Amy Larkin
Award-winning Social Entrepreneur, Environmental Activist

Amy Larkin, founder of Nature Means Business and Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change, is one of the first to make the direct connections between our global environmental and financial crises.  An award-winning entrepreneur and environmental activist, Amy has launched cultural institutions, co-founded one of the first affinity marketing businesses, and worked with Greenpeace for 30 years as a board member, advisor, and (from 2005 to early 2012) as Director of Greenpeace Solutions. She currently leads Energy Shift, a collaborative effort that crosses industrial and scientific sectors, the partisan aisle, and environmental NGOs to help create the transition to the low-carbon economy. Amy is a regular contributor to The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Section, where her piece on Western consumerism and China’s pollution was a 2013 Top 5 Social Impact Story.


Amy’s skills lie in two main areas: identifying the (often hidden) levers for transformational change; and communicating/framing strategic initiatives in ways that advance a company’s larger goals — both internally and externally. She has the rare ability to understand and speak to the needs of both businesspeople and environmentalists—her book endorsers include the former president of Shell Oil and the current executive director of Greenpeace International.


In 2010, Greenpeace Solutions worked with the Consumer Goods Forum, a consortium of 400 companies with over $3 trillion in revenue, to eliminate HFCs from all new refrigeration equipment starting in 2015. This industry transformation will eliminate 1-2 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years. This work won the prestigious 2011 Roy Award from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government for public/private partnerships that protect natural resources.


A sampling of Amy’s consulting clients include OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), Coca-Cola, Agricultural Sustainability Institute of UC/Davis, Consumer Goods Forum, and Greenpeace International. She is a strategic partner at Resolve.


Amy currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board of BiomimicryNYC and is also Chair of the Board of the ARChive of Contemporary Music, the largest collection of contemporary music in the world. She is the author of Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy.  In the book, Larkin connects the environmental and financial crises — both causes and solutions.  The book has received glowing reviews from a cross section of major media and garnered attention through Amazon  (Editors’ list for Best Business Books of June 2013), and Vanity Fair (Hot Type).  Amy has appeared on numerous media platforms including Bloomberg Radio, the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Stand Up! with Pete Dominick, and the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC (NYC’s NPR Affiliate), as well a dozen long-form NPR interviews. She has given keynote addresses at AtGoogleTalks, the Student Climate and Conservation Congress, the Consumer Goods Forum, CannonDesign, the Social Venture Network, the New York Public Library, and numerous other universities, conferences, and private businesses.

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Environmental Debt
The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy
Palgrave Macmillan

Provocative and hard-hitting, Environmental Debt sweeps aside the false choices of today’s environmental debate, and shows how to revitalize the economy by connecting the rules of business with the laws of nature.

No Nature, No Business: In 2006, a few financial analysts looked at the data in housing loans, noted the preponderance of subprime paper, and called a crisis in the making. We all know what followed. Similarly startling data is now available on the world’s environment and climate, identified by Amy Larkin in her book Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy. As she states clearly: No nature, no business. Amy will focus on the cutting edge of business practices that repair the disconnect between the rules of business and the laws of nature.
The Three Guidelines for 21st Century Commerce: Companies are currently punished for spending money that is essential for their survival. We can fix this. Amy Larkin proposes a new framework for commerce based on three principles: 1) Pollution can no longer be free; 2) All business decisions and accounting must incorporate the long term; and 3) Government must catalyze and incentivize the greenest technologies while preventing environmental destruction.

Praise for Amy's speaking “Your presentation was both relevant and thought provoking to these budding conservation leaders. Some long returning faculty members called it the best SC3 presentation ever.”
--Steven M. Chase, Chief Division of Education Outreach, National Conservation Training Center

Praise for Environmental Debt “For anyone interested in environmental and economic policy, this is a fascinating, provocative book. Brisk, bold, and blunt, Larkin is a devastating critic of current business practices, but she wants to inspire, not scold.”
--Publishers Weekly

“Humankind’s days of pillaging the earth for its resources are over. Today, a new strategy is needed if the global economy is to survive. Larkin’s three guiding principles for 21st century commerce are required reading for anyone invested in a thriving business landscape as well as a healthy environment.” 
--Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director, Greenpeace International

Amy Larkin sounds the alarm of the coming economic crisis and calls for urgent actions to repair our relationship with nature. A committed environmentalist, she also knows firsthand how the business world gets real work done, and she argues for pragmatism and common sense to undo environmental harm and remake the future. As a businessperson and industrialist, I support Environmental Debt as part of an inclusive and well-rounded roadmap to make the world a better place.
--John Hofmeister, retired President Shell Oil Company, founder/CEO Citizens for Affordable Energy, and author of Why We Hate the Oil Companies