Two U.S.-based companies have been awarded the Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) by the State Department for their efforts in combating the climate crisis.
“The climate crisis is not an issue that we can solve through government or civil society action alone,” noted Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We need companies to make the investments that will get us to net zero emissions so we can limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent a climate catastrophe.”
The ACE has recognized U.S. companies for their responsible business conduct abroad since 1999. It honored companies in the following categories in 2021: Economic inclusion, Security for your health and climate innovation.
Patagonia and Australis Aquaculture, climate innovators, were awarded their awards for implementing solutions that promote sustainable adaptation and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable food for a better planet
Australis Aquaculture is a Massachusetts-based company that pioneered climate-smart aquaculture in the marine tropics and central Vietnam.
Its innovative work has made barramundi — a white fish high in nutrients — an affordable and environmentally friendly food source.
Barramundi is a sustainable species to farm as it can convert plant-based feed into essential nutrients for healthy brain function. Salmon is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon must eat other fish to produce the nutrient.
Barramundi is also a great vegetarian option. Australis reduces the environmental impact of farming fish by recycling the water used to raise barramundi.
Australis’ innovative approach represents a new model for large-scale ocean aquaculture that creates economic benefits for workers and coastal communities, enhances global food security, protects wild fisheries, and builds climate resilience.
Australis’ Greener Grazing initiative also tackles the climate crisis. It aims at eliminating methane emissions by livestock by introducing Asparagopsis seaweed into their diets.
“If successful, this initiative could dramatically reduce the climate impact of the world’s two billion cattle — the climate equivalent of taking every car on the planet off the road,” says the company.
Clothing meets environmental action
Patagonia — a sustainable outdoor clothing company based in California — also places environmental solutions at the center of its business model. It has committed to being carbon neutral in all aspects of its business, including supply chains, by 2025.
And it’s achieving that goal, using 100% renewable electricity in the United States and 80% globally since 2019. 68% of its seasonal lines were made from recycled materials as of fall 2020.
Patagonia plans on becoming completely carbon neutral. This means that it will eliminate, capture, or otherwise mitigate all its carbon emissions, from its own factories as well as the farms that grow the natural fibres it uses.
The company will only use electricity sourced from renewable sources for all retail outlets, distribution centers, and global offices.
Patagonia will also reduce its energy consumption throughout its supply chain, work closely with suppliers to convert into renewable energy, and invest in renewable energy projects that will cover the rest of its carbon footprint.
It will also expand regenerative organic farming as a source of fiber for their apparel, which will restore topsoil to capture carbon out of our atmosphere.