The National Co+op Grocers (NCG) have just announced the winners of their inaugural Climate Collaborative Awards. Eight total awards were given among the three categories—Outstanding Company, Outstanding Value Chain Engagement, and Outstanding Influencer—and presented at the Natural Products Expo West trade show.
Peers in the industry nominated companies, co-ops, and individuals for the NCG Climate Collaborative Award for demonstrating commitment to undertaking practices with the potential to slow or reduce climate change.
The award is recognition of the winners’ dedication to one or more of Climate Collaborative’s nine climate initiatives for companies to work towards to reverse climate change. The initiatives encompass climate change mitigation strategies in the high-impact areas of agriculture, food waste, climate policy, energy efficiency, food transportation, food packaging, pollutants, and forest preservation. The Climate Collaborative seeks to empower and support companies committed to climate change reduction to make the largest possible positive impact.
The Climate Collaborative highlights specific strategies for companies, urging them to implement changes for climate change reduction and advocating for the potential of these changes to positively affect company growth and job creation.
For example, 79 companies have committed to responsible engagement in climate policy, including Annie’s and Stonyfield, while more than 100 have committed to reducing food waste in supply chains, like Justin’s and General Mills. NCG says that since the launch of the Climate Collaborative a year ago, 700 commitments for emissions reduction have been made by more than 200 different industry companies.
According to NCG, each of the three categories of awards celebrates accomplishments in the industry and highlights lessons to be learned from industry trailblazers.
The Outstanding Company Award category had four winners, all recognized for their new approaches, rapid progress, or best practices in climate change mitigation:
Alter Eco for its scalable agroforestry model
Community Food Co-op of Washington for energy efficiency in a retail space and its support of farming communities
Organic Valley for its community solar program
Veritable Vegetable for its emissions-reduction efforts in its fleet and warehouses
The winners of the Outstanding Value Chain Engagement Award, both of which demonstrated best practices and dedication to climate action, are:
Guayaki for producing more energy than it consumes and its 22-year record of a carbon-positive footprint
Lotus Foods for its System of Rice Intensification (SRI) growing process
The Outstanding Influencer Award had two winners, both recognized for their significant motivation of industry action on climate change reduction:
Albert Straus, founder of Straus Family Creamery for his leadership in the area of carbon-positive dairy farming
Clif Bar & Company for leadership in a wide range of climate change mitigation strategies and dedication to research and renewable energy
Winners were determined by a panel of judges comprised of Carlotta Mast of New Hope Network, Lara Dickinson of OSC2, Sheila Ongie of National Co+op Grocers, Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank, and Catherine Greener of Xanterra selected the winners.
The finalists were chosen by the Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA) and included Annie’s Homegrown, Gaia Herbs, Nature’s Path, Organic India, Outpost Natural Foods Co-op, DanoneWave, Happy Family Brands, REBBL, Annie’s Homegrown, David Bronner, Cosmic Engagement Officer at Dr. Bronner’s.