Press Releases

I have worked as a journalist, earned a master’s degree in environmental journalism, interned in the media relations department of a major corporation as well as the press office of a state environmental agency, and worked alongside some very talented media outreach professionals. That said, I’ve done very little in the way of direct media outreach. Still, here are some samples of press releases I drafted on my own.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 31, 2011

Delta Institute Helps Standard Register with Environmental Reporting

Standard Register scores in top 5% in carbon disclosure project

CHICAGO, May 31 /CSRwire/ – Ohio-based Standard Register (NYSE: SR), a recognized leader in management and execution of critical communications, knew it was a pretty “green” company, but didn’t know how green until it measured and reported its greenhouse gas emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) at the request of one of its biggest customers, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.

“Although Standard Register’s green initiatives had been a part of our business model for some time, we had never measured and reported our carbon emissions in a rigorous, standardized way,” said Steve McDonell, Standard Register’s vice president of engineering.

To help navigate the process, the company engaged sustainability experts Delta Institute and Roadmap Green, both based in the Chicago area. Delta helped to catalog and calculate greenhouse gas emissions from 100 production, warehouse, distribution, and sales facilities nationwide. They also identified how the company’s previous sustainability initiatives reduced greenhouse gas emissions and translated this information into terms that fit the CDP reporting framework.

The results surprised even McDonell: based on this comprehensive assessment, Standard Register scored 91 out of a possible 100 – nearly double the national average and in the top 5% of all participating companies. McDonell believes the finding validates the company’s longstanding investment in sustainability.

“But, more importantly, the process helped the company identify opportunities and risks associated with carbon emissions across the company, aligning reduction efforts with the company’s strategic business goals,” said Delta Institute’s Ryan Anderson.

Bank of America, Walmart, and other large companies recently began requiring that their suppliers participate in CDP reporting to remain preferred customers. According to The Carbon Disclosure Project 2011 Supply Chain Report, 50% of large businesses have seen cost savings as a result of carbon management activities and 86% have seen commercial benefits from working closely with suppliers to improve performance and mutual return on investment.

Further, the CDP projects that carbon management criteria will continue to rise as a part of supplier selection: up to 29% in five years from 17% last year and 11% the year before.

“It’s not just the big multinationals but also all their customers – companies of all shapes and sizes – that have to figure out a carbon management strategy,” Anderson said. “Not every business has the internal capacity to respond or make the most of the information it does have.”

According to Standard Register’s McDonell, the company plans to use the CDP reporting process as a baseline for measuring future progress. “The process was both painless and invaluable, and we’re interested in seeing how this can continue to benefit our business,” he said.

According to Roadmap Green’s Michael Twedell, “What started as a compliance exercise revealed unsuspected strengths in the company’s sustainability efforts. That’s not unique to Standard Register; every company can grow their business by greening their operations.”

For more information about the Delta Institute’s carbon services, please visit www.deltainstitute.org or contact Ryan Anderson at randerson@delta-institute.org or (312) 554-0900 x14.

About the Delta Institute. Since 1998, the Delta Institute has successfully demonstrated that a healthy economy and a healthy environment can go hand in hand. Delta fills funding gaps and implements innovative programs that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and thriving, vibrant communities – blazing a trail for the green economy so others can successfully follow. For more information, visit www.delta-institute.org or call (312) 554-0900.

About Roadmap Green. Roadmap Green is a full-service management organization focused on identifying and implementing energy efficiency and sustainability-related technologies for commercial and residential properties across the country. From new construction to remodeling to efficiency upgrades, its mission is to turn clients’ good intentions into real green initiatives.

About Standard Register. Standard Register (NYSE:SR) is trusted by the world’s leading companies to advance their reputations by aligning communications with corporate standards and priorities. Providing market-specific insights and a compelling portfolio of solutions to address the changing business landscape in healthcare, commercial and industrial markets, Standard Register is the recognized leader in the management and execution of mission-critical communications. More information is available atwww.standardregister.com.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: OCTOBER 18, 2012
CONTACTS:
Katie Coleman, kcoleman@elpc.org, (312) 795-3710
David Jakubiak, djakubiak@elpc.org, (312) 795-3713
Print-quality photos and staff interviews available upon request. 

Stories from Illinois – Website Highlights Water Quality Issues in Rivers, Lakes and Drinking Water Sources

Site Launched Today in Honor of Clean Water Act’s 40th Anniversary

CHICAGO – The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) today launched InIllinoisWater.org, an innovative new education and advocacy website about water quality in Illinois. The state is home to severe water pollution problems both urban and rural, but it is also home to some pristine waterways and to farmers, parents, anglers, kayakers and community leaders who are trying to make a difference.

“Forty years ago today, Congress enacted the Clean Water Act to remedy the mostly unchecked pollution into our nation’s rivers and lakes,” said Howard A. Learner, ELPC Executive Director. “We’ve made progress, but much still needs to be done to clean up our community’s lakes and rivers.  ELPC’s InIllinoisWater.org uses powerful storytelling and interactive tools to better inform people who want to help make a difference for clean water to swim and fish in and safe water to drink.”

InIllinoisWater.org features six multi-media stories – including videos featuring Illinois residents affected by water quality – from across the state, from Macomb to McHenry. A list of the communities and waterways is included below.

According to ELPC Staff Attorney Jessica Dexter, “These are not ‘environmental stories.’ These are ‘people stories.’ Stories that show farmers and business owners trying to do the right thing. Stories that show the people of Illinois enjoying the outdoors. Stories that demonstrate why it’s important for all of us to be good stewards.”

ELPC is working to increase awareness of the water pollution issues facing Illinois and engage the public to participate in the public decision-making process surrounding water quality issues.

Stories on InIllinoisWater.org Launch Site

  • Pollution Prevention in Central Illinois Drinking Water Reservoirs – Farley Cole grows corn and soybeans and raises cattle in Girard, IL, southwest of Springfield. Dennis Ross manages that community’s drinking water reservoir, known as Otter Lake. Cole and Ross are working together to hit two proverbial birds with one stone: preventing water pollution and saving healthy soil by implementing runoff-prevention strategies on local farms. Their work tackles a tough problem: agricultural runoff and the dangerous algae blooms it can cause in local waterways. Read the story.Download print-quality photos.
  • Fish Habitat and Human Habits on the Chicago River – Every day on the Chicago River, fish swim, kayakers paddle, and anglers cast their lines – three activities that can be enhanced by fewer man-made dams and more man-made habitats. This feature focuses on two small projects – dam removal and “fish hotels” – that are helping the Chicago River in big ways. Read the story.Download the print-quality photos.
  • Recreation Despite Runoff on the Fox River – The Fox River runs through town after town in the sprawling far-west suburbs of Chicago. On a nice day, countless people can be found jet-skiing, motor-boating, taking a ride on an old-fashioned riverboat, or just strolling along the banks. But urban runoff plagues this river, which also provides drinking water for more than 330,000 people in Elgin and Aurora. This feature highlights what local leaders and advocates are doing to try to fix the Fox. Read the storyDownload the print-quality photos.
  • Water Conservation Efforts in McHenry County – McHenry County is one of the nation’s fastest-growing counties. Last year, it predicted shortages of groundwater – its only source of drinking water – in the next 10-20 years. Residents and municipalities are more progressive than most when it comes to monitoring and enforcing water conservation efforts, but will it be enough? Read the storyDownload the print-quality photos
  • Coal Mine Pollution Haunts Grindstone Creek Near Macomb, IL – Kim Sedgwick stumbled across a Great Blue Heron rookery while canoeing on Grindstone Creek many years ago. The creek is beautiful where it is surrounded by forests and prairies in southwest Illinois, before it connects to the Lamoine River and eventually the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. But before that, the creek winds through a different setting – the disturbed land of a massive coal mine that violated its water pollution permit 624 times between 2004 and 2011. Read the storyWatch the videoDownload the print-quality photos.
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