Exploring Pet Sustainability & Impacts, Pet Ownership & Social Justice, and How Pets Are A Bridge Back to Nature w/ Melissa Bauer (Pet Sustainability Coalition)

Supply Chain Revolution

Oct 12 2020 • 19 mins

Did you know that if you add up the cats and dogs in the United States, they’d represent the 5th largest population of protein consumption in the world? When it comes to pet supply chains and sustainability, there is typically 1 sector called "pet services and products”. This one sector, encompasses dozens of other industries that have many categories in human supply chains. For example, apparel, food, medicine, and healthy/beauty are considered dramatically different industries in the human world, but we buy good and services for our pets in all those areas and more.

The environmental impact of the pet sector is huge. Did you know that 300 million pounds of packaging is sent to land fill each year? Finally, the pet industry has often overlooked and serious social sustainability challenges as well. Pet ownership has been directly linked to home ownership, but with systematic racist policies historically making home ownership out of reach for communities of color, what are the Justice, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion implications of the industry itself? Why aren’t people aware or talking about this?

In Episode 40, Sheri Hinish discusses massive opportunities in pet sustainability, in caring differently for our furry friends, with MelissaBauer from the Pet Sustainability Coalition. PSC has a super cool origin story starting with Chris Bentley. A lover of life and an environmentalist at heart, Chris Bentley has spent several decades looking for ways to minimize his environmental footprint. Based in Colorado, Chris was active in the entrepreneurial business community where he saw the Natural Foods movement adopt Organic Certification and the Outdoor Industry collaborate to build innovative sustainability tools. With over 25 years of success in the pet products industry, first with Aspen Pet and then with Only Natural Pet and “I and Love and You,” he knew there was an opportunity to drive impact in an industry he had grown to know and love.

Together with fellow sustainable business leader Marty Grosjean at Only Natural Pet, Chris partnered with sustainability icon Hunter Lovins at Natural Capitalism Solutions to develop a suite of sustainability tools that could provide their respective companies the resources they needed to implement sustainable business processes.

The outcome of this project was a world class toolkit built by Natural Capitalism Solutions that had far reaching potential. The new vision for these tools was to serve as a transformative catalyst that would enable the entire pet industry to engage more positively with the environment and communities where they do business.

When complete, Chris, Natural Capitalism Solutions, the Outdoor Industry Association, and 25 business leaders met at Global Pet Expo 2013 where they formed a new nonprofit collaborative that would share tools and resources to encourage adoption of sustainable business practices. KD Frueh at KONG Company, Tony de Vos at Cardinal Pet Care, Jim Thomas at Petco, Spencer Williams at West Paw, Stephanie Volo at Planet Dog, and Aaron Lambstein at Worldwise joined Only Natural Pet and I and Love and You to become Founding Members of the Pet Sustainability Coalition. These 8 Founding Members continued to make large financial contributions for five consecutive years that served as the Coalition’s primary revenue and lifeblood!

To get involved and learn more about Pet Sustainability Coalition, visit https://www.petsustainability.org

Find us, connect, and explore at https://www.supplychainrevolution.com/ & Sheri Hinish at https://www.supplychainqueen.com