Gil Friend

Consultant, Director, and Public Speaker in Berkeley, CA

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Founder and CEO, Natural Logic Inc.

Founder, Critical Path Capital

Former Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Palo Alto, CA.

Author, The Truth About Green Business.
Inaugural member, Sustainability Hall of Fame.
Lifelong social entrepreneur and sustainability geek.

Gil is widely considered one of the founders of the sustainable business movement, and was named an inaugural member of the Sustainability Hall of Fame (with Ray Anderson, Amory Lovins, Karl-Henrik Robert and Bob Willard), and "one of the 10 most influential sustainability voices in America" by The Guardian.

For 25 years, Gil has helped companies and communities design, implement and measure profitable sustainability strategies. He's now leading Palo Alto;s "climate moonshot."

Clients have included Arizona Public Service, Coca Cola, Dean Foods, eBay, General Mills, Gilead Sciences, Granite Construction, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hewlett Packard, Levi Strauss, Nike, Odwalla, Pacific Gas & Electric, Rhodia, Raytheon, Steelcase, Sun Microsystems, SunPower, the US General Services Administration and many others.

Friend served in the California Governor's Office, developing early sustainability policies and programs. He was a founding board member of Internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications, founder and Executive Director of Foundation for the Arts of Peace, and cofounder and codirector of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a leading urban ecology and economic development "think-and-do tank," where he pioneered the current "green roof" trend 40 years ago.

Friend has served as MBA faculty at Meridian University, Presidio Graduate School, and California College of the Arts. He lectures widely on business strategy and sustainability issues.

He holds an MS in systems ecology from Antioch University, has a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of "The Natural Step" sustainability framework.

He was a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, and currently serves on the board of directors of the Ecological Building Network, and the advisory boards of CleanFish, the Green Chamber of Commerce, Green World Campaign, RePower Capital, Silicon Valley Net Positive Leadership Council, Sustainable Brands and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and was twice named one of the Bay Area's "top 25 movers and shakers in clean tech."

  • Work
    • City of Palo Alto, Ca
  • Education
    • Antioch University
    • City College of New York
    • Bronx High School of Science