This blog is part of our Inspired Ethonomics series
Bottom Line (or rather, triple bottom line): business can—and should—contribute toward the common good. In today’s world, behaving irresponsibly and unethically is no longer tolerated, and the new era of ‘ethonomics’ is upon us. But there are a select group of businesses truly leading the way in following a triple bottom line agenda—companies that refuse to believe that values and business do not walk hand in hand. And we have a lot to learn from them.
My name is Pierre Ferrari. I have 35 years of business experience ranging from large consumer package goods organizations to smaller businesses. Following my position as CMO for Coca-Cola, since 1995 I have worked toward benefitting a variety of social issues. I am president of “Hot Fudge,” a social venture capital fund, a community development venture capital fund whose purpose is to use venture capital to create jobs, entrepreneurial capacity and wealth that advance the livelihoods and wealth opportunities of low-income people and the economies of distressed communities. I invested five years ago in Guayakí Sustainable Rainforest Products, which imports organic, fair trade, shade-grown yerba mate.
In this blog, I will report on businesses (some of which I am an investor, director, or executive) and their sister companies that manage the complexities of a triple bottom line agenda with passion and success. We will explore the way triple bottom line businesses operate, and how to recognize the authentic operators—the ones whose efforts create and sustain real change for communities and the environment. I will take you through a wide variety of models in the marketplace today, including Patagonia, Guayakí, Ben & Jerry’s, Sambazon, Interface and more. We will include interviews – both written and video – of the leaders of these companies, and we’ll show how their business practices actually create positive change. I’ll introduce you to what it means to be a B Corporation and how consumers, retailers and suppliers can support their mission and further the common good.
Particularly, we will focus on transparency and how allowing the community to know what is going on and what is being done is at the foundation of trust in the company, and the catalyst for real change for consumers, communities, employees, investors, and well, all of us.
I hope you’ll join me on this journey.
Pierre holds a Masters degree in Economics from The University of Cambridge and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He has two sons, married to Kimberly, in awe of two stepdaughters, reads voraciously, and enjoys golf.