Gil Philip Friend

Gil Philip Friend is Chief Sustainability Officer of the City of Palo Alto CA

Gil Friend was founder, chair, and until December 2013 CEO of Natural Logic Inc, helping companies design, implement and measure profitable sustainability strategies. He is widely considered one of the founders of the sustainability movement, and was named to the Sustainability Hall of Fame (along with Ray Anderson, Amory Lovins, Karl-Henrik Robert and Bob Willard) by the International Society of Sustainability Professionals, acknowledging “those people that have contributed the most to the emerging field of sustainability.”

A systems ecologist and business strategist with more than 40 years experience in business, communications, and environmental innovation, Friend combines broad business experience with unique content experience spanning strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, and public policy.

"Nature's ecosystems have spent 3.85 billion years building efficient, complex, adaptive, resilient systems," he observes. "Why should companies reinvent the wheel when the R&D has already been done?" Tomorrow magazine called him “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants—a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.”

Friend serves on the boards of directors of Ecological Building Network and Natural Logic, and the advisory boards of CleanFish, Green Chamber of Commerce, Green World Campaign, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and Sustainable Brands, and was a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance and the Institute for Global Communications. He served on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Clean Tech Advisory Council, and the executive board of, and was twice named one of the Bay Area’s top 25 movers & shakers in cleantech

Friend is a member of the MBA Faculty at Meridian University, and has served as Adjunct Faculty at Presidio Graduate School, and guest faculty at California College of the Arts. He lectures widely on business strategy and sustainability issues and writes The New Bottom Line, offering strategic perspectives on business and environment. Friend is author of the acclaimed book The Truth About Green Business and the forthcoming book, Profit on Purpose: Risk, Fiduciary Duty and the Laws of Nature; was co-author of Biofuels Development and Soil Productivity (1982); and has contributed chapters to several books, including Worldchanging: A User’s Guide to the 21st Century, Sustainable Enterprise Report, Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, Sustainable Food Systems, and Stepping Stones,

He holds an M.S. degree in systems ecology from Antioch University, has a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.

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Chief Sustainability Officer