Welcome to ESG Next, a NationSwell series profiling the investors, executives, authors, philanthropists, and social sector leaders who are shaping business as a force for social and environmental progress.

Each ESG Next profile gives unprecedented access to the strategies and insights deployed by leaders at the vanguard of social impact and sustainability — leaders whose work today is driving the ever-evolving field of Environmental, Social, and Governance into the best version of its future.

Previous Honorees

“It would be a shame if the field of ESG becomes a partisan political issue. I view it as a field of development, where it actually becomes part of our management and our governance, that people incorporate into their career pathways — that leads to organizations collectively seeing more positive outcomes. “

Professor, Harvard Business School

“You must have a good strategy, the right staff, and then you’ve got to ‘walk the halls’ to get buy-in to your strategy at the top of the house, and then be hyper-focused on outcomes.”

Chief of CSR, Verizon

“I try to approach some of the ESG factors that I’m most passionate about as good business. If you take employee ownership, it’s hard to make an argument against it. It’s good for workers, good for corporate cultures, good for communities, and good for investors. But I think if you come at some of it from my perspective, where I frame it as good business, then it would be a shame if people aren’t also looking at this as a risk mitigation tool, a culture enhancer.”

Co-Head of U.S. Private Equity, KKR

“But if you look at many ESG factors and approaches, it’s often about the measuring and the metrics of inputs. And now, I think we’re moving towards thinking more about the outputs from the process: the implementation and the impact.”

Vice Chairwoman, Carbon Direct