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John Elkington

Founding Partner and Executive Chairman
Volans Ventures

John Elkington is a world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development. In 1987, he co-founded SustainAbility; in 1994, he coined the phrase, "the triple bottom line"; and in 2008, he co-founded Volans — a future-focused business working at the intersection of the sustainability, entrepreneurship and innovation movements — where he is Executive Chairman and "Chief Pollinator."

His latest book is Green Swans: The Coming Boom in Regenerative Capitalism, published by Fast Company Press.

John Elkington is tagged in 8 stories.
Are We Capable of Enacting Lasting, Positive Change After Disruption and Crisis?
Are We Capable of Enacting Lasting, Positive Change After Disruption and Crisis?

Walking the Talk / The shadow of the unknown due to COVID could derail progress we’ve made toward a more sustainable future or it can motivate us to do better, faster. Now is the time for stakeholders throughout every organization to dig deep and figure out what they want their future to look like, and how they can make that happen. - 2 weeks ago

‘Green Swans’ Will Kill Some Brands, Boost Others
‘Green Swans’ Will Kill Some Brands, Boost Others

The Next Economy / Green Swans also take the world by surprise — because of their exponential character, and because they produce outcomes previously considered to be not just improbable but impossible. But rather than driving degeneration like their Grey and Black cousins, they help drive resilience and regeneration. - 1 month ago

SDGs Key to the Sustainable Development of Your Business, Not Just the World
SDGs Key to the Sustainable Development of Your Business, Not Just the World

Product, Service & Design Innovation / "What's your favorite sustainable development goal?" joked John Elkington, the writer, thinker and serial entrepreneur who coined the triple bottom line concept in 1997, who moderated a Tuesday panel on aligning the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with strategy, goal-setting and innovation at SB’16 Copenhagen. - 3 years ago

How to Prove Skeptical Stakeholders Wrong on the Road to Fulfilling Your Brand Purpose
How to Prove Skeptical Stakeholders Wrong on the Road to Fulfilling Your Brand Purpose

Marketing and Comms / “Purpose is like Pokémon - everybody is chasing it and nobody knows why,” “Mr. Goodvertising,” Thomas Kolster, mused at the start of the Tuesday morning plenary session at SB’16 Copenhagen. Articulating purpose is central to modern branding. And in a world where the majority of market value is drawn from intangible assets, “brand is king,” Kolster said. - 3 years ago

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Project Breakthrough: Can Your Brand Deliver Exponential Solutions to the SDGs?
Project Breakthrough: Can Your Brand Deliver Exponential Solutions to the SDGs?

Product, Service & Design Innovation / Declaring intent is oh-so-easy. CEOs and other business leaders do it all the time. But delivering against declared pledges can be a very different matter. In recent years, for example, thousands of companies have signed up to various international charters and business-to-business platforms pursuing sustainable development — and rolled up at the growing number of events celebrating incremental progress. Then, last year, somebody sat on the fast-forward button. - 3 years ago

The Personal Triple Bottom Line: Insight, Impact, Income
The Personal Triple Bottom Line: Insight, Impact, Income

Leadership / Two decades ago, John Elkington introduced the Triple Bottom Line (TBL), a disruptive corporate tool to measure a company’s success based on three Ps: People, Planet and Profit. TBL and its derivatives are widely used by companies around the world. While some companies have embedded the TBL into the core of their business, many others loosely practice it to varying degrees. - 4 years ago

Elkington’s Dramatization of ‘The Stretch Agenda’ Aims to Help Execs Move Beyond ‘Change-as-Usual’
Elkington’s Dramatization of ‘The Stretch Agenda’ Aims to Help Execs Move Beyond ‘Change-as-Usual’

Organizational Change / “We pan in to a generously proportioned boardroom on the 33rd floor of an iconic skyscraper, soaring above London and the River Thames. … This is an Extraordinary Board Meeting.”So begins the opening scene in The Stretch Agenda, a ‘playper’ released by advisory firm Volans last week. Over three acts, the report enlivens the call for businesses to look beyond incremental change and focus strategy on the system dynamics that impact their longevity. - 5 years ago

The Breakthrough Challenge: Arguments for Branding (and Rebranding) Sustainability
The Breakthrough Challenge: Arguments for Branding (and Rebranding) Sustainability

Marketing and Comms / Really, what is a sustainable brand?Having visited port wine cellars in Portugal, I know the history and value of branding — symbols literally burned into casks as a guarantee of provenance and quality. And when I think of the brands I have bought into over the years, there are a number of common links: quality (Bose, Leica), safety (Dawes cycles, Volvo), creativity (Apple), long life (Barbour jackets), self-education (Penguin, Google) and sustainability (Patagonia, though I confess that their bag I carry was given to me as a freebie at an early Wall Street Journal ‘Eco:nomics’ [another bit of branding] conference in San Diego). - 5 years ago

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