Newsletter: Important Policy Action Update, Events, & More

A few weeks ago, we wrote to our policy engaged companies on the status of the climate provisions of the Build Back Better Act. A budget reconciliation bill is still alive, and Congress and the White House are moving forward with talks, but we're now nearing a "do or die" moment for the legislative opportunity formerly known as BBBA. We now need our whole business community to step-up to help get the bill over the finish line. 

We have been working with a coalition of groups including ClimateVoices, Ceres, Drawdown Labs, Rewiring America, Evergreen Action, and others to rally the business community to pressure their lawmakers and Senator Schumer to move the bill forward. You are invited to a thirty-minute call on Monday, May 9th at 2 pm ET/ 11 am PT to get briefed on the status of this critical climate legislation and what you can do. 

For those of you already engaged, thank you. These are trying times. Your voice as a business leader and job creator is critical.

If you haven't engaged in policy advocacy, please consider making a commitment now. You will be joining more than three hundred of your fellow businesses that have already made a commitment to engage in climate policy. Not sure where to begin? No problem. Here at the Collaborative, we work hard to provide you with opportunities to take action including sign-on letters to lawmakers, sample social media posts, advocacy trainings, meetings with members of Congress, and more. Once you make a commitment to policy, you will be on the list to hear about these opportunities so you can decide if and when you want to participate.

In collaboration,

Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 


 

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March 2022 Newsletter

Spring has sprung, and with it, there has been a flourish of activity on the heels of a very successful Climate Day. It is hard to imagine it was only three weeks ago that many of us were together in Anaheim. The Climate Collaborative team left Climate Day so invigorated and with renewed clarity about our key areas of focus. 

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Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr.
speaking at Climate Day 2022

Reverend Yearwood, our keynote speaker, talked about the importance of making sure that we, those of us committed to climate action, are not just always playing in the same lane. I took this call to action as a reminder that we need to continue to expand our reach, seek out new and diverse perspectives, step outside of our comfort zone, and develop solutions in partnership with impacted communities. By all accounts the food industry is going through rapid change, the staggering presence of countless new plant-based food options and the incredible infusion of venture capital is an early indication of the changes to come. The question for me is, "how do we ensure that these new product offerings are developed with the climate in mind?" Our food waste webinar this week provided compelling examples of how products can be designed from the beginning to integrate upcycling, food recovery, and cross-brand collaborations that have a positive impact on both the climate and their financial bottom line.

As we plan the months ahead, we anticipate renewed efforts to encourage meaningful climate legislation in DC, new tools to help brands communicate with their customers about their climate efforts, and education that leans into some of the less visible sources of climate impacts like deforestation, transportation, and refrigerants. 

For companies looking for an Earth Month activation, we've included a few partner opportunities below. They range from toolkits to public campaigns. I encourage you to check them out. As always, we have also included other resources and tools to support your climate work. Please be in touch. I would love to hear your thoughts on how we can continue to help you advance your climate commitments. 

In collaboration,

Courtney Pineau

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Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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February 2022 Newsletter

We are now less than two weeks out from Climate Day 2022 on March 8th at Expo West, and we cannot wait! The agenda reflects all of the speakers and topics that we have been so eager to bring in-person to you. You will see some consistent themes throughout the day: the critical role that distributors and retailers play in mobilizing the supply chain, the importance of centering justice and equity in our climate work, strategies for achieving net zero goals, why companies need to engage in policy action, and how to connect with consumers about climate.

To make Climate Day as actionable and impactful as possible, our vision for the event was to weave together speakers and messages that will touch hearts and minds. Speakers include:

  • Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr, Hip Hop Caucus
  • Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, Environmental Grantmakers Association
  • Ed Maibach, George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication
  • Lauren Yarmuth, The Cultural Conditions Project
  • Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation
  • Clover Hogan, Force of Nature

...and so many more!

We are at such a critical moment, and we want to speak to what is alive in so many of our hearts, bring voice to what is at stake and what is needed in our world, connect with this amazing community, and then take all of this energy and move it into meaningful action. The time is now for all of us to step even further into this work. 

I so look forward to seeing many of you in Anaheim! 

With gratitude,

Courtney Pineau


 

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January 2022 Newsletter

We are getting so excited to see many of you in-person at Climate Day on March 8th! Every year this event brings together thought leaders and leading edge companies to inspire and activate climate action, and this year will be no exception. Keep an eye on your inbox, because we will be releasing more information about the program in coming weeks. But here are a few teasers...

  • Conversations with leading distributors about how they are helping drive climate action in the supply chain
  • Insights on how you can accelerate (or initiate) meaningful net-zero commitments
  • Centering justice in the work to build a regenerative agricultural system
  • Case studies on packaging innovations that advance climate commitments
  • Taking care of ourselves and others as we tend to the climate crisis
  • Policy actions we can all take to drive big impact in 2022
  • Building a consumer driven movement through climate communications

Yes! There is a lot there, and more to come. Plus, there will be plenty of time to explore the Resource Fair, and network and connect with your industry peers. We are so excited, and I can't wait to share our full program.

Please reach out if you are going to be at Expo. I would love to connect with you!

Looking forward,

Courtney Pineau

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December 2021 Newsletter

As I write this on the winter solstice and we mark the beginning of the return of light, I am reminded of Valarie Kaur’s powerful words in Revolutionary Love, “What if this is not the darkness of the tomb – but the darkness of the womb? What if this is our greatest transition?”

We are indeed in a transition, whether Senator Manchin accepts it or not. Solar energy is exploding in the U.S. generating more than 23 times as much energy as it did just 10 years ago, driven in large part by plummeting prices. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that solar electricity is now the cheapest power on Earth. The market is responding. In 2020 and 2021, renewables accounted for 90% of new power capacity expansion globally. Meanwhile, in 2020, U.S. coal production decreased 24.2% year over year. It is predicted that by 2035 every new car sold in the U.S. could be electric. We are living the transition!

We can feel the momentum build in our network. More businesses than ever are stepping up and speaking out in support of bold climate action and implementing innovative new practices in their businesses.

Change is not easy, especially on the scale that is required if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change. Those who have benefited from the existing system will fight to the end. That’s why I am so proud of our community for stepping up over and over in 2021, most recently with hundreds of you signing on to the Ceres business letter to U.S. Senators urging them to support bold climate action at the scale of the crisis.

While we will have dark moments like the momentary setback with the Build Back Better bill, we must also remember that change can happen very fast. Thanks to you and your commitment to addressing the challenge of climate change, I am hopeful that in the year ahead we will take big steps, make huge progress, and bring the transition to life.

Wishing you all a blessed solstice and happy and healthy holidays with your loved ones.

With gratitude,

Courtney Pineau

Climate Collaborative Executive Director


 

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November 2021 Newsletter

We are so excited to bring you the 2021 Tracking Progress Report. This report assesses how companies are progressing on the climate action commitments they have made through the Climate Collaborative. Our hope is that the information shared will help inform the work of the Collaborative and our broader community as we work together to find and activate solutions to the climate crisis.

This year’s report reflects the growing urgency that companies are feeling about the need to take bold climate action. The number of companies involved in the Climate Collaborative year jumped from 463 companies in 2020 to 728! 63% of companies reported that they are actively progressing with their commitments and the remaining 37% of companies are either in active planning stages or have not yet determined how they will implement their commitments. We are seeing the most progress in packaging and renewable energy, and deeper engagement in policy. This is the first year we have asked about net-zero commitments, and we were amazed to see that 25% of respondents have already set a net-zero commitment, and 40% are exploring it.

In the qualitative responses to the survey, it was heartening to hear that the resources the Climate Collaborative provides are helping participants connect to the tools they need and better navigate the challenges they are encountering as they develop innovative climate solutions within their organizations. Respondents asked for even more tools and resources, including webinars and case studies, along with greater opportunities for pre-competitive networking to learn and collaborate with peers. We look forward to developing programs that meet these needs in the coming year!

As we close out 2021, it is clear that the urgency to act has only grown. This is the decisive decade. This year we saw a 20% increased involvement in climate policy action by companies that have made a policy commitment through the Climate Collaborative. If your business has not made a commitment to engage in climate policy, we encourage you to take that step right now. I invite you to:

  • Up your policy game today! Please consider making a policy commitment within the Climate Collaborative
  • Join hundreds of your fellow businesses by signing on to the letter to lawmakers urging them to support bold action on climate. With historic climate legislation being considered in Washington, the voice of every business matters.

Lastly, during this holiday season, please consider including the Climate Collaborative in your end-of-year giving plans. The Climate Collaborative’s deep commitment to removing all barriers to climate action, including paywalls and membership fees, is critically important because we need everyone mobilizing to help shift our current climate trajectory. However, to do this we need your support. With just two full-time staff, we work hard to ensure your donation drives real action with measurable impacts.

Many thanks for your continued support of the Climate Collaborative!

With gratitude,

Courtney Pineau

Climate Collaborative Executive Director


 

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October 2021 Newsletter

As I write this, 20,000 leaders and concerned citizens from around the world are gathering in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26, the UN climate change conference. For 12 days their task is to accelerate a shared global climate agenda, and their work has never been more important. The scientific community has issued a Code Red for Humanity, and now it is up to our global leaders to speak up and act.

It was during COP21, the now historic event that gave rise to the Paris Climate Accord, that the idea for the Climate Collaborative was born. Our founders felt that there was an opportunity for the natural products industry to be part of the international community in tackling the climate crisis. They saw that the natural products sector (now a $180 billion industry) had the potential to be on the leading edge of driving business and consumer action. Their vision was to engage this industry in meaningful climate action through collaboration, education, and by making critical tools and resources freely available to all. Since that time, more than 700 companies have made commitments to reduce their climate impacts, and while our reach has expanded beyond the natural products industry, our commitment to identifying and activating pathways for our network of businesses to accelerate climate action has not waivered.

The work ahead is focused on deepening our efforts while also collectively engaging in critical policy efforts that ensure our work reaches the scale necessary to shift our current catastrophic climate trajectory. For those of you participating in our Call4ClimateNow campaign, you know that over the past weeks the U.S. Congress has been debating the most important climate legislation ever, which could put us on track to reduce emissions in half by 2030. This decision could be made any minute. And for many of us, it has been heartbreaking to watch the fossil fuel special interests of one senator wreak havoc on this absolutely critical legislation. The American people want action and the Climate Collaborative will continue to do our part to remove barriers to climate action to accelerate a powerful climate agenda.

The bottom line is that we all must up our climate game. We must fight harder for our leaders to lead. (If you haven’t already made a commitment to climate policy, you can do so here.) We must take more steps within our businesses and in our supply chains. No matter where we are in the process, we can all do more, and we must.

In this historic moment on the eve of the COP, we are reaching out to our network of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), those with fewer than five hundred employees, to ask YOU to consider joining the growing movement to commit to net zero emissions by 2050. You can find more information about how to do this below. While most of us can’t be in Glasgow, that doesn’t mean that we can’t take part in the efforts there. You will also find links below to a wide variety of sessions so that you can participate in the COP virtually.

At the Climate Collaborative, our job is to help you bring your commitments to climate to life. We are in active dialogue with our community over the next several months to understand your barriers to action and how we can help. I would love to hear your thoughts! Email me at [email protected] and let me know the challenges you are facing and how we might help.

With gratitude,

Courtney Pineau

Climate Collaborative Executive Director

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August 2021 Newsletter

As I write this letter, Hurricane Ida is pummeling Louisiana and Mississippi. Fires are raging across the western U.S., and around the world. Flooding earlier this summer killed hundreds and wreaked havoc in Germany, Brussels, and China. And drought is devastating farms across the west. All of these events are fueled by climate change which makes droughts and extreme precipitation events more common, hurricanes more powerful, wildfires hotter, and the fire season longer. Of course, so many of you are LIVING these events. Our hearts go out to you.

With the recent release of the groundbreaking report from the UN IPCC, there is no longer any doubt of the threat posed by our changing climate. But the good news in the report is that we still have a small window of opportunity to lessen or even stop the threat. There are solutions to prevent the worst impacts, but our window is closing which is why we must act now. As Laurence Tubiana, an architect of the Paris Agreement said, “Scientists did their job, it is time for leaders to do theirs”.

Over the next month, the U.S. Congress will debate the most important climate legislation in a generation. This could be the only bite at the apple that our leaders take for many years.

If you have ever considered using your powerful voice as a business, now is the moment.

Our community is responding in the way we know best---collaboratively. We have partnered with Fossil Fuel Media to create the #Call4ClimateNOW campaign. More than one hundred of your peers have joined the campaign to reach out to their stakeholders, including their employees and the people who buy their products and services, to call on our lawmakers in D.C. to urge them to take bold climate action NOW! B Lab, 1% for the Planet, ASBC, and Ceres have partnered with us and are engaging businesses in the campaign.

Join Clif Bar, Aveda, PCC Markets, Grove Collaborative, Ben & Jerry’s, Legacy Vacation Resorts, and many more businesses from across the U.S. in the #Call4ClimateNOW campaign launching on September 8th.

Find information on the campaign, access the toolkit, and sign-on here.

Next month, our new Executive Director, Courtney Pineau, will be at the helm full-time and we will usher in a new era at the Collaborative. Courtney is eager to meet you all! If you are planning to attend Natural Products Expo East and would like to meet Courtney, let us know at [email protected], and be sure to check out our programming in Philadelphia too.

In the meantime, join us by bringing your company’s voice to the choir calling for bold climate action!

For a brighter future for all,

Nancy

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July 2021 Newsletter

At the Climate Collaborative, we've been celebrating the announcement of our new Executive Director, Courtney Pineau, this past week. Courtney joins the CC from Green America’s Center for Sustainable Solutions where she led their Climate and Agriculture Networks. She has worked extensively with businesses in the food and agriculture sector and stakeholders throughout the entire supply chain for more than fifteen years. Courtney’s experience creating collaborative networks will help take the CC to the next level providing support to businesses in our transition to a clean, green, and just economy.

Courntey will be stepping in to support two exciting specially funded initiatives along with our other programming that is free through the generosity of 80 companies, individuals, and foundations. Thank you to all our donors!

The next two years are critical if we are to have any hope of staying below the 1.5o C increase in global temperature that scientists say we must in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The Collaborative is poised to assist your business and our industry to contribute to drawing down greenhouse gas emissions. However, if you haven’t donated, we need your support. Join our donors by contributing in whatever amount you can with our pledge form here!  

We're excited to profile our donors and officially introduce Courtney to the community at Expo East, where we'll have two 45 minute sessions on Friday, September 24th. We're still finalizing our programming, but hope to see many of you there!

Take care, 

Katherine

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June 2021 Newsletter

By now you have probably seen the headlines from the leaked upcoming IPCC report: “Crushing climate impacts to hit sooner than feared”. It might sound like something out of a Hollywood sci fi film, but as those who are living today with the record-setting heat waves, drought and fires in the West and the flooding in the South know all too well, it is anything but futuristic fiction.

The leaked draft makes clear that “climate change is happening now, is accelerating and posing unprecedented threats to human and natural systems — and that taking fast action can still avoid the worst economic and ecological impacts.”

Numerous studies have shown that voluntary corporate action alone is not enough to reduce emissions at the pace and scale necessary to prevent catastrophic climate change. The task before us is far larger than the incremental work of a few investors and companies, or even the entire natural products industry. A systemic change requires a systemic solution and that means both private AND public commitment. It requires government leadership. We have the technologies and the solutions. We are not scaling them up fast enough. Solving the climate crisis is no longer a technical problem. It is a political one and it needs a political solution.

If you have EVER thought about stepping up to advocate for climate action, NOW IS THE MOMENT. 

The most important climate legislation in a generation is going to be decided between now and late fall. It is clear that there is an enormous need for more pressure to be applied to Congress with the message “We have no time to wait. We need you to lead now.” This is our political moment. We don’t know when we will have it again.

Over the past year, working with our partners like ASBC, Ceres and America Is All In, the Climate Collaborative has greatly scaled up opportunities for you to engage your lawmakers— and wow have you risen to the challenge. We are asking you once again to step-up to use your powerful voice as a business leader. Please join your peers from the business community as well as leaders from cities, states, tribal nations, and the institutions of higher ed, healthcare, faith and culture from across the country at what we hope will be the largest virtual climate Hill Day ever.

We have partnered with our friends at America Is All In and Ceres to make this as simple and painless as possible for you. It is free and absolutely no previous experience is necessary. You simply “zoom-in” when it is convenient for you and if you choose, share your story of why climate action is important to your business. The key is to be counted as a business leader that is concerned about climate change!

REGISTER HERE and attend all or part of it.

twitter.jpgSchedule

  • Monday, July 12th 1-5 pm ET/ 10 am - 2 pm PT Advocacy Training and Briefings
  • Tuesday, July 13th and July 14th Virtual meetings with Congressional and Administration offices will be held via Zoom throughout the day.

Whether you are a seasoned pro at speaking to your elected officials or this is a completely new experience, we hope you will consider joining us!

What Makes Congress Listen?

The business community is a powerful influencer in Washington, and the voices of small and medium sized businesses are particularly important. Research confirms that the most powerful influence on members of Congress are personal (and virtual) visits from their constituents, telling their individual stories, and providing information on the impact of legislation on their district[1]. Your members of Congress need to hear from you— what climate disruption means to you and your business, what you are doing about it, and what you want them to do about it.

We hope you will join us!

[1] Source: Congressional Management Foundation

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