In 1992, as CEO of Ecover, I built the first zero emissions factory (for soaps) out of wood. The facility was also used as theater hall. Reedbeds and a grass roof process waste water. Staff was dressed in Patagonia to reduce heating on shop floor. Our profits funded whale research. I was devastated to learn on year later that I relied on palm oil which destroyed rainforests. So I was green but not sustainable!


In 1994, I created ZERI (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives) based first at the United Nations University in Tokyo, as network of 3,000 scientists searching for pragmatic solutions to poverty, climate change and competitiveness.

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