Green Business Guru, Expert in Sustainable Business,
Clean Technology, and the Green Marketplace
Joel Makower is chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, Inc., creator of GreenBiz.com along with research and events on sustainable business and clean technology. He hosts GreenBiz.com’s annual GreenBiz forums as well as the VERGE conferences produced around the world by his company, and is principal author of the annual “State of Green Business” report.
For more than 25 years, Joel has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. As a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur on corporate sustainability practices, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy.
Joel serves as a Senior Fellow at the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University, a think tank focused on developing, testing and implementing a new grand strategy for the United States that can power a new era of prosperity, security and sustainability. Along with the lab’s co-founders, Mark Mykleby and Patrick Doherty, Joel is co-author of a forthcoming book from Macmillan about a grand strategy for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author of more than a dozen other books, including Strategies for the Green Economy. Previous books include The E-Factor and Beyond the Bottom Line, two of the earliest framing books on corporate environmental responsibility and corporate social responsibility, respectively.
The Associated Press has called Joel “The guru of green business practices.” In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Institute of Sustainability Professionals.
Joel regularly keynotes corporate events, business associations, and regional business and economic development events, and is frequently quoted in major news media, including Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Time, and public radio’s “Marketplace.”
Joel advises several startups and sits on the board of the nonprofits Climate Counts and United Roots.
Prosperity, Security, Sustainability: America’s Trillion-Dollar Opportunity
In an era of climate change, economic uncertainty and global turmoil, business as usual is giving way to bold, audacious thinking: How can America’s private sector realign its interests in a way that builds resilience and well-being while strengthening its economy and environment? It’s a trillion-dollar business opportunity that affects every sector, and the inspiring subject of my new book (to be published by Palgrave Macmillian in June 2016), about a new “grand strategy” for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
The Convergence Opportunity
A convergence is taking place among energy, information, building and vehicle technologies, representing one of the next great waves of business innovation — and a boon to the environment. This mash-up of clean technology, sustainable business, and smart everything is creating vast opportunities for companies to develop ultra-efficient and innovative products, services, and business models for companies, cities, and consumers. It’s one of the most significant drivers of business innovation and strategy.
From Here to Sustainability
Nearly every company is assessing itself through the lens of sustainability. For a handful of leadership companies it involves asking the question: “How do we compete in a world in which energy, water, materials, and toxicity are constraints to growth?” Today, being green is not just about “doing less bad” or “greening the bottom line.” It’s about reducing risk — supply chain, reputation, financial and more. It’s about growing the top line through innovation, new markets, increased productivity, and increased ability to attract and retain talent. I tell how leaders align sustainability with business value.
“Our audience left your presentation with a much greater ability to identify and tell their green story. Few people are better able to put sustainable business, green technology, and environmental topics into a context that people can understand.”
- Text 100 Public Relations | David Swain, Clean Technology Group Lead
“Joel was rated the top speaker by SRI in the Rockies Conference participants. No one has better, more practical, more useful insights into the state of the state of sustainability in corporate America than Joel Makower. His presentations are spot-on."
- SRI in the Rockies Conference | Steven J. Schueth, Host and Producer
“You were able to tailor your speech to be very relevant for our industry. I love the way you engage the audience. Your thought-provoking question “How good is good enough?” continues to inspire great conversation and provides a valuable perspective.”
- Meeting Strategies Worldwide | Amy Spatrisano, CMP
“If you’re looking for an seasoned expert with a solid grasp of the sustainability movement and the ability to tell its compelling story in a way that will truly inspire your audience, you can’t do better than Joel. We’re living in extraordinary times and Joel captures that excitement and identifies the tremendous opportunities which lie ahead.”
- Professional Convention Management Association | John F. Nawn, VP