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IN LIEU OF A BIPARTISAN SOLUTION AND MOTIVATED BY GROWING CONSUMER DEMAND, THE NATURAL PRODUCTS INDUSTRY MOBILIZES TO FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE
The Climate Collaborative Engages Business to Commit, Act, Impact
Launches Climate Day on March 8 at Natural Products Expo West
San Francisco and Anaheim, Calif., March 6, 2017 –The Climate Collaborative will launch on Wednesday, March 8 in Anaheim, Calif., at Natural Products Expo West, the largest natural foods trade show in the U.S. There, leading companies in the natural products industry will convene at the first-ever Climate Day, a full day of panels, speakers and information on how companies can take action to reverse climate change co-hosted by the Climate Collaborative and New Hope Network.
The Climate Collaborative is a three-year project of OSC2 and the Sustainable Food Trade Association that was created to catalyze bold action for climate change. The Collaborative includes executives from Annie’s, Dr. Bronner's, Organic Valley, National Co+op Grocers, New Hope, Stonyfield, Happy Family and WhiteWave Foods, among other brands and organizations.
The natural products industry represents a significant and quickly growing share of the U.S. market. In 2015, the industry was valued at $180.6 billion, and is expected to exceed $200 billion in sales in 2019 according to NEXT FORECAST 2017.
“The natural products industry has a proud history of leading the way on animal welfare, organic agriculture, fair trade, and non-GMOs,” said John Foraker, President, Annie’s. “Now it’s time to lead on climate change.”
Consumers are demanding businesses address climate change. According to the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, 72 percent of Americans think corporations should be doing more to address global warming. Combined with the ever-increasing urgency of climate change, the time is ripe for dramatically greater corporate involvement in expanding existing solutions and finding new ways to reverse the problem.
“As an industry, but more importantly, as citizens, we simply can’t afford to ignore climate change any longer,” said Gary Hirshberg, Chairman, Stonyfield.
Focusing on nine commitment areas – agriculture, energy efficiency, food waste, forests, packaging, policy, renewable energy, short-lived climate pollutants, and transportation – the Climate Collaborative provides the information and collaboration natural products companies need to meet the growing consumer demand for action on climate and make a meaningful contribution to avoiding the critical 1.5 degree Celsius increase that scientists predict will trigger disastrous consequences.
Companies will be announcing climate action commitments at Climate Day, including Clif Bar & Company which has already made a commitment to using 100 percent green power at their facilities and to achieving climate neutral business operations through investments in onsite solar, wind energy credits and new school- and community-based wind farms to offset their emissions. Clif Bar has also committed to transitioning 50 of its key suppliers to at least 50 percent green power by 2020.
Other participating companies include Lotus Foods, which has committed to reducing the amount of methane emitted into the atmosphere. Methane is a powerful global warming-causing gas released from conventional rice production. Lotus Foods is partnering with small-scale farmers who have adopted changes in their rice-farming practices that reduce this potent greenhouse gas by 30 to 60 percent.
A full program of events will be conducted for Climate Day at Natural Products Expo West, including:
- Keynote address from Paul Hawken, author and environmentalist, Project Drawdown
- New consumer data on demand for climate change action from New Hope Network, and
- Panel discussions including executives from Target, Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s, Honest Tea, Nature’s Path, and others
“Our current political climate requires businesses to step up and work for the changes we know are necessary,” said George Siemon, CEO, Organic Valley. “We know that by working together, The Climate Collaborative can be a strong, cooperative voice for change. It’s up to us.”
New Hope Network will livestream Climate Day from 12:30 pm to 7:30 pm PST on March 8 at www.newhope.com/news/register-climate-day-livestream-natural-products-expo-west.
About The Climate Collaborative
The Climate Collaborative is a project of OSC2 and SFTA to catalyze bold climate action among natural products companies. The Climate Collaborative brings manufacturers, retailers, brokers, distributors, and suppliers together to build existing climate solutions to scale and to find innovative, new ways to help reverse climate change. Follow the Climate Collaborative on Facebook @climatecollab and on Twitter @ClimateColl.
A community of sustainably focused natural products industry CEOs and business leaders, OSC2 was founded in January 2012 to address the toughest sustainability problems facing the industry and planet. Directors Ahmed Rahim, founder and CEO of Numi Organic Tea, and Lara Jackle Dickinson, Natural Products Industry Executive, founded OSC2 and serve as its directors. OSC2 strives to leave earth and humanity in better condition than we found it by inspiring natural products leaders to work in innovative and collaborative ways toward positive change. For more information, please visit http://www.osc2.org.
About Sustainable Food Trade Association
The mission of Sustainable Food Trade Association is to build the capacity of the organic food trade to transition to sustainable business models. SFTA serves as a hub for businesses to learn, improve performance, communicate results, share common metrics and best practices. Thus, defining and driving excellence in environmentally sound, socially just business practices using a systems-based approach. For more information, please visit http://www.sustainablefoodtrade.org.