Gil Friend, founder of Natural Logic, is now Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Palo Alto CA.
Gil Friend is founder, chair, and until December 2013 CEO of Natural Logic Inc, helping companies design, implement and measure profitable sustainability strategies. He is widely considered one of the founders of the sustainability movement, and was named an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame (along with Ray Anderson, Amory Lovins, Karl-Henrik Robert and Bob Willard) by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, acknowledging “those people that have contributed the most to the emerging field of sustainability,” and “one of the 10 most influential sustainability voices in America” by The Guardian.
A systems ecologist and business strategist with over 35 years experience in business, communications and environmental innovation, Gil Friend combines broad business experience with unique content experience spanning strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, public policy – and sustainable agriculture. “Nature’s ecosystems have spent 3.85 billion years building efficient, complex, adaptive, resilient systems,” he observes. “Why should companies reinvent the wheel when the R&D has already been done?” Tomorrow Magazine called Gil Friend, “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants – a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.”
Gil Friend helps companies and communities gain competitive advantage and develop breakthrough economic performance by building the laws of nature into their business strategies and operating systems. Or more simply put, Gil Friend helps companies boost profits while reducing environmental impact. He offers insights and methodologies for achieving both economic and ecological sustainability.
Gil Friend developed sustainable agriculture policy for the California Governor’s Office and co-developed and taught the initial courses in AgroEcology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Gil Friend is a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, Sustainable Berkeley, and the California Sustainable Business Council, and serves on the advisory boards of CleanFish, WattBot, Green World Campaign, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Clean Tech Advisory Council.
Gil Friend wrote The New Bottom Line, a monthly column on business strategy for the LA Times Syndicate, and maintains weblog on strategic sustainability. He has contributed chapters to several books, including Stepping Stones, Sustainable Food Systems, Worldchanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century, Sustainable Enterprise Report, Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, and is the author of the forthcoming books: The Truth About Green Business and Risk, Fiduciary Responsibility and the Laws of Nature.
Gil Friend is a provocative, thoughtful, energetic and ultimately pragmatic speaker, effective with audiences ranging from senior executives to the general public.
Gil Friend was a founding board member of internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications, and played key or founding roles in such seminal environmental enterprises as EcoNet, GreenLine, Turner Broadcasting’s Planet Live, and Buckminster Fuller’s “World Game.” Gil Friend was also co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, one of the nation’s leading urban ecology and economic development “think-and-do tanks,” pioneering the “green roof” trend 35 years ago.
Gil Friend has spoken on business strategy and environmental policy at the World Bank, Pacific Industrial Business Association, Sierra Business Council, Nike Training Center, National Restaurant Association, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Environment Canada (Canada’s EPA), Instituto Technologico y Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico), to name a few. Gil Friend holds an MS in Systems Ecology/Agricultural Ecology from Antioch University, a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.
- The Mysteriously Elusive Sustainability Business Case – How smart companies are making sustainability a source of business value –and others are working too hard NOT to get it.
- The State of Sustainability - How well is the marriage of business and sustainability really doing? A report from the field.
- Measuring What Matters - Selecting and using environmental performance metrics and incentive systems that profitably drive performance toward environmental, economic, and strategic goals.
- Industrial Ecology: How Your Business Can Learn From a Meadow - Where "waste" just doesn't exist - and put four billion years of R+D to work for your bottom line.
- The State of Sustainability - How well is the marriage of business and sustainability really doing? The good news, the bad news, and the critical success factors.
- Nothing to Hide? How radical transparency, open systems and shared IP are transforming business (and what they mean for the sustainability revolution).
- The Truth About Green Business – How green business gets done – and why you don’t have to choose between making money and making sense.
- The CFO: The Next Sustainability Leader? What CFO’s can do for sustainability – and what sustainability can do for them.
- Getting Prices Right– Why capitalism can’t work right until it stops lying to itself.
- Building an Environmental Economy - How cities are making this emerging industry a cornerstone of economic development strategies.