Adam Werbach has been at the vanguard of the sustainability movement since high school when he founded a national organization of over 30,000 student volunteers who mobilized around environmental projects. A few years later, at the age of 23, he was elected the national President of the Sierra Club – the youngest in its 100+ year history.
In 2004, Adam turned the environmentalism movement on its head by publicly decrying its outdated thinking and lack of progress, given the scope of its mission. He challenged its followers to link their goals to other broad social and economic ones in order to have more impact.
He led the way, controversially, by working with Wal-Mart in 2006 to help them integrate sustainable practices into their supply chain and operations – a model he subsequently brought to many of the world's largest multinational corporations in over 80 countries.
In this interview, Chris and Adam discuss the "sustainable business" movement and its future prospects, including such questions as What does sustainability really mean? What are the key success requirements? What models show the most promise today?