EP 2: Companies Focused on the Triple Bottom Line Get Rewarded
John Replogle | Partner at One Better Ventures
John Replogle, Partner at One Better Ventures, explains how customers and shareholders reward companies that are purpose-driven and focused on the “triple bottom line.” (Listen)
Episode Summary: John Replogle has built a career on the notion that if you care for people and the planet, the profits will take care of themselves. With a keen focus on innovative consumer goods and a resume stacked with experience leading mission-driven companies like Burt’s Bees and Seventh Generation, John shares the factor that changed his life, has advice for entrepreneurs who want to build a sustainable career, and his take on why investing in venture capital is the most active way to be a part of the entrepreneurial revolution.
John Replogle of One Better Ventures
Currently a partner at One Better Ventures, John Replogle is an early stage investor who focuses on mission-driven consumer goods companies. Prior to becoming an investor, John served as a General Manager of Unilever’s Skin Care business, CEO of Burt’s Bees, and CEO of Seventh Generation. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College (1988) and a member of the school’s Board of Trustees, plus he holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School (1993). Finally, John is an investor in and an adviser to AVG’s Dartmouth-focused Green D Ventures fund.
What exactly is the triple bottom line? According to John Replogle, the triple bottom line is the belief that companies have a social contract to uphold with respect to people including their employees, partners, and customers. In addition to watching out for others, companies should also be focused on solutions to the environmental crisis. And finally, they have a duty to shareholders to be profitable.
John has always been a passionate believer in the power of a businesses to do good and to do well. He says that every business he’s been involved with that is focused on the triple bottom line has done well in all three aspects and has been rewarded by consumers and shareholders.
So why don’t all companies follow this model, and can a business really change from profit-driven to purpose-driven? In this podcast, John answers these questions and gives examples of companies that have made the switch, as well as others that haven’t.
Three Takeaways from This Podcast
John has held various leadership positions at globally recognized consumer goods companies, but has recently switched roles to focus more on venture capital. As a founder of One Better Ventures, he is partnering with former colleagues to help mission-driven entrepreneurs, CEOs, and teams unlock their full potential by utilizing a complete set of experiences, tools, and investment capital. In this podcast, you will learn about John’s philosophies in the following areas:
When dealing with challenging personnel, you still have to lead with your head and heart. John says that you have to care for each individual, but remember there’s a broader team you are responsible for as well. Compassion, care, and respect will always serve you in tough decisions.
According to John, “We are in the golden age of entrepreneurship. The United States has always been a place where entrepreneurs can flourish, but that’s never been more true than it is today.” An increase of talent in the marketplace, shared work spaces, access to capital, access to talent, the notion of networking and creating virtual teams, plus the disruptive nature of technology are all ingredients that make entrepreneurship so accessible today.
John often advises students to seek out good mentors in order to build a foundation for a long and sustainable career. However, he says it’s important to do your homework and be prepared in order to fully benefit from the relationship. Having received tremendous mentorship himself, he is happy to pay it forward now and challenges other successful people to give back as well.
Finally, John shares why he is an investor in the Dartmouth-focused Green D Ventures fund and why he purposely stays connected to entrepreneurs and their businesses. He says, “I believe in this notion of giving back through capital—that you can direct your capital to do good, to create jobs, foster, and to give back. To me, that’s a much more active way to be a participant in this entrepreneurial revolution than simply parking money in a mutual fund.”
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