Posts Tagged ‘corporate responsibility’


ING gets kids running for their lives

April 14, 2009

A growing epidemic

Parents, beware: a dangerous epidemic is sweeping our nation’s youth. Your child may be at risk of life-threatening complications, psychological problems and decreased quality of life. More than 15 percent of American children are estimated to have the disease, and the number is growing at an alarming rate. What is this frightening condition? Childhood obesity.

Sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition have tripled youth obesity levels.

Sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition have tripled youth obesity levels.

According to the American Obesity Association, the number of obese children has more than tripled over the last three decades. At least 30 percent of kids are clinically overweight and are also subject to the health problems associated with obesity. Many doctors attribute the rapid increase in overweight and obese children to sedentary lifestyles accompanied by high-calorie, low-nutrient snacks.

With so much passive entertainment- whether it’s television, the computer or video games — at their fingertips, many kids choose to spend time sitting and snacking. This lifestyle is very different than the “good old days” when parents sent their children to play outside regularly. Today’s parents feel their children are safer inside, but the lack of physical activity among American children is putting their health in danger.

Physical problems obese children may develop include:

  • joint pain
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • sleep apnea
  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol

Overweight and obese children are also at increased risk of depression, low self-esteem and other psychological issues.

Banking on our kids’ health

Recent events have put an unflattering spotlight on the American banking industry. However, some banks are maintaining their reputations through community programs and philanthropic contributions. ING Group is a global institution that offers banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to more than 85 million clients around the world. The institution is teaming up with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) to get kids moving and improve their health.

ING Run for Something Better teaches kids the benefits of exercise.

Run for Something Better teaches kids the benefits of exercise.

ING Run for Something Better encourages kids to make healthy lifestyle choices through free community and school-based running programs. ING instituted the campaign to give all children access to exercise and health education and to combat childhood obesity due to sedentary lifestyles.

ING has contributed more than$2.5 million in grants to fund running programs, and more than 40,000 students have participated in Run for Something Better since 2003.

School scholarships for exercise

The NASPE recognized ING’s effort to improve children’s lifestyles, and partnered with ING to create an awards program for schools hoping to institute running programs. The  program will award 50 schools $2,000 grants to establish or expand their running  programs. Any public school may apply for a grant to fund a running program that targets fifth- through eighth-graders for a minimum of eight weeks.

“NASPE is thrilled to partner with ING Run for Something Better to help children get more physically active,” NASPE President Fran Cleland said. “Quality physical activity programs introduce children to the joys of movement and are truly the beginning of health care reform.”

Schools will receive grants to implement exercise programs.

Schools will receive $2,000 grants to implement exercise programs.

The ING Run for Something More program is helping children across America adopt healthy habits that may lower their chances of becoming overweight or obese. Teaching children the benefits of exercise and proper nutrition is vital to their well-being, and campaigns like Run for Something Better give all kids a chance to learn to make wise lifestyle choices.


Going green never tasted so good

April 7, 2009

Spring sounds egg-cellent

Cadbury eggs have milk chocolate shells and creme "yolks."

Cadbury eggs have milk chocolate shells and creme "yolks."

Despite the snowy forecast in Northeast Ohio, I am thrilled to say that spring has sprung! And with thoughts of flowers, little chicks and bunnies comes the ultimate vice in my Easter basket: that’s right, it’s Cadbury season.

Cadbury chocolate has been a staple in England since the 1800s, winning even monarchs over with its creamy recipe. Cadbury created a variety of chocolate flavors, including Fruit & Nut and Caramello, but its most famous product is the Cadbury Crème Egg.

Introduced in 1923, the Cadbury Crème Egg became an instant hit in the UK. A milk chocolate shell filled with white and yellow crème, the Cadbury Egg is a much sweeter version of the original (incredible, edible) egg.

In 1982, the Hershey Corporation initiated a marketing campaign that sent Crème Egg sales through the roof. Hershey’s “clucking bunny” campaign got Americans on the Cadbury Egg train, and the corporation soon obtained the right to manufacture and sell Cadbury brands stateside.

Available only during the Easter season, Cadbury Eggs are irresistible this time of year. And thanks to Cadbury’s movement to conserve energy in all aspects of its business, you don’t even have to feel (as) guilty indulging.

Purple Goes Green

In July 2007, Cadbury initiated the Purple Goes Green program, setting targets to reduce its impact on the global environment. The company aims to:

  • reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2020
  • reduce standard packaging 10 percent and seasonal packaging by 25 percent
  • implement water reduction programs in all “water-scarce” sites
  • advocate green business practices with colleagues, suppliers, customers, peers and consumers

The Cadbury Purple Goes Green Web site says:

The Cadbury Purple Goes Green initiative sets a vision for our company to tackle climate change. We intend to shrink our global environmental footprint by cutting our energy use, reducing excess packaging and managing our water use.

Cadbury's Purple Goes Green logo.

Cadbury's Purple Goes Green logo.


By the end of 2007, Cadbury had already reduced its carbon emissions by 3 percent, and the company expects to reduce emissions 10 percent by 2010. Cadbury has implemented several “green” initiatives in its sites around the world to help achieve its Purple Goes Green targets.

  • Wind turbines now provide all electricity in Ireland, reducing carbon emissions almost 40 percent.
  • A 640-panel solar installation in a New South Wales, Australia factory roof produces enough energy to power 21 homes while saving 140 tons of greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of taking 35 cars off the road.
  • New  combined heat and power plants in Rockford (US) and Nagoya (Japan) save energy.
  • Packaging is being reduced and will be completely recoverable or biodegradable by 2020.

Consumer involvement

Cadbury has taken its green initiative straight to the consumer via its Web site, The site encourages all to view Cadbury’s social responsibility goals and offers tips to help consumers become more environmentally friendly. The site invites visitors to leave feedback concerning the company and its environmental efforts.

Cadbury Global Affairs Director Alex Cole said, “We have created an interactive asset that reaches beyond responsible investors and analysts. is about sharing our views and contributing to the public debate on ethical sourcing, responsible consumption and the environment.”

Sweet Success

With these and continuing environmental efforts, Cadbury’s Purple Goes Green initiative is reducing its environmental impact while producing some of the most popular candies in the world. In the spirit of new beginnings, Cadbury shows the positive impact a global corporation can have on the world’s well-being.