Founding Partner & Executive Chairman of Volans, also Co-founder of SustainAbility (1987, where he is a non-executive member of the Board) and of Environmental Data Services (ENDS, 1978), John is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 2004, BusinessWeek described him as “a dean of the corporate responsibility movement for three decades.” His first involvement in the field: raising money for the newly formed World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 1961, aged 11.
In 2008, The Evening Standard named John among the ‘1000 Most Influential People’ in London, describing him as “a true green business guru,” and as “an evangelist for corporate social and environmental responsibility long before it was fashionable.”
In 2009, a CSR International survey of the Top 100 CSR leaders placed John fourth after Al Gore, Barack Obama and the late Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, and alongside Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank. In August 2001, John was named among the ‘100 Global Sustain Ability Leaders for 2011’ by ABC Carbon and the Sustain Ability Showcase Asia, based on nominations and recommendations received from around the globe.
Volans launched in April 2008, and is a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements. Volans applies thought leadership and global networks across these areas to develop solutions for entrepreneurs, businesses, governments and investors.
In terms of other hats, John is a Visiting Professor at the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility. He chairs The Foundation for Democracy & Sustainable Development (FDSD) and the Aflatoun Impact and Policy Analysis Steering Group, and is an Honorary Fellow of The Hub.
He is also a member of various strategic advisory boards: 2degrees; Bayer MaterialScience; EcoVadis; Gaia Energy; the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI); Instituto Ethos; Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value; One Earth Innovation, Polecat UK and a Cleantech Fund developed by zouk Ventures. He is also a Senior Advisor to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, a member of the WWF Council of Ambassadors, a member of the Evian Group.