Stonyfield Farm CE-Yo to Discuss How to Make Money and Save the World
Gary Hirshberg, president and CE-Yo of organic yogurt company Stonyfield Farm, will discuss the organic farming industry, corporate social responsibility and the environment in a talk titled, “Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World,” at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, in Luce Hall at Yale University.
The talk is sponsored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and The Gordon Grand Fellowship, and will be followed by a book signing of Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World and a reception featuring Stonyfield Farm refreshments. All events will take place in Luce Hall on 34 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven.
Hirshberg is also being honored at Yale with The Gordon Grand Fellowship, a joint program of Yale College and the Yale School of Management, which promotes dialogue and understanding between today’s business leaders and students at Yale. The fellowship was established in 1973 to honor Gordon Grand, a 1938 graduate of Yale College and president and CEO of the Olin Corporation. During his life, Grand endeavored to bridge the gap between business and academia by promoting their exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Today, the Gordon Grand Fellowship continues this tradition by inviting prominent business leaders to Yale for one- to three-day visits.
Hirshberg has overseen the growth of Stonyfield from its infancy as a seven-cow organic farming school in 1983 to its current position as the world’s largest organic yogurt company, with $300 million in annual sales. This growth has been built with innovative marketing techniques that often combine the social, environmental and financial missions of the company. One of the company’s five missions is “to serve as a model that environmentally and socially responsible businesses can also be profitable,” and Hirshberg has realized this vision in every aspect of the company.
In January, Hyperion Books published Hirshberg’s Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World, which outlines how consumers and businesses can be forces for positive change.
“Gary Hirshberg has proven that a business built on sound environmental practices and community-minded social responsibility can not only succeed, but also dominate its industry,” said Daniel C. Esty, director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy. “Entrepreneurs interested in triple-bottom-line management and individuals who want to learn more about sustainable business practices would do well to listen to Gary’s report from the trenches.”
Hirshberg serves on several corporate and nonprofit boards, including Honest Tea, Sambazon, Inc., Peak Organic Brewing, and as the chair and co-founder of O’Naturals, a chain of organic and natural fast-food restaurants. He also serves as the chair and co-founder of Climate Counts, a nonprofit organization working to motivate consumer awareness of climate change. Stonyfield Farm installed the largest solar photovoltaic array in New Hampshire in 2005, and has offset carbon dioxide emissions at facilities since 1997. He co-chaired The Social Venture Network for five years and is the founder of the Social Venture Institute, a “boot camp” for community-minded entrepreneurs.
Hirshberg has won numerous awards for corporate and environmental leadership, including the 1999 Global Green USA’s Green Cross Millennium Award for Corporate Environmental Leadership. He was named Business Leader of the Year by Business NH Magazine and New Hampshire’s 1998 Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is a New Hampshire native, a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., and holds six honorary degrees.
Prior to joining Stonyfield, he was executive director of The New Alchemy Institute, an ecological institute devoted to organic agriculture, aquaculture and renewable-energy systems. He was also the founding president of the Cape Cod Environmental Coalition and the founding chair of the Cape and Islands Self-Reliance Corporation. Earlier in his career, he was a water-pumping windmill specialist, an author, an environmental education specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and a manager of environmental tours to the People’s Republic of China.