Richard Branson decided to be a smart business dude and invest in our future. It is baffling that more CEOs don't think like this.
At 1:20, he explains the cool stuff they are doing to try to stop carbon emissions from getting out of control.
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group:
I love a challenge. I love learning. I like to try to make a difference. If you find yourself in a position where you can make a difference you have a responsibility to not waste that position -- getting out there and motivating people, getting a fantastic team around you, and not trying to do everything yourself, which some people make the mistake of trying. I think every company should be a force for good, not just a money-making machine for the shareholders at the end of the year. If every company in the world could start thinking that way, the world would get on top of most problems that are out there.
What does IAMECO Warrior mean to you?
An Eco Warrior is somebody that wants to fight for this beautiful planet, to protect the planet, to protect the species on it, and to make sure that when they die they've left the planet in a better place because they've lived than if they hadn't lived.
We're in the airline business. The airline business is a dirty business -- it emits carbon. It's an essential part of peoples' lives, and so the ideal situation is that the airline business continues, that it continues to grow, but that we fly on planes that are run on fuel that is not damaging our environment -- an algae-based fuel, an isobutanol-based fuel, that one or both of those may power our planes going forward.
The Carbon War Room
If you have a major enemy like carbon, and some people say it's a bigger threat than World War I and World War II put together, then you need a War Room. You need a center which looks at every single way of attacking that enemy. So we set up the War Room in Washington; we've got entrepreneurs running it. We've taken the 25 biggest sectors in the world that emit carbon, and we're not attacking those sectors, you know. As business leaders we're working with each of those sectors to help each of those sectors get a giga-ton of carbon out of their, out of their sectors. And if they do get a giga-ton of carbon out, they may be more profitable, so it needn't necessarily be a punishment for them to have to do that. Overwhelming evidence seemed to indicate that we were creating a problem and that we needed to do something about it. So I decided to do something about it.
Join the Movement
There are some environmentalists, they want to punish people. They want to tell people, "you can't fly," or "you can't drive your car," but realistically what we've got to do is use our brain power to overcome these problems, and I think we can.