Green Businesses Are Leaders

Businesses with a sustainability focus are being steered by some of the bravest and boldest leaders in the business world. Some of these leaders had a vision for a green business from the start and others took the reins of large corporations and redirected company energy into sustainability initiatives, realizing that long term growth and resilience were more important short term balance sheets.


Paul Polman stepped into the role of CEO for Unilever in 2009. He’s been shaking up the business world in a big way by moving away from the ‘shareholder value’ above all else way of running a business, to taking the ‘long view’ on building company value. This view has a focus on sustainability.

Leadership In Practice

Sustainability leadership is not limited to manufactures. The law firm of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed have made sustainability part of the fabric of their daily business operations. The firm has a ranking of “Tier 1–Sustainability Advocate” from Meritas (which created the Green Guide for Lawyers). They have an Environmental Sustainability Committee in place and regularly recognize employees for coming up with sustainability ideas. In addition to increasing recycling efforts and eliminating paper waste, the firm uses a U.S. Green Building Council member cleaning service that uses non-toxic and environmentally friendly Green Seal Certified Products. The work they have done has also paid off. After revamping their lighting system, they saw a 25% reduction in energy costs (saving about $60,000 a year and 370,000 kWh)