Giving Compass' Take:

• Mary Mazzoni and Rachel Zurer share how Letitia Webster came to the conclusion that business is an effective mechanism to build a better world. 

• How can philanthropists help business align their financial and environmental goals? 

• Learn about starting a social enterprise

“I’ve always been heavily engaged in the environment and cared deeply about it from a young age,” says Letitia Webster, global vice president of corporate sustainability for apparel conglomerate VF Corp.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1994 with a minor in environmental policy, Webster moved from Ohio to Colorado, where her love affair with the great outdoors grew deeper. She worked as a river raft guide and ski instructor, while taking part in multi-stakeholder campaigns to protect the state’s natural resources. Her work brought her together with fellow environmentalists, as well as developers and government officials.

As her mindset shifted, Webster began to see the benefit in marrying the needs of private industry and the preservation of communities and the environment. “Bringing those two perspectives together is what creates change,” she says.

Now, Webster is a staunch advocate for the role of business in creating a better world. “I’m not saying change doesn’t happen on the individual level or at the government policy level. It does. But when you can change the way business operates, you illustrate a value proposition with the potential to shift entire markets — which can fundamentally change how we do things.”

Read the full article about building a better world by Mary Mazzoni and Rachel Zurer at B the Change.