Multinational companies have an effect, not just on the stock exchange, but on businesses globally and our ability to surmount the great issues we face today from the environment to the standard of living of over 1 billion poor people globally. Gil Friend, founder of Natural Logic, talks about the value of investing in community development and the ability of the enterprise industry to shift in favor of ESG issues.
As renewables become more efficient and technology proliferates, we see a raise in the standard of living in poor communities. The concept of shifting business-as-usual is often rejected as something that will cost more—and turning a big ship is hard.
In this Noble Profit Moment, Friend gives one example of how a mining company in Africa decided to invest in its community. Through research the company implemented initiatives focused on higher education. The outcome? Better, healthier workers; less injury; higher morale; more technological advances within the company and in the community, including better transportation. And, ultimately, the capitalized value from the company’s investment in community development held a greater value than the gold in its mines.
“It’s another example of why you don’t have to choose between making money and making sense,” Friend states.
Are more ripples of change blowing in the wind? Friend says, 'yes'. When looking at Walmart's recent steps to 'green' its supply chain, we see the powerful ripple it can create. The mega company told its suppliers to get on board and be sustainable and transparent in order to continue doing business with them. “It got attention like no regulator system ever has,” notes Friend.
It was a tremendous undertaking. Friend cites other global companies such as Unilever, Interface and Nike in creating powerful and poised impacts across the world.
With regard to social initiatives shifting economies, Friend says: “Value is being delivered again and again. The initiatives are so competitive – I wish I could tell you numbers. You’ll see them in the marketplace over the next year.”
Friend has been advising global companies on strategies for integrating sustainable business into corporate DNA for decades. His cap is feathered like the Native American chiefs with helping corporate America integrate business objectives that actually save companies through efficiency models.
Meet Gil Friend today through Thursday at VERGE in San Francisco this week, and learn more about the intersection of technology and sustainable business.