Photo courtesy of Chesapeake Bay Program

Corporate Sustainability

Working with Industry Partners

The Alliance works with agricultural corporations and farmers supplying them to accelerate conservation efforts throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Our approach empowers farmers to improve their long-term sustainability and creates stronger environmental standards throughout the agricultural industry.

What is Corporate Sustainability?

We aspire to create a culture of conservation throughout the agricultural industry. The Alliance works within the supply chain to develop strategies that protect our environment and keep farms thriving. We drive on-the-ground impact by alleviating barriers to get farmers the help they need. Our approach aids farms in improving their environmental footprint while remaining economically competitive for the long term.

Why Corporations?

We believe that collaborating across sectors and industries is the quickest way to scale conservation and climate work. Non-profit / corporate collaboration strengthens impact by facilitating creative pathways and maximizing resources.

Alongside our corporate partners, we accelerate conservation for the farms supplying them. Together, we develop funding incentives, explore innovative technologies, and connect farms with technical support, from onset through to project completion. Cooperatives (co-ops), such as Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association (MDVA) and Land O’ Lakes, help expand our reach and bring new ideas to a network of individual small farms. Their milk customers, such as Turkey Hill Dairy, Nestlé USA, and Giant Food, bring food supply chain dollars and influence to the table, resulting in quick adoption!

The dairy industry has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050.

Numerous dairy co-ops and other food industry corporations are setting similar goals and targets. Businesses are beginning to adopt Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) principles. ESG principles establish standards that a company values and puts into action. This helps corporations realistically meet their goals and ensures the company is improving by serving as a measure to track over time.

Environmental goals built into these plans may include, but are not limited to:

  • Planting trees to sequester carbon emissions
  • Adopting new manure technologies
  • Reducing food waste
  • Converting to cleaner energy usage

Watch the video to learn more about one of our partners.

ESG is one facet of how corporations are adopting worldwide, science-based targets around climate change. It translates to making real impacts on local farms.

Creating Change in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

There are 87,000 farms in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the majority of which are small-scale and family-owned. Creating on-the-ground solutions for family farms, collectively adds up to a big difference.

Supporting small farms in reaching their on-farm goals allows farmers to focus on keeping their herds healthy. Our corporate sustainability solutions allow farmers to spend less time managing daily challenges and more time building a thriving small business that can be passed onto future generations.

By ensuring a sound operation, we are supporting the long-term health of our local food economy, as well as the environmental longevity of our rivers and streams.

How It Works

The Alliance and the farmers, co-ops, corporations, and consumers we partner with join together for shared goals: cleaner water, lower carbon footprints, and a more resilient supply chain. Each entity in the Alliance’s Corporate Sustainability Initiative projects plays a critical role.

The Alliance leads by connecting players, coordinating applications, and bringing new capacity and expertise to the table. We advocate for new funding streams, eliminating barriers to access and ensuring smooth facilitation between all the moving pieces. We are always looking out for more innovative ways to bring benefits to farms, such as new manure technologies or streamlining funding opportunities.

Co-ops and industry associations support the initiative through their extensive farmer networks of trusted relationships. Through the years, they have built trust with these producers and understand the long-term farm needs.

Corporate partners provide large scale support, funding, marketing, and a broader influence.

Technical service providers walk producers through the various options for solving complex barnyard or field challenges in a straightforward manner.

Consumers advocate through their purchasing power and enjoy a more sustainable product that positively impacts clean water in our communities.

Prospective Partners

Want to learn more? Check out our recent webinar recording, the Corporate-Nonprofit Partnership Model, hosted by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

In this webinar, we share lessons learned from five years of working closely with Maryland & Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association to support their milk producers and customers, such as Turkey Hill Dairy, Nestlé USA, and Giant Food. We share strategies for conservation organizations to establish new corporate relationships and for corporations to build conservation incentives into their supply chains.

The Alliance is excited to brainstorm how we can help you meet your goals!

The types of services we can provide include but are not limited to:

  • Provide educational workshops for your producers/growers to learn about conservation opportunities that improve water quality, increase herd health, reduce carbon emissions, improve biodiversity, and more
  • Assist farms in accessing funding for conservation projects
  • Streamline project management
  • Apply for grant funding
  • Develop program structures, such as creating incentives for particular BMPs
  • Partner with your organization to pilot innovative BMPs, such as new manure management technology and soil health practices
  • Provide consulting to your organization as you develop a corp/nonprofit partnership
  • Facilitate new partnership building
  • Provide training for effective grants management, program development, planting successful riparian buffers, and working with the Plain Sect

Interested in partnering with us?

Please contact if you have questions or would like to get involved in the Alliance’s Corporate Sustainability Initiative work.

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