The Roundtable works to effect positive change on public policy issues that are most important to supporting state economic vitality and fostering opportunity for all Washingtonians. That work includes sharing news and analyzing policy developments affecting our state.

Around the Table: Wells Fargo, Vulcan, Microsoft & Starbucks

Here’s a look at some of the great things our members are up to this fall…

Wells Fargo Commits $5 Million to Establish GRID Alternatives’ Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund
Wells Fargo recently announced a philanthropic commitment of $5 million over three years to support solar projects in tribal communities across the U.S. The donation to nonprofit GRID Alternatives, a national leader in making solar technology and training accessible to underserved communities, supports the founding of GRID’s new Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund. The fund is an extension of GRID’s National Tribal Program and aims to catalyze the growth of solar energy and expand solar job opportunities on tribal lands. Learn more here.

Paul Allen, Vulcan Break Ground on New Resource for Seattle’s Homeless Families
Thanks to a $30 million contribution from Paul Allen, a new building will house 94 families in South Seattle. Allen and the Vulcan Inc. team said the new 100,000 square foot complex would include a computer lab, meeting rooms, and housing units for both homeless and low-wage working families. “Like most locals, Allen and employees at Vulcan Inc. see homelessness on their commutes and daily travels around the region,” wrote editors in a blog post on “As an organization working to solve some of the world’s toughest problems, it was expected that Allen and Vulcan would want to take on the issue.” Learn more here.

Microsoft Launches Flagship School Initiative
Microsoft announced the first cohort of schools who have been selected to participate in the Microsoft Flagship School program. According to a blog post by Anthony Salcito, VP of Education, “The Microsoft Flagship School Program partners with like-minded leaders from around the world across a multi-year engagement to design, develop, and deliver amazing new places to learn.” Microsoft said the new initiative was field-tested at Wilburton Elementary in the Bellevue School District. There were 17 schools selected for this first cohort, 15 of which are located outside the United States. Renton Prep in the Renton School District was one of two U.S.-based schools selected. Learn more here.

Starbucks Announces Global Greener Stores Commitment
Starbucks Coffee Company announced the “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework and a commitment to design, build, and operate 10,000 “Greener Stores” globally by 2025. “Starbucks Greener Stores” framework will be built upon comprehensive performance criteria that help ensure the company’s approach to designing, building, and operating its company-owned stores sets a new standard for green retail. “Simply put, sustainable coffee, served sustainably is our aspiration,” said Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks. “We know that designing and building green stores is not only responsible, it is cost effective as well. The energy and passion of our green apron partners has inspired us to find ways to operate a greener store that will generate even greater cost savings while reducing impact.” Learn more here.

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