Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Local businesses taking a stand on climate change

Editor’s note: Sarah Kaeck is the founder and CEO Middlebury manufacturer Bee’s Wrap. 

For a long time, conventional wisdom had it that companies shouldn’t tackle hot-button political issues. It’s advice borne out of fear: the fear that, in exchange for voicing our opinions, we risk angering customers or losing sales. 
As the founder and CEO of Bee’s Wrap, I’m motivated these days by a greater fear: that, should our elected officials fail to act on the crisis of climate change, the damage we cause to our planet will be irreversible, negatively impacting our families, our communities, and our ecosystems forever. 
As a Certified B Corp, Bee’s Wrap is committed to using business as a force for good. We make sustainable products that reduce single-use plastics, use environmentally friendly and safe ingredients, and are constantly looking for additional ways to reduce our carbon footprint. I am proud to run my company in a state that values these things too, but I know that together, we can do more. This year, Bee’s Wrap will be adding its voice to the collective commitment of the Vermont business community to do better for our environment. 
On Thursday, Jan. 23, Bee’s Wrap joined dozens of other Vermont businesses to advocate at the Statehouse for climate action policies in 2020. While the Green Mountain State has a history of innovative environmental policies, the current climate challenges require audacious solutions. This legislative term, our lawmakers have the opportunity to pass more ambitious and much needed policy. 
I feel it is important that our elected officials hear from the Vermont business community, as we are important stakeholders in Vermont’s economy and have an impact on the environment we all share. Our team will join others from companies like Seventh Generation, Ben and Jerry’s, Danforth Pewter, and Brattleboro Savings and Loan, along with environmental nonprofits VPIRG and 350VT, to speak directly to our elected officials and urge them to take immediate action. Bee’s Wrap’s focus will be on reducing the use and availability of single-use plastics, increasing the accessibility of renewable energy, and prioritizing the reduction of climate pollution, and we support the comprehensive 2020 climate policy agenda outlined by VPIRG. 
Vermont’s small size and long history of participatory democracy provides an opportunity for Vermont business (and individual Vermonters) to have direct, substantial, face-to-face conversations with their own state representatives and legislative leaders. Bee’s Wrap will participate in this event to advocate for our business values and shared priorities for bold climate action. We’ll do this alongside our corporate peers, demonstrating together that the need for action is vital and urgent. I am proud to lead Bee’s Wrap in the participation of this direct demonstration of our values. 
Sarah Kaeck 
Middlebury 

 

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