What helps, too, is taking a long view of the history that comes with running a business founded in 1589, the events that it has witnessed and withstood over time.

“Nazis, Communists, government takeovers — in the past, we’ve had just about everything here,” Mr. Fritsche said. “And we have survived it all. We will get through this as well.”

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Live Updates: Warning Ukraine’s Friends to ‘Think Twice,’ Putin Tests Advanced Missile

With a pointed warning to Ukraine’s Western allies, Russia test-launched a new intercontinental missile on Wednesday, even as it unleashed a hail of bombs, artillery and missiles inside Ukraine in a drive to weaken Ukrainian defenses for a major ground offensive in the east.

The intensifying barrage, aimed at more than 1,100 targets, came as the Russian military made probing attacks along a 300-mile front line winding through Ukraine’s southeastern Donbas region, which the Kremlin has said will be the focus of the next phase of its war, and continued to build up and prepare a massive force there.

The new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile “will force all who are trying to threaten our country in the heat of frenzied, aggressive rhetoric to think twice,” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said in televised remarks, a clear reference to the United States and other nations that have aided Ukraine in the face of Russia’s eight-week-old invasion.

It is not yet clear if the missile, which Russia’s Defense Ministry said could carry multiple nuclear warheads and outwit defenses anywhere in the world, actually possess game-changing capabilities. The ministry also acknowledged the missile is not yet ready for active deployment, and the United States said it had not been surprised by the launch.

But the test-firing and Mr. Putin’s comments fit neatly into a relentless Kremlin propaganda campaign — the only information many of his people ever see — presenting Russians not as aggressors but as victims of Western persecution, yet still powerful and unbowed.

In a televised appearance with a group of school children at the Kremlin, Mr. Putin repeated his lie that Ukraine was committing genocide against Russian speakers in Donbas, which had “forced, simply compelled Russia to start this military operation.”

Credit…Russian Defense Ministry

The rising death and destruction in Donbas, along with a critical scarcity of basic supplies and services, have been driving an exodus of staggering proportions in Ukraine, a country with a prewar population estimated at 43 million. The United Nations said the number of people who have left the country reached 5 million, in addition to more than 7 million who have fled or been forced from their homes but remain within Ukraine.

Russia rejected calls by the United Nations and others for a humanitarian cease-fire to allow civilians to evacuate safely and supplies to reach those who remain. At a U.N. Security Council meeting on Tuesday night, the Russian deputy ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, said such pleas were “insincere, and in practice they merely point to an aspiration to provide Kyiv nationalists breathing room to regroup and receive more drones, more antitank missiles” and antiaircraft missiles.

Credit…Alexey Furman/Getty Images

In Finland, lawmakers began debating whether to join NATO — the latest example of the war backfiring against Russia’s goals. Mr. Putin sought to prevent Ukraine from ever joining the alliance, eliminate the country’s military and political independence, and sow divisions within NATO.

Instead, Finland and Sweden are edging toward abandoning their longstanding nonalignment, seeking NATO’s protection from an aggressive Russia. NATO is ramping up military spending and is more united than it has been in years, and Ukraine’s military has put up a surprisingly tough fight against the larger but often disorganized and demoralized invading force.

The Ukraine invasion also has left Russia ostracized financially and economically — punctuated Wednesday at a Group of 20 finance ministers meeting. Several participants, including Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen and Ukraine’s finance minister, Serhiy Marchenko, abruptly left in protest when Russia’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, started to speak.

The United States and other NATO countries have funneled enormous quantities of arms to Ukraine, and increasingly those shipments include heavier, more sophisticated and longer-range weapons — large-caliber artillery, armored vehicles, antiaircraft missiles and spare parts for damaged aircraft — drawing ominous warnings from the Kremlin.

Even Germany has reversed a long-held prohibition on sending arms to a conflict zone and has beefed up its own military spending, but calls to go farther still and ship tanks to Ukraine have divided the government in Berlin.

Russia has falsely insisted since the invasion began on Feb. 24 that it was striking only military targets, but countless shattered, burned-out and flattened apartment blocks, stores, offices, houses and cars attest otherwise. In the Donbas town of Avdiivka, near the front lines, where Russian bombardment has caused a number of civilian deaths and injuries, and driven many of those who remain underground, just this week airstrikes destroyed a supermarket and an athletics store in the heart of town.

The extended shelling and bombing before sending large ground forces into battle reflect a change in Russian strategy from the early part of the war, when it tried and failed to seize major cities and other locations quickly.

A Russian ground offensive backed by air, land and sea bombardment continues to lay waste to the southeastern port of Mariupol, now a scene of destruction and casualties on a scale all but unknown in Europe since World War II. Ukrainian officials said 20,000 people there had been killed — a figure impossible to verify, with access to the world cut off and many bodies still uncollected — and about 120,000 of the city’s prewar population of more than 430,000 remain trapped in the ruins, with little access to food, water, power or heat.

Credit…Oleg Petrasyuk/EPA, via Shutterstock

Ukrainian officials said early on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement with Russian forces to allow children, women and the elderly to safely leave Mariupol, only to say later that the evacuation deal had fallen apart, like so many before it. “Due to the lack of control over their own military at the place, the occupiers were unable to ensure a proper cease-fire,” said Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister.

Soldiers and civilians were holding out in a warren of underground bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel mill complex in the city, defying ultimatums to surrender, while Russian fire concentrated on that site.

“We are probably facing our last days, if not hours,” Serhiy Volyna, a commander from the 36th Separate Marine Brigade, said in a video on Facebook from the plant. “We appeal and plead to all world leaders to help us.”

He and other Ukrainians said that Russian forces had bombed a hospital at the Azovstal complex. “We are pulling people from the rubble,” Sviatoslav Palamar, another commander inside the steel mill, told Radio Liberty.

Azovstal employees say about 4,000 people took refuge beneath the mill early in the war, mostly plant workers and their family members, but many later left. Other civilians sought shelter inside the plant, fleeing the Russian advance and, according to Ukrainian officials, fearing capture and forced relocation to detention camps in Russia. For soldiers, Azovstal is the last redoubt in the city.

It is not clear how many people remain there. Mr. Volyna said that 500 of them were injured.

Credit…Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

Russia has assembled 76 battalion tactical groups, each with as many as 1,000 soldiers, in southeastern Ukraine, up from 65 a few days ago, the Pentagon said, and about 22 more are just outside Ukraine, regrouping and gaining new equipment.

Military analysts say the flat landscape of Donbas — with fewer woods, hills and cities than the northern areas where Moscow’s forces were badly mauled — could favor the Russians.

The first-ever launch of Russia’s Sarmat missile made for the latest example of the Kremlin rattling its nuclear sabers in the face of hardened opposition from the United States and its allies. Earlier in the war, Mr. Putin ordered Russia’s nuclear forces to be put on a higher state of alert, and a top Russian official has spoken of placing nuclear weapons along the borders of the Baltic States.

American officials said those earlier steps had no apparent action behind their heated rhetoric, and required no response from the United States. They reacted similarly on Wednesday. The Pentagon and the White House both said Moscow had properly notified Washington in advance of the Sarmat test.

“Such testing is routine,” said John F. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman. “It was not a surprise.”

Like many I.C.B.M.s operated by Russia, the United States and other nuclear powers, the Sarmat is made to carry multiple nuclear warheads, each aimed at a different target, delivered by “independent re-entry vehicles” that the missile releases high above the atmosphere, along with decoys, to evade missile defense systems.

Credit…Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik

In addition, Russian officials have said that those re-entry vehicles could be “hypersonic glide vehicles,” able to maneuver en route to their targets, making them even harder to stop. The Sarmat was one of the next generation of weapons Mr. Putin announced in 2018, describing them as impossible to defend against, but Western analysts have questioned whether the glide vehicles and other new technology exists yet, or will any time soon.

The missile, launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia, struck a target on the Kamchatka Peninsula, 3,500 miles to the east, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Anton Troianovski reported from Hamburg, Germany, and Richard Pérez-Peña from New York. Reporting was contributed by Michael Schwirtz from Avdiivka, Ukraine, Steven Erlanger from Brussels, Marc Santora and Cora Engelbrecht from Krakow, Poland, Ivan Nechepurenko from Tblisi, Georgia, Johanna Lemola from Helsinki, Victoria Kim from Seoul, Erika Solomon from Berlin, Matthew Mpoke Bigg from London, Jesus Jiménez from New York, and Katie Rogers and Alan Rappeport from Washington.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Live Updates: ‘No Water, No Heating, No Gas’ in Besieged Ukraine City as Maternity Hospital Is Hit.

Ukrainian government officials said Wednesday that damage by Russian forces had left the former Chernobyl nuclear power plant “disconnected” from outside electricity, leaving the site of the worst nuclear accident in history dependent on power from diesel generators.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations agency on nuclear power, said Wednesday that it saw “no critical impact on safety” at the complex.

The American Nuclear Society, a professional group, agreed. “The loss of power is a serious matter but it does not pose a threat to the public,” it said in a statement.

But officials warned that the situation around the plant, where there was an explosion and fire at one of the reactors in 1986, was still of grave concern.

The plant has not produced electricity since the last of its four reactors was shut down in 2000, but if its generators stopped working, that could affect the operations to store the large quantities of radioactive nuclear waste there.

Since the plant was captured by Russian forces not long after the invasion began last month, the I.A.E.A. has said that there have been interruptions in the feed of data it receives automatically from radiation monitors and other sensors at the plant.

A full loss of power would cut that feed completely, leaving the agency’s experts with little knowledge of what is going on there, except what could be gathered using portable devices. On Tuesday, the I.A.E.A. said it had lost communications with its sensors at the plant.

The most hazardous waste at Chernobyl is found in two locations.

As is common practice in the nuclear power industry, used fuel from all four reactors is stored in pools of water that dissipate the heat produced as the fuel decays radioactively. When fuel is newly removed from a reactor, there is a lot of decay and thus a lot of heat, so plants need power to run pumps that circulate the storage water to remove excess heat.

The I.A.E.A. has said that the used fuel assemblies at Chernobyl — there are more than 20,000 of them — are old enough and decayed enough that circulating pumps are not needed to keep them safe.

“The heat load of the spent fuel storage pool and the volume of cooling water contained in the pool is sufficient to maintain effective heat removal without the need for electrical supply,” the agency said.

The other main source of nuclear waste are the ruins of the destroyed reactor itself. An estimated 200 tons of fuel remain there, in a lava-like mix with molten concrete, sand and chemicals that were dumped on the reactor during the disaster. This mixture is found throughout the remains of the reactor. Some parts of it are completely inaccessible and have only been studied by boring into them.

A functioning reactor requires pumps that circulate water around the core, keeping it cool and moderating the nuclear reaction to avoid a meltdown. There is no cooling water in the chaotic, jumbled remains of the reactor, so the loss of power would not affect them.

But in recent years there have been incidents in which nuclear reactions have started spontaneously in pockets of these fuel-containing materials, leading to spikes in radiation levels. Without monitoring — of humidity in addition to radiation levels — workers would not know if any new incident was occurring.

Since 2017, the destroyed reactor has been covered by a large arched structure, intended to confine the waste and safeguard against any release of radiation. The structure is also meant to allow the work of removing waste to long-term storage.

The facility was only granted an operating license by Ukraine’s authorities last year, so that work had only just begun, and will take decades to complete. There are several large cranes and other specialized equipment to allow crews to work safely. Without power, most if not all of that work could not proceed.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Energy Ministry said that Belarus, whose border is not far from the Chernobyl zone, was working on restoring the power supply of the complex from its own grid.

William J. Broad and Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

SLI Joins Nonprofit Housing Organization Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) in Celebrating Groundbreaking of Permanent Supportive Housing Project

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sustainable Living Innovations (SLI) joined Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) today in announcing the groundbreaking of DESC Green Lake, a five-story, 124-unit apartment building at 8610 Aurora Avenue North in Seattle.

DESC released a “virtual groundbreaking” video that is viewable by clicking here.

SLI is serving as the design-build partner to DESC, a national leader in implementing innovative and cost-effective strategies that end homelessness. DESC and SLI won a competitive bidding process from the Seattle Office of Housing for the DESC Green Lake project.

DESC Green Lake is SLI’s first building constructed using the company’s low-rise technology, which eliminates the need for external structural steel for the support of the structure, and instead uses the strength of its premanufactured load-bearing panels to support the building.

When complete, the building will feature 24/7 supportive services and indoor/outdoor community spaces for the tenants, all single adults who are disabled and who have experienced long-term homelessness. DESC will continue to own and operate the building after completion.

SLI’s low-rise technology enables projects like DESC Green Lake to go up faster than conventionally built buildings and to operate with more energy efficiency as well. The building will include many aspects of SLI’s technology-enabled systems including roof top solar, greywater plumbing, waste heat recovery, ultra-efficient air conditioning and other “smart home” features. SLI is using similar technologies in its current construction of 303 Battery in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

“We are honored to partner with DESC on this project and appreciate the faith both DESC and the Seattle Office of Housing have put in our innovative building system. Homelessness in Seattle is a crisis and Daniel Malone, Sondra Nielsen and their team at DESC is at the forefront of solving the problem, in partnership with the team at Seattle Office of Housing,” said Arlan Collins, CEO of SLI. “Using our building technology to serve some of our most vulnerable community members allows SLI the opportunity to help make our great city a better place. The faster we can build this type of housing, the quicker we can help to provide a pathway out of homelessness.”

Absher Construction and SLI have formed a joint venture to handle the general contracting responsibilities.

“This innovative building from SLI will become DESC’s 17th supportive housing project providing comprehensive wrap-around services to help our tenants stabilize and begin to live fuller lives,” said DESC Executive Director Daniel Malone. “DESC is proud to have continued working throughout the chaos of the pandemic to build more supportive housing and help calm the chaos in the lives of those who are experiencing homelessness.”

“DESC is excited about partnering with SLI on this inventive new building type that will work to serve our goals of ending homelessness while providing high-quality energy-efficient housing,” said DESC Director of Facilities and Asset Management Sondra Nielsen. “We continue to pioneer Housing First and what that means, especially from a building technologies standpoint.”

About Sustainable Living Innovations

Sustainable Living Innovations (SLI) is a building technology and product development company that is disrupting the world’s largest addressable market by reimagining how buildings are designed, built, and operated. The company is revolutionizing the built environment by producing technology-enabled finished buildings that exceed the world’s most stringent sustainability standards and also help solve the affordable housing crisis. SLI designs, develops, and manufactures complete technology-enabled buildings using proprietary, high-performance building panels complete with integrated mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire safety and network systems infrastructure. SLI’s finished buildings are more sustainable, as well as faster to design and complete versus conventional buildings. The company employs more than 80 people with offices in Seattle and Denver and operates a showroom in Seattle and a manufacturing facility in Tacoma, Washington.

303 Battery

In addition to DESC Green Lake, SLI is currently building the world’s most sustainable high-rise apartment building. 303 Battery, located in downtown Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, will be the world’s first multifamily tower to meet the stringent net zero energy requirements set by the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge program, the same organization that certified Seattle’s Bullitt Center. Features include solar on the building’s roof, exterior walls and balconies in each unit, greywater and waste heat recovery systems, ultra-efficient hydronic heating and cooling systems, regenerative elevator motors, distributed DC power systems, and SLI’s advanced network systems and data management platform to ensure optimal building operations.

303 Battery will be complete this fall and has been pre-sold to Equity Residential (NYSE: EQR). Equity Residential is an S&P 500 company focused on the acquisition, development and management of rental apartment properties located in urban and high-density suburban markets.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

The AZEK Company Announces Upcoming Investor Conference Schedule

CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The AZEK Company Inc. (the “Company” or “AZEK”) (NYSE: AZEK), the industry-leading manufacturer of beautiful, low-maintenance and environmentally sustainable outdoor living products, including TimberTech® decking, Versatex® and AZEK Trim® and StruXure™ pergolas, announced today its participation in the following investor conferences:

Citi 2022 Global Industrial Tech and Mobility Conference

Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Fireside Chat: 1:50 p.m. (ET)

Participants: Jesse Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Peter Clifford, Chief Financial Officer

Barclays Industrial Select Conference

Date: Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Fireside Chat: 1:50 p.m. (ET)

Participants: Peter Clifford, Chief Financial Officer

The Company’s presentation at both conferences will be broadcast live over the internet and can be accessed through the Company’s website, investors.azekco.com. To listen to the presentation, please go to the “Investors” section of the website at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the broadcast to register and download any necessary audio software. For those who are not able to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available shortly following the conference on our website, and will be accessible for a limited time.

To find additional information about AZEK including the most recent investor presentation please visit investors.azekco.com.

About The AZEK® Company

The AZEK Company Inc. (NYSE: AZEK) is the industry-leading designer and manufacturer of beautiful, low maintenance and environmentally sustainable outdoor living products, including TimberTech® decking and Versatex® and AZEK Trim® and StruXure™ pergolas. Consistently recognized as a market leader in innovation, quality and aesthetics, products across AZEK’s portfolio are made from up to 100% recycled material and primarily replace wood on the outside of homes, providing a long-lasting, eco-friendly and stylish solution to consumers. Leveraging the talents of its approximately 2,000 employees and the strength of relationships across its value chain, The AZEK Company is committed to accelerating the use of recycled material in the manufacturing of its innovative products, keeping millions of pounds of waste out of landfills each year, and revolutionizing the industry to create a more sustainable future. Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the company operates manufacturing facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, and recently announced a new facility will open in Boise, Idaho.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

The Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc. Issues Fiscal Year 2022 Third Quarter Results and Announces Investor Conference Call

THOMASVILLE, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Cleaver-Brooks Company, Inc. (the “Company”) announced today that it has posted its quarterly report for the fiscal 2022 third quarter ended January 2, 2022 on the Company’s secure investor website. The quarterly report is being furnished pursuant to the Indentures governing the Company’s 7.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2023 (the “7.875% Notes”) to holders of the 7.875% Notes, certain equity investors, qualified prospective investors in the 7.875% Notes, and certain broker-dealers and securities analysts.

The Company also announced that it will host an investor conference call to discuss third quarter 2022 financial results on Friday, February 18, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., Eastern Time. Access to the investor conference call will be limited to holders of the 7.875% Notes, certain equity investors, qualified prospective investors in the 7.875% Notes and certain broker-dealers and securities analysts. The Company has posted specific instructions on how to access the investor conference call on its secure investor website.

If you are a holder of the 7.875% Notes, a qualified prospective investor in the 7.875% Notes, or a qualified broker-dealer or securities analyst who would like to access the secure investor website, but have not yet been certified by the Company, please click on the “Investor Relations” link on our website at cleaver-brooks.com for information on how to become certified.

About Cleaver-Brooks

Cleaver-Brooks provides boiler rooms solutions to customers in a wide range of industries and end markets around the world. The Company’s main products include firetube packaged boilers, industrial watertube boilers, modular boilers, commercial watertube packaged boilers, waste heat recovery systems, burners, boiler room accessories and the aftermarket parts and service associated with these products. For more information, access the Cleaver-Brooks website at cleaver-brooks.com.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Live Updates: U.S. and Russia Meet Amid Fears of War in Ukraine

ImageU.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and her Russian counterpart, Sergei A. Ryabkov, at the United States Mission in Geneva on Monday.
Credit…Denis Balibouse/Reuters

GENEVA — With the threat of Russian military action in eastern Ukraine stirring concern across Europe, American and Russian officials met on Monday to try and find a diplomatic path to ease tensions and avoid the potential for bloodshed.

The official delegations, led by a Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei A. Ryabkov, and the American deputy secretary of state, Wendy Sherman, sat down at the U.S. Mission in Geneva just after 9 a.m. local time, the State Department said.

Minutes earlier, the police escorted a convoy of black sedans and silver minibuses carrying Russian officials into the sprawling American diplomatic compound on a hill above Lake Geneva.

The talks — the first in a series of discussions that will take place across Europe this week — revolve around the demands for “security guarantees” from Western powers that the Kremlin made in a remarkable diplomatic offensive late last year.

Monday’s negotiations were expected to take up much of the day, with American and Russian officials scheduled to brief reporters separately afterward, in the early evening.

In December, Russia published a proposal for two agreements with the United States and NATO that would roll back Western military activity in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, in essence re-establishing a sphere of Russian influence in what used to be parts of the Soviet Union.

Many of the proposals appeared to be nonstarters for Western officials, who insist that Cold War-style regions of influence are a relic of the past and that countries should be able to choose their own alliances.

But an ominous Russian military buildup near the country’s border with Ukraine that analysts see as a preparation for a potential invasion has seized the attention of the West; the Biden administration agreed to engage with Russia to try to find some common ground.

On Sunday evening, Ms. Sherman met Mr. Ryabkov for a preliminary, two-hour dinner meeting in a nondescript residential building on the Geneva lakefront. “The deputy secretary affirmed that the United States would welcome genuine progress through diplomacy,” the State Department said in a statement.

Mr. Ryabkov described the dinner meeting as “businesslike” and predicted that Monday’s negotiations would not be a waste of time.

Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary-general, said on Monday that Western allies “are aiming for an agreement on a way forward” and repeated his warnings to Russia of “severe costs — economic, political costs — if they once again use military force against Ukraine.”

He spoke before a meeting of the NATO-Ukrainian Commission, timed for the day of the Geneva talks, that included the foreign minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, and Olga Stefanishyna, one of Ukraine’s four deputy prime ministers. Ms. Stefanishyna said that “any discussions on the security guarantees should start with the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory.”

Appearing on Sunday talk shows in the United States, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the negotiations could also possibly revive the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned the deployment, in Europe or in Russia, of medium-range nuclear missiles. Both the Obama and Trump administrations accused Moscow of violating the accord, and the United States left the treaty in 2019.

But Russia insists that its demands go well beyond arms control, and involve a wholesale redrawing of the security map in Europe, which the Kremlin claims the West forced upon a weak Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

If Russia does not get what it wants, President Vladimir V. Putin said last month, the Kremlin is prepared to resort to military means to achieve its aims.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Frontdoor Publishes First Sustainability Report, Reinforcing the Company’s Commitment to ESG

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Frontdoor, Inc. (NASDAQ: FTDR), the nation’s leading provider of home service plans, today published its first corporate sustainability report. Frontdoor is committed to developing environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives that strengthen its value as a service provider, employer and global corporate citizen.

The company’s sustainability journey has been marked by meaningful initiatives and impacts since the company’s inception. This report reflects the company’s dedication to transparency in action and highlights its work in areas such as corporate governance, privacy and information security, employee relations and diversity and inclusion, community relations and environmental sustainability.

“We have made significant progress in our three years as a standalone company, and I’m proud of the meaningful work that our team is doing in this area,” said Rex Tibbens, president and chief executive officer of Frontdoor. “We are in the early stages of our journey but are committed to continuing to strengthen our practices and disclosures and operating in a way that benefits those in the world around us.”

In its 2021 sustainability report, the company shares an overview of its activities in four key areas: strengthening the company, supporting its people, serving communities and sustaining the world.

Highlights of Frontdoor’s 2021 sustainability report include:

  • Appliance contractors who leveraged Streem technology, which uses augmented reality, computer vision and machine learning, to facilitate more remote service calls reported a 6 to 7 percent reduction in onsite diagnostic service trips from January 1, 2021 through November 30, 2021.
  • Frontdoor and the economy rely on skilled labor. In 2021, Frontdoor invested in the next generation of contractors in partnership with two trade schools, awarding more than two dozen scholarships to students pursuing a career in the skilled trades.
  • Creating a vibrant, productive workforce begins with a rewarding pay program. Frontdoor offers competitive compensation, including a $15 minimum wage, which is informed by benchmarking analysis and reviewed for equity.
  • Frontdoor received over 2 million service requests for appliances, water heaters and HVAC systems for the twelve months ended October 31, 2021, helping to enhance efficient consumption of natural resources and avoid waste through repair and refurbishment.

“The 2021 sustainability report is the first of many and demonstrates our belief that responsibility begins with accountability,” said Tibbens. “As we move forward, each year we will strive to make progress in the areas outlined in the document and ensure that our business practices are impactful, meaningful and sustainable over time.”

Visit frontdoorhome.com to view or download the company’s full sustainability report. The report incorporates disclosures under both the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) frameworks.

About Frontdoor

Frontdoor is a company that’s obsessed with taking the hassle out of owning a home. With services powered by people and enabled by technology, it is the parent company of four home service plan brands: American Home Shield, HSA, Landmark and OneGuard, as well as ProConnect, an on-demand membership service for home repairs and maintenance, and Streem, a technology company that enables businesses to serve customers through an enhanced augmented reality, computer vision and machine learning platform. Frontdoor serves 2.2 million customers across the U.S. through a network of approximately 17,500 pre-qualified contractor firms that employ an estimated 62,000 technicians. The company’s customizable home service plans help customers protect and maintain their homes from costly and unexpected breakdowns of essential home systems and appliances. With 50 years of home services experience, the company responds to over four million service requests annually. For details, visit frontdoorhome.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions concerning future events. These statements are subject to risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other important factors. Readers are cautioned not to put undue reliance on such forward-looking statements because actual results may vary materially from those expressed or implied. The reports filed by Frontdoor pursuant to United States securities laws contain discussions of these risks and uncertainties. Frontdoor assumes no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Readers are advised to review Frontdoor’s filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (which are available on the SEC’s EDGAR database at www.sec.gov and via Frontdoor’s website at investors.frontdoorhome.com).

FTDR-Financial

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

Singapore Struggles to Reopen After Vaccinations

The country’s experience has become a sobering case study for other nations pursuing reopening strategies without first having had to deal with large outbreaks in the pandemic. For the Singapore residents who believed the city-state would reopen once the vaccination rate reached a certain level, there was a feeling of whiplash and nagging questions about what it would take to reopen if vaccines were not enough.

“In a way, we are a victim of our own success, because we’ve achieved as close to zero Covid as we can get and a very, very low death rate,” said Dr. Paul Tambyah, an infectious diseases specialist at National University Hospital. “So we want to keep the position at the top of the class, and it’s very hard to do.”

vaccinated people are already gathering at concerts, festivals and other large events. But unlike Singapore, both of those places had to manage substantial outbreaks early in the pandemic.

Lawrence Wong, Singapore’s finance minister and a chair of the country’s Covid-19 task force, said the lesson for “Covid-naive societies” like Singapore, New Zealand and Australia is to be ready for large waves of infections, “regardless of the vaccine coverage.”

up against the Delta variant, Mr. Wong said.

“In Singapore, we think that you cannot just rely on vaccines alone during this intermediate phase,” he said. “And that’s why we do not plan an approach where we reopen in a big bang manner, and just declare freedom.”

highest since 2012, a trend that some mental health experts have attributed to the pandemic. People have called on the government to consider the mental health concerns caused by the restrictions.

“It’s just economically, sociologically, emotionally and mentally unsustainable,” said Devadas Krishnadas, chief executive at Future-Moves Group, a consultancy in Singapore. Mr. Krishnadas said the decision to reintroduce restrictions after reaching such a high vaccination rate made the country a global outlier.

granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and up, paving the way for mandates in both the public and private sectors. Such mandates are legally allowed and have been upheld in court challenges.

  • College and universities. More than 400 colleges and universities are requiring students to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Almost all are in states that voted for President Biden.
  • Schools. California became the first state to issue a vaccine mandate for all educators and to announce plans to add the Covid-19 vaccine as a requirement to attend school, which could start as early as next fall. Los Angeles already has a vaccine mandate for public school students 12 and older that begins Nov. 21. New York City’s mandate for teachers and staff, which went into effect Oct. 4 after delays due to legal challenges, appears to have prompted thousands of last-minute shots.
  • Hospitals and medical centers. Many hospitals and major health systems are requiring employees to get vaccinated. Mandates for health care workers in California and New York State appear to have compelled thousands of holdouts to receive shots.
  • Indoor activities. New York City requires workers and customers to show proof of at least one dose of the Covid-19 for indoor dining, gyms, entertainment and performances. Starting Nov. 4, Los Angeles will require most people to provide proof of full vaccination to enter a range of indoor businesses, including restaurants, gyms, museums, movie theaters and salons, in one of the nation’s strictest vaccine rules.
  • At the federal level. On Sept. 9, President Biden announced a vaccine mandate for the vast majority of federal workers. This mandate will apply to employees of the executive branch, including the White House and all federal agencies and members of the armed services.
  • In the private sector. Mr. Biden has mandated that all companies with more than 100 workers require vaccination or weekly testing, helping propel new corporate vaccination policies. Some companies, like United Airlines and Tyson Foods, had mandates in place before Mr. Biden’s announcement.
  • “I think a lot of times we are so focused on wanting to get good results that we just have tunnel vision,” she said.

    Ms. Ng lives across from a testing center. Almost daily, she watched a constant stream of people go in for tests, a strategy that many public health experts say is a waste of resources in such a highly vaccinated country.

    “Freedom Day — as our ministers have said — is not the Singapore style,” said Jeremy Lim, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore and an expert on health policy, referring to England’s reopening in the summer. But moving too cautiously over the potential disadvantages of restrictions is a “bad public health” strategy, he said.

    The government should not wait for perfect conditions to reopen, “because the world will never be perfect. It’s so frustrating that the politicians are almost like waiting for better circumstances,” Dr. Lim said.

    Sarah Chan, a deputy director at Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research, said she had a fleeting taste of what normal life was like when she arrived in Italy last month to visit her husband’s family.

    No masks were required outdoors, vaccinated people could gather in groups, and Dr. Chan and her son could bop their heads to music in restaurants. In Singapore, music inside restaurants has been banned based on the notion that it could encourage the spread of the virus.

    Dr. Chan said she was so moved by her time in Italy that she cried.

    “It’s almost normal. You forget what that’s like,” she said. “I really miss that.”

    View Source

    >>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<