John Friedman Managing Director, Grant Thornton Environmental, Social and Governance and Sustainability Practice
John Friedman is a managing director in Grant Thornton LLP’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Sustainability practice, based in the firm’s Arlington, Virginia office. As a member of the firm’s ESG and Sustainability leadership team, Friedman focuses on developing sustainability strategies and reporting solutions for organizations ranging from the middle-market to the Fortune 500.
With an international career spanning three decades, Friedman is an award-winning ESG and sustainability leader who has helped global companies integrate their operational, financial and cultural initiatives into sustainable and responsible business practices. He has also been instrumental in helping companies of all sizes rise to the top of the sustainability rankings for their respective sectors, including building materials, food service and facilities management and energy. Additionally, Friedman has extensive experience helping organizations define long-term sustainability goals, especially as it relates to environmental stewardship, social progress and sound governance practices.
Friedman is a respected voice in the ESG community, often presenting at colleges and universities as well as meetings and conferences, including Sustainable Brands, 3BLForum, Just Means and Business for Social Responsibility. He has also authored several books on sustainability and has been quoted frequently in national news outlets.
He received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Albany State University and a business certification from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Professional qualifications and memberships
- Named a SustMeme CSR & Business Top 500 (2013-2021)
- Named to Environmental Leader 75 in 2018
- Named ‘Thought Leader in CSR’ by Fast Company in 2014
- Ranked #3 on the GreenBiz Corporate Sustainability Twitterati Index in 2014
- Voted #4 on the list of ‘100 leading Voices in CSR’ by Global CEO MagazineReaders in 2014
- Voted #2 on Triple Pundit’slist of the ‘leading bloggers’ in sustainability on Twitter in 2013
- Ranked #14 on the list of most influential voices in sustainability in America by Guardian Business in 2013
Selected presentations and publications
- “Managing Sustainability: First Steps to First Class” — Author
- “PR 2.0: How Digital Can Help You Build a Sustainable Brand” — Author
- Those So-Called Intangible Assets Matter More than Ever. Here’s Why;Triple Pundit
- 5 Business Lessons From Corporate Responsibility;HuffPost
- Bringing Venture Capitalism to Sustainable Development;HuffPost
- Presentation: Research, Measurement and Metrics to Ensure Business Impact; George Washington University
- Presentation: Role of Business in a Global World; Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business
- Presentation: Intersection of Journalism Digital and Content; Tsignhua University