The Climate Collaborative is a free community to join, with resources, and tools to help any company go deeper on climate. This is all made possible by the contributions of our donors, and their commitment to helping the whole industry move forward. As a thank you to them, we want to share some of the fantastic ways our sponsors are leading the way on responding to climate change--and bringing the industry along with them through their support and the examples they set.
Catalyst-level and Special Project Donors
National Co+op Grocers
As the official sponsor of the National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative awards, NCG is helping the industry see--and hopefully act to replicate--some of the best examples of climate action leadership across the natural products industry. Their support helps inspire all of us toward greater climate ambition and action.
We have awarded 16 outstanding companies and individuals for their leadership in responding to climate change across our 2018 and 2019 awards cycles, From Albert Straus to Clif Bar, Dr. Bronners, and more.
NCG are also taking steps in their own supply chains: In 2018, they funded the planting or conservation of more than 70,000 trees in the San Martin region of Peru as part of their Co+op Forests project. The area was heavily deforested in the 1980s due to cocoa production. As part of the program, 377 timber trees were purchased for Finca a la Media, a farmer-led agroforestry project in Peru. These were planted in a manner that mimics forests, with taller trees and undergrowth planted alongside cash crops like coffee and cacao.
Annie’s was a founding supporter and participant in the Climate Collaborative, and their team helped build the foundation of our work today. As the CC has grown, so has the reach and impact of their commitments! We now work with and recognize EPIC, Cascadian Farms, Larabar, and General Mills full Natural and Organic portfolio.
Beyond their core brands, General Mills is helping the whole industry move forward on climate by supporting the Collaborative’s work, but they aren’t stopping there. They’ve committed to transitioning one million acres to regenerative by 2030--the largest commitment of its kind and they’re trying to help their peers do the same. Here’s some of what they’re doing, and information on how you can take advantage of their resources. Their soil matters campaign was also a pioneering consumer engagement mechanism on soil health issues.
In 2019 KeHE decided to take their climate leadership to a new level by sponsoring our 2019 Food Waste Retailer Project. Through the project, we were able to provide hands-on support to retailers through in-store consultations, and we published in-depth resources specific to the needs of retailers in our industry, enabling hundreds of retailers to be more informed about reducing their food waste.
“Our approach is simple, we partner with our customers’ full spectrum of needs. We focus on people, planet and purpose, which is validated by our B Corp certification. KeHE’s dedication to reducing food waste has resulted in a 17% reduction; an example of how we authentically lead in the good food industry.” – KeHE
Dr. Bronner’s is a founding supporter and participant in the Climate Collaborative. We recognized them through the 2019 National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards for their outstanding climate record, and for bringing regenerative organic agriculture to the forefront of the natural products industry and pursuing fair trade agroforestry projects within their supply chain. From their packaging to their agriculture practices and transportation footprint, Dr. Bronner's set an example that we think any company in any industry could learn from.
"Dr. Bronner’s is humbled and proud to be a founding partner in the Climate Collaborative. For us, being committed to combatting and mitigating climate change means sourcing our major ingredients from a regenerative organic supply chain that ensures fair labor, soil health, and animal welfare. If companies want to protect the planet — we need to farm in nature’s image!" —David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s
INFRA has been involved in the CC since we launched. They've worked to encourage and support their retailers in having broader access to climate action pathways by supporting the CC's work, carving out space at each of our annual conferences, and co-hosting member events for the CC.
“Everyone has a role in advocating for the care of our planet. We at INFRA see that each and every one of us has the opportunity to improve our operations and adopt more sustainable practices helping our retailers learn how they can move the dial in areas such as packaging, food waste, agriculture, and energy efficiency. We create expectations of our supply chain partners that they too are educating their customers on how they can be part of the solution.” - Corinne Shindelar, INFRA President/CEO
The Wisconsin-based dairy company was another founding CC participant and supporter. They demonstrated a deep commitment to expanding renewable energy access in its home state. Over the past three years, their work has led to an estimated 33% increase in the state's solar capacity, through a community solar project, and became the largest food company in the U.S. to reach 100% renewable power. In 2018 our judges recognized their leadership on this project through our inaugural awards ceremony.
Happy Family Organics
Happy Family Organics is a founding participant and supporter of the Climate Collaborative, and as we've grown it's been incredible to watch their commitment to climate action deepen. In 2018 they conducted a pilot farmer training on regenerative agriculture, and their contributions to the working groups and programming of the CC has helped establish our strong community.
"No one company can tackle climate change in isolation; collaboration is key to moving the needle on climate, says Happy Family sustainability director Katie Clark. "My favorite part of my job is collaborating with our business partners in the supply chain, especially those who historically have not showed much interest in sustainability topics. When I have a call with a supplier who is excited to tell us about something they’ve done at their facility to improve their impact it makes all of the work it took to get there worth it."
REBBL has had climate and ESG issues at its core since the company was founded, and take their climate commitments to heart. They work to generate whole-of-company buy-in to their goals, and are working closely with their supply chain to promote regenerative practices. We recognized their value chain engagement work through our 2019 NCG CC Awards, and we profiled their packaging work in 2019, which allowed them to significantly reduce the packaging impacts of their work without disrupting their supply chains.
We awarded Guayaki in 2018 for their 22-year record of being carbon positive. You can read their CEO Chris Mann's words on their leadership here. One of our favorite parts:
We’re always looking for opportunities to do things better. A couple of years ago we decided to take control of our direct store delivery distribution and create a 100% fossil-fuel-free fleet. We now deliver Guayaki Yerba Mate to 45 cities in the United States and Canada using the largest commercial fleet of all-electric Chevy Bolts. This area of our business is rapidly growing, so we brought on an anti-recidivism activist to manage the hiring of new drivers. We’ve hired over 30 drivers that have been affected by the prison system. They often face the hardest barriers to finding meaningful employment, so these living wage jobs give them an opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Foodstirs are committed to sourcing products that minimize the climate impacts of their products' lifecycles, and they've tied it closely to their mission of attaining purity with purpose. They prioritize ingredients sustainably and ethically sourced such as fair-trade chocolate, biodynamic cane sugar, single-origin and identity-preserved flour and colors from natural sources. We loved having them join us onstage at Climate Day this year.
Clif Bar & Company
Check out Clif Bar's 2018 NCG CC awards profile to get some of the picture on how the company is a true climate champion, helping their suppliers, staff, and whole value chain deepen their climate advocacy and reduce their footprint. Our favorite quote:
The natural food industry was founded by a community of innovative leaders who care deeply about the environment. We recognize that what we do to the planet we do to ourselves, and that food can either be part of the solution or part of the problem... We can offer the public a way to fight global warming with their knife and fork three times a day. But to really make our companies, people and products part of the climate solution we need to look at opportunities up and down the value chain, using the guidance and tools offered by organizations like the Climate Collaborative and Ceres. And, most importantly, we need to speak up on behalf of strong, effective and bold climate policy.
Stonyfield Organic is a founding CC supporter and committed company, and they've taken their commitment to reducing emissions across their value chains--and beyond--seriously. In August 2019 they announced approved science-based targets, and they've been a driving force in development and launch of OpenTEAM, an open-source technology platform to help farmers everywhere improve soil health and trap carbon from the atmosphere in the soil.
Danone North America
Danone North America is meeting the challenge of climate change head-on by innovating our business practices, forging new partnerships across the food and beverage industry, and driving policy solutions that protect and preserve our precious natural resources. Our commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 is just the beginning—our approach to addressing climate change extends along our entire value chain. As a public benefit corporation and the largest Certified B Corporation® in the world, we know it is also our responsibility to create carbon positive solutions that drive long-term change.
Nutiva, known for plant-based organic foods, was an early supporter of the CC. The company has been an early mover in supporting practices that help sequester carbon in the soil, and they are currently giving 1% of their profits to supporting regenerative agriculture. They're also committed to maintaining a zero-waste facility, working to ensure that not only do they reduce waste in their production but also as employees within the company.
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