Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our NEW Business Stratgety Books #FFSS VOL1 and #FFSS VOL2
Ripple Foods, which makes dairy products from peas, was cofounded by Adam Lowry, who previously cofounded Method, a line of eco cleaning products, and Dr. Neil Renninger, who previously cofounded Amyris, a renewable products company. The two already had built companies that disrupted their industries by making products that benefit people and the planet. So, it is no surprise that when they took on the dairy industry, they met with tremendous success. Ripple recently raised $65 million in a Series C round of venture capital funding, bringing its total funding to $108.6 million.
Knowing that both dairy and almond milks are sustainable and nutritional nightmares, Lowry and Renninger wanted to create a plant-based alternative that is better for you and the environment. Ripptein is the cleanest plant protein on earth and is used to make Ripple’s milk, half-n-half, and Greek yogurt alternatives. All Ripple Foods products are natural, vegan, lactose-free, soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free, as well as a good source of calcium and Vitamin D. They’re also bottled in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic.
Here, Lowry and Renninger discuss their journeys to aligning their careers with their passion and life purpose.
MeiMei Fox: What you do for a living?
Adam Lowry: I make milk! And I used to make soap. But it’s more than that. I create social and environmental change by doing business in a fundamentally different way; a way that aligns the interests of society, environment, and business such that as the business grows, its positive impact multiplies. I want to redefine success in business from simple financial returns to a more shared and durable prosperity. Business is the largest and most powerful force for change on the planet, so business has the onus to improve the state of the world and the people living in it. Doing so requires redesigning business itself. That’s what I really do for a living!
Neil Renninger: I helped to start and run Ripple Foods, which makes plant-based foods delicious. We do this by taking a rigorous scientific approach to their development in order to best mimic their animal-derived counterparts. Our food system represents 30+% of the carbon emissions of the planet, worldwide. It’s an enormous problem requiring some very significant solutions, but “Big Food” only spends 1% of revenue on R&D. Most of that is spent on developing new ways of packaging and delivering products to consumers rather than developing new products, and an infinitesimal amount is spent on making our food system more sustainable. We’re showing the industry that investment in R&D can lead to unique solutions that drive significant financial return while also providing products that are better for the planet.
Fox: How did you discover your life purpose?
Lowry: At the risk of reinforcing the cliché, I have always been a person who feels most at home when I am outdoors, in nature. It’s almost religion for me. It’s where I feel most peaceful and most connected. In college, I began to pursue this passion through ecology and environmental science. It was there I really started to understand the connectedness of things, not just in nature, but between nature and economy, prosperity and environment.
Renninger: My father is responsible for starting my fascination with sustainable living. It’s interesting that you don’t really understand the parts of your childhood that are atypical until you get to be much older. We recycled as much as we possibly could when I was a kid. This was in the 70’s and 80’s when it was relatively hard to recycle, and I remember taking the stacks of newspapers we had bagged up and cans and bottles that we saved and bringing them once a month to the recycling center to sort through and deposit. That experience provided a foundation for me: Do what you can, put in that extra effort, because the planet is worth it, and it’s the only one we have.
I became interested in the intersection between technology and the environment in my teenage years and went to MIT with the goal of finding technologies that could impact climate. I founded my first company out of PhD work I was doing at UC Berkeley that focused on the production of renewable fuels and chemicals, and Ripple is an extension of that same goal – to use technology to make the planet more sustainable.
Fox: How does what you do for a living reflect your life purpose?
Lowry: I am proving that a sustainable business is a more valuable and profitable business, both with Ripple Foods and with Method. The more I show that, the more I drive change for the better on a physical level, macroeconomic level, and a cultural level. That’s super meaningful to me!
Renninger: I always feel lucky that I’m able to work on solutions to problems where we can actually quantify the impact that we have. Every bottle of Ripple that we sell offsets the significant emissions that would have been seen through the use of dairy milk. We’ve taken the equivalent of 5000 cars of emissions off the road. It’s a big impact and a great start.
Fox: What are the greatest rewards of pursuing a career that has value and meaning to you?
Lowry: Feeling that you’ve contributed to something larger than yourself. It gives you purpose, which is gratifying in its own right, but also helps you push through the inevitable tough times that come in any job.
Renninger: For me, the greatest reward of having a career that aligns with my values is the pleasure of getting up every morning fully motivated to get to work because of the impact that work can have on the world. I also have the pleasure of working with amazingly talented, similarly driven people, which makes the workplace an incredibly motivating place to be.
Fox: What are the greatest challenges of your chosen career path?
Lowry: Building and leading a sustainable business requires a broader skillset than a traditional business. You need to be just as good at running a business as the soulless corporate raider, but with the additional skill to do so while simultaneously solving for the other two bottom lines in a triple bottom line business; which are the environmental and social results. It’s like being a CEO times three.
Renninger: To develop great technological solutions to problems takes time. To do so with hard science (as opposed to working with bits and bytes) takes significant capital. Success takes the right combination of rugged perseverance, humble learning, and an investor base that is patient and there for the long-term vision. Finding people who are willing to run through walls with you is incredibly challenging. But there’s nothing like the feeling of finding a new solution to a problem that no one has solved before and seeing the impact of that solution.
Fox: How can other people tap into their life purpose?
Lowry: I think the first thing is understanding what motivates you. What do you deeply care about and want to see be different or better in the world? Then ask yourself what are the most effective ways to get after that? It could be a business or non-profit or government that already exists, or it could be something that needs creating. But figure out where your leverage point is to make that change, and intersect that with the work you enjoy doing. Then go for it!
Renninger: First off, I’d like to recognize that it’s not healthy to always equate one’s work with one’s life purpose. Some of us are lucky enough to have aligned the two. To get compensated for doing what is meaningful to you is a truly a blessing. But I think it’s more common to find your purpose outside of the workplace – be it with a non-profit, a group within your community, or with your family. All of these are incredibly important and equally valid sources of purpose for anyone.
That said, we’re lucky to live in a time when so many businesses are purpose-driven and many sources of capital are looking for purpose-driven investments. If you have a new idea that you think is worth pursuing, by all means try and execute on your vision. There is nothing more motivating than getting up and working on something that is your idea, creation, and vision.
March 13, 2019 at 09:51AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs