mercoledì 18 febbraio 2015

Written by Carlotta Werth

Founder of more than 400 of companies, billionaire, lover of fun and extreme sports, Sir Richard Branson is even more than one of the most successful, admired, and inspiring entrepreneurs of our times. 
"What are people running a business doing?". He answers: "They are trying to make a difference in people's lives. And if you make a positive difference, then you are going to have a successful business". The more areas you manage to make a positive difference in, the better.
An area he regards as particularly relevant is the environment.
Why is it so important to him? Some people state there is an absence of compelling data on climate change. Branson answers back: "If 97% of climate scientists agreeing that climate-warming trends over the past century are due to human activities isn't compelling data, I don't know what is". He referred to a survey of papers in scientific journals, where 97.1% agreed climate change is man-made.
Virgin, his company, is involved in a series of sectors emitting a lot of carbon. Branson is not trying to deny it, but he is taking action, heavily investing in cleaner aviation fuel and solar panels. On top of that, he founded the Virgin Green Fund, a private equity firm investing in renewable energy and energy-efficiency companies.
Branson has showed heavy support for setting up a marine park around Australia, and he is involved in protecting the African wildlife.
Right now, he is trying to set up a marine zone in the Caribbean. He wants to make the Caribbean-currently heavily dependent on fuel- a greener complex of islands. This year, he hosted a summit of politicians, financiers, lawyers, energy companies and other influential people to talk about the issue.
There is also a downside, unfortunately. Branson lost millions of pounds in green investments that have failed. Despite that, he shows no sign to giving up: "We are still standing, and investing.” The reason is that "such projects interest him "a lot more than making a few more bucks."
Tom Bower, who wrote a book about Richard Branson, has another theory. The author states "He embraced environmentalism and aligned himself with Clinton and Gore, to get on the top table of US and British politics".
Branson is left untouched by these criticisms. The entrepreneur replies that, rather than him using the environment to get to politicians, it is more a case of politicians using him.

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