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Seventh Generation, Stonyfield, Ben & Jerry's Call for Business Leadership in Sustainability

Posted by Tessa Castellani at Jul 14, 2016 11:00 AM |
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Top executives from Seventh Generation, Stonyfield, and Ben & Jerry’s joined BICEP’s Anne Kelly and Progressive Radio Network host Eleanor LeCain to discuss the urgent need for sustainability leadership from businesses.

Top executives from Seventh Generation, Stonyfield, and Ben & Jerry’s joined BICEP’s Anne Kelly and Progressive Radio Network host Eleanor LeCain to discuss the urgent need for sustainability leadership from businesses.

While the two radio conversations touched upon corporate sustainability broadly, the subject of carbon pricing seemed to take center stage. Seventh Generation and Ben & Jerry’s in particular have supported legislation to institute a carbon tax in their home state of Vermont, and both companies are also getting ahead of the curve by instituting internal carbon pricing systems. The companies are using the funds generated from their internal carbon price to pay for energy efficiency upgrades and other sustainability projects.

Chris Miller, Social Mission Activism Manager at Ben & Jerry’s, sees carbon pricing as an essential part of climate policy: “We can’t solve the issue of global climate change without a price on carbon,” he told radio listeners.

Supply chain management was also deemed a major opportunity for corporate sustainability leadership. According to Lisa Drake, Stonyfield’s Director of Sustainability Innovation, out of all the elements of Stonyfield’s business, their supply chain creates the greatest climate impact and yet presents the greatest vulnerability to climate change. As a result, Drake advises, companies can drive significant change and ensure long-term business stability by closely monitoring suppliers and seeking genuine improvements.

John Replogle, CEO of cleaning and household product company Seventh Generation, commented that both carbon pricing and supply chain sustainability efforts are part of a shift in corporate thinking. Change has “got to come from specifically business leadership,” Replogle told listeners. “We need a revolution in the way we think about business leadership.”

BICEP Director Anne Kelly told listeners that BICEP members have been making tremendous strides when it comes to supply chain management and sustainability more broadly—and they are even ‘walking the talk’ by engaging policymakers on vital climate change policies.

“Companies have seen their supply chains suffer from extreme weather, from damage to various crops and commodities, from sugar to rice to cacao to corn to leather to cotton, and they’ve had enough,” Anne Kelly said. Businesses and investors are bringing a ‘collective message, which says, ‘we’ve done the math. We have to do something about climate change; the cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of active swiftly.’”

Click here to listen to the June 16th episode featuring Chris Miller of Ben & Jerry’s and Anne Kelly of Ceres.

Click here to listen to the June 23rd episode featuring John Replogle of Seventh Generation and Lisa Drake of Stonyfield.

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