Basic Info

Jeff Gowdy
Contributor Status:
Native AdVantage
Initial Contribution Date:
Primary Location:
Nashville, TN, USA

Career Info

Primary Industry:
Education, Entrepreneurship
Personal Career Headline:
Business Description (One-Liner):

Consulting company.

More Career Details:
Professor / Educator, Serial Entrepreneur
Experience Timeline:
16-20 years of work experience

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Career Snapshot:

Jeff Gowdy is a globally recognized thought leader and practitioner in sustainability and CSR. He serves on the Technical Advisory Group for the CDP Science Based Targets project and teaches at Vanderbilt. His consulting firm, J. Gowdy Consulting, has won multiple awards for its innovative work.

Jeff has served on hundreds of sustainability projects since 2002 for some of the world’s largest companies, e.g. Home Depot, Verizon, Lexmark, TCCC.

Jeff has worked as a 3rd party consultant w/ the following firms:
* GreenOrder – GE Ecomagination (2005)
* BluSkye – Walmart Sustainability 360 (2006)
* Esty Env’l Partners – Bridgestone Tires4ward (2011)
* Winston Eco-Strategies – General Mills, Kellogg science-based goals (2015)

He manages, a project & companion database for Andrew Winston’s book “The Big Pivot” , for which Jeff provided 1st draft edits.

 Jeff teaches in the MBA & Executive programs at Vanderbilt.  He has guest lectured at Clemson University, Auckland Business School & VU Peabody School of Education.

 Jeff is a Sustainability Context member – global leaders bringing sustainability context into mainstream. He is a member of the GreenBiz Intelligence Panel.

He is a frequent speaker. 2015:

* GreenBiz Forum (and 2016)
* UN Global Compact
* Sustainable Brands
* Corporate Eco Forum
* Sustainable Manufacturer’s Network
* SB New Metrics

He writes for Sustainable Brands, The Guardian, GreenBiz, Triple Pundit.

Jeff holds a BS in Systems Engineering from UVA and an MBA in Strategy & Environmental Management from Vanderbilt. He graduated with Honors from both programs. He received the Owen Service Award from Vanderbilt. 

My Native AdVantage

What do you do best?:

I can detect patterns in what others see and hear as noise. As a former client at WWF once stated: “Sometimes access to the vast amounts of information available to us can be overwhelming. One of Jeff’s talents is to wade through this sea of information, identify the key ideas and trends, and translate them in a clear and creative way.”

What makes you the best version of yourself?:

What makes me good at what I do? A variety of life experiences have exposed me to a wide range of variables, which is helpful in solving problems. Learning to play an instrument, living in a foreign country, backpacking alone in the wilderness…all lead to heightened awareness of the world.

What are your aspirations? (Personal and Business):

Personal: To finish backpacking both the Colorado and Appalachian Trails (about halfway through each via section hiking). Then on to others like the John Muir Trail and the Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Business: To publish a book on the leading sustainability locales around the world, kind of a travelogue with pictures and sprinkled with analysis

Biggest Success?:

Professionally, running my own consulting firm for ten years straight out of business school, while being invited back to teach at that school.

Personally, being a good dad and husband.

Most Challenging Moment?:

Starting my own business straight out of business school with just under $1000, an old laptop, and student loans due to multiple banks.


“Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens.”

Favorite People/Role Models?:

People that love to travel, to eat good food, and to listen to Eddie Vedder and Jack Johnson.

Favorite Places/Destinations?:

Swimming off a remote beach in the middle of the ocean, hiking to a mountain top above the cloudline.

Favorite Products/Objects?:

I like anything from Patagonia. They may be the one truly sustainable company. And they are run by really cool people.

Current Passions?:

Finding more quiet and peace in an increasingly noisy world…via Transcendental Meditation, swimming, hiking, yoga, music, basketball.

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