committed to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies, Direct Relief delivers lifesaving medical resources throughout the world to communities in need—without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. With operations spanning more than 70 countries and all 50 U.S. states, Direct Relief is the only charitable nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD) accreditation by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief earns a perfect score of 100 from independent evaluator Charity Navigator, was listed among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, and has received the CECP Directors’ Award, the Drucker Prize for Nonprofit Innovation, and the President’s Award from Esri for excellence in GIS mapping. For more information, please visit https://www.DirectRelief.org.

Documentary shows the beauty of Namibia, debunks myths of African nation

Movies, World


‘Namibia: The shining diamond of Africa’

NEW YORKFeb. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Luxury jewelry retailer Diamonds International released an inspiring documentary showcasing the wondrous beauty, history and spirited people of Namibia (pronounced: “Nah-mih-bee-ah”).

The New York-based diamond firm aims to educate the world and dispel myths about the African nation through the documentary, offering it free of charge on the company’s YouTube channel : www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlhEQgNk1JI&t=523s

Aptly called Namibia: The shining diamond of Africa, the moving documentary takes viewers on a cinematic journey through Namibia’s majestic natural landscapes, dating back 80-million years to the Jurassic age. Mesmerizing aerial views include: the world’s oldest desert and highest sand dunes, where the ocean meets the desert, the second-largest canyon in the world, breathtaking crimson sunsets, and the surreally starry Namibian night sky.

The colorful doc tells the story of the burgeoning African nation, which is poised to be a leader in diamond production, as it is home to one of the largest deposits of gem-quality diamonds in the world. Interviews with the President of Namibia, founding fathers and locals give a close up look at the growth, challenges and future of one of the youngest nations in the world.

Diamonds International established the leading diamond cutting and polishing facility in the country, which produces one of the fastest growing diamond brands in the world, the Crown of Light. Namibian President Hage Geingob honors Diamonds International for creating employment opportunities during the economic crisis at the company’s 10thyear anniversary celebration, and discusses Namibian people working abroad for the diamond company.

“People really need to see this, so I insisted that we make it accessible to all curious minds,” says Albert Gad, Chairman & CEO of Caribbean luxury retail chain Diamonds International and manufacturing affiliate Almod Diamonds. “It was amazing to see the beauty of this country – the landscape is breathtaking. So many people would appreciate experiencing this hidden gem, and learning that more than just diamonds come from Namibia.”

Namibia: The Shining diamond of Africa can be viewed at: youtube.com/watch?v=jlhEQgNk1JI&t=523s and by subscribing to youtube.com/diamondsinternational1.

About Diamonds International/Almod Diamonds:
Established in 1988, Diamonds International (“DI”) is the largest tax & duty-free jewelry retailer in the world. With 125 retail locations across 22 Caribbean countries, Florida, Mexico and Alaska, Diamonds International serves millions of tourists and cruise ship passengers annually with an unrivaled selection of loose diamonds, rare gemstones, designer jewelry and watch brands. DI is the exclusive retailer of the US-patented Crown of Light diamond and rare Safi Kilima Tanzanite brands. Sourcing directly from the mines, DI is a De Beers Siteholder and supports ethical mine-to-market practices. Almod Diamonds is the manufacturing affiliate of DI, and for 30 years both companies remain privately-held and family-run, with corporate offices in New York’s prestigious diamond district and Miamiwww.diamondsinternational.com

6 Quick Tips for Bomb Cyclone Winter Driving


When it comes to winter car care, many motorists think of antifreeze and batteries, but vehicles need extra attention in winter, especially when a bomb cyclone hits and temperatures drop.

“Most people never heard of ‘bombogenesis” until heavy snow and dangerous cold recently hit many areas of the country, including several states that usually don’t experience this type of severe weather,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “Making sure your vehicle is properly prepared for the elements will help you avoid the aggravation of an unplanned road emergency.”

The non-profit Car Care Council offers six quick tips to help your vehicle perform at its best during cold weather months.

  1. Keep the gas tank at least half full; this decreases the chance of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing.
  2. Check the tire pressure, including the spare, as tires can lose pressure when temperatures drop. Consider special tires if snow and ice are a problem in your area.
  3. Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  4. Allow your car a little more time to warm up when temperatures are below freezing so that the oil in the engine and transmission circulate and get warm.
  5. Change to low-viscosity oil in winter as it will flow more easily between moving parts when it is cold. Drivers in sub-zero temperatures should drop their oil weight from 10-W30 to 5-W30 as thickened oil can make it hard to start the car.
  6. Consider using cold weather washer fluid and special winter windshield blades if you live in a place with especially harsh winter conditions.

Drivers should stock an emergency kit with an ice scraper and snowbrush, jumper cables, flashlight, blanket, extra clothes, bottled water, dry food snacks and needed medication. The Car Care Council also recommends a thorough vehicle inspection by a trusted professional service technician as winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.

About the Car Care Council
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For the latest car care news, visit the council’s online media room at http://media.carcare.org. To order a free copy of the popular Car Care Guide, visit the council’s consumer education website at www.carcare.org.

Happy New Year President Trump


Happy New Year Jerusalem – A 4 story digital billboard in Jerusalem at the Friends of Zion Heritage Center says it all.  “Thank you President Trump you’re making Israel Greater”. No president in history has ever built such an alliance for the State of Israel and the Jewish people, and no president has courageously stood up for the State of Israel on the global stage as President Trump.

For over 700 million evangelical bible believers globally Trump is an answer to a prayer.

In December President Donald Trump received the Friends of Zion Award from Dr. Mike Evans in the oval office at an event attended by Vice President Pence, Senior Advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trumpand faith leaders representing over 150 million Christians globally.

When Vice President Pence arrives he will have a ‘royal welcome’ with over 110 billboards, buses, and even camels.

Evans has been mobilizing his 31 million followers to influence world leader to stand with Israel and Jewish people and recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  The objective is to have as many other states join Guatemala’s Evangelical President Morales and follow President Trump’s declaration and move their Embassies to Jerusalem.

The Friends of Zion Museum is involved in these historic declarations in many respects including a massive international campaign, which supports President Trump and President Morales for this historic recognition of Jerusalem.

Every world leader that says “yes” will receive the Friend of Zion Award said Mike Evans, who gave the Friends of Zion award to President Donald Trump in the oval office this month.

President Trumps historic declaration regarding Jerusalem takes its place as one of Israel’s historic millstones from the Balfour Declaration to President Truman’s acceptance of Israel into the family of nations.  These heroes presented in the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem tell the stories characters throughout history that have stood by the Jewish people and helped establish the State of Israel. These non-Jewish Zionists are engraved in history and millions of people worldwide have learned of their heroism thanks to the groundbreaking work of Dr. Evans and the Friends of Zion Museum.

The Friends of Zion Heritage Center has become one of the central institutions in the State of Israelinfluencing the world and strengthening Israel’s relations globally while fortifying the pillars of the State of Israel. In addition to more than 31 million members globally the museum has hosted over 100 diplomats such as US Amb. David Freedman, President Rivlin tens of thousands of Christian and Jewish leaders, NBA and NFL superstars, leading Hollywood actors and singers and is has become a must see site in Jerusalem.

Friends of Zion Museum, 20 Yosef Rivlin Street, Jerusalem.  A reservation is recommended for museum visits.  Website: www.fozmuseum.com, email: reservations@fozhc.com , or phone: +972-2-532-9400.


Fuel Marketers Embrace Ride Sharing and Carbon Neutral Transportation


SIGMA Members Take 350 Carbon Neutral Uber Rides and Help GreenPrint Hit 6 Billion Reduced Emission Miles

As GreenPrint’s reduced emissions retail fuel and fleet programs continue their success, the company has made it a priority to give back to the industry by offering carbon neutral Uber rides at SIGMA events. The idea was welcomed and embraced by industry executives and leaders who have taken over 350 Carbon Neutral Uber rides since 2016.  In fact, during the SIGMA Annual Meeting in Chicago in November one attendee drove the 6 billionth mile offset by GreenPrint in 2017.

In partnership with SIGMA, and in coordination with Uber, GreenPrint provided Carbon Neutral Uber transportation to and from the SIGMA Annual and Legislative Meetings in 2016 and 2017. In addition to providing the transportation, GreenPrint calculated and offset the tailpipe carbon emissions of each ride. Just under 10,000 miles were driven, including GreenPrint’s milestone of 6 billion miles driven this year, and an impressive 762,000 pounds of carbon were sequestered from the atmosphere on behalf of SIGMA attendees.

“SIGMA is an important organization and we truly value our relationship with them. Over the last 4 years fuel retailers, marketers, and suppliers have embraced our reduced emission fuel programs as clients in order to build loyalty and goodwill with their customers.  It’s exciting to see these same fuel executives that we work with as clients, actually embrace our program as consumers themselves to offset their own transportation,” says Pete Davis, CEO of GreenPrint.

“The work GreenPrint is doing to help fuel marketers differentiate themselves by reducing consumers tailpipe emissions is very exciting. Carbon Neutral Uber rides was a great way to promote the concept while also providing a safe, convenient, tangible, and eco-friendly service to the conference attendees,” said Douglas Haugh President of U.S. Fuels of Parkland Fuel Corporation.

Founded in 1958 as the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA), SIGMA has become a fixture in the motor fuel marketing industry. After more than fifty years of leadership, SIGMA is the national trade association representing the most successful, progressive, and innovative fuel marketers and chain retailers in the United States and Canada. From the outset, the association has served to further the interests of both the branded and unbranded segment of the industry while providing information and services to members.

About GreenPrint
Founded by a team of loyalty and rewards experts, GreenPrint created the first reduced fuel emissions program which it licenses to convenience store chains, energy companies, fuel marketers, and corporate fleets – enabling them to sell, or fill up with, more environmentally friendly fuel. Today the company reduces emissions on almost 500 million gallons annually across hundreds of retail locations and 50,000 corporate and municipal fleets in 12 countries.


Economic transformation of Africa’s rural areas key to curtailing migration


On the occasion of International Migrants Day, December 18, the African Development Bank calls on African countries to reconstruct rural areas from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. This will in turn expand economic opportunities for African youth, leading to improvements in their lives, thereby stemming migration.

Greater economic opportunities will motivate African youth to stay on the continent and live a meaningful life.

More than ever before, Africa must rapidly modernize its agriculture and unlock its full potential.

According to Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, the future of Africa’s youth does not lie in migration to Europe, but in a prosperous Africa.

Addressing the challenges of food insecurity is critical in addressing the more complex issues of migration and displacement. Reducing intercommunal conflict over scarce resources such as water and pasture for animals is also key.

“This requires new agricultural innovations and transforming agriculture into a sector for creating wealth. We must make agriculture a really cool choice for young people,” said Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank.

“Staple food processing and agro-allied industrial zones will transform rural Africa from zones of economic misery to zones of economic prosperity. These zones will also allow Africa to move into agro-industrialization and become a global player in feeding the world.”

Taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, the United Nations General Assembly on December 4, 2000, proclaimed December 18 International Migrants Day. Statistics from the United Nations indicate that more people are on the move than ever before, while each migrant has a unique story to tell about his or her journey.

This mass movement of people along dangerous routes globally inspired the theme of year’s International Migrants Day: “Safe Migration in a World on the Move”. The UN is calling on the world to come together to protect all migrants wherever they are – in countries of origin, transit or destination.

Speaking at the recently concluded 12th African Economic Conference of the African Development Bank, UNDP and UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis AbabaDecember 4-6, 2017Richard Joseph, a Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University, observed how population growth in many African countries continue to exceed income flows.

“Out-migration in such circumstances becomes an option despite the appalling risks,” he noted.

Three challenges, a lack of economic opportunities, conflict, and extreme conditions brought about by climate change are key sources of fragility that often result in the forced migration of peoples desperately seeking alternatives.

President Adesina describes these factors as a ‘triangle of disaster’ that drive conflict and extreme violence, which in turn fan economic or forced migrations as reflected in rural-urban, intra-African or international migrations, leading to significant local and international challenges.

According to the UN, the challenges and difficulties of international migration require enhanced cooperation and collective action among countries and regions.

This is one of the reasons the Bank is accelerating investments to get younger commercial farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs into agriculture. Already, the African Development Bank has launched a youth in agriculture initiative – ENABLE (Empowering Novel Agri-Business-Led Employment) Youth – to develop the next generation of “agripreneurs” for Africa. Over the next 10 years, the Bank will invest US $15 billionto develop new youth agriculture entrepreneurs.

The ENABLE Youth program has shown that with greater access to agribusiness enterprise, skills, and improved credit, youth can become a driving force of agricultural transformation in Africa, and stem the tide of rural and transatlantic youth migration.

Food security and rural development is interlinked with migration, fragility and resilience, said Khaled Sherif, the Bank’s Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery. “We acknowledging that youth constitute the majority of African migrants, and for this reason, we have also implemented a Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative. Our aim is to expand economic opportunities for male and female African youth, in order to create improvements in other aspects of their lives,” he said.

The goal of the African Development Bank’s US $24-billion Feed Africa Strategy is to make Africa self-sufficient in food production within 10 years, drive agro-industrial development, and make the continent competitive in global food and agriculture markets.

SOURCE African Development Bank (AfDB)