Tag Archives: social responsibility

Levi’s CEO, Charles Bergh’s stand on Global Sustainability

Global Sustainibility

The CEO of Levi Strauss & Co.’s, Charles Bergh, admitted to not washing his jeans for more than a year! This certainly created a stir. Many people have been asking this question for years: How often does one wash an expensive pair of jeans? The CEO when talking about this was making a point concerning sustainability, do we really need to wash our clothes after we have worn them once or twice! This is certainly a culture that has developed in the western world over the years.

This CEO believes that it is important to always choose the harder right over the easier wrong. He is inspired daily to add value to a better future for everyone. We certainly need more leaders like him.

Some interesting FACTS

In 2007 an assessment was done on the life cycle of a pair of jeans. Washing, wearing, etc…The results revealed that there was a chance to conserve water. Washing a pair of jeans daily, over 2 years uses 3500 litres of water! Washing them once a week uses half that amount of water. Water being a precious resource on our earth.

In 2011, Levi introduced a production Jean that was called Water-Less. They have saved 770 million litres of water – this is more water than New Yorkers consume in a month. Still this only impacts 4% of water in their direct control, so they went to look at the second largest water consumer, the growing of Cotton. Which consumes about 48% of the water a pair of jeans will consume? The solution was the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). This project has some amazing partners and is working to promote sustainable cotton farming with less water.

Lastly, we know more than 46% of water is used in the Jeans life cycle by washing machines. Our care tag on our Jeans asks for people to wash less often and make a difference to the planet. Imagine the impact we could make if we merely washed our Jeans less regularly. Our planet would benefit and our Jeans would last longer. Amazing find!!!

Have you thought about how you can help with our sustainability issue in saving our planet?

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Google Ad Grants is offering $10000 a month FREE Adwords advertising

Google Ad Grants AdWords For Non Profits

 

Google has officially launched the Google Ad Grants programme in South Africa!. Google Ad Grants empowers thousands of nonprofit organisations through $10,000 per month in in-kind AdWords advertising, to promote their missions and initiatives on Google.

Google Ad Grantees receive free AdWords advertising on Google.co.za. Ad Grantees build and manage their own AdWords accounts similar to paying advertisers, but participate with the following restrictions:

  • A daily budget set to $329 USD, which is equivalent to about $10,000 per month
  • A maximum cost-per-click (CPC) limit of $2.00 USD
  • Only run keyword-targeted campaigns
  • Only appear on Google.co.za
  • Only run text ads

For more information and details on eligibility please visit http://www.google.co.za/intl/en/grants/. If your organisation meets our eligibility guidelines we encourage you to apply to join the programme today!

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Nedbank continues its support for disadvantaged learners with R2.5m

Nedbank Back to School Campaign 2013

 

Nedbank is carrying on with its ongoing commitment to tackle the challenges of education and poverty in South Africa and making an investment of R2.5 million towards its 2013 Back to School Campaign.

Nedbank is highly involved in local communities and this recent investment will help and assist 2000 disadvantaged learners across the nation. Students will begin the new school year comfortably with brand new uniforms, shoes, stationery, books and bags.

The Back to School campaign was launched in 2011. Since its inception, Nedbank has invested over R4 million to the campaign and all funds have been used to purchase uniforms and stationery. Up to now, in excess of 4000 primary and high school learners have benefitted from the campaign.

As part of Nedbanks Fundisa  programme, the Back to School campaign follows a two-pillar education intervention model. The first pillar, starts from early childhood development all the way through to tertiary education, with a focus on an individuals education across the  students life stages, .

The second pillar is focused on holistic support for schools who gain benefit from the Fundisa programme producing a more effective and efficient overall school system. The programme focuses primarily on school infrastructure, teacher training, building leadership capacity and providing classroom-based support leading to a higher quality and more effective schools. Research studies have confirmed that to be able to have effective schools we have to ensure that schools are built with a foundation of strong leadership, quality teaching, resourced learners, adequate infrastructure, community involvement, and proper academic support.

“Education is one of our corporate social responsibility’s (CSR) focus areas and we are determined to enable as many learners as we can to focus on their studies rather than on school resources. The Back to School campaign ensures that even those learners from disadvantaged backgrounds have an equal chance of being the best students they can be,” said Mrs. Kone Gugushe Divisional Executive for Corporate Social Responsibility at Nedbank.

Nedbank is calling out and encouraging all individuals and organisations in South Africa to help with their campaign by donating uniforms, shoes, bags and stationery. These can be dropped off at any Nedbank branch. Monetary donations can also be made with a minimum of R100 to the following savings account 2001120915 using “Back to School” as reference. Aside from that, individuals can SMS ‘school’ to 40017 to donate R20.

The objective is to raise R500,000 worth of donated items for this campaign, which will reach a further 500 learners. The campaign will end on 31 January 2012.

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Denel helps students to boost their maths and science

 

High school pupils are receiving assistance to enhance their mathematics and science grades from South African arms manufacturer, Denel, by way of a specialised training programme.

The programme began in 2008 and assists close to 80 students annually. Mike Ngidi, Denel’s human resources and transformation group executive, explained that Denel is adding to the enhancement in the quality of maths and science teaching by way of an outreach programmes and extra tuition provided to students in disadvantaged areas.

A team of 44 engineers employed in the aerospace and defence industry take time out of their weekend to assist and share their know-how about these vital subjects with pupils in grades 8 to 11 at Steve Tshwete Secondary School in Olievenhoutbosch.

As a result of their education programmes, Denel is creating new study and career opportunities to deserving students – particularly in the engineering professions.

 

Continuity of school syllabus

There are clearly remarkable improvements in science and maths results ever since the Denel Training Academy selected Steve Tshwete Secondary School as its project school.

The school’s principal, Takalani Ndou, pointed out the fact that they have recorded five maths and science distinctions in the two years since the project began. This is an accomplishment never attained before in the school’s short history.

The programme operates along with the school’s teachers to make sure that there exists a continuation with what the pupils are performing in the school syllabus.

Venashree McPherson, the people development manager at Denel Dynamics, explained how the company’s goal is to promote engineering as a career option for school leavers as a result of their tutoring programme together with the provision of bursaries to deserving students.

 

 

The pupils are given study guides, stationery and bags when they attent classes.

One of the students who completed the programme, Kgaugelo Mokholwane, was given a bursary from Denel Dynamics in 2011 to carry on with his studies at tertiary level, whilst another student won a national maths quiz run through the social network, MXit.

McPherson explained that the programme would undoubtedly carry on growing, with the anticipation of far better results in the long run.

Ngidi added: “As a result of our participation in education projects at high school level, we have high hopes to inspire a whole new generation of future engineers, technicians and artisans who will certainly make it possible for South Africa to help maintain its high-tech leadership position.”

 

Maths and science development strategy in Gauteng

This is not the only solution currently being undertaken to improve the standard of critical skills. The Gauteng Department of Education has layed out numerous goals and objectives to boost the quality of mathematics, science and technology (MST) education within the province.

These have been outlined in the MST Improvement Strategy Paper of 2009-2014, which states: “Quality in mathematics, science and technology education is an ever-increasing requirement for the development of skills needed in modern economies. As the center of the South African economy, Gauteng is required to make certain that school leavers moving into higher education and industry are sufficiently prepared in these subjects.”

Goals and objectives include: strengthening MST teaching to all of the Gauteng schools, which is focused on continually developing teachers’ instruction skills; increasing the provision of MST resources, which consists of the satisfactory distribution of MST textbooks along with other learning and teaching support materials to schools; offering programmes to support learners in MST, which comprises a variety of campaigns to enhance learner achievement by way of in-class and supplementary programmes; and additionally, boosting the management of MST teaching and learning, guaranteeing there is a positive and conducive environment for MST education in schools and districts.

 

Dinaledi Schools Project

Maths and science have been made a top priority subjects over a decade ago by the education department. The Dinaledi Schools Project was started in 2001 by the department to boost the volume of matriculants with university-entrance mathematics and science passes.

The strategy consists of selecting high schools for Dinaledi status to boost learner participation and performance in mathematics and science, and additionally provide them with the appropriate resources and support.

Dinaledi means “stars” in Setswana. The Department of Basic Education earmarked R70-million (US$9.1-million) for the Dinaledi schools programme in 2011/12; this is expected to reach R105.5-million ($13.7-million) in 2013/14.

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com

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Corruption Watch – another step towards fighting corruption

Combating corruption acquired some serious artillery with the roll-out of Corruption Watch, an independent civil society institute established make it possible for South Africans to report and confront corrupt activity in both the public and private sectors.

The unveiling, held at the Women’s Gaol museum at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, was attended by a number of government, civil society and business leaders, most notably Jay Naidoo, Mark Haywood, Mary Metcalfe, Njongonkulu Ndungane and public protector Thuli Madonsela, in addition to a significant contingent of news media.

Corruption Watch’s function consists of a newly launched website along with a SMS hotline to obtain reports of corruption, along with a pledge which individuals can sign online to indicate their rejection of corruption.

 

 

The internet site is going to be a library of stories coming from the South African public, a safe and secure portal for evidence-based whistle blowing activity, in addition to a resource for information regarding corrupt activities throughout South Africa.

As part of his keynote speech, Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi praised Corruption Watch as being a “critical resolution of Cosatu and civil society” as well as a “dream come true to empower our people”.

We will never be successful in our mission to overcome this fast advancing enemy except in cases where we can effectively mobilise and empower ordinary people, strengthen and build a people-centred developmental state, brought about by honest men and women, and construct independent state institutions that fight against corruption on a daily basis and transform the judiciary and media, he was quoted saying.

The general public can inform Corruption Watch about their experiences and sign the pledge online.

To SMS, send the text “BRIBE” to report corruption or, to sign the pledge, type “PLEDGE” including your first and last names to the number 45142 (the SMS costs R1).

Individuals are also able to discuss it on Facebook and Twitter (@corruption_sa).

Eliminate abuse of power and position

Corruption Watch director David Lewis stated that by gathering, interpreting and acting on information compiled from the public, the media and other sources, the organisation would eventually be in a position uncover the corrupt misuse of public money.

“We have established this organisation make it possible for citizens to report and confront public and private sector individuals abusing their power and position.”

The information gathered by the organisation is going to be utilized to reveal hotspots of corrupt activity throughout the country at municipal, provincial and national level. Where corruption is rife, Corruption Watch is going to seek out partnerships with powerful organs of civil society to effect change.

“We would like to guide the national conversation with regards to corruption from resignation to action,” said Lewis.

The website would be the principal interface between the public and Corruption Watch, however the organisation could also be contacted via SMS, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Cosatu secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi

By way of social media, individuals can easily talk about their stories pertaining to all types of corruption, including but not exclusive to bribery, kickbacks and graft; have an impact on peddling and patronage; along with corruption in the work place where they’ve observed or happen to be victims of favouritism, nepotism, ghost workers and illegitimate absenteeism. Individuals will be able to complain of cases of bid-rigging, price-fixing, arbitrage and profiteering, cartels and collusion and tender and procurement irregularities.

The private information of anyone reporting an incident is going to be kept confidential, however the information collected is going to be aggregated, making it possible for Corruption Watch to analyse the data, identify patterns and draw a “heat map” of when and where corruption is going on.

“Information from crowd-sourcing provides a clear understanding of what is occurring on the ground,” said Lewis. “While we {will not|probably won’t|probably will not} be in a position to investigate every single report, the consolidated knowledge of people coming to our site will furnish us with a powerful tool to develop alliances with other institutions and NGOs. Strengthening the scale and voice of civil society will assist South Africans to defeat corruption.”

As a result of some of the aggregated information – and from time to time a personal story signifying an endemic form of corruption – Corruption Watch will initiate research, commission reports and compile a sufficient amount of documentation to refer matters to the appropriate investigative or prosecutorial authority, as well as engage in policy-based advocacy work.

“Our first campaign,” said Lewis, “is requesting individuals to sign a pledge online, or via SMS, refusing to get involved in corruption and, in the event that they are civil servants, committing to treating public resources with respect.”

‘Nowhere to hide’

Justice minister Jeff Radebe likewise took to the podium, decrying corruption as a “cancer” in South African society.

“This cancer of corruption can only be defeated by the concerted initiatives of all South Africans … meaning that the roll-out of Corruption Watch is highly commended,” he stated.

 

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Cosatu’s Zwelinzima Vavi

The minister added the fact that the organisation would certainly assist to transform many South Africans from being passive recipients within a democracy into “important role-players who actively combat corruption”.

“We would at the same time like the media to continue in its determined efforts to expose corruption whenever it rears its ugly head.”

He added: “We are positive that Corruption Watch is going to be an independent unbiased voice and barometer displaying the strides we as a nation are making to fight corruption. Everyone must fully understand that there is nowhere to hide as far as corruption is concerned.”

United front against corruption

Public protector Thuli Madonsela pointed out that the initiative “couldn’t have come at a better time” and that the Public Protector team was honoured to be part of it.

“Many sectors of society can learn a good deal from this development. As a nation we require a united front against corruption and central to this is active citizenship.”

Accountability and transparency are, in addition central to the organisation, she added.

“I’m encouraged by Corruption Watch’s understanding that corruption is a societal problem – it’s not an isolated problem.”

Corruption is additionally rife in the regulatory environment, service delivery, along with the public and private sector, she pointed out.

 

 

“It is time that all of us as patriotic South Africans stand together to fight corruption with courage and resilience. We look forward to working with Corruption Watch in taking the process forward when it comes to awareness-raising, protecting and encouraging whistle-blowing and promoting transparency in the government’s legal framework.”

Madonsela called on all sectors of society to throw their weight behind the initiative, adding that actively fighting corruption is needed to alleviate poverty, boost service delivery, and promote safety and justice.

“Each of us carries a responsibility to fight corruption in the public and private sector to make certain that we establish a society where there is public accountability, integrity and responsiveness to all the people of the country.”

Taking action

Financed primarily by donations from charitable foundations, Corruption Watch has been established as a non-profit organisation by Cosatu’s office bearers, who have been receiving progressively more complaints with regards to corruption from its membership along with the general public.

Its board of directors is comprised of Bobby Godsell, Adila Hassim, David Lewis, Mary Metcalfe, Mavuso Msimang, Njongonkulu Ndungane, Kate O’Regan, Zwelinzima Vavi, with Vuyiseka Dubula in the chair.

 

Source: mediaclubsouthafrica.com

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