Intensive: Climate Action Plans

While many companies would like to incorporate climate change action into their companies, it can be challenging to know where to start, how to balance efforts with limited resources, and the extent to which climate efforts might stretch across the globe.

It Starts with You is focused on helping natural product companies understand 3 main objective:

  1. in which areas they can make the most climate impact

  2. how they support business operations

  3. how to incorporate these efforts into a system-based climate action plan.

This intensive will balance delivery of information with real-life case studies. We will hear from companies that represent a spectrum of organic industry sectors with varying degrees of progress (i.e. beginners, advanced) in their formalized climate action. Throughout the day, presenters will introduce tools and exercises to help attendees assess the priorities, goals, and tactics that their companies’ climate plans could include.

Participants will walk away with a strong knowledge of what other peers are doing to address climate action, and the goals and tactics that are most relevant and realistic for their companies to implement.

Please note: In order to provide actionable information, this intensive will focus on Manufacturers, Retailers, Distributors, and Brands. While the manners in which the agricultural supply chain can be engaged will be addressed, a deep discussion on farm practices will not be the focus of this intensive.

Speaker Bios

Gretchen Grani
is the Regeneration & Sustainability Lead at Guayaki.  Gretchen has directed corporate sustainability and philanthropy for two natural product brands over the last six years. Prior experience includes managing an environmental conservation nonprofit and serving on numerous nonprofit boards, environmental consulting, writing about eco-psychology, and volunteering at a St. Helena winery for 15 years. Gretchen is an advocate for personal regeneration and regenerative business as a solution to reversing climate change and solving the world’s biggest social and environmental problems.

Justin Overdevest leads the food practice for Good Company, a 16 year old sustainability consultancy. Justin’s recent work includes international supply chain management, climate risk management, and CSR reporting (CDP, EcoVadis, Oregon benefit company, Walmart). Prior to Good Company Justin served as an agroforestry Peace Corps volunteer working in Peru and on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Justin earned a Sustainable Business Practices MBA program and MS in interdisciplinary studies (landscape architecture/planning) at the University of Oregon.

Athena Petty is the Sustainability Program Manager for New Seasons Market, a privately-owned chain of grocery stores selling organic and locally produced products alongside conventional groceries operating in the Portland Metro area, SW Washington and Seattle. New Seasons was the world's first B Corp certified grocery store and strives to be the ultimate neighborhood grocery store by giving back to its staff, community and the environment. Athena works to integrate sustainability principles into all areas of business, from reporting systems and communication, to engagement and program implementation, she believes that in order to solve the most pressing issues of our time, we must prioritize making positive impacts in our communities and the planet in every decision we make. Athena brings over 10 years of work in sustainability and efficiency from her roles at Pacific Natural Foods, the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Northwest Earth Institute.

Josh Proudfoot is a co-founder and principal of Good Company since 2001.  Josh’s work brings research, environmental management and market development to food systems, clean tech and infrastructure such as water systems, transportation, renewable energy, and materials recovery.  Josh’s career is dedicated to improving everyone’s triple bottom line.

Shauna Sadowski is the Head of Sustainability for the Natural & Organic Operating Unit at General Mills. She is responsible for leading sustainability strategy, which includes integrating sustainability into the product design and supply chain, with an emphasis on food and farming programs, leading external partnership engagements, and ensuring sustainability is implemented across the brands. In prior years, Shauna has been a management consultant and a farm girl; she is a graduate of the Friedman School at Tufts University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Berkeley with her husband, two children, and boisterous Boston Terrier.

Lisa Spicka (Moderator) is the Associate Director of SFTA, and primary Education Director for its project the Climate Collaborative, Lisa uses her diverse background to develop educational and analytic tools that help companies uncover sustainability priorities, and learn about practical solutions to grow their triple-bottom-line practices. Lisa also uses these skills as CEO of Maracuja Solutions, where she helps clients integrate supply chain engagement initiatives and incorporate sustainability strategy and business planning to scale their business services and products with integrity.Lisa has worked extensively in the United States and Latin America since 1997 in the organic agriculture, food and dairy industry. She has held operations, supply chain integrity, education, and sustainability leadership roles for a spectrum of companies, including Cypress Grove Chevre, OCIA, and Amway-Nutrilite.  In her roles, Lisa has led domestic and global initiatives that focus on supply chain integrity, food safety, organic certification, and sustainability management. She holds a Spanish degree from the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and graduated cum laude from Thunderbird School of Global Management, with a Global MBA in sustainable supply chain management. 

Albert Struas is an organic dairy farmer and the founder/CEO of Straus Family Creamery.  He has been a leader in sustainable organic farming practices for many decades. He is a strong advocate for organic, non-GMO dairy production, environmental stewardship, and family farms. He has led the movement for organic farming practices and small-scale organic dairy farms demonstrating the demand for organic dairy milk, prioritizing collaborative relationships and innovative environmental leadership.