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Read our interviews with the innovative green entrepreneurs behind our green business network — business leaders who put people and the planet before profits, and whose sustainable companies help you live a greener life.
Portfolio 21; Portland, OR
"Companies have enormous power to create social and environmental -- as well as financial -- outcomes," says John Streur, president of 21, an investment firm and leader in environmental investing. "Corporate power rivals government power in many respects, it controls it in other respects, and the two powers often work together. An investor with large sums of money under management is like a voter with a million votes to cast. Many investors fail to realize these facts, others ignore their responsibility, and of course, some abuse it. All of us at Portfolio 21 are motivated by doing the very best with it that is possible."
Brilliant Earth; San Francisco, CA
Just in time for Valentine's Day, we'd like to introduce you to Beth Gerstein, co-founder of the green jewelery company Brilliant Earth. Her company helps couples find a ring they can feel good about, knowing their dollars are supporting a company that does good for people and the planet.
"We’re in the business of helping couples at the happiest time of their lives," says Beth. "We’re constantly getting feedback from customers who tell us that a Brilliant Earth ring made an engagement proposal or a wedding feel more special and amazing. Many Brilliant Earth couples say they wouldn’t have purchased an engagement ring if they hadn’t found a company that reflected their values."
Dogpatch Biofuels; San Francisco, CA
As a US maker of wooden toys for more than thirty years, Michael Rainville has seen the domestic manufacturing landscape change dramatically, as companies have shifted work overseas. During all that time, Michael's business Maple Landmark has remained committed to local sourcing and manufacturing, and has seen public opinion gradually shift back toward a preference for their way of doing business.
"The recalls of Chinese toys in 2007, due to lead paint and other problems, turned the tables slightly back toward our favor," says Michael. "We were no longer that crazy, quaint company in Vermont. We were now the company that was doing it 'right.' "