Leading natural food and beverage processors launched The Climate Collaborative at this year’s Natural Products Expo West.

Co-hosted by New Hope Network, the Boulder, Colo.-based owner of the Expo West show, the Climate Collaborative will convene at the first-ever Climate Day, a full day of panels, speakers and information on how companies can take action to reverse climate.

The Climate Collaborative is a 3-year project of OSC2, San Francisco, and the Sustainable Food Trade Association, New Castle, Va., created to catalyze bold action for climate change. The collaborative includes executives from Annie’s, Dr. Bronner's, Organic Valley, National Co+op Grocers, New Hope, Stonyfield, Happy Family, Lotus Foods and WhiteWave Foods, among other brands and organizations. 

“The natural products industry has a proud history of leading the way on animal welfare, organic agriculture, fair trade and non-GMOs,” says John Foraker, president, Annie’s, Berkeley, Calif. “Now it’s time to lead on climate change.”

Focusing on nine commitment areas – agriculture, energy efficiency, food waste, forests, packaging, policy, renewable energy, short-lived climate pollutants and transportation – the Climate Collaborative provides the information and collaboration natural products companies need to meet the growing consumer demand for action on climate and make a meaningful contribution to avoiding the critical 1.5°C increase that scientists predict will trigger disastrous consequences.

Consumers are demanding businesses address climate change. In fact, 72% of Americans think corporations should be doing more to address global warming, according to a study conducted by the Yale University Program on Climate Change Communication, New Haven, Conn. Combined with the ever-increasing urgency of climate change, the time is ripe for dramatically greater corporate involvement in expanding existing solutions and finding new ways to reverse the problem.

“As an industry, but more importantly as citizens, we simply can’t afford to ignore climate change any longer,” says Gary Hirshberg, chairman, Stonyfield, Londonderry, N.H. 

“Our current political climate requires businesses to step up and work for the changes we know are necessary,” says George Siemon, chief executive officer, Organic Valley, La Crosse, Wis. “We know that by working together, The Climate Collaborative can be a strong, cooperative voice for change. It’s up to us.”