On a rainy night in Austin, high above the bustling downtown traffic, a group of likeminded individuals gather at WeWork Food Labs with one mission in mind: Establish a way for companies to minimize their environmental impact in all aspectsof operations.
Naturally Austin is a collaborative community of local entrepreneurs that supports growing brands and CPG/natural products professionals. For the past year, its founders have dedicated resources to educate and encourage companies to grow and also to consider the environmental impact of their respective operations as theydo so. Future Proof matriarch and Naturally Austin founding board member, Aimy Steadman, has led helped put together this initial workshop, which featured Cory Skuldt, a sustainability consultant, walking through how to build in sustainability into your business’s practices. The workshop also introduced Climate Collaborative, an initiative to encourage companies to commit to take on climate challenge through their businesses.
“I have a lot of climate change anxiety! We do what we can at Future/Proof, but after that I thought the next best thing would be to try to encourage other local entrepreneurs to take steps as well to reduce their environmental impact through their own businesses,” said Steadman. From working remotely to focusing on sustainable packaging, Future Proof Brands has continued its journey to illustrate what it means to operate alternatively. With Steadman at the helm, the company has established a continued learning approach to business practices, partners and methods. So when Naturally Austin called together the city’s leading figures in this quest, it was important to 1) extend the invite (what does this mean?), and 2) ask the tough questions. How can we reduce out carbon footprint? How do we ensure that production of goods are adhering to the same standards and values? How do we market this virtue and stay true to the original mission?
As the world grows increasingly more susceptible to the actions taken by business around the world, alternative methods to production have become imperative. It has been left to the individual to decide which role they would like to play – what impact they’d like to make. If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved, visit Naturally Austin for upcoming events and discussions and check out the companies participating in Climate Collaborative. We’re at the bottom of the hill looking up, but the journey is always better together. What role will you play?