National Co+op Grocers Sponsors Climate Collaborative Awards

In 2016, National Co+op Grocers (NCG) embraced a new advocacy priority to address climate change within the context of food system sustainability and resiliency.

Subsequently, we helped form the Climate Collaborative, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to raising awareness and developing leadership on climate issues.

The goal of the Climate Collaborative is to leverage the power of our industry to reverse climate change by providing businesses with a platform with which to make commitments and share best practices in the following high impact areas:

• Agriculture 

• Energy efficiency

• Food waste

• Forests

• Packaging

• Policy

• Renewable energy

• Short-lived climate pollutants (greenhouse gases)

• Transportation

Since its inception, over 130 companies including food co-ops have joined NCG in making commitments to the Climate Collaborative. In addition to serving in an advisory capacity within the Collaborative, NCG has taken a major leadership role by underwriting a new awards program to shine the spotlight on those within the natural products industry that are taking innovative, meaningful steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards not only celebrate our industry’s accomplishments, they also serve as an effective—and fun!—way for peers to learn from each other’s successes and inspire continued action to reverse global warming.

“Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing the business community,” said Robynn Shrader, NCG’s chief executive officer. “We know that businesses, including NCG, can and must do more. The Climate Collaborative is the unifying force that will engage and inspire the natural products industry to lead the way on behalf of consumers. We invite and encourage others to join us in this effort.”

There are several award categories:

Outstanding Company: This award will go to brands, retailers, or other companies that have demonstrated best practice, rapid progress on climate action and/or a new approach to climate change management. Only Climate Collaborative-committed companies are eligible for this award.

Outstanding Value-Chain Engagement: This award will go to brands, retailers, or other companies that are demonstrating best practice and a willingness to go “above and beyond” with climate action in a particular area across the value chain, from sourcing and supplier engagement down to consumers. Only Climate Collaborative-committed companies are eligible for this award.

Outstanding Influencer: This award will go to a key company, organization, or individual that has taken substantial action to help the industry to act on climate change. Nominees do not need to be affiliated with a Climate Collaborative-committed company.

The nomination period for these inaugural awards ended December 29, 2017, and the judging panel is busy reviewing nominations. NCG’s CEO, Robynn Shrader, will present the awards to recipients during Climate Day 2018 at Expo West on March 7, 2018—stay tuned!

The Climate Collaborative is an ongoing initiative, and we invite all co-ops and other companies in the natural foods industry to join us in making commitments for 2018 and beyond. Together, we can lead the way in addressing this global crisis.


National Co+op Grocers acknowledges that human-caused climate change poses a threat to a habitable ecosystem and places the food supply at risk. As a result, NCG prioritizes efforts to reverse global warming, particularly within the context of sustainable, resilient food systems that are based upon regenerative organic farming and regional, cooperative supply chains. 

Recognizing climate change as one of the biggest issues facing the business community, NCG demonstrates leadership by encouraging collaboration in pursuit of supply chain innovations that reduce the food industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards, offered through the Climate Collaborative, were created to honor natural foods companies making innovative and meaningful commitments to climate action. 

Additionally, NCG provides member and associate co-ops with resources to significantly reduce their operations’ greenhouse gas emissions. Since 2012, NCG has been offsetting a portion of its own carbon emissions by planting and protecting over 1.4 million native trees in Co+op Forest, a United Nations–accredited program.

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