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What Top Business Leaders Have to Say about Sustainability

Today’s top business leaders are taking an increased interest in incorporating socially and environmentally responsible practices. Sustainability in business can sometimes also benefit the bottom line. While it may not be adopted across the board, the following executives are leading efforts by speaking publicly about their support for green business practices.

Alex Gorsky, CEO, Johnson & Johnson

“We at Johnson & Johnson see our citizenship and sustainability as more than our social, environmental and economic performance. Rather, it is who we are and how we act. It is how we lead and participate in helping to solve the world’s major health care challenges, protecting the environment and conserving resources we are privileged to use, and conducting ourselves and our business in ways that contribute positively to society.”

Paul Polman
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

"Most of the activity that actually touches society is happening in the supply chain and that's why we take responsibility from sustainable sourcing to sustainable living."

Kurt Kuehn, CFO, UPS

“Long-term growth can't be separated from issues of economic, social and environmental policies. In other words, a CFO's job really is about using resources wisely and ensuring that an enterprise is strong enough to thrive for decades to come.”

John Mackey
(Image Source: Wikimedia Commons)

John Mackey, CEO, Whole Foods Market

"Businesses that are more conscious of making a positive difference in the world make the world a better place from just being there."

Richard Branson
(Image Source:

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

“If your business and interests as an entrepreneur are not in the area of sustainable energy, then look instead at what your business can do to reduce emissions. Examine every aspect of your operation for ways that you can reduce, reuse and recycle. At Virgin, all of our businesses are continually looking at how they can minimize the impact they have on the environment.”

Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway

“Today our world is changing faster than ever before — economic, geopolitical and environmental challenges abound. In times such as these, a company must invest in the key ingredients of profitability: its people, communities and the environment.”

Ursula M. Burns Chief Executive Officer, Xerox

“We were an early leader in the sustainability movement because we thought it was the right thing to do for the environment. But we discovered something else along the way. Every one of our innovations ended up either saving us money or creating new markets and new revenue. We found, in other words, that we don’t have to choose between the environment and profit. We can do both.”

Mark Parker, Nike, CEO

“We see sustainability, both social and environmental, as a powerful path to innovation, and crucial to our growth strategies.”