When the ancients spoke of “a good and spacious land,” they might have been talking about Texas. The diversity of the state is legendary: piney woods and swamps to the east and arid vistas and jagged mountains to the west, rolling prairies to the north and subtropical jungle to the south. Texas is home to eight mountain ranges, eleven distinct eco-regions, 170 species of wildflowers, 142 mammal species, and 540 species of birds. For a state that has the world’s tenth largest economy and leadership across multiple industries, that’s a lot to protect.
In 2011, former First Lady Laura Bush founded Texan by Nature, a nonprofit dedicated to uniting business and conservation leaders in the stewardship of Texas’ bounty of natural resources. In a big state where more than 95 percent of land is privately owned, teamwork and targeted strategies are critical to conservation’s success.
During Texan by Nature’s Leadership Roundtable Series in 2018, business leaders in various Texas cities voiced a desire to know more about the work being done across Texas, learn the best practices for their industries, and be recognized for their innovation, collaboration, and efforts in conservation. Thus, an idea was born: The Texan by Nature 20 (TxN 20).
“The TxN 20 is an effort to recognize innovation and best practices in conservation coming from Texas-based businesses,” shares Texan by Nature CEO and President, Joni Carswell. “The ingenuity and dedication we’re seeing from industry leaders is inspiring. We hope these efforts are expanded and replicated across the Lone Star State and beyond.”
To select the TxN 20, Texan by Nature issued a public call for submissions online, via social media, and through Texas Monthly. They also conducted in-depth research aggregating data from sources like Texas Business Journals, D&B Hoovers, Forbes CSR List, and Fortune 100 & 500, producing an initial list of over 2,000 companies across ten industries with either headquarters or major operations in Texas.
Further research into media, data submissions from companies, annual reports, and corporate social responsibility documents regarding conservation and sustainability efforts narrowed the initial list to 250. From there, the selection team really got to work, scoring the research and submission data on a fourteen-point matrix, ranking efforts like use of green energy and confirmed spending on conservation sources. The resulting scores narrowed the list to 50. A cross-industry Selection Committee of executive leaders came together to rate and rank the final 50 in order to name the inaugural Texan by Nature 20.
The result is the list that follows, representing large companies and small across sectors as diverse as the state itself: transportation, construction, healthcare, agriculture, and more. All of them believe our long-term prosperity and health is dependent upon the conservation of our natural resources, and that private industry has an opportunity to demonstrate a new model of conservation for the world. All of them are putting their money where their mouth is. All of them are Texan by Nature.