Reimagining Comfort Zones, Carbon and Corporate Responsibility
John Elkington – a world authority on sustainable development – may look mild and unflappable in his clean-cut corporate attire and rimless glasses, but he’s been a troublemaker since way back.
In 1987, when John co-founded a consulting company called SustainAbility, nobody knew the word. Not only was “sustainability” an unfamiliar term, but companies also believed anything associated with environmentalism was out for corporate blood. Within a few years, however, John had shaken up businesses’ mindsets and was being asked to write environmental policies for major companies like BP.
Thirty years, nineteen books, and many sustainable business solutions later, John is now considered to be one of the most progressive thinkers on corporate responsibility. He’s made it his mission to challenge the comfort zones of the mainstream, and he won’t quit. Today, while most of the world sees climate change-causing carbon as a liability, John sees it as a source of immense opportunity.
Together with our team and other global organizations, John works to understand the true value of carbon and develop innovative solutions to increase its productivity. By reframing the discussion around carbon, John opens the door to huge environmental solutions and galvanizes people around the world to tackle the climate change problem.
As part of our interview series “You Can’t Feel Comfortable Leaving Your Comfort Zone. Why not?”, Baratunde Thurston spoke to John to learn about his experience pushing against the comfort zones of business leaders, his recent efforts to expand the comfort zones of the climate change movement, and his belief that corporations must embrace systemic change to create a more comfortable future for us all.