Written by Auden Schendler
In the early ’90s I worked on corporate sustainability with a group of young, smart, optimistic colleagues, paid virtually nothing, working out of an office closet next to the bathroom at Rocky Mountain Institute, a sustainability think tank. Beneath towering stacks of energy reports and to-be-read copies of The New York Times, we drafted brochures and consulting papers arguing that corporations were the only entities large enough, nimble enough, and motivated (by profit) to solve the climate problem. We were surrounded, in-person and intellectually, by the originators of the movement: energy efficiency guru Amory Lovins, Ecology of Commerce author Paul Hawken, Ray Anderson—whose environmental epiphany transformed Interface, Inc.—and visionary engineers like Eng Lock Lee, who treated systems design like Chinese cooking, where you use everything, even the chicken feet.
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