Climate Collaborative

One year in, Climate Collaborative reports on its progress

The first annual update shows promising progress toward company commitments.

When the Climate Collaborative launched in 2017, it challenged companies across the natural products industry to set ambitious goals for reducing their environmental impact in every way, from food waste to short-lived climate pollutant emissions.

The collaborative has now released its first annual Tracking Progress Update, after asking all companies that made commitments (all of which are voluntary) before Dec. 31, 2017 to provide information on how they’re progressing toward those goals.

And it looks like an effective first year, with two-thirds of companies reporting progress toward their commitments.

We’ll break down some of that progress, but first the nine commitment areas: Integrate carbon farming into the agricultural supply chain; increase energy efficiency; reduce food waste in the supply chain; remove commodity-driven deforestation from supply chains; reduce the climate impact of packaging; responsible engagement in climate policy; commit to 100 percent renewable power; reduce short-lived climate pollutant emissions; reduce the climate impact of transportation.

Energy, packaging and transportation lead the way

The Tracking Progress Update indicates that companies are most advanced in their efforts to transition to renewable energy: 75 percent are actively implementing this goal, and 70 percent of report they’re also quantifying their progress. Companies are also progressing in their packaging and transportation commitments: 75 percent of companies are in the process of implementing strategies for both—an encouraging sign because last year companies flagged these commitment areas as the most challenging to implement.

There’s progress in other areas as well, although a lag in quantifying it: 73 percent of companies are implementing food waste reductions, but only 20 percent are quantifying them; 75 percent of companies report implementation on packaging, but only 23 percent are quantifying the results; 50 percent of companies are working to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs), and 36 percent measuring progress.

That last one—short-lived climate pollutants—and climate policy are the commitment areas companies have been slowest to demonstrate progress in.

The Climate Collaborative also put a Tracking Progress Spotlight on several individual companies for their various accomplishments, including: 

  • Mountain Rose Herbs for their solar power installation and Renewable Energy commitment.
  • REBBL for its work on Packaging—reducing its cardboard footprint and planning a transition to 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic (rPET) in all REBBL bottles, among other things.
  • Straus Family Creamery for its work on Short-Lived Climate Pollutant by promoting anaerobic digestion for small and medium organic dairy farms.
  • PCC for its work on Climate Policy, at both the city level in Seattle and the state level in Washington—as well as its education efforts with its consumers.
  • Clif Bar for its work on Agriculture, with a goal to source 80 percent organic and certified sustainable ingredients by 2020 and the foundation’s efforts to promote organic research and crop breeding.
  • Veritable Vegetable for its work on Transportation, having introduced renewable diesel to slash its GHG emissions.
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