Environmental Speakers


Environmental Speakers

Gil Friend


Gil FriendGil Friend is President and Chief Executive Officer of Natural Logic, Inc., a consulting and software development company that helps companies and communities prosper by embedding the laws of nature at the heart of enterprise. Tomorrow Magazine called him "one of the country's leading environmental management consultants - a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how."

Natural Logic provides advisory services in strategy, design, operations and information systems that help build economic advantage through exceptional environmental performance. Clients have included Agilent Technologies, Ex'pression Center for New Media, Global Futures, Green Mountain Energy, Hewlett Packard, Monsanto, Nike, Odwalla, Pacific Gas & Electric, Sun Microsystems, US Department of Energy, and US Environmental Protection Agency.

A systems ecologist and business strategist with 30 years experience in business, communications and environmental innovation, Friend combines broad business experience in management consulting, internet services, direct marketing, and television production with broad content experience in business strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, and public policy. "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?"

Friend has founded and managed companies in the fields of social marketing and sustainable development, and has developed management strategies and business, operating and marketing plans for large and small companies in a wide range of industries. He 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, the California Office of Appropriate Technology, Turner Broadcasting's Planet Live, University of California's AgroEcology Program, and Buckminster Fuller's "World Game." He was 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." He holds an MS in Systems Ecology from Antioch University, a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned presenter of "The Natural Step" environmental management system.

Friend has written extensively on business, environment, and resource policy issues, and authors The New Bottom Line, an internationally distributed column offering strategic perspectives on business and environment, formerly distributed by the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, now published by Natural Logic.


Friend is a provocative, thoughtful, energetic and ultimately pragmatic speaker, effective with audiences ranging from senior executives to the general public.

He has spoken on business strategy and environmental policy at the World Bank, GLOBE 2002, 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), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oregon Solar Energy Association, Industrial Ecology Summit, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, The Conference Board, and the "Systems Thinking in Action" Conference (partial list).

Friend's speaking topics include:

  • Strategic Sustainability - How leading international companies are turning "environment" into a strategic driver of exceptional business performance.

  • The Measures That Matter - 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.

  • Going with the Flows - The metabolic flows of energy and materials through our bodies, homes, cities, and companies provide powerful insights into strategy, efficiency and innovation at any system scale.

  • 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.

  • The ROI of CSR - Thousands of companies report on their environmental performance, but only a handful turn that reporting to strategic business advantage. How they do it, and how you can too.

  • Regenerative Design: A Profitable Path to High Performance Buildings - How building and land use design guided by nature is delivering buildings that are less expensive to build, less expensive to operate, and more productive.

  • The Business Case for Sustainability - "Sustainability" is a lovely idea, but does it really make business sense? Why smart companies are studying natural systems and laughing all the way to the bank.

  • Recalibrating Wall Street: Eliminating Regulation By Getting the Prices Right - When does left meet right? When ecology and cybernetics meet Wall Street.

  • Uncovering New Sources of Business Value: Focusing an Ecological Lens on the Supply Chain - How leading global companies are working with suppliers to jointly grow market share by leveraging environmental performance.

  • Turning Red Tape Green - Regulatory reform that works without sacrificing environment or profit.

  • Building an Environmental Economy - How cities are making this emerging industry a cornerstone of economic development strategies.

Videos of several presentations and interviews, an audio clip, and information about his book are available here.

To Contact

To explore engaging Gil Friend as a speaker, contact him here. For the most up-to-date information about Gil, visit his website here.

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