Post-COVID Economic Recovery Must Protect Against Future Climate Crises

Businesses Join Urgent Call on Congress to Ensure the Post-COVID Economic Recovery Protects Against the Risk of Future Climate Crises

Climate Collaborative companies joined LEAD on Climate 2020—the largest virtual education and advocacy day on climate action

(Virtual, May 14)—More than 120 natural products companies joined the first major call for a climate-inclusive path forward from COVID-19, including KeHE, Numi Tea, Clif Bar, INFRA, UNFI, Amy’s Kitchen, Gaia Herbs, Grove Collaborative, Ben & Jerry’s, and Dr. Bronner’s, among others.

These companies, most of whom have set their own climate goals through the Climate Collaborative, collectively stated that the COVID-19 crisis has been a wake-up call for the looming threat of climate change, making it clear that we must be prepared as the impacts of climate change on human health and the economy could be even greater.

“With the numerous challenges created by this pandemic, we call on Congress to help us not just bounce back, but to leap forward. Now is the time to act on climate and sustainability and do the hard work to build a beautiful future for our children and grandchildren,” said Kristen Morelli, Co-Founder of Perfect Supplements, a participating company.

Natural products companies joined bipartisan online meetings with federal lawmakers, urging them to ensure that future economic recovery plans simultaneously revive our economy and reduce the emissions that cause climate change—through smart investment in aging infrastructure, energy-efficient buildings and transportation, incentives that transition the U.S. to clean energy, and other solutions that reduce our vulnerability to the enormous risk of climate change. These investments could create millions of well-paying jobs that can generate billions in economic growth and improve the quality of life for all Americans.

More than 330 total businesses joined Ceres’ Lawmaker Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD on Climate 2020), from every sector of the economy—including retail shops, manufacturers, healthcare services, food and beverage companies, outdoors industries, technology companies, and energy providers—making it the largest ever virtual call to action from the business community on the ongoing climate crisis.

This engagement comes at a time when business is working desperately to prepare for and avoid future shocks. The scientific consensus on climate change is stronger than ever, with 97% of scientists agreeing that it is happening and is human-caused. The American people are also waking up to the impacts of a changing climate on their lives and livelihoods, with more than two-thirds saying they are worried about climate change.

Meanwhile, the potential costs of a changing climate on human health and the economy are becoming clearer and starker. Experts say that extreme weather events, disruption to the food system, and health issues could cost up to a tenth of the U.S. economy by 2100 if left unchecked. Further, newly published research from Nobel-prize winning economists at Oxford University concludes that not only would there be a cost to not including climate action in the economic recovery to COVID-19, but that there will be substantial economic benefit from doing so.

“No one in the world was really ready when the pandemic suddenly came upon us. Everyone in the world is now doing its best to cope. We must not allow climate adversity to come upon us similarly. That is why the initiatives taken and LEAD 2020 are important,” said Rohan Grover, Director of Nature Bio Foods.

“In Sonoma County, every fall is a harsh reminder of the impact of climate change. As soon as we start to figure out how to navigate the COVID situation, we will be faced with fire season. It is critical that we use this crisis to harness opportunities to change the way business operates. We need investments in clean energy and a sustainable economy,” said Marcus Benedetti, CEO of Clover Sonoma.

“We have the opportunity for a reset on how we rebuild our businesses–we should reset for the long term health of our planet and all those who inhabit it. These last few months have reminded me poignantly of our shared humanity, and the importance of using business for far more than profit, but for our common good. This is why Grove is joining LEAD on Climate,” said Stuart Landesberg, Co-founder & CEO Grove Collaborative.

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About 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 at @climatecollab and on Twitter at @ClimateColl.

Find more information here.

Participating Climate Collaborative committed companies:

1908 Brands Guayaki Peerless Coffee and Tea
ADinfinitum, Inc Happy Family Perfect Supplements
Alter Eco Herb Pharm Planet FWD
Amy’s Kitchen Herbalist & Alchemist Plastic Pollution Solutions
Annie’s Hummingbird Wholesale Pur Projet
Ashland Food Co-op Imagine Baking Pure Ground Ingredients
Aveda Imlak’esh Organics Pure Strategies
Ben & Jerry’s INFRA Rebel Green LLC
Biotic Beverages inNative ReGrained
Boulder Organic Foods Keap Renewal Mill
Bread SRSLY KeHE Sambazon
Califia Farms Kimberton Whole Foods Serenity Kids
Chico Bag / To-Go Ware Kuli Kuli Foods Seventh Generation
Clif Bar Lotus Soli
Clif Family Winery Lundberg Family Farms Stonyfield
Clover Sonoma Manzana Products Co. Straus Family Creamery
Conscious Container Maple Valley Cooperative Sustainable Concepts Studio
Danone North America Martin Bauer Group Teadora Beauty
Down to Earth Organic & Natural MegaFood Teatulia
Dr. Bronner’s Modern Species Thinkshift Communications
Ecodeo Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage Thrive Market
EcoRich LLC Natural Habitats Traditional Medicinals
Effect Partners Natural Network Trust Transparency Center
Fresca Foods Nature Bio Foods Uncommon Cacao
Full Harvest Nature’s Path UNFI
Gaia Herbs Navitas Organics Vital Plan
General Mills Neighborhood Sun Voyaging Foods
Glen’s Garden Market Numi W.S. Badger Company
Grassroots Capital Management Nutiva WishGarden Herbs
Grove Collaborative Organically Grown ZEGO
Growing Naturally Outpost Natural Foods

Participating companies from the Climate Collaborative broader community of stakeholders:

Avalon Trust Ethical Markets Media ReVision Energy
Blue & Green Planet Guru ScratchGravel Studios
Boochcraft/Pacha Hirshberg Strategic SheepWul
Charlotte’s Web Kitchen Town Sir Kensington’s
CLEAResult Lopez Foods & Dorado Foods Studio Airstream
Creative Disruption MaCher U Capture
Emergy Foods Namaste Solar Electric Wolf, DiMatteo  + Associates
Energy Link NY NJ Food Guru

 

Further reflections from businesses on why policy advocacy now is vital:

“Boulder Organic Foods takes our personal and professional impacts on the climate seriously. Individually, our efforts are not enough – we must work collaboratively to effect lasting and positive change. LEAD on Climate 2020 is a great place to speak out.” – Kate Brown, Founder, Boulder Organic Foods

“We, as leaders in both business and policy, have a responsibility to align on decisions that prioritize the well-being of our communities and our planet. Nutiva believes it is time to build a resilient economy, mitigate climate risk, and ensure a thriving future by making smart investments in regenerative agriculture and clean energy.” – Steven Naccarato, CEO, Nutiva.

Just like COVID-19, every business will be economically impacted by climate change if we fail to act now. At this critical juncture in history, Keap Candles is proud to stand in support of LEAD on Climate 2020.” – Stephen Tracy, Owner Keap Candles

“Businesses play a critical role in reversing the current trajectory of global warming. For this to happen, the private sector must advocate for the type of policies that will enable this change to happen. Gaia Herbs is proud to be advocating for a cleaner and more sustainable future at LEAD on Climate 2020.” – Angela McElwee, President & CEO of Gaia Herbs.

“Even in the midst of this crisis, Stonyfield remains committed to climate action because we know it will make us a stronger business and help farmers be more resilient,” says Lisa Drake, Director of Sustainability Innovation at Stonyfield Organic.  “Today we are asking lawmakers to consider the opportunity to create jobs and transition to a cleaner, more resilient economy by building back better.”

“The current crisis reaffirms our company’s commitment to creating a healthier and more resilient world for generations to come. In banding together to join LEAD on Climate 2020 with other like-minded businesses, we hope to leverage our collective voices to advocate for swift, progressive action towards regenerative practices known to conserve resources. Now, more than ever before we need to use business as a force for good.” – Zach Adelman, Founder/CEO of Navitas Organics

“We must speak the truth. Intelligent climate policy does not hurt businesses. In fact, it is critical for creating a business environment in which we can thrive.” – David Jaber, Principal at inNative.

“Businesses have a critical role to play in building a sustainable and equitable economy.  Seventh Generation is proud to make our voice heard and hope others in the business community join us to take action at LEAD on Climate 2020.” – Joey Bergstein, CEO Seventh Generation

“Now is the time to come together and call on leaders to act on climate and rebuild the sustainable economy we need–not go backwards to the antiquated and polluting economy we had pre-coronavirus.” – Matthew McCarthy, CEO, Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.

“As a fast-growing clean tech business with 275 employee-owners across New England, ReVision Energy knows first-hand the potential for renewables and energy efficiency to lead a sustainable economic recovery – if only Congress will incorporate smart infrastructure investments in future stimulus plans.” – Dan Weeks, Employee Owner, ReVision Energy

“At EnergyLink, it is essential for us to be able to source funding such as Property Assessed Clean Energy financing, rebates, and grants. We need to keep these programs alive, as they are instrumental in helping organizations recover from COVID-19 through cash-flow positive energy efficiency projects.” – Caelan Gander, Business Development Associate at EnergyLink.

“Teatulia is committed to using business as a force for good, especially as it pertains to climate – regenerative and organic farming, minimal waste packaging and clean, nutritious food systems. Consequently, we are 120% behind LEAD on Climate 2020 to be sure we use this critical time for transformational change.” – Linda Appel Lipsius, Co-Founder & CEO of Teatulia.

“Now more than ever it’s clear that as a society and business community we need to align our policies with the protection of our planet. Investing in clean energy and good agricultural practices is one and the same with rebuilding to protect our public health, assuring a stable food supply, and keeping us all at work.” – Greg Steltenpohl, CEO of Califia Farms.

 

Media Contact: Erin Callahan, erin@climatecollaborative.com