September 2022 Newsletter

This has been quite the month for climate. Despite the apparent gains from the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act, we quickly learned in its aftermath that to win Senator Manchin's vote Senator Schumer agreed to a "dirty deal" to pass separate legislation that would among other things, speed approvals and permitting of fossil fuel infrastructure. Let's be clear, we can never have a meaningful and sustaining impact on climate change if we continue to permit legislation that emboldens polluters, and at the same time disproportionately impacts the people who are already bearing the brunt of our dependence on fossil fuels: communities of color, low-income communities, and other marginalized groups.

My hope is that we can continue to create pressure and momentum around the solutions that enable us to have a just transition that operate in service to all. To that end, we were thrilled to see so many Climate Collaborative committed companies and partners were recipients of the USDA's Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Funding. Developing regenerative farming systems that increase soil health, and thereby reduce emissions and increase drawdown are an absolutely critical climate solution. 

Last week, we witnessed climate change take center stage at the UN General Assembly. Conversations centered on addressing the needs of under-resourced nations experiencing the worst impacts of climate change and the role of the nations that are responsible for the bulk of the world's GHG emission. These preliminary conversations are a precursor for what's to come in November at COP27. For the Collaborative, it's an ever present reminder that climate justice needs to be at the forefront of our work, and that we need to continue to be vigilant about policy that disproportionately impacts our most vulnerable communities, while letting polluters off the hook.

We hope to see many of you in person at Natural Products Expo East this week. We have a fantastic line up of panels on Friday, September 30thWe'll be diving into case studies highlighting the value of investing in climate-focused CPGs, operationalizing climate within your organization and hosting a conversation on what makes a product climate friendly. I look forward to seeing familiar and new faces in Philadelphia! 

In collaboration,
Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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August 2022 Newsletter

What a month! The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act certainly was a milestone, providing exhilarating momentum to our work. We are actively exploring how we harness the opportunities this legislation provides, while also leaning into the areas where it falls short. This is a work in progress, and we would love to hear your thoughts. 

As I approach my one-year anniversary with the Climate Collaborative, I find myself reflecting on all that the past year has taught me. The familiar words of Margaret Mead come to mind, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I am blessed every day to interact with people and organizations that are working diligently to reduce their impact on the climate. While this work is not for the faint of heart, our Climate Collaborators share a deep love for this planet we call home–it fuels this critical work, and it regenerates us when we face struggles in our efforts to impact climate change at scale. I am deeply thankful for this community.

To that end, I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at Expo East in Philadelphia! We're hosting three climate focused sessions on Friday, September 30th. We'll be diving into investing in climate focused CPGs, operationalizing climate within your organization and hosting a conversation on what makes a product climate friendly. Oh! And did you see that New Hope is hosting Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson as a keynote? She is incredible. We hope to see you there!

In collaboration,
Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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July 2022 Newsletter

We were just about to send out this newsletter when breaking news stopped the press. Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer just announced they have reached agreement on a budget reconciliation bill called the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which includes what could be historic investments in climate change! One week ago, it was believed that the bill was dead. A one-page summary indicates that the bill includes a record $369 billion for energy and climate. While details have not yet been released, and the bill still has to make its way through the Senate and House, we are cautiously ecstatic. If this bill passes, it will be the largest investment in climate in our nation's history.

While we are not yet familiar with the details, as the 725-page bill was just released last night, the bill includes investments to help our nation achieve emissions reductions of 40% by 2030. We expect it to help your businesses with investments in clean energy and transportation. There are red flags as well, including a call for permitting reform legislation to be passed before the end of the fiscal year. This could very well make permitting fossil fuel infrastructure easier at a time when the scientists have made it clear that we must immediately cease fossil fuel extraction. We know that there will be some disagreeable aspects as this bill is the result of months of arduous negotiations. We will be watching closely to determine if they are too egregious. 

This giant step, and hopefully soon victory, is the result of the hard work of many, including hundreds of you in the Climate Collaborative network. Sometimes when we sign a letter to our elected officials as you did weeks ago with Businesses for Climate Action, or when you post on social and have a dialogue with your stakeholders as many of you did last year with Call4ClimateNow, we don't feel that we are having an impact. But I promise you it DOES matter. Every action contributes to the whole. When businesses speak out, we are changing the norm of silence on climate. We don't know exactly what changed Senator Manchin's mind and caused him to include climate in the bill, but we know there was enormous pressure from many fronts, including the business community, for him to act. More than 40% of Americans live in counties that were hit by climate disasters in 2021 and more than 80% of Americans experienced a heat wave. We have all be hearing the news in recent weeks of record-breaking heat around the world. This bill comes none too soon. 

In the coming weeks, we will be keeping you informed on how YOU can help get the bill over the finish line. But for now, embrace this hopeful moment. We really CAN solve the climate crisis, and we will do it together. 

Thank you for all of your work that led us to today. I am grateful for our community. 

In collaboration,
Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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June 2022 Newsletter

In a disappointing decision released today in U.S. EPA vs West Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court has severely hampered the Biden-Harris administration from regulating carbon pollution through executive branch action and protecting Americans from the economic and health impacts of climate change. In the words of Mindy Lubber, CEO and President of Ceres, "The decision endangers our country's ability to confront the climate crisis at the pace and scale science says is necessary. It also underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass an economic package with ambitious federal clean energy investments in the coming weeks."

To that end, our deepest thanks to all of you who signed the recent business sign-on letter to Congress, developed by the Collaborative in coordination with 35 other organizations, advocating for bold climate action. The response from our community was astounding; we have never had such a high turnout for advocacy before. If you would like to be involved in future advocacy campaigns, please email us and we will get you signed up for our Policy Commitment. We expect far reaching climate legislation to be announced in the coming weeks. The Supreme Court just made it clear how important it is that we work to get this bill over the finish line. Stay tuned for ways you can help.

In collaboration,
Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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Time-Sensitive Policy Opportunity, New Investor Guide, Webinar on Regen Infrastructure

Change is hard enough in the best of times, never mind when times are tough. After two years of a global pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and inflationary pressure wreaking havoc on supply chains, we are hearing that many of your businesses are stressed. You may feel discouraged as though you aren’t making progress on your climate efforts.

Here at the Climate Collaborative, it is our mission and passion to help you succeed and become the climate champion to which you aspire by providing opportunities for your business to contribute to climate solutions- and right now we have one such opportunity.

The coming weeks are our last best chance for what could be a very, very long time to get historic climate legislation in the U.S. over the finish line. This legislation is vital if we are to cut emissions in half this decade.

The business community is stepping up in unprecedented ways to flood our lawmakers with calls for action. Will you join me by signing your U.S. company on to this letter calling on our lawmakers to pass ambitious climate legislation to put our country and our world on a path to solving the climate crisis?

Please join the more than 400 businesses that have already signed on and sign your company onto the statement today! It will take less than two minutes and you will feel great.

Lastly, we'd like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of renown environmental activist, futurist, and author, Hazel Henderson who passed recently. Hazel inspired a generation of activists, including us here at the Climate Collaborative. Ralph Nader shared his remembrance of the remarkable Hazel on Marketplace. She enthusiastically participated in many of the Climate Collaborative's policy initiatives and we were honored to know her.

In collaboration,
Courtney

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Courtney Pineau
Executive Director
Climate Collaborative 

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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. 

Rev.jpg

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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