Southeast Green - Business depends on the environment and the environment depends on business

Future Facing Companies Not Waiting for Climate Change Policy

Forward leaning business solutions to humanity's greatest challenge on Companies vs. Climate Change Conference Program

Business leaders are not waiting for policy changes on climate change. Declaring that "climate change is one of the biggest global challenges that will shape the way we do business now and in the coming decades," CEOs of 78 companies with operations in over 150 countries wrote an open letter to world leaders in April, 2015, calling for a substantive agreement on climate change. 81 U.S. companies later joined the American Business Act on Climate Pledge – each announcing significant pledges to working towards ameliorating climate change – including reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, increasing low-carbon investments, deploying more clean energy, and other actions to tackle climate change while building more sustainable businesses.

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Carnival Foundation's $2.5 Million Donation Helps The Nature Conservancy Launch Online Atlas, Protect and Manage Conservation Efforts in the Caribbean

Efforts include helping the Bahamas expand marine protection by over 11 million acres, establishing trust funds for seven countries in Caribbean and produce online atlas for ocean planning

 Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest leisure travel company, announced today that its second consecutive year of supporting The Nature Conservancy helped the organization continue its momentum in protecting the world's oceans and seas. As part of achieving its 2020 sustainability goals, Carnival Corporation is providing through the Carnival Foundation a $2.5 million gift over a five-year period to The Nature Conservancy, which began in 2014.

The highlights from The Nature Conservancy's initiatives in 2015 include:

  • Helping the Bahamas expand marine protection areas by more than 11 million acres.
  • Supporting the establishment of National Protected Area Trust Funds in seven Caribbean countries, which can be used to address specific conservation challenges as they arise.
  • Advancing marine protection efforts at Los Haitises National Park and Samaná Bay in the Dominican Republic.
  • Launching an Atlas of Ocean Wealth, supported by multiple international online tools, detailed maps, marine life databases and other resources to educate and inspire community leaders engaged in ocean planning.

Carnival Foundation's $2.5 Million Donation Helps The Nature Conservancy Launch Online Atlas, Protect and Manage Conservation Efforts in the Caribbean

Carnival Corporation's 2020 Sustainability Goals – embraced by the company and its 10 cruise line brands around the world -- reflect the company's dedication to operating with a high level of responsible sustainability in the oceans, seas and ports of call in which its ships operate. The donation to The Nature Conservancy and many other environmental groups underscores its commitment.

"With 101 ships traveling the world's oceans and seas and more than 700 ports of call, our deep commitment to protecting and sustaining our environment is a top corporate priority," said Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer for Carnival Corporation, who also oversees the Carnival Foundation. "On the eve of World Oceans Day on June 8, it is fitting to applaud The Nature Conservancy for again making great strides in identifying critical areas for public and private action in support of our oceans and seas, such as coastal production and fish population levels. We are proud to continue to support The Nature Conservancy."

Also through the support of the Carnival Foundation, in the past year The Nature Conservancy was able to generate for decision makers new comprehensive data about coral reef conditions throughout the Caribbean, as well as research on the success of conservation efforts tied to oyster reefs and new maps of fish production connected to Caribbean mangrove growths.

Carnival Corporation also hosted The Nature Conservancy's 2016 Mapping Ocean Wealth conference in January at its Miami corporate headquarters, where conservationists and decision-makers from around the world came together to discuss ocean sustainability initiatives. As a result of the annual meeting, The Nature Conservancy's data on mapping vast ocean resources is now being directly displayed in The World Bank's Spatial Agent, its decision-support tool used by World Bank economists and government leaders to identify the most pressing social and environmental issues the World Bank can address.

"The Nature Conservancy truly appreciates Carnival Foundation's support for our global and Caribbean-specific oceans conservation work," said Maria Damanaki, global managing director for The Nature Conservancy's Ocean Program. "Carnival Foundation's five-year commitment to preserving the world's vital marine resources – and the many benefits they provide – has a major impact on our efforts."

Added Damanaki: "As we look ahead to the next three years, by supporting our Caribbean Challenge Initiative, Carnival Foundation's support will help nearly triple the protection of the region's iconic waters and coasts by helping conserve 21 million acres of these important areas. Through The Nature Conservancy's Mapping Ocean Wealth project, Carnival Foundation's support will also provide a fundamentally new kind of ocean knowledge that is needed to protect our waters and transform their management now and for generations to come."

Public awareness campaigns are another important aspect of building support for conservation in the Caribbean. The previous year has seen a variety of community education initiatives, made possible from Carnival Corporation and the Carnival Foundation. These include the production of songs, music videos, Public Service Announcements, presentations, beach clean-ups and billboards. As with all The Nature Conservancy's efforts, the collateral material is geared towards raising awareness and participation in initiatives designed to support a balanced approach to preserving marine habitats throughout the Caribbean and around the world.

Sunripe™ Certified Brands Launches New Oh So Rosso Brand Of Tomatoes

Sunripe Certified Brands announces its proprietary brand of crimson tomatoes – Oh So Rosso – this fall, along with the continued success of the company’s Roma, Vine-ripened, Grape, and Mature Green tomatoes.

Oh So Rosso, bred consistent with Sunripe’s Non-GMO growing practices, offers a unique sensory experience, compared to other tomato varieties. The fruit ripens with a deep red color, both inside and out, and offers a sun-kissed, fresh flavor that is perfect for recipes that make tomatoes the “star,” like Caprese salad and .

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Origis Energy Raises $100 Million in Growth Capital to Accelerate U.S. Solar Business

Origis Energy, a Miami based international solar development and construction firm with a photovoltaic (PV) portfolio of over 600 megawatts and Baltisse, the European private investment firm of Mr. Filip Balcaen, today announce the entry of Baltisse in the capital of Origis and Baltisse’s commitment to provide up to a total of $100 million in growth capital for Origis. Filip Balcaen becomes a member of the Origis Board. Baltisse had previously co-operated with Origis on solar projects of Origis in Europe and the U.S. via the contribution of project financing.  The capital comes at a pivotal time in the accelerating U.S. solar market.  The funding empowers Origis to strengthen its offerings to utilities and large scale corporate energy buyers seeking solar as a clean energy alternative for their power generation needs. Origis has developed more than 100 projects worldwide totaling 600+ megawatts to date of solar capacity. In the U.S., the company works with sector leaders including The Southern Company, Pacific Corp, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, Idaho Power, South Mississippi Electric Power Association and the City of Tallahassee, FL.  “The strength of our balance sheet as an independent power producer in the U.S. is a critical consideration for utility and corporate procurement executives,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, Chief Executive Officer of Origis Energy.  “We have crossed major milestones in our work for leading utilities in the U.S. This investment and the board guidance of Filip Balcaen makes Origis an even stronger partner to fulfill the solar objectives of large scale energy users in the U.S.”  Baltisse focuses on private equity and real estate investments. The firm’s target markets include industry, food and beverage, health care, energy and services. Following the 2015 sale of his flooring company, IVC Group, to Mohawk Industries, Filip Balcaen, became a shareholder and non-executive director on the board of Mohawk Industries, a U.S. based world leader in the floor-covering sector. His insights into the U.S. market come at an important juncture for Origis Energy.  “After successfully deploying our project financing, the Origis team has demonstrated a track record of solar industry excellence,” said Filip Balcaen, Executive Chairman, Baltisse. “Origis continues to improve their integrated offering for large scale energy buyers. We anticipate accelerated growth into these markets by the firm.”Baltisse executive chairman, Filip Balcaen, becomes Origis Board member

Origis Energy, a Miami based international solar development and construction firm with a photovoltaic (PV) portfolio of over 600 megawatts and Baltisse, the European private investment firm of Mr. Filip Balcaen, today announce the entry of Baltisse in the capital of Origis and Baltisse’s commitment to provide up to a total of $100 million in growth capital forOrigis. Filip Balcaen becomes a member of theOrigis Board. Baltisse had previously co-operated withOrigis on solar projects ofOrigis in Europe and the U.S. via the contribution of project financing.

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Sunshine State Voters Reject Anti-Solar Amendment 1

Multi-partisan grassroots coalition successfully leads a solar uprising to defeat $26 million utility-backed deceptive ballot measure

Multi-partisan grassroots coalition successfully leads a solar uprising to defeat $26 million utility-backed deceptive ballot measure

Today Florida voters rejected Amendment 1 – the utility-backed proposal that sought to limit the growth of customer-owned solar power in the Sunshine State.

In a true David and Goliath battle, a diverse grassroots coalition of more than 200 organizations, solar companies, elected officials, and thousands of concerned citizens worked to defeat the deceptive utility-backed amendment. Amendment 1 opponents feel that a significant percentage of the 'yes' voters felt they were tricked once they understood the true nature of the ballot measure. Constitutional amendments in Florida require 60 percent support to pass.

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Floridians for Solar Choice Criticizes Consumers for Smart Solar for Continuing to Run Ads featuring Florida Professional Firefighters

In what can only be described as brazen disregard for anything that resembles the truth, Florida’s big monopoly utilities continue to run a deceptive ad on television networks around the state featuring a firefighter even after the Florida Professional Firefighters have withdraw their endorsement from Amendment 1.

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