Joel Makower is chairman and executive editor of GreenBiz Group, Inc., creator of GreenBiz.com along with research and events on sustainable business and clean technology. He hosts GreenBiz.com’s annual GreenBiz forums as well as the VERGE conferences produced around the world by his company, and is principal author of the annual “State of Green Business” report.
For more than 25 years, Joel has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. As a writer, speaker, and entrepreneur on corporate sustainability practices, he has helped a wide range of companies align environmental goals with business strategy.
Joel serves as a Senior Fellow at the Strategic Innovation Lab at Case Western Reserve University, a think tank focused on developing, testing and implementing a new grand strategy for the United States that can power a new era of prosperity, security and sustainability. Along with the lab’s co-founders, Mark Mykleby and Patrick Doherty, Joel is co-author of a forthcoming book from Macmillan about a grand strategy for America, born at the Pentagon, that embeds sustainability as a strategic national imperative.
A former nationally syndicated columnist, Joel is author of more than a dozen other books, including Strategies for the Green Economy. Previous books include The E-Factor and Beyond the Bottom Line, two of the earliest framing books on corporate environmental responsibility and corporate social responsibility, respectively.
The Associated Press has called Joel "The guru of green business practices." In 2012, he was awarded the Hutchens Medal by the American Society for Quality, which cited “his ability to tell compelling stories that both inform and inspire business leaders toward profitable action.” In 2014 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Institute of Sustainability Professionals.
Joel regularly keynotes corporate events, business associations, and regional business and economic development events, and is frequently quoted in major news media, including Fortune, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Time, and public radio’s “Marketplace.”
Joel advises several startups and sits on the board of the nonprofits Climate Counts and United Roots.
“Our audience left your presentation with a much greater ability to identify and tell their green story. Few people are better able to put sustainable business, green technology, and environmental topics into a context that people can understand.”
“Joel was rated the top speaker by SRI in the Rockies Conference participants. No one has better, more practical, more useful insights into the state of the state of sustainability in corporate America than Joel Makower. His presentations are spot-on."
“You were able to tailor your speech to be very relevant for our industry. I love the way you engage the audience. Your thought-provoking question “How good is good enough?” continues to inspire great conversation and provides a valuable perspective.”
“If you’re looking for an seasoned expert with a solid grasp of the sustainability movement
and the ability to tell its compelling story in a way that will truly inspire your audience,
you can’t do better than Joel. We’re living in extraordinary times and Joel captures that
excitement and identifies the tremendous opportunities which lie ahead.”