Leader of Stonyfield Farm organic yogurt company to discuss ‘How To Make Money and Save the World’
Gary Hirshberg, president and chief executive officer of the organic yogurt
company Stonyfield Farm, will discuss the organic farming industry, corporate
social responsibility and the environment in a talk titled, “Stirring
It Up: How To Make Money and Save the World,” at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday,
April 9, in Luce Hall, 34 Hillhouse Ave.
The talk is sponsored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and
the Gordon Grand Fellowship. It will be followed by a signing of Hirshberg’s
book “Stirring It Up: How To Make Money and Save the World” and
a reception featuring Stonyfield Farm refreshments. The events are free and
open to the public.
Hirshberg has overseen the growth of Stonyfield from its infancy as a seven-cow
organic farming school in 1983 to its current position as the world’s
largest organic yogurt company, with $300 million in annual sales. This growth
has been built with innovative marketing techniques that often combine the
social, environmental and financial missions of the company. Stonyfield Farm
installed the largest solar photovoltaic array in New Hampshire in 2005, and
has offset carbon dioxide emissions at facilities since 1997. One of the company’s
five missions is to demonstrate that environmentally and socially responsible
businesses can also be profitable.
In January, Hyperion Books published Hirshberg’s “Stirring It Up:
How To Make Money and Save the World,” which outlines how consumers and
businesses can be forces for positive change.
“Gary Hirshberg has proven that a business built on sound environmental
practices and community-minded social responsibility can not only succeed, but
also dominate its industry,” says Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale
Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Hillhouse Professor of Environmental
Law and Policy. “Entrepreneurs interested in triple-bottom-line management
and individuals who want to learn more about sustainable business practices would
do well to listen to Gary’s report from the trenches.”
Hirshberg serves on several corporate and non-profit boards, including Honest
Tea, Sambazon Inc., Peak Organic Brewing, and as the chair and co-founder of
O’Naturals, a chain of organic and natural fast-food restaurants. He
also serves as the chair and co-founder of Climate Counts, a non-profit organization
working to motivate consumer awareness of climate change. He co-chaired The
Social Venture Network for five years and is the founder of the Social Venture
Institute, a “boot camp” for community-minded entrepreneurs.
Hirshberg has won numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership,
including the 1999 Global Green U.S.A.’s Green Cross Millennium Award
for Corporate Environmental Leadership. He was named Business Leader of the
Year by Business NH Magazine and New Hampshire’s 1998 Small Business
Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is a New Hampshire
native, a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and holds
six honorary degrees.
Prior to joining Stonyfield, he was executive director of The New Alchemy Institute,
an ecological institute devoted to organic agriculture, aquaculture and renewable-energy
systems. He was also the founding president of the Cape Cod Environmental Coalition
and the founding chair of the Cape and Islands Self-Reliance Corporation. Earlier
in his career, he was a water-pumping windmill specialist, an author, an environmental
education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a manager of
environmental tours to the People’s Republic of China.
The Gordon Grand Fellowship, a joint program of Yale College and the Yale School
of Management, promotes dialogue and understanding between today’s business
leaders and students at Yale. The fellowship was established in 1973 to honor
Grand, a 1938 graduate of Yale College and president and chief executive officer
of the Olin Corporation. During his life, Grand endeavored to bridge the gap
between business and academia by promoting their exchange of ideas and viewpoints.
Today, the Gordon Grand Fellowship continues this tradition by inviting prominent
business leaders to Yale for one- to three-day visits.
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