Last fall, company executives across the United States attended Apple’s inauguration Exposure accelerator – A three-month virtual program that includes one-on-one training and access to Apple expert mentors, as well as expanding the alumni community – to expand their capabilities in the Apple supply chain. Launched in 2020 as part of Apple Racial Equality and Justice InitiativeImpact Accelerator is designed to support equity and environmental opportunities for businesses owned by blacks, Hispanics / Latins and Indigenous people who own advanced green technology and clean energy, and aims to address systemic barriers to opportunities , while also promoting innovative solutions for the communities most affected by climate change.

Following the program, Apple is working with several first-class Impact Accelerator enterprises, including the Rickman Enterprise Group; Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc .; Argent Associates; and Oceti Sakowin Power Authority as part of the company’s supply chain. The new group of businesses owned by blacks, Hispanics / Hispanics and Indigenous people will get the same features as Apple’s second-class Impact Accelerator app. open this week.

“We cannot build a greener economy without creating a fairer economy, where the communities most affected by environmental damage lead us to decisions,” said Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. “Our Impact Accelerator is modeling the approach we need – bringing together bold, innovative and diverse businesses to accelerate future progress with carbon neutral.”

A sense of duty to your community

For Roderick Rickman, chairman and CEO of Rickman Enterprise Group, applying to Apple’s inaugural Impact Accelerator was a simple decision. He believes that everyone – both citizens and corporations – has a social and physical responsibility to protect the planet.

“Apple’s commitment to sustainability, its environmental commitment to our Earth and its social responsibility to its people really excite and encourage me to participate,” says Rickman.

A veteran who has become a provider of environmental cleaning services to the automotive industry, Rickman has always been concerned about the impact of corporate practices on the environment.

“I remember the ’60s when car owners changed their own oil, and they disposed of it in ways that weren’t good for the land,” Rickman recalls of his time growing up in Detroit, Michigan. “Today it is completely unheard of. As environmental issues and challenges have evolved, we have always been committed to preserving the environment. ”

Rickman was born and raised in the Brewster-Douglas housing projects in Detroit, the 11th of 12 children, and credited his large family for nurturing a strong sense of pride, family values ​​and community commitment. “It’s second nature to me,” he says. “I am loyal to Detroit. It had its problems, as in most urban cities, and I wanted to take part in its revival and bring it back to a world-class city. ”

After participating in the first Impact Accelerator, Rickman Enterprise Group and Apple are exploring ways to implement Rickman’s expertise in facility management, environmental waste management, and achieving zero landfill waste for Apple facilities and products.

After several years of service in the U.S. Army taught Rickman the value of teamwork and how to be proactive rather than reactive, he discovered a passion for leadership that brought him back to Rickman Enterprise Group in the way the company supports, trains and cares for him employees. It has also instilled a sense of duty that he believes business leaders have in front of local communities.

“Environmental laws, regulations and responsibilities are changing,” Rickman says. “As they change, we need to change with them and make sure that in demographic areas we have common practices and common procedures regarding the maintenance of our Earth, our environment and the belief that everyone is equally responsible. ”

“Opportunity to add value”

In Detroit, the city of the Great Lakes, where Carl Johnson, president and chief financial officer of Diversified Chemical Technologies, Inc., says harsher climate has always existed, and the effects of climate change are not always isolated or easy to identify. But since the city became the world’s leading carmaker in the 1990s, neighborhoods have faced record floods, a disproportionate number of homeless people due to corporations relocating their production facilities from the city, and a lack of public transportation that would allow residents explore employment opportunities outside the city.

“Detroit is no different than any other city that has survived around the Great Lakes,” Johnson says. “I grew up in Cleveland, seeing rich opportunities for job production and what happened when they left. No matter what time I have left – in a professional sense – I want to focus on creating jobs, because jobs create opportunities and opportunities allow people to make choices. ”

Chemical’s diversified experience in the field of adhesives – they close every box of Kellogg porridge made in the US, as well as Nestlé, Colgate, Mondelēz and a number of other consumer companies – and its commitment to safer chemicals is closely aligned with impact accelerator goals. .

Diversified Chemical has teamed up with its mentor Impact Accelerator to organize and formalize its safe chemistry initiative and pave the way forward: developing entirely new adhesives for the consumer electronics industry that could potentially improve the repairability and recyclability of products such as Apple as well. also a new line of industrial parts cleaners for the electronics sector that are safer, solvent-free and ultimately better for the environment.

“There are limited resources on this planet, and the industry has not been as innovative as it could be to help conserve some of those resources,” Johnson says. “This is an opportunity to increase value and become a more strategic partner of our customer base by innovating in green areas.”

“Impact where we live and work”

Two thousand miles away, in Plana, Texas, President and CEO of Argent Associates Betty Coin also recognized the opportunity to become a strategic partner for its customers in the telecommunications sector – both in the technical expertise and services it provides and in their focus. on a variety of suppliers.

After immigrating to Elizabeth, New Jersey, from Argentina with her parents in the ’60s and attending college at night working for Western Electric’s AT&T affiliate, Monet admitted she could do more for the industry outside, and decided to start her own company.

“After spending 20 years in corporate America, both in international and local business, I needed to see how I could help fill the gaps I saw in the supply chain,” says Coin. “I knew what was missing, and as a Hispanic woman, I could provide support that would increase revenue, reduce logistics costs, and provide value-added services while expanding our Latin American business community.”

Since its inception as a value-added network technology intermediary, the company has evolved into other areas of expertise, including network installation for 5G wireless, engineering, equipment analysis and testing for the telecommunications industry. With all its logistics know-how, Manetta also saw a growing need for reverse logistics: helping companies recycle and repurpose metals and increasingly outdated technologies for their consumer goods and networking equipment.

At the heart of Apple’s Argent’s Impact Accelerator is based on artificial intelligence collecting real-time data at the grid’s boundaries on energy consumption and reduction zones for users. Everything from vulnerabilities, overuse, peak requirements and anomalies can be controlled with Aire Edge’s own system.

“We are fixing gaps to save on the supply chain,” Moneta explains. “Our vision is to create a self-sustaining ecosystem that benefits our communities and preserves the environment. By creating an ecosystem that includes other diverse companies, we have an impact on where we work and live. ”

As described by Ray Moya, co-owner and chief operating officer of Argent, their commitment to diversity is a necessity for local communities, the businesses that work in them, and the large corporations that develop next-generation technologies in the industry.

“We have decided that we are going to create the next generation of black and Hispanic wireless engineers, network engineers and installers,” says Moya. “We are proud to have young professionals from the minority who will one day become the leaders of our company.”

With operations spanning from Texas to New Jersey, New York, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina and Florida, Manetta and Moya are expanding their reach and influence to local communities. Through partnerships with high schools, including the Harmony Innovation School in Texas and Tomorrow’s School in Florida, Argent is committed to giving young people in underrepresented communities new opportunities.

“We want to show young people that there are many opportunities in technology and innovation,” says Maneta. “Local communities are the engine of growth for most small businesses, and it is the engine of growth of our economy. If we do not invest in our community, we will never grow out of the problems we have today. ”

For Coins the program has become an invaluable experience in how a small business can grow its business not only through sales but also for its people and the future of the company itself.

“As a Latin American businesswoman in a male-dominated industry, I feel so happy to be part of this program,” says Coin. “Apple is creating the funnel of next-generation companies that they can help grow and scale.”

To learn more about Apple’s Impact Accelerator program, visit link.

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