I have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the past 25 years. A land that is known for its incredible forests and massive trees, along with its grey and rainy climate. However, what most people may not know is that we are now seeing drought conditions for almost a quarter of the year. Last summer into the fall, we went 101 days with almost no rain (less than half an inch). As a result, our beloved cedar trees are rapidly dying, and our forests are suffering.
I share this because when I look out my office window, I have a daily reminder that our forests are in jeopardy AND that they are one of our most critical climate solutions.
Despite the critical role forests play in climate action, the number of companies in the Climate Collaborative community who have made a Forest Commitment is relatively low. Our goal is to shift that. In the coming months, you will see more programming focused on forest action. This includes case studies on companies committed to eliminating deforestation in their supply chains, webinars on zero deforestation policies, and resources to engage in reforestation efforts.
Forests are relevant to EVERY company. Here is why. Because the conversion of forests and ecosystems for agriculture, forest degradation, and the critical need for afforestation, reforestation, and ecosystem restoration are relevant to all of us. Yes, even if you are not selling forest products and even if there is no deforestation in your supply chain. We all need to be taking action.
Make a forest commitment today to be connected to the resources you need to take action.
Next month, we are thrilled to focus on the opportunity for companies to set and implement deforestation-free commitments. We have more information below on this upcoming session.
I hope to see many of you next month for this engaging conversation!
June 20, 1 PM EST // 12 PM CST // 11 AM MST // 10 AM PST
In partnership with UNFI, the Climate Collaborative is hosting a special conversation to help companies better understand the climate impacts of deforestation and opportunities to align their climate work with a forest commitment. Attendees will walk away with a better awareness of the why and how of setting a zero-deforestation target along with resources available to support implementation.
Panelists will provide information for CPGs on forest degradation and deforestation, discuss commitment setting and implementation, and provide relevant case studies.
We hope to see you there!
The Climate Collaborative is seeking proposals from qualified firms or individuals who can provide climate advocacy campaign consulting services to our organization. Climate advocacy is one of the key pillars of our work in support of our mission set the bar for rigorous climate action and inspire industry-wide climate commitments within the natural products industry.
Please submit questions or your proposal via email to Courtney Pineau by June 1, 2023.
2023 Tracking Progress Update
Once a year, the Climate Collaborative asks companies to provide us with a report on the progress they have made with their Climate Commitments over the past year. This survey is a vital way to maintain accountability in our program, assess the climate progress of the food industry, and determine how we can best support your work. However, more importantly, this survey is a tool for you to assess your organization’s climate action efforts. We will be sending out the survey in early June, so keep an eye on your inbox! Check out last year's Tracking Progress Report!
May 31, 1 PM EST // 12 PM CST // 11 AM MST // 10 AM PST
In continuation of International Compost Week - OSC is hosting a webinar to explore the state of compostable packaging in the US. If you're curious about learning more about the benefits of composting, the connection with GHG/climate, the challenges with infrastructure, pertinent policy info, and material innovations - you won't want to miss this! Join for an enriching conversation with our partners at Elk Packaging, Traditional Medicinals, and BPI on Wednesday May 31st at 10AM PST.
The American Sustainable Business Network and Regenerate America are teaming up to invite businesses to meet with members of Congress to make the case that a robust and resilient future of American agriculture will require investments in programs and policies that support regenerative producers and rebuild the missing middle of our domestic agriculture supply chains.
Attendees will be pushing Congress to adopt a host of policies, such as more funding for education, training, and research on soil health and regenerative agriculture; better access to credit and crop insurance for regenerative producers; investment in local and regional supply chains; and support for historically discriminated against farmers.
Farm Bill Opportunities
The Farm Bill is the most important piece of federal climate legislation that is expected to pass in 2023. As discussion on the Farm Bill advances, our partners are working to ensure awareness of critical priorities to advance regenerative agriculture
The COVER Act
The COVER Act, introduced by Representative Casten of Illinois, would help reward farmers for using practices that build soil health and therefore reduce their risk.
Specifically, the COVER Act would offer farmers a small discount on their federal crop insurance premiums for every acre they plant cover crops on, just like safe drivers might get a break on their car insurance bills. With over 90% of US cropland utilizing federal crop insurance, a small incentive in that program could make a huge difference in enhancing supply chain reliability.
The DEFER Act
The DEFER Act would allow all FSA loan holders to have the dollars they spend in transitioning to, or investing in, soil health management systems (specifically costs directly related to the implementation of existing approved conversation practices, or qualifying soil health experiment) to be eligible for immediate FSA loan deferments.
Featuring Lyla June Johnston, the film explores the origins of regenerative agriculture, offering a story that is both new and ancient in its roots. The film was co-written and narrated by Lyla June Johnston, an Indigenous public speaker, artist, scholar, and community organizer, the film takes a holistic approach to regenerative stewardship, expanding the idea of regeneration beyond the principles popularized in the relatively young regenerative agriculture movement.
In case you missed it, INFRA announced the release of "The Buyer's Desk," a podcast that dives into relevant and broad-ranging monthly topics ranging from post-pandemic adaptations to regenerative organic. Listen now to hear engaging conversations with folks from Cambridge Naturals, Lundberg Family Farms, Jimbo's...Nautrally!, Good Earth Natural Foods, and more!
Across the United States, there are many programs supporting the adoption of cover crops. Researchers at the University of Georgia created the Cover Crops Incentives Explorer Tool to identify some of the programs available at the federal and state level.
IN THE NEWS
Global plastic pollution could be slashed by 80% by 2040, according to a report from the UN Environmental Programme (Unep). The changes needed are major, but are also practical and affordable, the agency said.
Official data from space research agency Inpe showed that 328.71 square km (126.92 square miles) were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon last month, below the historical average of 455.75 square km for the month.That interrupted two consecutive months of higher deforestation, with land clearing so far this year now down 40.4% to 1,173 square km.
Experts say it is still too early to confirm a downward trend, as the annual peak in deforestation from July to September lies ahead, but see it as a positive signal after rainforest destruction rocketed in late 2022.
In this new section of our newsletter, we want to share out climate-related progress, announcements, and good news from our community in action. Send us an email at [email protected] to contribute to next month's section.
COMMIT TO CLIMATE ACTION
If you haven't already made a commitment to Climate Action please visit the Climate Collaborative website and check out the nine areas in which your company can make a commitment to bold climate action.