Ceres Celebrates the Leaders in Corporate Sustainability Policy With 2022 BICEP Awards
By Anne Kelly, Ceres Vice President of Government Relations
In 2021, the Ceres BICEP Network was once again vital to advancing ambitious climate, clean energy, clean transportation, and environmental justice policies across the U.S. As business leaders continue their full-court press for robust federal investments in the clean energy economy, it's important for us all to take a much-needed moment to reflect on what the Ceres BICEP Network accomplished in the last year — and to appreciate the business leaders who powered those achievements.
Our 2022 BICEP Awards recognize the leaders who have stepped up and spoken out on the critical sustainability issues facing our planet and our economy in the last year. This year we are presenting 13 awards — a new high that demonstrates the growing ambition and complexities of our work as we seek to move climate and clean energy policy across sectors and jurisdictions.
We congratulate our winners for helping to secure important policy wins at the state and federal levels in 2021, and we look forward to working with you to keep pushing for the climate action we need this year. Without further ado, here are this year's award winners.
- The BICEP Most Valuable Player Award for 2022 is presented to Salesforce, Inc. This award is given each year to an individual or company that has demonstrated stellar leadership and commitment to moving our shared climate and clean energy policy agenda forward. Salesforce earned the MVP Award with its vocal and early support for the draft SEC rules requiring greater climate disclosure from companies and the strong clean energy investments that Congress has considered over the last several months, as well as its willingness to engage trade organizations in support of climate policies. Salesforce also signed the critically important amicus brief on behalf of EPA and its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act in the case of West Virginia v. EPA. Thank you, team Salesforce, for your consistent leadership.
- The BICEP Internal Champion Award is presented to an individual who works within an organization to champion the vital importance of climate and clean energy policy advocacy. This year, we recognize Dana Villeneuve, who leads policy advocacy, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility at New Belgium Brewing Company, for working within the company to advance participation in federal and state policy, including by securing the participation of New Belgium senior leadership to author op-eds, join media events, and meet directly with key lawmakers. Thank you, Dana, for your loyal partnership and creative use of the New Belgium brand to promote climate action.
This year's BICEP Federal Policy Champion is PayPal, with appreciation for the company’s thoughtful leadership, and effective advocacy delivering the business case for ambitious federal climate and clean energy policies. PayPal has been an especially powerful partner by using its influence to move key lawmakers on the need for clean energy investments during the current session of Congress. PayPal also signed the critically important amicus brief on behalf of EPA and its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act in the case of West Virginia v. EPA. Thank you, team Paypal, for you consistent leadership and for stepping up when we have needed you most on Capitol Hill.
The BICEP State Policy Champion award goes to IKEA, for its unwavering support on state climate policy in 2021 that spanned from coast to coast, including its support for multistate policies like the Advanced Clean Trucks rule. IKEA also helped achieve ambitious policies in states including Illinois, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. Thank you, team IKEA, for your long term partnership and for consistently promoting state-based climate action.
We are pleased to recognize the We Mean Business Policy Team as our 2021 Most Valuable Partner award, for its unwavering leadership and loyal collaboration with Ceres to mobilize businesses in support of climate action at the global level – and, in particular, for organizing businesses to have a strong presence at COP 26 in Scotland last November. Thank you, We Mean Business, for your invaluable partnership.
The BICEP Emerging Leader award is presented to Lio Bacerra, director of government and public affairs at Holcim, for effectively ramping up Holcim’s climate and clean energy advocacy to build a better world for us all. Holcim has been a powerful partner with BICEP, bringing a new industry voice to our coalition and championing a path toward more sustainable industrial processes. Thank you, Lio, for your vital advocacy and partnership as the cement company that is changing the game for the industry.
The BICEP Transportation Advocate of the Year is Megan Villarreal, manager of policy and public affairs at Nestlé, under whose leadership and guidance the company has been a key advocate for transportation electrification, lending its voice in meetings with state decisionmakers and in the media to push for adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule. Thank you, Meg, for your crucial steadfast leadership on transportation policy.
- Our inaugural BICEP Climate Smart Agriculture Groundbreaker is Britt Lundgren, senior director of sustainability and government affairs for Stonyfield, for her robust and visionary leadership in advancing and advocating for the innovative tools and policies farmers need to flourish as the climate champions we know they are. Britt helped make the case for climate smart agriculture with companies and policymakers, including around federal efforts for an economic package centered on climate investments with a well-timed and well-placed column. Thank you, Britt, for your vital insights and willingness to help grow our climate smart agriculture credibility and policy presence.
The BICEP CEO Climate Champion is Barbara Humpton, president and CEO at Siemens, who has personally demonstrated a steadfast commitment to clean energy action and policy advocacy while leading Siemens USA, including by personally meeting with White House officials and relentlessly speaking out for urgent climate action on Congress. Barbara has urgently called for climate action through multiple platforms, including by participating in an interview series with Punchbowl News to tout business support for climate investments. Thank you, Barbara, for your exemplary climate leadership which sets the gold standard for others to follow.
The BICEP Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to Brad Figel, senior counsel, Corporate Public Affairs, at Mars, Inc. We are deeply appreciative of Brad’s role as a cofounder of the Ceres BICEP Network, and take great honor in enacting his vision of bringing collective business leadership to climate change advocacy. We can’t thank you enough, Brad, for your long term support and leadership within the BICEP Network.
The 2022 Senate Climate Champion is awarded to Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota. Senator Smith has been a tireless advocate pushing for ambitious federal climate and clean energy policy, including a clean electricity standard, throughout difficult negotiations in 2021 and 2022. We are deeply grateful for her leadership as we continue to press for passage of a strong suite of clean energy policies this spring. Thank you, Senator Smith, for your stellar climate leadership on behalf of the great state of Minnesota and along with present and future generations in the U.S. and beyond.
The Ryan Martel Capitol Hill Climb Award is presented to an exceptional Senate staffer whose political acumen and dedication to passing meaningful climate policy are worthy of recognition in honor of the late Ryan Martel, director of the Ceres federal policy team, who tragically passed away in March. The inaugural winner is Daniel K. Dudis, senior counsel in the office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. Thank you, Dan, for your work on behalf of present and future generations on planet Earth, which stands as an honor to Ryan’s legacy.
Finally, each year we bestow our greatest honor: the BICEP Crown, which is given to an individual who consistently goes above and beyond to deliver corporate climate advocacy. Past winners have proven themselves as standard setters within their companies, our network, and the broader corporate community. We are delighted to present the crown this year to Hugh Welsh, general counsel, secretary and president of DSM North America. Hugh has demonstrated unparalleled leadership in climate advocacy since joining BICEP, going out of his way to personally participate in both state and federal policy actions. He is also a formidable champion of the Ceres BICEP Network itself, helping to increase our influence as the need for robust climate policy becomes more urgent and the opportunities grow more pronounced. We thank Hugh for his leadership and look forward to his continued partnership.
As you can see, 2021 was an amazing year of corporate advocacy from all of our award winners — and many others. To list just some of the accomplishments: After hearing from hundreds of businesses and investors, President Biden established ambitious goals to reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. Our push for clean infrastructure at LEAD on Climate 2021 led to real results, as the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act included significant funding for clean transportation, clean energy, climate resilience, environmental justice, and other key policies. And we celebrated major victories in states including Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and Massachusetts.
Make no mistake, our most ambitious work is still ahead of us. We need Congress to step up and pass the robust climate and clean energy legislation that will help the U.S. meet its goals and spark the innovation, advanced manufacturing, jobs, and economic growth these investments will bring. And the BICEP Network will play a crucial role in achieving it. There are few climate advocates more credible than the business leaders that make up the Ceres BICEP Network, and it’s going to take all of your voices to succeed.
But we also know the proof of your power is in the results you’ve already achieved. So let’s celebrate our worthy winners for their crucial contributions to getting us to this point. Congratulations – and thank you – to all of you.