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President Clinton Underscores Importance of “Designing Our Environment” and Unveils New Commitments to Action on Second Day of 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

September 24, 2012

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Featured speakers included Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. State Department, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Dr. Paul Farmer, Founder of Partners In Health, Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, Nicholas Kristof, Columnist for the New York Times, Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, and Fareed Zakaria, CNN Anchor. 

New commitments made by CGI members focus on issues ranging from women’s empowerment and energy efficiency to sustainable development and childhood nutrition

NEW YORK – During the second day of the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, President Bill Clinton announced new commitments made by CGI members this year designed to combat some of the most pressing global challenges. From improving the monitoring and warning of severe weather in Haiti to addressing the problem of under-nutrition in Guatemala, the new CGI commitments unveiled today aim to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

“I am inspired by the dedication and generosity of our CGI members whose commitments touch the lives of millions of people around the world,” said President Clinton. “This year’s commitments represent not only a deep respect for humanity but also inspire others to transform their ideas and innovation into substantive global action. I extend my sincerest thanks to all of the leaders from the political, business, and civil sectors for their willingness to choose to create a more prosperous, sustainable, and inclusive world for all people.”

The day’s theme, “Designing Our Environments,” highlighted the need to produce holistic approaches for built and natural environments in order to provide healthy sustainable settings worldwide. Over the course of the meeting’s second day, CGI members heard from an array of global leaders on the importance of fostering prosperous futures for generations to come through investment in ecosystems, urban centers, and social environments.

Featured speakers included Laurent Lamothe, Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. State Department, Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, Madeleine K. Albright, Former Secretary of State and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs, John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco, Dr. Paul Farmer, Founder of Partners In Health, Randa Grob-Zakhary, CEO of the LEGO Foundation, Nicholas Kristof, Columnist for the New York Times, Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, and Fareed Zakaria, CNN Anchor.

The 2012 CGI Annual Meeting is sponsored by Abraaj Capital, American Federation of Teachers, Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, APCO Worldwide, Barclays, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Delos Living, Deutsche Bank, Diageo PLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy Corporation, ExxonMobil, The Ford Foundation, Varkey GEMS Foundation, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Hewlett Packard Company, Inter-American Development Bank, InterEnergy, Jive Software, Knoll Inc, Laureate International Universities, Microsoft Corporation, NRG Energy Inc, Procter & Gamble, The Rockefeller Foundation, Shangri-La Industries, Standard Chartered Bank, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Tom Golisano, Toyota Motors Corporation, United Postcode Lotteries, The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and Western Union Financial Services Inc..

The following new commitments were announced today:

Where We Learn Matters: Transforming Schools via Green Apple
Commitment by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing and U.S. Green Building Council
In 2012, the Center for Green Schools (the Center) at the U.S. Green Building Council and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), in partnership with United Technology Corporation, committed to launch the Green Apple Initiative.  The Green Apple Initiative (Green Apple) is a public awareness campaign with the goal of informing parents, teachers, students, and communities in the United States and around the world that physical spaces matter when it comes to learning and that student experiences are enhanced when educated in healthy, safe, and efficient places. In addition to implementing this project through large scale events, grassroots activities, corporate and NGO partnerships, celebrity ambassadors, school curriculum, and social media and media outreach, the Center will also launch an annual Green Apple Day of Service, where 2,500 volunteer-driven school improvement projects will take place across the world.

Bringing Vertical Gyms to Cities Around the World
Commitment by: Urban-Think Tank
In 2012, Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) committed to scaling the construction and deployment of their Vertical Gym prototype to megacities throughout the world beginning in São Paulo, Brazil. U-TT will work with community partners, local leaders, and businesses to select a site and coordinate the development and construction of the Vertical Gym in São Paulo and look to identify similar partnerships in other cities. In addition to providing a space safe for social interaction and exercise in dense urban areas, the Vertical Gym will provide educational, employment, and volunteer opportunities for the community.

Anam New City: An African Model For Sustainable Development
Commitment by: Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation
In 2012, the Dr. Aloy & Gesare Chife Foundation (the Foundation) committed to scale up its model of sustainable development by making affordable green housing, off-grid infrastructure, health services, and skills training accessible to 1,000 Nigerians in Anambra State over four years. The Foundation will also develop key pilot projects, including an earth brick factory, an ecological fish farm, a school, a hospital, and a community bank, as well as educational and employment programs, which will target 25 percent female enrollment. Using the experience and knowledge of interdisciplinary teams of specialists from Africa, Europe, and the United States, the Foundation seeks to address the stressing conditions of urbanization in Nigeria through a replicable model that will improve the quality of life through integrated and planned approaches.

Community-Based Solar Power
Commitment by: Solairedirect
In 2012, Solairedirect committed to develop at least 10 megawatts of distributed solar photovoltaic projects in the southwestern United States over the next three years. Solairedirect will identify target communities seeking access to reliable and affordable electricity and will work in conjunction with local government and community stakeholders to develop these projects. Through this commitment, Solairedirect will demonstrate the financial and operational viability of subsidy free, community-based, for-profit solar power generation in the United States.

Minutes Matter: Warning Haitians to Extreme Weather
Commitment by: Earth Networks
In 2012, Earth Networks committed to a two-phase commitment to improve monitoring and warning of severe weather in Haiti. In the first phase, Earth Networks will deploy the necessary infrastructure and hardware, including Dangerous Thunderstorm Alerts, the most advanced hurricane tracking and monitoring tool, and PulseRad, a groundbreaking alternative to expensive Doppler radar. The organization will work with partners to put systems in place to disseminate information via SMS and other outlets, enabling the population to be better prepared for extreme weather improve their resilience against future natural disasters.

Scaling the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2013
Commitment by: United Postcode Lotteries
In 2012, United Postcode Lotteries committed to scale up their green business competition, the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, in order to spur innovation in the area of sustainability. By increasing the amount of entries, the quality and countries of origin, United Postcode Lotteries aim to speed up the development of new, innovative green businesses around the globe to tackle the challenges of climate change.

A Healthy Start for Children: Scaling Up Nutrition
Commitment by: Republic of Guatemala
In 2012, the WFP-USA committed to facilitate an effort led by the government of Guatemala and supported by a group of private sector and international donors to address under-nutrition in Guatemala, which currently suffers from the highest rate of child malnutrition in Latin America. Through this commitment, Guatemala will achieve national coverage of the 13 critical interventions identified in the internationally recognized Scaling Up Nutrition framework, including behavior change, micronutrient supplementation and deworming, and complementary and therapeutic feeding programs.

The following progress reports were announced today:

Reimagining Education in East Africa
Commitment by: Building Tomorrow, Inc.
In 2011, Building Tomorrow committed to launching BT 2.0, an initiative which will enroll 15,000 primary-level students annually in 60 Building Tomorrow Academies by 2016.  To date, Building Tomorrow and its partners have commenced or completed construction on 13 Building Tomorrow Academies, with plans to break ground on at least three more academies before the end of 2012. BT 2.0 will also aim to train over 450 Building Tomorrow Academy educators, grow the enrollment of girls, and develop a classroom curriculum designed for students living in rural areas. 

Delivering Vaccines for Road Traffic Injury
Commitment by: FIA Foundation
In 2010, the FIA Foundation committed $10 million to promote the use of motorcycle crash helmets, seat belts, and safe driving behavior to combat road traffic injury during the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety from 2011-2020. Proven lifesavers, these 'vaccines' have the potential to prevent millions of road deaths and injuries across the developing world, with the FIA Foundation piloting its efforts in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Uganda. During 2011, in the above locations in Asia, 9,500 helmets were distributed to children who ride to school on their parents' motorbikes and 750 teachers received road safety training; in Uganda, the implementation of the new helmet standard will potentially impact many thousands of people as well.

So the World May Hear
Commitment by: Starkey Hearing Foundation
In 2010, the Starkey Hearing Foundation committed to donating one million hearing aids to children in the developing world this decade. 642 million people suffer from hearing loss worldwide, 80% of whom live in developing countries. While many of these individuals can benefit from a hearing aid, only 1 in 40 has access to one. Since making this commitment, the Starkey Hearing Foundation has been to 14 new countries and are three years ahead of schedule in reaching the one million mark. 

Restoration of Solar Home Systems in Rural Thailand
Commitment by: Border Green Energy Team
In 2011, Border Green Energy Team (BGET) committed to restoring and expanding solar energy access to 100 homes in rural Thailand and is currently on-track to restore that number of households. As renewable energy options are often cost-prohibitive in this region, BGET has developed a questionnaire to determine interest and willingness to pay for the solar system in target villages and conducted this questionnaire in 65 houses to provide affordable micro-loans for those seeking access to high-quality and warranty-backed solar systems.  While visiting villages, BGET has recruited, interviewed, and hired local villagers with interest in, and technical experience as, franchisees, or potentially as full-time hires, to undertake installation, repair, and ongoing maintenance service for the solar systems.

For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at for meeting news and highlights. The event hashtag is #CGI2012.


About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI’s Annual Meeting is held each September in New York City. CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at


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