From issue 13, Winter 2011
The multi-millionaire Virgin tycoon is doing everything he can to combat climate change. And he believes doing good is good for business too…
Sir Richard Branson was once a climate change sceptic. He simply did not believe that we are endangering our planet by our behaviour.
But then back in 2006 he had a change of heart. He is better connected than most of us, so he was able to meet and talk to leading scientists from all over the world. What he heard from them convinced him. Since then he has been doing all he can to save the planet.
For ten years from the date of his conversion, he has been investing all the profits from his train and aeroplane businesses into global warming. And he has created a $25m prize for a viable technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While we may not easily make the same contribution to saving the planet, focusing on reducing our carbon footprint by reducing the energy we use is at least one step forward.
In his new book Screw Business As Usual, Sir Richard is expanding on those ideas, and thinks we all need to work together. As he explains:
“I’ve realised we’ve really been on a practise run, getting ready for the greatest challenge and opportunity of our lifetime. We have a shot at really pulling together to turn upside down the way we approach the challenges we are facing in the world and look at them in a brand new entrepreneurial way”.
Virtue Is It’s Own Reward
And Sir Richard is convinced that not only should businesses play their part in making the world a better place, but that they’ll find the experience rewarding too…
“Never has there been a more exciting time for all of us to explore this great next frontier where the boundaries between work and purpose are merging in to one, where doing good, really is good for business”.
So who has he written the book for?
“For the new wave of emerging entrepreneurs as well as existing business people who are transforming their organisations”, he tells us.
“For those who, at the same time as wanting to develop a business and make a living, are wanting to do more to help people and the planet. It’s a vibrant and definite sea change from the way business was always done, when financial profit was a driving force”.