Conscious Capitalism Companies

Conscious Capitalism

Conscious Capitalism is the reorientation of business focused solely on the pursuit of profits to one focused on integrity, higher standards, and serving all stakeholders, employees, suppliers, customers, investors, the community, and the world at large.

Conscious Capitalism embodies the pursuit of a higher purpose to help people, planet and profits. It assumes that the fundamentals of capitalism (greed, fear, etc) must change if global businesses, communities and governments are going to thrive.

To assist your personal evolution start a conscious business or work for a conscious business. And obviously, be a conscious consumer by knowing the difference between green washing BS (like Coca Cola) and the following conscious capitalism companies. These are some of my favorites.

(1) New Belgium Brewing


Conscious Capitalism in Action

Benjamin Franklin once said beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. New Belgium Brewing must have been taking notes. They focus on the triple bottom line: people, planet and profits.  They call “collaboration as natural as breathing” and you’ll see it in action through FortZED, a project focused on creating the world’s largest active zero energy district.

Fun – Fat Tire is their signature brew. After a year of service each employee is given a fully loaded cruiser bike (pictured above).

(2) Mind Valley

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Mind Valley is a hip internet marketing company focused on spreading enlightened ideas. While generating a hefty amount of profits the last two years, they’ve been voted one of the Most Democratic Workplaces and started a foundation to help Burmese Refugees in Malaysia. In addition to all that, they are the brains behind GratitudeLog, a Twitter-like website that helps people send out intentions of gratitude and appreciation.

Fun – Their PR director is a Labradoodle named Ozzie. They say Ozzie is the first bow-wow in Singapore to hold a paid position in e-commerce.

(3) Whole Foods Market

conscious capitalsim

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Whole Foods Market is more than a business. It’s a “community of people working together to create value for other people, their customers, employees, investors and the greater society.” From employee benefits to wind energy to health initiatives, Whole Foods Market puts more conscious capitalism into action than most Fortune 500s combined. They donate five percent of after tax profits to non-profit organizations, with nearly 75 percent given away on a local basis.  John Mackey, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Whole Foods, is the also the founder and thought leader behind Conscious Capitalism Inc.

Fun – They were recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most wheels of parmigiano reggiano ever cracked at the same time.” It’s true. Read more about it here.

(4) Wainwright Bank

Wainwright Banking

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Wainwright Bank is considered a pioneer in green banking. They have employed sustainable practices long before it was sexy to do so (1993 to be exact). Wainwright’s model is “socially progressive banking. The bank has committed to providing at least 2.5% of its pre-tax income annually to charitable organizations and the actual amount usually exceeds 3%, or three times the industry average. Piggy banks everywhere rejoice!

Fun -  Their newest branch features a a full-service espresso bar in its lobby, operated by Flat Black, a local Fair Trade coffee company.

(5) Joie de Vivre Hotels

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Joie de Vivre creates the space and conditions for happiness to flourish. Through an emphasis on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the company seeks to create peak experiences at work. Under the visionary leadership of Chip Conley, Joie de Vivre operates several programs aimed to give back, be more sustainable and provide equal rights to everyone.

Fun – Joie de Vivre in French means Joy of Life.

(6) Timberland

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Timberland is all about creating community. Employees get 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer for service. During Timberland’s annual “Serv-a-palooza” day 5,300 employees, vendors and volunteers devote their day to non-profits around the world. The company also offers a six-month, paid sabbatical to employees who want to “pursue a personal dream that benefits the community in a meaningful way.”

FunBottled water is banned at Timberland. Jeff Swartz, Timberland’s inspiring CEO, says it best, “real change begins not with rhetoric, but action.” Indeed.

(7) The Container Store


Conscious Capitalism in Action

The Container Store believes “putting employees first is a profit strategy.” Employees are the #1 stakeholder and are paid 50%-100% above the industry average. Kip Tindell, CEO of the Container Store, says employees “are told everything” and receive about 240 hours of training compared to the industry average of seven hours. When it comes to transparency and training that’s hard to beat. Kip Tindell co-founded the Conscious Capital Alliance with John Mackey, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market (see above).

Fun - Employees at the Container Store use the huddle, as it’s officially called, twice a week for 10 minutes, before or after the start of business, for everything from discussing operations to getting fired up about sales.

(8) Atlas Copco

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Atlast Copco has a model for conscious capitalism called “Sustainable Productivity.” It’s more than “being green” and most succinctly described in their philosophy that “there is always a better way.” Some examples of Sustainable Productivity in action are a focus on growing female leadership, reducing carbon footprints and projects for clean water and HIV awareness. For more about their ethos and projects check out their Sustainable Productivity PDF.

Fun – The company uses “silenced drill rigs” so they don’t disturb the local community with loud noises when they’re drilling. Next step, silenced jack hammers.

(9) Chicquita

Chicquita Banana Lady

Conscious Capitalism in Action

Chicquita is proof that we can all have redemption. After a history of corruption, brutality and environmental destruction, Chicquita has reincarnated as a leader in social responsibility. They’ve amassed kudos from CERES, Social Accountability International and SustainAbiliity after emerging from bankruptcy in 2002. Chicquita is now a 4 billion company and back on its feet.

Fun – Did you  know if you peel a banana from the bottom up you won’t get the stringy things? Turns out, those stringy things have a name. They’re called phloem (pronounced FLOM). And get this, a man in India once ate 81 bananas in 30 minutes. Wow! Source

(10) Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation is considered a pioneer in healthy, non-toxic home cleaning products. I could tell you a bunch of great ways they put conscious capitalism into action, but it all boils down to one thing. They make great TP. You’ll just have to take my word for it.

Fun – If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 4-pack of 352 sheet virgin fiber TP with 7th Generation 100% recycled TP we could save 1,267,000 trees. That’s enough trees to make sure every bear can find some cover in the woods. :-)

Share Some Consciousness:

I’d love to hear about more Conscious Capitalism Companies. Which are your favorites… and why?

Please Note: The term “Conscious Capitalism” is a trademark of Conscious Capitalism Inc. I use the term to support them and to create community and content for this next phase of capitalism.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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9 thoughts on “Conscious Capitalism Companies

  1. Well, you had me. You really had me, truly, and I liked virtually everything you were saying, until…I found out who was behind this “Conscious Capitalism” idea.

    And then you really, really lost me.

    John Mackey?!?! And his company which epitomizes the entire “Green Washing” concept? John Mackey, the odious, self-promoting, “libertarian” miscreant and ersatz humanitarian?

    Mackey likes to spew his extremist right-wing views, viciously denouncing unions, comparing them to “herpes”, and claiming that climate change is just “hysteria” with “no scientific consensus” and simply an excuse “to raise taxes and increase regulation.”

    Mackey also came out vigorously against not only the Obama Administration’s very moderate health care reform, but, more pointedly, against the very idea that working citizens even deserve health care, arguing instead that it should be treated like any other consumer good in the “marketplace”, and mocking those who believed that it was a human right.

    And, as if this wasn’t enough, Mackey crowed about his admiration for the bizarre and ultra right wing atheist, Ayn Rand, and her view that the poor are essentially stupid, lazy and undeserving of a life with dignity.

    John Mackey and “Conscious Capitalism”?!?! Is this something from “The Onion”? It’s bizarre.

    I wonder how much Mackey is paying for this “Conscious Capitalism” PR stunt. Does he think that all of us are so easily hoodwinked?

    This entire “Conscious Capitalism” thing now looks like a scam, designed to take in the very people who really do want a more conscious and conscientious society. I hope people realize—as my family and immediate circle of friends have done—that this is a ruse, and a smokescreen, developed by slick, well-paid, corporate PR outfits, who are out to seduce people just like us.

    Hey there, Mackey…it won’t work. We’re on to you.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I don’t think there is anything “scammy” about a stakeholder model being more conscious than a shareholder model. Given the definition of conscious capitalism ( it appears you are saying that you disagree with Mackey being “conscious leadership” and that he uses Conscious Capitalism to push a personal agenda of extreme political beliefs. Is that correct?

    Of note, Muhammad Yunus coined the term long before Mackey started pushing it. He, too, has his detractors but if you look at what their companies have achieved (Grameen Bank and Whole Foods) compared to what Corporate America has been up to I think the difference of consciousness is significant.

    If not conscious capitalism, what do you prose as a better model to help us get out of this mess?

  3. Interesting “dialogue” between Jim & octavius. I am reminded of Ken Wilber’s psychograph. A person could rate very high on 1 factor, like Intelligence, and low on another, like Ethics. It explains why we have “enlightened” gurus who have sex with disciples. While the tenets of conscious capitalism might be quite sound and admirable, the political beliefs of founders or members could go in a different direction. Do we throw out the baby with the bath water? I noted that there were a number of highly regarded individuals associated with CC who I know have very different political or social beliefs than Mackey. Where does one want to focus? Do we seek agreement on all parameters (good luck with that!) or alignment around certain core values or a noble cause (much more likely)?

    • Hi David – To your question, I believe we align around the core value of creating “stakeholder value” instead of “shareholder value” and focus on bringing fourth virtues and principles like Honor, Inspiration, Loyalty, Faith and Glory in business instead of Greed, Fear and Manipulation. A shareholder value system is much more integrated. And the virtues transcend political and social opinion.

      And thanks for your comment and reference to Ken Wilber’s Integral Psychograph. For those who are not familiar with his Psychograph check out this link.

      For more Ken Wilbur and John Mackey, check out this great interview where Ken throws down the best political theory you may ever hear.

  4. I found you while educating a colleague running for Congress to fill Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s, empty seat & bringing her up to speed on Conscious Capitalism. Thought you might like to know we teach Triple Bottom Line Governance Leadership to diverse business leaders across the country. We’re an affirmative action legacy program designed to move diverse business talent through an alternative pipeline to corporate board service by helping our clientele transition their volunteer board governance experience into corporate advisory and private business board service.* Objective: For-profit business credentials for those that would seek to take their foothold on the board service ladder into the publicly traded company boardroom. Further, I trained as a Hospice Volunteer in the mid-1980′s, saw my late husband through the hospice home service in 1999 and am a formidable believer in death w/dignity as well as the right to reserve when and how I wish to pass.

    Just thought it would be interesting for us to learn of the other and our the commonality we share in some spheres of enlightened thinking. Also wondering if you think John Mackey’s recently dissing ObamaCare the way he did would have any negative effect on the concept of CC’s Brand.

    * Dedicated to the memory of AA’s “Father”, Arthur A. Fletcher, Ph.D., (1924-2005), who also coined the famous term, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” (1972).

  5. Conscious Capitalism is a crock simply because the “choice” to be a good stewart of “profit” would not exist at all in a truly competitive economy.
    You first need the intervention of government to set the table for a bunch of overrewarded firms and CEOs to decide they are going to be “nicer” to their employees and customers.
    Is an employer who provides health care for his workers better than one who doesn’t. Certainly, but better still is a freed market in which workers can afford to purchase what they need on their own because they are freely rewarded for their contribution to the economy.
    Conscious Capitalism is a sign that State Capitalism has progressed to a point of near total control over every facet of the economy. That some are celebrating its arrival is an indicator of how brainwashed the general population is.

    • Gene, what would you propose we do to get back to your vision of “free markets?” And help me understand how what you’re saying applies to a “shareholder model” vs a “stakeholder model.” As I see it, we could have perfectly free markets where everyone chooses to focus on shareholders all they please and that wouldn’t get us any where regardless of government. What Conscious Capitalism is saying, as I understand it, is that business is holistic. We must consciously choose to look at the entire pie. I believe the deep issue here is leadership and misplaced values on what it means to be a society (ie see crony capitalism and the industrialized world being run by a corporatocracy that couldn’t even tell you what holistic means).

  6. Nice to come across this site. Whatever you want to o call it, the stakeholder approach works. The original research in the book Firms of Endearment is great stuff. The hard part is staying true to it. The issue with John Mackey is an interesting one. He’s not the best posterboy for the “Conscious Capitalism Movement”. But he’s funding the gathering of kindred spirits. Should he step down?