Today is Earth Day, a day that causes all of us working on climate to pause, assess how we are doing, celebrate wins, and challenge ourselves to do more. Three years ago on Earth Day, the historic Paris Climate Accords were signed, setting out the first truly global effort to drawdown emissions; and next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Earth Day holiday.
Amid these milestones, it’s promising to see that the vast majority of Americans (currently 7 out of 10) now fully understand the threat climate change poses and want to see action taken. This shift forward in public opinion is especially heartening as we watch massive steps backward at the federal level on climate change, and climate change-enhanced hurricanes, wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters ravaging our communities with increasing intensity and frequency.
Against this backdrop, I feel more hopeful and energized than ever to be working with the natural products industry on climate change. So what’s giving me hope?
Globally, both citizens and companies are stepping up to the climate challenge. For example:
- Just a few weeks ago more than 1.4 million students took part in a global school strike across 300+ cities, demanding action on climate change.
- Retail giant, Walmart launched Project Gigaton two years ago to remove a Gigaton of emissions from their supply chain by 2030—an amount equivalent to the emissions of Germany. Just two years in, more than 1,000 suppliers have already joined their effort.
- Next months businesses of all sizes will go to Capitol Hill to advocate for a federal price on carbon.
- 2,181 businesses and investors have said that they are “still in” on meeting the goals of the Paris agreement.
And here at the Climate Collaborative, momentum is building!
- 375+ companies have made over 1,440 commitments to climate action through the Climate Collaborative to date.
- KeHE is sponsoring a Climate Collaborative project to help retailers reduce their food waste, both in-store and across their value chains.
- This year we’re kicking off a consumer engagement group to help companies effectively create a meaningful dialogue with their consumers on climate action.
- Our base of companies is paying more attention than ever to climate policy engagement, and this year we’re going to increase the range of options for engagement on climate policy measures.
Alongside this heartening landscape of activity, I want to take a moment to acknowledge and send tremendous thanks to our donors whose generous support makes all the work that we do possible. Each of these companies is choosing to use their limited resources to help their peers in the industry move forward with them on climate. Their contributions enable us to keep participation in the Collaborative 100% cost-free for the hundreds of companies that are making use of our crucial climate action resources and services. The Climate Collaborative is truly a natural products industry-led effort.
This Earth Day, I’m both inspired by the climate action and leadership I see all around me and also endlessly grateful to the companies in our industry (see below) who are making it all possible. Thank you, again!