Ceres Honors the Companies and Policymakers Whose Leadership Inspired Historic Climate Wins in 2022

May 22, 2023 4:10 PM ET
Campaign: Policy

By Anne Kelly, Vice President of Government Relations at Ceres

Last year was the most consequential for climate, clean energy, and environmental justice policy in U.S. history. The Ceres BICEP Network — representing some of the most recognizable and trusted brands in the U.S. — was a major part of the action.

Our members proved their leadership in championing the Inflation Reduction Act before Congress, and they followed up by advocating to the Biden administration for the smartest possible implementation of the nation’s largest-ever climate legislation. In the states, BICEP companies have helped pass major clean energy and transportation policies designed to accelerate the shift to a more sustainable economy. And while celebrating these important victories, BICEP members spent much of 2022 sowing the ground for critical upcoming policy efforts.

Following the success of our LEAD on a Clean Economy 2023 advocacy push on Capitol Hill last week, Ceres honored our 2023 BICEP Award winners. Each award recognizes a company, a business leader or a lawmaker who went above and beyond to publicly and effectively advocate for a federal or state climate, energy or transportation measure. We were pleased to present 16 awards this year, showcasing the range of our work across industries and sectors, and at each level of government.

2023 BICEP Crown: Abigail Campbell, head of climate and infrastructure policy at Siemens USA. For years, Abby and Siemens have been key partners in supporting clean energy, clean transportation, and clean infrastructure policy. In 2022, she earned our top honor as a strong advocate for both the passage and the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as important clean vehicle policies passed in states across the country. We are especially grateful to Abby and her team for raising their voices through op-eds, social media and in direct meetings with lawmakers to ensure Siemens’s policy advocacy is highly public and, as a result, even more influential.

2023 BICEP State Climate Policy Champion: Nestlé. Nestlé again proved that it sees state policy as crucial to achieving its own bold climate and sustainability goals by eagerly working to support clean transportation, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other policy initiatives in regions across the U.S. We are especially grateful to Meg Villareal, manager of policy and public affairs at Nestlé, for her steadfast advocacy and leadership.

2023 Federal Policy Champions: Danone N.A. and Logitech. Both companies were persistent and vocal champions of the Inflation Reduction Act, answering every call to help pass the most impactful climate legislation in U.S. history. Danone has also been a decisive and reliable partner in advocating for a 2023 Farm Bill that prioritizes equitably addressing the climate crisis.

2023 Most Valuable Partner: Business Forward. Business Forward played a critical role in garnering company support for the Inflation Reduction Act and has continued to be a vital partner for Ceres. In the few days between the deal was announced and the historic law was passed by the U.S. Senate, Business Forward worked with Ceres to recruit some 40 major companies to sign a letter of support, which was referenced on the Senate floor and at the White House podium.

2023 BICEP Internal Champion: Ciara O’Dea and Erik Hansen of Workday. Together, this duo has brought Workday’s advocacy to new heights at both the federal and state levels, including in its home state of California where it has played a strong role in helping to advance some of the nation’s leading climate policies.

2023 BICEP Transportation Policy Advocate: Ford Motor Company. We are pleased to recognize Ford’s efforts at both the state and federal levels. In addition to its crucial support of the Inflation Reduction Act’s electric vehicle incentives that create good-paying jobs and strengthen U.S. supply chains, Ford has also been a leading advocate for the Advanced Clean Cars II rule in California and several other states, recognizing that public policy is key to meeting the clean vehicle goals of the company and the industry.

2023 BICEP Climate Smart Agriculture Groundbreaker: Joseph Brinkley, director of regenerative agriculture at Bonterra Organic Estates. An integral member of the Ceres Climate Smart Agriculture and Healthy Soil Working Group, Joseph has been an enthusiastic and highly educational participant in meetings with lawmakers from both parties in support of a 2023 Farm Bill that equitably prioritizes regenerative agriculture.

We were also proud to recognize the following policymakers for their monumental work in the last year.

2023 Ryan Martel Capitol Hill Climb Award: Adrian Deveny from the office of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Named for our beloved federal policy director who we tragically lost in 2022, this award is among our highest honors and is given to a Congressional staffer who embodies the principles Ryan — a former Senate staffer himself — held dear. Adrian personally knew Ryan in their days on Capitol Hill and is well-deserving of this award for his tireless work to negotiate and pass the Inflation Reduction Act, a piece of legislation that Ryan helped to mold through his years of strident advocacy.

2023 Congressional Climate Champion: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Sen. Whitehouse has more than earned this award through his clear prioritization of climate policy, his work to influence and pass federal legislation, and his efforts to highlight examples of responsible — and irresponsible — engagement on climate policy by companies and trade groups.

2023 Congressional Climate and Environmental Justice Champion: Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona. Rep. Grijalva is the first-ever recipient of this award in honor of his efforts alongside the late Rep. A. Donald McEachin to engage stakeholders to shape comprehensive and ambitious federal environmental justice legislation. The resulting legislation — the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All bill — has Ceres’s wholehearted support for passage in the current Congress.

2023 Administration Climate Champion: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. Sec. Granholm's path-breaking leadership has guided the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, to ensure innovative technologies bring clean energy jobs and justice to every state and district in the country.

We congratulate each and every one of our 2023 awardees. More importantly, we thank them for their dedication and unwavering commitment to climate action during an historic year for U.S. climate policy. We also thank the entire Ceres BICEP Network for its ongoing efforts in support of public policy to build a stronger, more just, and more resilient clean energy economy.