Riker Danzig Honored at CIANJ’s 2021 Environmental Leadership Awards Breakfast
Riker Danzig is proud to have been honored with an Environmental Leadership Award from the NJ Commerce & Industry Association’s on April 23, 2021. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette gave the keynote speech at the event that was attended by nearly 80 professionals who work in the environmental sector, and Acting Commissioner LaTourette specifically highlighted Riker Danzig’s environmental activities in his remarks. CIANJ President Anthony Russo said the second annual event was held to showcase the extraordinary environmental work done throughout New Jersey. The honorees were chosen by an independent panel of judges from nominations submitted to the magazine by CIANJ members and the business community at-large.
Riker received the award in recognition of pro-bono legal support provided to Matriark Foods, which recently undertook an innovative food waste reduction project. Matriark Foods, a startup that upcycles food that would otherwise go to waste, received a grant from ReFED and partnered with Table to Table, Aero Farms, and Bad Apple Produce to rescue, upcycle, and donate food that otherwise would have gone to waste. The project upcycled 620,000 pounds of food (and the equivalent of more than 500,000 meals) over a 90-day period. If this food had been disposed of rather than rescued, the disposal alone would have generated greenhouse gases in excess of 20,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Attorney Matthew A. Karmel led the Riker team in advising on traditional and novel legal issues relating to the project, under the direction of Stuart M. Lederman, Co-Chair of Riker Danzig’s Pro Bono Committee. In fact, the team, which included Riker associates Payal Patel-Marte, Kenneth Dzikowski and Michael Aiello, also provided counsel on the cutting edge legal issue of whether liability protections for donated food extend to upcycled food.