Blockchain pilot sees Ben & Jerry carbon-offset ice cream at new London store

Ben & Jerry

Ben & Jerry is offering customers the opportunity to help carbon-offset their ice-cream through technology at its new London Scoop Shop.

The ice cream company is using a new retail platform that connects consumers to their own carbon footprint and supports forest conservation. The platform was launched by The Poseidon Foundation on 1 May, and uses blockchain technology to integrate carbon markets into transactions at point-of-sale, giving retailers and their customers the opportunity to support action on climate change and forestry conservation projects around the world when they buy and sell everyday items.

A pilot is currently underway at Ben & Jerry’s new ice cream Scoop Shop in London’s Wardour Street. For every scoop of ice cream sold the company contributes through the platform towards carbon credits from a forest conservation project in Peru, giving a penny, and offers their customers the opportunity to do the same.

It is already contributing. Laszlo Giricz, Founder and CEO of Poseidon said:

“While this is just one small pilot, the technology is now proven and can be fully scaled and integrated, giving everyone the opportunity to understand their own carbon impact and take action. In just three weeks, we have already protected over 1,000 trees via the London store, equivalent to an area the size of 77 tennis courts, which is very encouraging and shows the potential for the platform to drive behaviour change once widely adopted.”

Chris Gale, Head of Ben & Jerry’s Social Mission Europe, added:

“We have got a long way to go within our own business to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels but we have also made some big commitments and want to be transparent about our impact. At the same time, we want to use every part of our business to support a transition to a low carbon economy, including putting an internal price on carbon and setting ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our absolute carbon emissions by 80% by 2020. We are excited by the opportunity Poseidon Foundation’s new technology brings as an approach that connects fans to climate action.”

The carbon credits on the Poseidon Platform are sourced from Ecosphere+.  The first project supported by users of the Poseidon platform, the Cordillera Azul National Park, sits at the intersection of the Andes mountain range and the Amazon basin in Peru and is home to around 6,000 plant species, 11 endangered large mammals and numerous indigenous populations.

Posted by Melanie May on 12 June 2018 in News

Iceland has made it illegal to pay women less than men

Iceland fan flagClive Rose/Getty Images
  • A new law in Iceland making it illegal to pay women less than men came into effect on January 1, 2018.
  • Companies will now have to obtain certification for demonstrating equal pay.
  • Iceland has been ranked the best in the world for gender pay equality for 9 years in a row.

Iceland has made it illegal to pay men more than women.

A new law enforcing equal pay between genders came into effect on January 1, 2018, according to Al Jazeera.

Under the legislation, firms that employ more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, or they will face fines.

The law was announced on March 8 on International Women’s Day 2017 as part of a drive by the nation to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.

Dagny Osk Aradottir Pind, of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association, told Al Jazeera: “The legislation is basically a mechanism that companies and organisations … evaluate every job that’s being done, and then they get a certification after they confirm the process if they are paying men and women equally.”

She added: “It’s a mechanism to ensure women and men are being paid equally.

“We have had legislation saying that pay should be equal for men and women for decades now but we still have a pay gap.”

The Nordic country, home to more than 323,000 people, has been ranked the best in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years in a row.

The Global Gender Gap Report evaluates gender equality in a country using indicators including economic opportunity, political empowerment, and health and survival.

The new legislation was supported by Iceland’s centre-right coalition government, as well as the opposition – nearly 50 percent of the lawmakers in parliament are women.

Ms. Aradottir Pind added: “I think that now people are starting to realise that this is a systematic problem that we have to tackle with new methods.

“Women have been talking about this for decades and I really feel that we have managed to raise awareness, and we have managed to get to the point that people realise that the legislation we have had in place is not working, and we need to do something more.”

The UK reported a 16.9% pay gap between men and women in 2017.

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Khanyi Dhlomo: 6 steps to create the future you want

Durban – Khanyi Dhlomo, founder of Ndalo Media and Ndalo Luxury Ventures, says there are six steps to creating the future you desire.
She shared these six steps, and how they can be applied in business, at a Women’s Breakfast hosted by Azzaro Quantity Surveyors at the annual SA Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) in Durban earlier this week.”It usually takes someone to show us it is possible to do something. We can use the power of our minds and imagination to create the reality we desire,” she told the audience consisting of women in the property industry.”I wanted to create media content that changes people’s lives. One can do good while doing business.”

Khanyi’s 6 important steps:

1. Decide what you want your future to look like, and articulate it

“We underestimate the importance of precision in our thinking. The best way to predict the future is to create it,” she says.

“We live in a very precise world. You act more clearly if you are precise about what you want. Articulate it and repeat to yourself on a daily basis.”

2. Make fascination, not fear, the dominant emotion regarding your future

This implies focus, she stresses.

“The great innovators and achievers of the world were obsessed with a particular goal and that led to them achieving what others didn’t,” she explains.

“Whatever emotion one chooses, it acts and attracts and has results. What you think is important and influences what we attract into our lives.”
She used Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as an example of someone who became obsessed with an idea.

“Make positive emotions, and not fear, your dominant emotion regarding your future. Train your mind to think of what will go right,” Dhlomo advises.

“Madiba said ‘Make your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears’.”

3. Accept – and believe – it is possible to make your future a reality

In Dhlomo’s view, women are good at deciding what they want, but they don’t always believe at a deep level that they can achieve it. For men, on the other hand, it takes less to make them feel confident in their abilities.

“Mohammed Ali said ‘I am the greatest – I said that even before I knew I was’,” she says.

4. Do the inner work first

For Dhlomo, it is important to start by doing inner work on yourself first.

Believe in the power within you, she says – the power of who you are.

5. See your future in your mind’s eye daily

Creating your future begins with creating it in our mind’s eye, and using your imagination to see what you want, says Dhlomo.

“Decide that what is currently not existing in your life, can actually become a reality,” she says.

“Sports people who visualise their performance on the field often go on to a much greater performance. The mental rehearsal is very important.”

6. Do something daily to make your future a reality

Dhlomo says most successful people she has met took their large goals and turned them into smaller steps along the way to make them a reality.

“One of my favourite African proverbs is: ‘If you wish to move mountains tomorrow, you must start today by lifting stones’,” she explains.

“Ultimately, all these smaller steps will add up to create the larger picture.”

Relevance to business

Dhlomo argues that the 4th Industrial Revolution will change the way people work and live, due to the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

She, however, believes that, since machines do not have imagination, it will become all the more more important for business leaders and their employees to have strong imaginations.

“Cultivate the culture of imagination, of believing in different possibilities,” she says. “That is how humans will survive in the machine age.

“Organisations do not innovate,” she adds. “People innovate, but they need to be inspired and committed.

“Future success will belong to leaders who work even harder to cultivate a culture of innovation.”

For Dhlomo, it is a case of each person ultimately having the potential to make a positive impact on the world.

“It all depends on what we decide is possible, and what we do with what we have. We all have imagination, so let’s imagine and work towards a future that will delight us, and that the world will thank us for.”

•    Artical Credit to Fin24 who were a guest of SAPOA at its annual conference.

Just How Bad Is Business Travel for Your Health? Here’s the Data.


Checking into a hotel for a conference several years ago, I asked the receptionist where I could get some dinner. There was no restaurant in the hotel, I was told; my only options were ordering delivery from a fast-casual chain or a pizza joint. I went with the pizza, but my lack of choices was annoying — so much so that, when I got home, I started looking into the data on health and travel for work.

My experience is far from unique. According to the Global Business Travel Association and American Express, Americans took more than 500 million domestic business trips in 2016. And while many workplace health programs for business travel provide immunizations, information about avoiding food-borne illness, and alerts about civil or political unrest, few focus on a more a common threat to health: the stress, sleep interruption, unhealthy eating and drinking, and lack of exercise that are common side effects of being on the road. Over the long-term, these issues can add up to chronic disease risks.

To investigate the link between business travel and chronic disease conditions, my colleagues and I turned to de-identified electronic medical record data from EHE, Inc., which provides preventive medicine exams, health screenings, and wellness program services nationally to tens of thousands of employees a year working at companies in the U.S. In addition to preventive medicine exams, the full patient encounter also includes a comprehensive online health assessment that asks about the frequency of business travel.

When we analyzed these data, we found a strong correlation between the frequency of business travel and a wide range of physical and behavioral health risks. Compared to those who spent one to six nights a month away from home for business travel, those who spent 14 or more nights away from home per month had significantly higher body mass index scores and were significantly more likely to report the following: poor self-rated health; clinical symptoms of anxiety, depression and alcohol dependence; no physical activity or exercise; smoking; and trouble sleeping. The odds of being obese were 92% higher for those who traveled 21 or more nights per month compared to those who traveled only one to six nights per month, and this ultra-traveling group also had higher diastolic blood pressure and lower high density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol).

Although only about 12% of employees in the data we looked at traveled for business 14 or more nights per month, the clustering of all these health conditions among extensive business travelers is worrying, both for their own health and the health of the organizations they work for. Physical, behavioral and mental health issues such as obesity, hypertension, smoking, depression, anxiety, poor sleep, and alcohol dependence can create costs for employers through higher medical claims, reduced employee productivity and performance, absenteeism, presenteeism, and short-term disability. The effects of these issues have the potential to strain or sever relationships with clients and suppliers.

Our results are backed up by several other pieces of research. A study of health insurance claims among World Bank staff and consultants found that travelers had significantly higher claims than their non-traveling peers for all conditions considered, including chronic diseases such as asthma and back disorders. The highest increase in health related claims was for the stress-related disorders. A second World Bank study found that almost 75% of the staff reported high or very high stress related to business travel. And an analyses of health risk appraisal surveys conducted at a large multinational corporation found that international business travel was associated with higher alcohol consumption, lower confidence in keeping up with the pace of work, and lower perceived flexibility in fulfilling commitments.

So what can companies do to help their employees develop healthy habits while traveling? We suggest a combination of employee education and improvements in employer policies around travel. First, employees simply need to be aware that business travel can predispose them to making poorer health decisions. The steak with fries and a late-night cocktail at the hotel bar might seem easily justifiable as a reward for acing a long day of client meetings. But research finds that restaurant food contains more calories per serving, is higher in total fat and saturated fat per calorie, and contains less dietary fiber than meals prepared at home. Research also suggests that the higher calorie content of restaurant food is compounded by chronic stress, like that caused by frequent business travel, which is linked to preferences for even more high calorie foods. Given this, employers should help employees learn to identify and select the healthiest options available — and to help them prepare in advance if they wind up at a hotel like the one I visited, with few good choices nearby.

It’s often harder to maintain an exercise regimen when you are on the road, too. Over the long term, many high-calorie rewards for a job well done can add up to weight gain and associated cardiovascular disease risks. Supporting exercise and physical activity among employees can help prevent weight gain — and the physical activity can help reduce stress. One fairly simple thing employers can do is to ensure that their preferred accommodations have well-equipped gyms. Employers can also use hotels that provide complementary workout clothes or in-room exercise equipment such as mats, weights, or workout videos. In general, hotel gyms can be minimalist and a bit depressing, but an alliance of sorts between employers and business hotel chains could work together to improve the hotel gym experience. If hotel gyms aren’t an option, employers could also provide employees with memberships to gym and health club chains with a national presence.

Employers can also provide their business travelers training in a variety of stress management approaches and sleep hygiene techniques. Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction training are therapeutic options that provide personal coping strategies and have been shown to be effective for managing depression, anxiety, and workplace stress. These techniques may also be useful for employers to integrate into prevention and treatment programs for employees who engage in frequent travel and who may be more vulnerable to stress and negative emotions.

Even with the increasing sophistication of conference calls and video chat, business travel is a prominent feature of many occupations and is likely to remain so. It will continue to be an avenue of professional advancement, and the opportunity to travel is often touted by companies as a benefit in their recruitment of talent. But the accumulating evidence linking extensive business travel to chronic disease health risks needs to be factored into the cost-benefit analysis of the practice. Business travel can surely be educational, and even fun, not to mention necessary for many people; but the wear and tear resulting from constant trips may not be altogether worth it.

If you travel for work regularly, it’s worth pausing to examine whether you actually need to be on the road frequently — and if you do, how you can mitigate the effects of stress and be mindful about your dietary choices. And if you have employees who are often between cities, you owe it to them to provide the education, tools and resources so they can maintain healthy lifestyles while on the road.

“It is down to better planning, people!  Spend more time with your calendar’s… book into hotels with gyms, make time to exercise & eat smart.”

Article by Andrew Rundle and Image Credit to Eric Raptosh Photography/Getty Images

Why Grit Is More Important Than IQ When You’re Trying To Become Successful

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

You attended the party of a long-time friend and ran into a lot of people from high school that you hadn’t seen in years. During chit-chat over appetizers and drinks, you could feel the friendly competition heating up.

While comparing career accomplishments, you were shocked to learn that the kid from school with the genius IQ, the one all the teachers thought would be spectacularly successful, had struggled with his career. How could this be, you wondered. This was the person everyone thought would invent something that would change the world.

It turns out that intelligence might not be the best indicator of future success. According to psychologist Angela Duckworth, the secret to outstanding achievement isn’t talent. Instead, it’s a special blend of persistence and passion that she calls “grit.”

Duckworth has spent years studying people, trying to understand what it is that makes high achievers so successful. And what she found surprised even her. It wasn’t SAT scores. It wasn’t IQ scores. It wasn’t even a degree from a top-ranking business school that turned out to be the best predictor of success. “It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special,” Duckworth said. “In a word, they had grit.”

Being gritty, according to Duckworth, is the ability to persevere. It’s about being unusually resilient and hardworking, so much so that you’re willing to continue on in the face of difficulties, obstacles and even failures. It’s about being constantly driven to improve.

In addition to perseverance, being gritty is also about being passionate about something. For the highly successful, Duckworth found that the journey was just as important as the end result. “Even if some of the things they had to do were boring, or frustrating, or even painful, they wouldn’t dream of giving up. Their passion was enduring.”

What her research demonstrated is that it wasn’t natural talent that made the biggest difference in who was highly successful and who wasn’t – it was more about effort than IQ. Duckworth even came up with two equations she uses to explain this concept:

• Talent x effort = skill

• Skill x effort = achievement

“Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort. Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them,” Duckworth explained.

As you can see from the equations, effort counts twice. That’s why IQ and SAT scores aren’t a good indicator of someone’s future success. It’s because those scores are missing the most important part of the equation – the person’s effort level or what Duckworth calls their “grittiness” factor (their level of persistence and passion).

What does that mean for you? It means that it’s OK if you aren’t the smartest person in the room or the smartest person in the job. It means the effort you expend toward your goals (perseverance) and your dedication throughout your career journey (passion) are what matter more than how you scored on your SAT or an IQ test.

Why? Because grit will always trump talent. Or as Duckworth notes, “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”

Lisa Quast is the author of Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want. Every Time.

Credit to Forbes, Lisa Quast and Angela Duckworth for this view.

You and your money. Essential course for all workers.

The single biggest stress for our farm workers is money management. Thankfully Louisa le Roux, pictured below with our vineyard staff, has designed an excellent course. She, amongst others, draws on psychology, explains the difference between wants and needs and the different types of saving etc. This course is 5 hours long. She comes to your office.

As a result of the positive feedback, we are putting the rest of the farm staff on her course over the next 2 weeks.

If you are interested in getting Louisa in to come and engage with your staff on this valuable skill then click here Life Skills Training – Module 1 – You and Your Money – May 2018 – Final for full details.

Credit Post – Farmer Angus

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