KeHE, Numi Tea, Clif Bar, INFRA, UNFI, Amy’s Kitchen, Gaia Herbs, Grove Collaborative, Ben & Jerrys’, Dr. Bronner’s, and many more companies called on U.S. Congress to consider the impact of climate change on human health and the economy especially as resiliency planning moves ahead at the federal level following the wake-up call COVID-19 has been in pointing out the vulnerabilities that exist within the United States’ healthcare system, public safety
governance, economy, and network of essential supply chains.
Many of these companies have also created and carried out corporate climate action plans with the Climate Collaborative, a nonprofit organization which partners with companies to improve agricultural and energy efficiency practices in order to make those practices more sustainable. Climate Collaborative was a partner with Ceres, the nonprofit organization which hosted LEAD on Climate 2020.
“With the numerous challenges created by this pandemic, we call on Congress to help us not just bounce back, but to leap forward,” Kristen Morelli, co-founder of participating company Perfect Supplements, said. “Now is the time to act on climate and sustainability and do the hard work to build a beautiful future for our children and grandchildren.”
Ceres’ annual Lawmaker Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD on Climate 2020) brought in businesses from every sector of the economy, including retail shops, manufacturers, healthcare services, food and beverage companies, outdoors industries, technology companies, and energy providers, making it the largest ever virtual call to action from the private sector on the ongoing climate crisis.
This engagement came at a time when business is working desperately to prepare for and avoid future shocks, during the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. NASA reports that, at this time, 97% of scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that it is human-caused. More than two-thirds of Americans surveyed report that they are worried about climate change.
The potential costs of a changing climate on human health and the economy have been projected by many researchers. The National Bureau of Economic Research published one study which suggests that climate change could cost up to a tenth of the U.S. economy by 2100 if left unchecked. Further, newly published research from economists at Oxford University concludes that not only would there be a cost to not including climate action in the economic recovery from COVID-19, but that there will be substantial economic benefit from doing so.
“No one in the world was really ready when the pandemic suddenly came upon us,” Rohan Grover, director of Nature Bio Foods, said. “Everyone in the world is now doing its best to cope. We must not allow climate adversity to come upon us similarly. That is why the initiatives taken and LEAD 2020 are important.”
“In Sonoma County, every fall is a harsh reminder of the impact of climate change. As soon as we start to figure out how to navigate the COVID situation, we will be faced with fire season. It is critical that we use this crisis to harness opportunities to change the way business operates. We need investments in clean energy and a sustainable economy,” Marcus Benedetti, CEO of Clover Sonoma, said.
“We have the opportunity for a reset on how we rebuild our businesses--we should reset for the long term health of our planet and all those who inhabit it,” Stuart Landesberg, co-founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative, said. “These last few months have reminded me poignantly of our shared humanity, and the importance of using business for far more than profit, but for our common good. This is why Grove is joining LEAD on Climate.”