Eco-Business Gurus

Mar 29, 2007
Outside Magazine

Despite his flock's strained relationship with modern science, this 56-year-old Book of Revelation*–quoting reverend and VP for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals is using his pulpit to preach about "creation care"—the idea that being good Christians means being good stewards of God's bounty.
—Tim Sohn
*11:18 [God will] destroy those who destroy the earth."

Eco–Business Strategist
Corporate boards rarely choose profits over environmentally sound practices when Shapiro is in the room. That's because the 38-year-old founder and CEO of GreenOrder Inc., a Manhattan-based firm specializing in environmental business strategy, enlightens companies on how to go green, meaning stockholders make money and do the right thing. Sha-piro's eco-wizardry at multinationals like General Electric, Office Depot, and General Motors is impressive. He estimates that if every American who didn't already own an energy-saving washing machine were to buy a GE Profile Harmony washer, we'd save enough water to fill 400,000 Olympic-size swimmingpools annually.
—Tim Neville

Virgin Capitalist
Who can top Richard Branson? Maybe only Richard Branson. After declaring last year that he'd commit $3 billion from his Virgin empire to the development of alternative-energy sources, the iconoclastic Brit, 56, was back in February announcing a $25 million prize for anyone who can devise a way to clear existing greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. What are you waiting for?
—Tim Sohn

VC with Vision
"Green used to be for sissies; now it's a tough-nosed, profitable way to make your way through life," says John Doerr, 55, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist. This billionaire should know. Since 2002, Doerr has steered $200 million into 12 eco-ventures that produce fuel-cell generators, ethanol factories, clean coal-gasification plants, and solar cells. "Green could be the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century," he says. "We'll get a clean environment because entrepreneurs will make it happen."

Whole Foods Guru
Few businessmen deserve as much credit for popularizing organic food and sustainable agriculture as John Mackey, 53, one of Whole Foods Market's founders and company CEO since the first store opened its doors in Austin, Texas, in 1980. Here's Mackey's label:

Whole Foods Nutrition Facts

$5.6 billion company

191 stores in the U.S. and U.K.; 41,500 employees; eight distribution centers; seven regional bake houses; four subsidiaries (like Allegro Coffee Company); and a number-five slot in Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Vitamins and Minerals:
Employees pick their own benefits packages through a companywide vote every three years. Whole Foods covers 100 percent of the health-insurance premiums for workers who have already logged 800 hours and put in at least 30 hours per week.

Whole Foods purchases more wind-energy credits than any other Fortune 500 company—enough to run all U.S. and Canada stores.

Recently spent $26 million for organic beef raised and slaughtered by Country Natural Beef, a co-op in the Pacific Northwest. The purchase helped preserve four million acres of open space.

Whole Foods Market Private Label Organic Milk comes from (and supports) 533 midsize farms (66 cattle per herd) in the Midwest.

Total Sugars:
Stock is up more than 1,971 percent since the company went public in January 1992.

Fat Content:
Mackey's annual salary: $1.Starting in 2007, in lieu of a paycheck that he no longer needs, Mackey will contribute $100,000 annually to an emergency-relief fund.

Filed To: Culture

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