Meet the Winners of the 2020 NCG Climate Collaborative Awards

Saint Paul, MN — The natural products industry has long featured companies at the forefront of social and environmental sustainability. Seven bold businesses have been honored in the 2020 National Co+op Grocers Climate Collaborative Awards for their innovative efforts to reduce their climate impact.

The annual awards are a partnership with National Co+op Grocers and the Climate Collaborative to catalyze action and inspire the natural and organic products industry to work cooperatively to make progress on reducing emissions.

“We’re honored to recognize our 2020 award winners, whose leadership in climate is moving our industry forward with innovative solutions in agriculture, supply chain and packaging.” said C.E. Pugh, Chief Executive Officer, National Co+op Grocers. “We thank all nominees for their participation in the awards process, and applaud each of them for their commitment to restoring our climate and slowing global warming. Their work has potential for us all.”

The companies, co-ops and individuals were nominated for expanding the boundaries of industry practices in at least one of the nine commitment areas identified by the Climate Collaborative as the most essential routes for the natural products industry to take action to reverse climate change.

Outstanding Company Award Recipients

  • Stonyfield Organic for their new Science Based Target to reduce emissions 30% by 2030 as well as investing in farmers’ ability to sequester carbon in the soil by helping to develop an open source technology ecosystem, OpenTEAM
  • Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the co-op’s commitment to eliminate their use of petroleum-based, single-use plastic by 2022, as well as carbon-positive energy offsets and reductions in emissions

Outstanding Value Chain Engagement Award Recipients

  • Hummingbird Wholesale for their successful, longstanding container reuse program, effectively demonstrating the viability of a model that others can follow and challenging the necessity of single-use packaging
  • Imlak’esh Organics for action to remove commodity-driven deforestation from their supply chain and impressive investments in regenerative agriculture
  • General Mills for their bold leadership to advance regenerative agriculture as a reality of modern American farming, effectively helping farmers transition to practices that are better for our climate, both within and outside their supply chain

Outstanding Influencer Award Recipients

  • Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani, co-founders of Numi Organic Tea, for their shared commitment to prioritizing sustainability since 1999—setting social impact standards that have since become a requisite throughout the food and beverage industry, and a longstanding commitment to deep climate work

Learn more about these winners’ stories on the Welcome to the Table and Climate Collaborative websites.

“Stonyfield Organic is honored to receive this award,” said Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Organic. “Finding solutions to climate change has always been core to who we are, and it’s is a big part of our commitment to being 100% organic—the soil carbon-sequestration benefits of organic farming are well-documented. We’re grateful to the Climate Collaborative for helping us all encourage and push each other to make progress on this urgent issue.”

Ahmed Rahim and Reem Hassani, co-founders of Numi Organic Tea also expressed gratitude for their Outstanding Influencer awards. “We are deeply honored to be recognized by our community for this award. We started Numi 20 years ago with the vision to serve our community, farmers and the industry with a premium brand committed to excellence. Looking ahead, our intention is to activate purpose and catalyze our business as a message to empower the next generation of change-makers.”

In addition to the award winners, National Co+op Grocers and Climate Collaborative named two finalists, selected from more than 50 nominees, honored for their continued efforts and positive contributions:

Award Finalists

“These awards recognize real progress on our shared goal to build more climate-focused businesses and collaborative models,” said Erin Callahan, Climate Collaborative Director. “The leaders we recognized this year are raising the bar for the industry at a time when collective action on climate is more important than ever.”

The Sustainable Food Trade Association (SFTA), a convening partner of the Climate Collaborative alongside OSC2, determined the finalists. A panel of judges that included Carlotta Mast of New Hope, Lara Dickinson of OSC2, Joel Makower of GreenBiz, Katherine DiMatteo of Wolf, DiMatteo, & Associates and Sheila Ongie of National Co+op Grocers selected the winners. NCG recused itself from the judging of retailers.

Both NCG and the Climate Collaborative congratulate the winners and thank everyone who participated in this year’s awards process.

About Climate Collaborative

The Climate Collaborative is a project of OSC2 and SFTA to catalyze bold climate action among natural products companies. The Climate Collaborative brings manufacturers, retailers, brokers, distributors and suppliers together to build existing climate solutions to scale and to find innovative, new ways to help reverse climate change. Follow the Climate Collaborative on Facebook at @climatecollab and on Twitter at @ClimateColl.

About NCG

National Co+op Grocers (NCG), founded in 1999, is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops located throughout the United States. NCG helps unify food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers everywhere. Our 147 member and associate co-ops operate more than 200 storefronts in 38 states with combined annual sales of over $2.1 billion. NCG is a winner of the dotCoop Global Awards for Cooperative Excellence and a certified B Corp. Find a map of NCG member and associate co-ops. To learn more about co-ops, visit

# # #

Media inquiries may be directed to Eric Davis (; 612-424-7545.), and for the Climate Collaborative to Erin Callahan (; 228-806-1593).