Too Hot To Ignore: Ben & Jerry’s And The Youth-Led Climate Movement

September 18, 2019

Image of Protesting signs

By now it seems everyone is aware of the growing global climate crisis. (And if you’re not: Hello! There’s a growing climate crisis!) Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting faster than that bowl of Cherry Garcia, and extreme weather events are becoming more and more common. And, of course, temperatures are at all-time highs.

Scientists are very clear: We are almost at the point where there’s no turning back. By 2040, climate change’s most devastating impacts will be upon us and we’ll have very little recourse. That means that we need to take action now. Before global temperatures reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and there’s no way to turn off the heat.


Scooping Up A Solution

So, what’s the solution? How do we get 7.5 billion people all to agree to a low-carbon, earth-friendly existence? Most importantly, how do we get world leaders on board with putting people and planet before short-term profits?

The answer? We get as many people as possible to get as loud as possible for a zero-carbon future.

And that’s exactly what the youth organizers of the Global Climate Strike are doing this September 20th - 27th. Join what is scheduled to be the largest single day of action on climate change in history, in cities all over the globe, to let world leaders know that we will not stop until they take action. We will not settle for anything less than a commitment to a zero-carbon future. We will not let them decide for us what our future will be.


We Can’t Do This Alone

Look, we’re an ice cream company. We purchase ingredients from all over the world, we transport them to our ice cream factories in Vermont and the Netherlands, and we turn them into your favorite flavors. We then ship these euphoric pints of goodness all around the world so you can find them at your local Scoop Shop or grocer. From cow to cone, if we’re honest, our business has a sizable carbon footprint, about 1 kilo per 500ml container. That’s not to say we haven’t worked hard over the years to reduce it. From solar power at our Waterbury, VT factory and the Chunkanator at our Hellendoorn plant that turns ice cream waste into clean energy, to being one of the first companies to adopt Science Based Targets for our greenhouse gas emissions, we work hard to tread as lightly on the planet as we can. 

However, we understand that this is not a fight we can win alone. The truth is, if we shut down Ben & Jerry’s tomorrow, our planet would still be headed over a cliff. Which is why the fact that young people from all around the world are organizing the Global Climate Strike from September 20th to 27th is so important and inspiring. Young people are calling on world leaders to take the kind of urgent action needed to transition the world away from fossil fuels. These young leaders, many from frontline and impacted communities, are calling on adults to act like their house is on fire, because it is.

This crisis can’t be avoided with individual action, either by people or corporations. We all have a responsibility to take steps to reduce our own footprint, but if we’re committed to taking steps as individuals, we must all feel compelled to join together collectively to hold our elected leaders accountable. Since adults have been slow to act, youth are now leading this movement, and that gives us hope.

As part of our support of the Global Climate Strike, we’ll be disrupting our own business as usual on September 20th. We’ll be shutting down our corporate headquarters, slowing our manufacturing lines, providing transportation for employees to local events, and closing our Scoop Shops during the strikes. We’re pleased that many other companies are taking similar actions.

Please join us in following the lead of this youth movement. They’re counting on us to stand with them.