Future 500 traces its roots to a pioneering 1996 agreement between the Mitsubishi companies and Rainforest Action Network. When RAN targeted Mitsubishi over deforestation in its supply chain, the companies turned to Bill Shireman, a seasoned negotiator who had recently helped pass California’s “Bottle Bill” (AB 2020).
Through a series of meetings and discussions with other environmental thought leaders – and after one critical fly-fishing trip – Shireman helped Mitsubishi executives work with RAN to craft a bold new forestry stewardship strategy. The resulting framework was ultimately adopted by nearly 400 companies, instigating a global transformation in forest conservation practices.
Inspired by the successful engagement, Shireman and Mitsubishi Electric chairman Tachi Kiuchi founded Future 500, a global organization dedicated to finding common ground for the common good. In the 20+ years since, Future 500 has helped countless companies, NGOs, and other organizations craft systemic solutions to our most pressing environmental and social challenges.