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Len Sauers is among the most optimistic people I know in the world of corporate sustainability executives. For years, I’ve watched him enthusiastically and relentlessly extol the commitments and achievements of his company, Procter & Gamble, where he is Vice President for Global Sustainability. I know a few other eternal optimists in the field — McDonald’s Bob Langert comes to mind — but Sauers is right up there.
One might easily write him off as a corporate mouthpiece, someone paid to sing pitch-perfectly from the company’s hymnal. But as I’ve watched and talked with Sauers over the past decade or so, I’m fairly certain that’s not the case. Sauers not only believes deeply in his company and its sustainability mission, he cares deeply about it, too. He is part of a small corps of committed souls not often heralded in the world of corporate sustainability.
His unbridled optimism came through during two recent conversations — the first when I ran into Sauers at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference in May, the second during a follow-up phone call last month.