Bill Weihl, ex-Facebook Head of Sustainability, on How to Affect Change from the Outside-In

From the bowels (well lit airy steel and glass conference rooms, maybe?) of google and facebook Bill Weihl fought for systemic change. After a decade, his mission hasn't changed, but his tactics have.

May 11, 2021

Climate Voice

Our voices have power. Our companies have power. Together we can save our planet.


Lex Kiefhaber, Jessica Miles

Getting companies to do things is hard. Getting companies to take climate seriously has been a slow, long, march, with many a setback and all too few victories. It's a fight Bill Weihl knows well, and recently he decided it was time to change the strategy. 

For six years Bill served as the Green Energy Czar at Google, followed by another six years as Facebook's Director of Sustainability. He was in the room when these titans of tech were evolving their consideration of what role industry has in our collective effort to combat the climate crisis, pushing for a move toward renewable energy and corporate responsibility.  After that decade on the inside, he came to the realization that he could do more to impact the actual impact these companies have on the climate from the outside. 

Bill founded Climate Voice as a means of influencing corporate action through mobilizing their employees through petitions, pledges and old-fashioned grass roots organizing. Their goal is to get the big five corporations- Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft, to commit 1 in 5 lobbying dollars to keeping the degree rise in global temperature below 1.5 Celsius. 

In this episode we talk about the mechanisms available to individuals within giant organizations, the importance of community, the frustrations that come with the terrain of pushing for climate activism, and what it means to grow as a person, colleague and corporate citizen. Big thanks to Bill for coming on and bravo for the work he's doing with Climate Voice. 


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