March 2023

Sustainable Business
& Investing News

Above: What You Should Know About Soaring Egg Prices by Jennifer McBride; photo: Yost family members put eggs in crates on their Organic Valley farm in Colorado.

Welcome to our March 2023 issue. As spring approaches here in the Southwest, we are looking for signs of new growth and progress on our collective journey to a more sustainable, regenerative and just economy, however incremental.

In this issue, Jennifer McBride of Organic Valley elaborates on the two main factors which have led to Soaring Egg Prices and the silver lining of why many US shoppers are finding organic eggs at a lower price than conventional eggs.

You may be aware that the EPA just launched an historic $550 million program for Environmental Justice Grants – we felt it bared repeating, since this initiative creates new environmental justice grantmaking within the federal government. Melissa Breyer of Treehugger, reports the program is slated to direct funds to as many as 11 grantmaker entities for community-based, pollution-reducing projects.

And kudos to Grist’s in-depth Cities + Solutions series. We’ve included another of their segments, focusing on Ann Arbor’s ambitious decarbonization plan targeting the entire Bryant neighborhood, built on the city’s largest landfill (and on a floodplain which has created rampant mold and water damage for residents). More than half of Bryant’s residents are people of color, many are renters, and yet, three in four families have called this neighborhood home for generations.

On the global front, The Guardian reports the world’s biggest investment fund – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund – warns directors to tackle climate crisis, human rights and boardroom diversity or be voted out.

For our Featured Podcast, we are pleased to again spotlight Regenerative Rising and their conversation with Tina Owens of Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions and Nutrient Density Alliance – taking a current look at complexities in the food supply system, certifications, corporate greenwashing, and consumer-driven advances. Our Featured Video comes from TEDx Boston and Valerie Shen of G2 Venture Partners on the meteoric Future of Climate-Tech, where she says “the decoupling of greenhouse gas emissions from economic growth is the greatest investing opportunity of our lifetimes.”

You’ll find additional stories on B Corp’s growing pains, ILSR’s 2023 Community Power Scorecard, REI’s ban on ‘forever chemicals’, innovations in the “Alt-Protein Market”, and how Pew partnered with The Nature Conservancy during the pandemic to launch a program aimed at restoring native oyster reefs and the livelihood of oyster growers.

Thanks for reading and for your enduring support of GreenMoney’s mission!

World’s biggest investment fund warns directors to tackle climate crisis or face sack

Rupert Neate
The Guardian
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s single largest investor, has warned company directors it will vote against their re-election to the board if they do not up their game on tackling the climate crisis. Carine Smith Ihenacho, the chief governance and compliance officer of Norges Bank Investment Mgmt. said “the fund was preparing to vote against the re-election of at least 80 company boards for failing to set or hit environmental or social targets.”

EPA Launches $550 Million Program for Environmental Justice Grants

Melissa Breyer
In August of 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, creating the largest investment in environmental and climate justice in U.S. history. Now, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the availability of $550 million from the Inflation Reduction Act for the EPA's new Environmental Justice Thriving Communities Grantmaking program which will fund up to 11 grantmakers for community-based projects that reduce pollution.

What You Should Know About Soaring Egg Prices

Jennifer McBride
Rootstock/Organic Valley
Egg prices are in the news and hitting budgets hard. Two main factors led to higher egg prices, but there may be a bit of relief coming. Through November 2022, egg prices jumped 49%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’ve checked the grocery store, the price of a dozen eggs varies but you may see prices closing in on $10. You can also find organic eggs at a lower price point than conventional.

Ann Arbor’s big decarbonization bet

Avery Schuyler Nunn
Cities + Solutions series: Ann Arbor, Michigan which, like many other cities, has set ambitious emissions targets. Unlike most other cities, it’s piloting plans in one of its lowest-income communities. “We made a really strategic decision to focus on those who have been hurt first and worst by climate change and systemic racism.” – Missy Stults, Ann Arbor Sustainability Director.

Regenerative Rising Podcast: Elevating Stories, Activating Change – Host Nisha Mary Poulose speaks with Tina Owens of the Nutrient Density Alliance and Green America’s Center for Sustainability Solutions. Tina’s extensive understanding of food supply systems and her experience at the forefront of its regenerative transformation enriches this conversation that spans a range of topics around the food system and what it takes to ensure a lasting shift. Tina provides valuable insight into the complexities of food certifications, the magnitude of the supply web, and the path to a more inclusive marketplace. Join Tina and Nisha as they speak of how science, technology, and media can be leveraged to enable consumers to make informed choices in the supermarket, unencumbered by corporate greenwashing strategies, and how consumer behavior can be a force for good.

March 2023 Additional Articles

The struggle for the soul of the B Corp movement

The struggle for the soul of the B Corp movement

Anjli Raval
Financial Times
The ESG initiative pledges to turn companies into forces for good, but some are wary of its growing focus on multinational corporations. The controversy is part of a wider debate about the future of the B Corp movement, which started in the US but now includes thousands of companies around the world who are certified. Among a range of ESG benchmarks, frameworks and certifications, B Corps set out to be a widely recognized gold standard.
The 2023 Community Power Scorecard from ILSR

The 2023 Community Power Scorecard

Maria McCoy
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Each year, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance tracks and scores states based on how their policies help or hinder local clean energy action. The states that score the highest let communities take charge and build the energy future that best suits local needs. In the 2023 Scorecard, 4 states excelled, 14 states and the District of Columbia saw above average scores, 6 were average, and 13 states received failing grades.
REI Co-Op by Spencer Platt - Getty Images - GRIST

REI will ban ‘forever chemicals’ from clothes and cookware in 2024

Joseph Winters
After more than a year of pressure from environmental groups, the major outdoor retailer REI announced February 21, that it will ban hazardous “forever chemicals” from its clothing and cookware by fall 2024. REI’s new product standards will require its suppliers to eliminate all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, from the pots, pans, apparel, shoes, bags, packs, and similar gear sold by the retail chain. Suppliers of heavy-duty apparel like professional-grade raincoats will have until 2026 to make those products PFAS-free.
The Mad team speaking with farmers - Mad Capital closes $4m Seed Round to finance Regnerative AG

Mad Capital Closes $4m Seed Round to Finance Regenerative Agriculture

Mad Capital, an impact-focused lender offering funding for organic and transitioning farmers, announced that they've raised a $4M seed round, led by Trailhead Capital. "Regenerative agriculture aspires to work with nature, rather than against it. Our goal is to finance 10 million acres of farmland by 2032." said co-founder, Phil Taylor. Conventional industrial agriculture is responsible for the ongoing degradation of our soil, greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and chemical laden foods. Regenerative farming is a rising movement that addresses these challenges. However, many farmers struggle to convert to regenerative because traditional banks are largely unwilling to supply transition financing.
Brands Grapple with Sustainable Growth in Crowded Stalling Alt-Protein Market - Kelloggs Incogmeato

Brands Grapple with Sustainable Growth in Crowded, Stalling, Alternative-Protein Market

Tom Idle
Sustainable Brands
Industry players must keep making their products even more attractive, appeal to older generations and bring down costs. Only then can we address the significant environmental impacts of animal agriculture while satisfying the meat-loving masses. The environmental benefits of having a hefty proportion of the global population moving to a meat-free diet are well documented. Animal farming uses around 77 percent of the world’s agricultural land; yet, it only supplies 17 percent of our food. It is this inefficiency that continues to drive the expansion of farms, and ongoing deforestation and loss of ecosystems.
Billion Oyster Project boat by Lexey Swall - The Pew Charitable Trusts

Innovative Use of Farmed Oysters Boosts Businesses and the Environment

Aaron Kornbluth, Joseph Gordon & Zach Greenberg
Pew Charitable Trusts
Oyster aquaculture and restoration program celebrates successes, looks to the futureWhen the COVID-19 outbreak shuttered restaurants throughout the country, commercial oyster growers saw their sales plummet. At the same time, the pandemic forced many organizations that were restoring native oyster reefs to suspend their work. During this challenging period, The Pew Charitable Trusts’ conserving marine life in the U.S. project and The Nature Conservancy recognized an opportunity to connect the two groups through an effort that we named Supporting Oyster Aquaculture and Restoration (SOAR).