Media Release

Washington, DC — Today, more than 300 American business leaders signed a letter calling on Congress to immediately address the climate crisis by passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda into law via reconciliation. These business leaders noted that the climate crisis is here, that it is already impacting the livelihoods and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of Americans, and that everyone in the nation is at risk, regardless of where they live. Importantly, these business leaders not only endorsed the climate provisions within the President’s Build Back Better Agenda, but also explicitly expressed support for the revenue measures needed to pay for the investments. This support is particularly timely because earlier today, Senator Schumer and Speaker Pelosi jointly announced agreement on a funding framework between House and Senate Leadership and the White House.  

“Companies are seriously concerned about climate change and its impact on American businesses and those which signed on recognize the necessity and urgency of this bill. With it will come the investments needed to build back better, and it includes adequate and appropriate means to fund it as proposed,” said Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC). “It’s absurd that any pro-business group which purports to represent the interests of American businesses would not be unequivocally supportive unless they were more concerned with their own short-term gains than the survival of our planet and future generations.”

Among the hundreds of companies that have signed on to the letter are: Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar, Dr. Bronner’s, EILEEN FISHER, Grove Collaborative, Naturepedic, Patagonia, Seventh Generation, Stonyfield, and Trillium Asset Management. A copy of the letter, complete with the full list of signers, can be found here: https://www.asbcouncil.org/pod/see-supporting-companies-1.

The letter signing recruitment effort was led by the American Sustainable Business Council and Social Venture Circle, which were joined in co-sponsoring the letter by groups that include the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), Ceres, Main Street Alliance, and New Jersey Sustainable Business Council.  The groups intend to keep their joint letter open so that additional responsible business leaders that wish to endorse the Build Back Better Agenda and call for immediate action can easily lend their voices to this important effort.  They can do so by signing up at https://www.asbcouncil.org/support-investments-build-back-better.

Quotes from companies and organizations which have signed on include:

“Patagonia strongly urges Congress to quickly pass the once-in-a-generation opportunity to avoid a worsening climate crisis and give working families the support they deserve. Our company is willing to pay a higher corporate tax rate and we urge Congress to also consider ending subsidies for extractive industries to pay for this critical legislation. The investments would accelerate an energy economy based on wind and solar, fund the Civilian Climate Corps and protect threatened landscapes. We also urge Congress to prioritize paid leave and child care for workers because we’ve seen firsthand how essential it is to support our employees with those benefits. The economic recovery depends on enabling people to return to the labor force by addressing the urgent issues of child care availability, sick leave and work/life balance,” said Ryan Gellert, CEO, Patagonia.

“Put simply, there is no other future and the cost of inaction is truly unaffordable. As a B Corp and a CarbonNeutral® Certified Company, Grove exists to provide sustainable alternatives to conventional home essentials. We believe that business must be a positive force for human and environmental health, and we urgently need leadership and decisive action through legislation, specifically the Build Back Better Act. This is the opportunity of a generation to make meaningful progress on climate legislation, and a moment that will define our generation in shaping our future on this planet. Decisive, science-based legislation is needed to align businesses on a path towards a sustainable future,” said Stuart Landesberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Grove Collaborative.

“The Build Back Better Act is critically needed now to support a stronger infrastructure that works for all Americans and to avert the worst impacts of climate change. We applaud the American Sustainable Business Council for bringing businesses together in support of a more environmentally responsible manufacturing and business marketplace,” said Barry Cik, founder and CEO of Naturepedic.

“New Jersey epitomizes the increasingly high stakes involved in the direction of our political economy, and the stark choice that we face,” said Richard Lawton, Executive Director of the NJ Sustainable Business Council. “While our state has become a leader in advancing policies and market innovation aimed at creating a more equitable clean energy economy over the long-term, our communities and businesses remain among the most vulnerable to climate impacts in the near-term. In the race between reaching clean energy or climate tipping points, we’re way behind. Businesses who care about creating long-term value for all stakeholders agree – this infrastructure bill must be passed and implemented without delay.”

“We need the BBB agenda to call for every single dollar spent on rebuilding America’s infrastructure to be used to curb the damage done by extreme weather and climate change,” said Derek Peebles, executive director of American Independent Business Alliance. “The investments can spur a new generation of workers, entrepreneurs. The plan also needs to correct inequities in the tax system that has far too long benefited big corporations at the expense of small businesses.”

“Build Back Better is an investment in our overall economy, an investment in small businesses, and our local communities,” said Executive Director of Main Street Alliance, Stephen Michael. “Small business owners need robust public investment in paid leave and child care, and increased attention to policies that create climate resilience. We need our elected officials to stand with small businesses, ensure large corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share, and help create a true small business economy.”

The mission of Social Venture Circle (SVC) is to pull together money, expertise, and connections for the people creating a better economy—for our society and the environment—in a powerful, diverse, and inclusive network. SVC’s purpose is to lead the way for impact investors, entrepreneurs, and capacity-builders and catalyze the NEXT economy; a global economy that is regenerative, just, and prosperous for everyone. SVC believes justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion must be at the foundation for how we conduct ourselves, our businesses, and our investments, as we cultivate and grow our community.