Natural industry leaders convene on renewable energy

Natural industry leaders convene on renewable energy

Natural products industry leaders pollinate cross-sector at American Renewable Energy Institute’s 11th AREDAY’S Summit. 

Building bridges on sustainability issues, renewable energy and climate change solutions will be the focus of three natural products industry leaders, Tom Newmark, Marci Zaroff and Eric Schnell, at the 11th anniversary of the American Renewable Energy Day Summit (AREDAY). Set to convene as a deep immersion into these topics, it will be held again in Aspen, Colo., Aug. 10 to 13, 2014, at the Jerome Hotel. This year’s theme is: Accelerating Solutions for the Great Transition.

According to Chip Comins, chairman and CEO of the Institute, “The U.S. had the Great Depression, we survived the Great Recession, and we are now entering the Great Transition. We can’t get to the ultimate solutions all at once, so we must take the critical steps necessary to make the transition to an historic and necessary environmentally and economically sound future.”

Newmark, Snell and Zaroff will join former President Jimmy Carter and a distinguished gathering of thought leaders, change agents, business and energy experts, scientists, media and philanthropists. Ahead of his time, Carter was an advocate of alternative energy and energy conservation. He began the first steps of the transition when he installed 32 solar panels on the White House in 1979, which contributed to the launch of solar energy globally.

Ted Turner will return to the Summit, as well as Dr. Silvia Earle, Dr. Amory Lovins, Tim Wirth, Daryl Hannah and be joined by Theodore Roosevelt IV; Catherine Bachand, CEO of One Drop; Rachel Kyte, VP World Bank Group and numerous others.

Summit speakers

  • Tom Newmark is the former CEO of New Chapter, a B Corp, and the leader in organic dietary supplements, purchased by Proctor & Gamble in 2012. He is the cofounder and chair of Sacred Seeds Sanctuary, and the co-owner of Finca Luna Nueva, an organic farming operation in Costa Rica. He will introduce at the Summit, the recently formed Carbon Underground, of which he is cofounder and chairman. It is positioned asumbrella organization that communicates the opportunity to reverse climate change through regenerative organic agriculture, by scaling it up on a global level. According to Newmark, “Roughly one-third of all CO2 emissions come from unnatural farming techniques. CO2 life-cycle analyses need to go beyond emissions and recognize that by sequestering carbon, we can actually reverse atmospheric CO2 levels.” The organization’s online platform (once developed) will provide a dynamic data-sharing home for farmers, governments, NGOs, and scientists.
  • Marci Zaroff, AKA the eco-fashionista, coined the original term Eco-fashion in 1996, after a decade working with natural/organic food and beauty. Concerned about the fact that 10 percent of global carbon impact comes from the textile industry, she pioneered Portico Brands, Under the Canopy and FASE. In addition, she helped define the U.S. and Global Standards for organic fiber certification for organic and sustainable textiles apparel and home fashions. “We put clothes on our body and use sheets and towels every day without thinking. It takes nearly 3,000 liters of water to make a cotton T shirt. According to the World Bank 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textile treatment and dying and it is one of the leading causes of air pollution.” Executive producer of the documentary “Thread”, she also serves on the Board of the Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange and AllergyKids. She is in the process of building a factory in Fairfax, Virginia using solar and geothermal energy. Zaroff will address the carbon footprint of the fashion industry at the upcoming AREDAY Summit.
  • Eric Schnell will focus on the corporate responsibility in an age of serious consumerism and climate change issues. He is the founder of The Healthy Beverage Company and Steaz. He cofounder of I AM Enlightened Creations and founder of MetaBrand, both B Corps (Benefit Corporations). Schnell is also chairman of the MetaBrand Capital Fund, serving the growing demand for "conscious capital" for cutting-edge health and wellness technologies. Eric is the recipient of the 2007 Sustainable Business of the Year Award, as well as three time annual winner of the "Best Product of the Year Award". He has reached his successes modeling his Quadruple Bottom-Line business philosophy of Purpose, People, Planet and ethical Profitability.

“The natural products industry has been a great champion of sustainability but we need to go beyond that limited concept,” states Tom Newmark. “We can’t simply sustain, we must reverse our patterns, replenish what we have depleted and expedite pro-active steps forward.”



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