Jack Welch: Why companies must go green

Jack Welch: Why companies must go green

By Alison van Diggelen, host of Fresh DialoguesJack Welch on Fresh Dialogues

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New on Fresh Dialogues: Fresh Green Minute– one minute bytes of green inspiration

First up: Legendary business leader of General Electric, Jack Welch


Interview Transcript

Alison van Diggelen: “Why is going green so important for business?”

Jack Welch: “From a business standpoint, you’ve got a consumer now who thinks they’ve got to do it and they’re on board. Everyone believes it’s going to happen OK? If I’m running a business, I want to be sure I’m green as can be.”

Alison van Diggelen: What’s the best way to go about doing that?

Jack Welch: “Design products with a smaller carbon footprint; engage your employees in green activities…make everybody feel you’re in. There’s no percentage in being against it.”

Off mike, I  asked Jack if businesses should see global warming and environmental concerns as a challenge or an opportunity

Jack Welch: “There’s an enormous opportunity…whether you believe in global warming or not…If you’re in a company, you’d better be pushing those (green) products because the world wants these products. It’s a movement, just like there was going to be food shortages in the 60’s; and in the 70’s we were going to be overrun with population. Jack Welch and Alison van Diggleen, Fresh DialoguesThese were movements, and when there’s a movement, we won’t know for 20 or 30 years if the movement is right or wrong; you can get as many people to argue both sides. But if you’re in business, you’re going to get on this bandwagon, and go with it.”

The interview was recorded at the Commonwealth Club – Silicon Valley, on May 11th 2009. Suzy and Jack Welch were in town to promote Suzy’s new book, 10-10-10