Bio: Brian Nattrass is a cofounder and managing partner of Sustainability Partners, Inc., an international consultancy focused on the strategy and implementation of values-driven innovation and sustainable business practices. He is an adviser on sustainability and innovation to many organizations, both private and public, including Fortune 500 companies, NASA, and the U.S. military. A former All-American athlete, he had a 20-year career in corporate law and finance before dedicating himself to corporate responsibility and sustainability. Having served as both CEO of a public manufacturing company and chairman of Earth Day International, he brings a balanced and informed perspective to the issues of sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility.
He is the coauthor of four books, including three with his wife and partner, Mary Altomare Nattrass, on the dynamics of values-driven innovation, organizational transformation, and the integration of more sustainable business practices. Their most recent book together, Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step (New Society Publishers, 2002), features original corporate case studies from their international consulting practice. Their second book, Community Sustainability Toolkit (Whistler Centre for Sustainability, 2001), is a manual for community sustainable development. Their first book, The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation (New Society Publishers, 1999), has become an international sustainability best seller and is used by businesses, universities, and government agencies around the world.
Mr. Nattrass received his B.A. from the University of Alberta, his LL.B. from the University of British Columbia, and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Integral Studies.
Expertise: Values-Driven Innovation and Sustainable Business Practices
Fellowship Focus: Brian Nattrass’s Batten Fellowship will involve several projects on the themes of values-driven innovation and sustainable business practices, with particular emphasis on the organizational transformation underlying these processes. He will collaborate with faculty hosts Dick Brownlee and Alec Horniman, Darden faculty Andrea Larson and Ed Freeman, other faculty within and outside of Darden, and Batten Fellow Mary Altomare Nattrass to produce a book on the influential role of story in organizational transformation toward more sustainable business practices. The premise of the book is that individuals and organizations create and reinforce meaning about their goals, policies, and practices that is based, in part, on the stories they tell themselves about who they are and what constitutes their purpose. The book will include original case studies on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the United States Army.
During his fellowship, Mr. Nattrass will also produce two case studies on the link between product and process innovation and the adoption of enhanced corporate responsibility and sustainability as core values of the organization. He will also explore the possibility of a case on the development of tangible and meaningful metrics for corporate sustainability.
During his time in residence, he will engage faculty in sustainability salons, make presentations to the University of Virginia community, teach in the Executive Education Program, participate in first-year orientation for M.B.A. students, produce a Batten Briefings
article, and engage with members of Net Impact and other student organizations.
Publications & News
Dancing with the Tiger: Learning Sustainability Step by Natural Step (New Society Publishers, 2002)
Community Sustainability Toolkit (Whistler Centre for Sustainability, 2001)
The Natural Step for Business: Wealth, Ecology and the Evolutionary Corporation (New Society Publishers, 1999)