Winter 2022 Edition: The Dirt eNewsletter


As winter approaches in Vermont, members of our team are waxing our skis and waxing poetic about the post COP27 outlook, the agricultural landscape in Uganda, the implications of a myopic scope 3 approach, and excitement about our growing team. We hope you cozy-up and muse with us.

At Native, we believe in finding solutions, taking action, and putting our money on the line to catalyze new climate action, and we think you probably do too. In our 21st year of business, we remain committed to learning, and sharing what we learn, as we create lasting change with you.

From the Community 

Vanessa Nakate, a young climate activist from Uganda, tweeted in advance of COP27: “People have described COP27 as the ‘African COP.’ It can only live up to that name if world leaders are prepared to actually deal with the needs of people suffering from a crisis they have played little role in creating.”

Nakate became a climate activist in 2018 after she learned about how drought was affecting the ability of Ugandan farmers, including her family members, to produce food. With its fertile soils and largely tropical climate, Uganda is a prime location for the production of coffee, tea, sugar, maize, groundnuts, and cotton, among other crops. Agriculture is the foundation of Uganda’s economy, employing 70% of its citizens and earning 50% of its export revenues. A report from the World Bank highlights that with rising domestic and regional demand for higher-value foods and significant opportunities for productivity gains, the sector has tremendous potential to expand and increase prosperity. The report indicates that financing and institutional support for climate-smart practices – like rotational grazing and reforestation of trees on ridgelines – and low-cost irrigation systems will be important to make the most of the opportunity. Meanwhile, congratulations to Nakate and other activists and representatives from developing countries, who were successful in pushing for the creation of a loss and damage fund at COP27.

From our Team

Let’s Accelerate Action, Not Limit Scope 3 Emission Reductions

Our colleague Kevin Hackett, who has led the way helping companies transform supply chains for over 15 years, recently shared his thoughts on scope 3 emission reductions and carbon offsets. Kevin says, “If we limit ourselves to a narrow set of climate interventions, instead of all climate interventions which can be measured and verified, we inadvertently inhibit meaningful climate action in global value chains.” Rather than an either/or, Kevin presents a both/and approach to corporate climate action.


Welcome Dr. Kieran Avery to our Team!

We would like to introduce you to one of the new members of our team, Dr. Kieran Avery (one of several new team members we are super excited to have on board!).  Kieran, a trained veterinary scientist and natural resource manager, joins our grasslands team after seven years in Kenya with the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT are our close partner on the Northern Kenya Rangelands project!) and we are elated to have him. So who is this guy?

Kieran grew up in Northern Kenya, and after a stint in the UK, moved back with his family to live off grid, where they listen to lions at night and watch rhinos and elephants pass by during the day. Kieran spends most of his time working with regional livestock-keepers to regenerate the soils and the landscape through planned grazing, but some days are more adventurous than others, like those when he gets a call to pull out three elephants that are head-high in mud as thick as “chocolate mousse.”

We are so glad to have Kieran on the team, because, as he says, “I’m dedicated to this long-term. I’ve chosen to live here right amongst this landscape, so it’s a real vested interest of mine to make sure we can keep it as it is and make it better, with people and their livelihoods at the forefront of it all.” You can learn more about him (and the elephants) here.

Hitting the Slopes this Winter

As the ski season begins, we took time to catch up with our friends in the ski industry on their work to mitigate climate change and adapt to the changes they are already experiencing. Dawn Boulware from Taos Ski Area, and fellow B Corp, shared that they “will be the first ski resort in North America to receive an all-electric snowcat” and they are also acquiring “nine Taiga electric snowmobiles” on their way to an “all electric vehicle fleet in the future.” From Bridger Bowl, Bonnie Hickey shared that of their 100+ sustainability initiatives, two that she’s most proud of are their “50 kW solar array at our mid-mountain lodge” and “vertical flow water treatment wetlands.” This coming year, she’s excited that they will be completing the STOKE benchmarking process for measuring progress in ski tourism operations.

As Dawn says, “we all want skiing to be accessible to future generations but action is needed now to ensure that as a possibility.” One way any winter-lover or outdoor enthusiast can take action is by adding voices to advocate for climate policy together with the folks at Protect our Winters.

That’s it for now! We will be digging around for news to bring you in our next installation of The Dirt. Until then, keep up the good climate work and reach out to us with your feedback. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and ideas for spotlights!