CEO, Sustainability Associates | Co-Founder, Alliance for Sustainability
Terry Gips is a widely published ecologist, agricultural economist, sustainability business consultant, independent Natural Step Framework (NSF) instructor, speaker and author with more than 30 years experience in global environmental leadership, government policy, sustainable development, business management and consulting.
He served as the Aveda Corporation Director of Ecological Affairs and Sustainability, where he was responsible for assuring the soundness of all aspects of Aveda operations. Gips played a leading role with Aveda’s first internal eco-audit, its landmark ECO-Salon Program, major packaging redesign and life cycle analysis, extensive organic program, corporate philanthropy, and worldwide speaking and eco-education.
Earlier, Gips was co-founder and President of the International Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (now the Alliance for Sustainability) in Minneapolis. For more than a decade he helped develop the concept of sustainability and worked to have it become widely accepted around the world through publications, speaking and policy efforts, from Minnesota’s cutting edge organic certification program and pesticide legislation to the United Nation’s Earth Summit Agenda 21 sustainable agriculture provisions.
Gips wrote the widely-acclaimed Breaking the Pesticide Habit, co-authored The Humane Consumer and Producer Guide, served as technical editor of Reviving the Land, edited Manna, and wrote numerous articles based on his work in more than 45 countries. He was selected to serve on the MN Pollution Control Agency’s Waste Pesticide Task Force, the MN Department of Agriculture’s Organic Advisory Committee, Minneapolis Public Library Blue Ribbon Task Force, and the MN Environmental Quality Board’s Ground Water Advisory Committee, which help develop and pass Minnesota’s landmark ground water legislation. He has received wide recognition for his work, including the Giraffe Award for risks he has taken to protect the environment.
He was White House aide to President Carter, Congressional Legislative Assistant to US Representative John Krebs, Cargill economic analyst and grain merchant, and co-founder and Director of the Cooperative Extension Service’s Sacramento Community Garden Program. He also has worked as a brokerage assistant with the Wall Street investment firm Neuberger and Berman and as an aide to US Representative Abner Mikva.
He volunteers as President of the Alliance for Sustainability and Board member of Congregations Caring for Creation, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and the Jewish Community Relations Council of MN and the Dakotas. He is a member of the Social Venture Network and has served as Co-Chair of Business for Social Responsibility–Upper Midwest, President of the Wedge Coop and on the boards of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, Organic Growers and Buyers Association, National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, Pesticide Action Network, University of Minnesota Hillel Foundation, Skiers Ending Hunger, Rancho La Puerta Spa and Resort, and CERES (Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies), where he helped develop the CERES Principles for corporate environmental responsibility which have been signed by 80 companies.
Gips grew up in Highland Park, Illinois and graduated cum laude from Claremont McKenna College in Public Affairs. He completed graduate work at the University of California, Davis (MS, Agricultural and Applied Economics) and the Yale School of Management (Masters of Public and Private Management). He is a graduate of the first US Natural Step Framework Instructor Course, which offers communities, business and other institutions a powerful new sustainability framework using a consensus-based, creative win-win-win approach.