The natural products industry has long been home to companies at the forefront of corporate environmentalism. Eight bold companies were honored for their innovative contributions to climate change reduction yesterday during Climate Day at Expo West.
The second annual National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards were the highlight of the event, designed to inspire the natural and organic products industry to work together to reduce emissions through the Climate Collaborative.
“We are honored to recognize our 2019 award winners for their considerable efforts to address the global challenge of climate change, inspiring others within our industry and beyond to do the same,” said C.E. Pugh, Chief Executive Officer, National Co+op Grocers. “We thank all nominees for their participation in the awards process, and applaud each of them for their commitment to restoring our climate and slowing global warming.”
The companies, co-ops and individuals were nominated in at least one of the nine commitment areas identified by the Climate Collaborative as the most essential routes for the natural products industry to take action to reverse climate change.
Outstanding Company Award Recipients
- Dr. Bronner’s, for bringing regenerative organic agriculture to the forefront of the natural products industry and pursuing fair trade agroforestry projects within their supply chain.
- Glen’s Garden Market (Washington, D.C.), for prioritizing food produced, transported and sold with minimal emissions, waste and environmental impact in their retail grocery.
- Nature’s Path, for creating a certified zero waste production plant and dramatically reducing their packaging and distribution emissions.
- ORGANIC INDIA, for significantly reducing emissions within their supply chain, including converting over 20,000 acres of farmland to regenerative organic methods.
- PCC Community Markets (Seattle, WA), for achieving carbon-neutral operations in their 11-store chain and ongoing work to increase adoption of carbon farming methods locally through PCC Farmland Trust.
Outstanding Value Chain Engagement Award Recipients
- Sambazon, for successfully engaging thousands of people in education that resulted in the protection of 126,270 acres of Amazon rainforest through their innovative #PurpleForThePlanet social media campaign.
- REBBL, for developing and implementing “REBBL Supplier Ethos,” driving transparency and reducing supply chain emissions, paired with product launches geared at reversing deforestation.
Outstanding Influencer Award Recipients
- Nancy Hirshberg, for her 25 years of climate leadership, including developing the first non-utility carbon offset program, the nation’s first methane emissions reductions program for dairy farms and helping launch the Climate Collaborative.
“Receiving this award is a huge honor for us at REBBL,” noted Sheryl O’Loughlin, CEO, REBBL. “It is a recognition of the importance of the link between humanity and the environment, which is at the core of our philosophy and what we believe to be the way to regenerate our world.”
Miguel Gil, interim CEO for ORGANIC INDIA added, “We are all stewards of this earth, and as part of the natural and organic products community, we are uniquely capable of, and therefore called to, enact large scale change to leave our planet better than we found it. ORGANIC INDIA is proud to be honored with this award because it confirms our leadership role in creating a business model dedicated to global wellness for people, communities and our environment.”
In addition to the award winners, National Co+op Grocers and Climate Collaborative named three finalists, selected from more than 40 nominees, honored for their continued efforts and positive contributions:
- Alyssa Harding, Justin’s (Outstanding Influencer)
- General Mills (Outstanding Value Chain Engagement)
- Happy Family Organics (Outstanding Value Chain Engagement)
“Companies in the natural products industry are rising to the challenge of climate change in so many fascinating ways—we are proud and grateful that these awards recognize companies whose innovation and integrity are helping redefine ‘business as usual’ in the food sector, and highlight the innovations and solutions companies are pioneering,” said Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative Director. "These awards, and the network of companies convened through the Climate Collaborative, demonstrate how vital it is for us to work together as an industry, encourage and inspire each other to do more and reach farther, because the time to respond to climate change is now.”
The Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), a convening partner of the Climate Collaborative alongside OSC2, determined the finalists. A panel of judges that included Carlotta Mast of New Hope, Lara Dickinson of OSC2, Sheila Ongie of National Co+op Grocers, Paul Hawken of Project Drawdown and Catherine Greener of Greener Solutions selected the winners.
“Although receiving an award is certainly something to celebrate, there is real value in simply going through the nominations process,” Said Carlotta Mast of New Hope, judge for this year’s awards. “Every company can benefit from evaluating where their business is at and how it is measuring up to its goals. I’m honored to be part of a program that helps raise awareness of this global challenge while honoring the many exciting initiatives already underway.”
Both NCG and the Climate Collaborative congratulate the winners and thank everyone who participated in this year’s awards process.