Future 500 | Finding common ground between uncommon allies



We help companies and their stakeholders apply complementary strengths to common sustainability goals.


We envision a future in which businesses and their stakeholders are equal partners in building a just and sustainable world.


Future 500 is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that began in 1995 in Aspen, Colorado.  Over the years, we have established our main office in San Francisco with affiliate offices in Portland, Oregon; Washington D.C.; Beijing and Tokyo. We are supported by an extensive network of correspondents, advisers, and senior fellows worldwide.

Success Stories

Since our inception, Future 500 has fostered the capacity for corporations and NGOs to engage one another in unique and meaningful ways. Here are just a few of our successes to date:

California’s Bottle Bill

We built a corporate-NGO coalition that crafted California’s innovative “Bottle Bill” – arguably the most cost-effective in the world – using economic incentives to drive the recycling of more than 100 billion beverage containers and a host of packaging materials and products.

Sustainability Procurement Standards for Timber

We forged a partnership between Mitsubishi companies and Rainforest Action Network, developing simple, practical procurement specifications, now adopted by over 400 companies, to save over four million acres of Old Growth forest.

Carbon Tax

Since 2009, we have been building support for a price on carbon.  Through our engagement with industry, NGOs, SRIs, climatologists and policy makers we have crafted two core policy principles.  We believe that they encompass the necessary ingredients to garner bipartisan support.  We currently have over 200 signatories, including James Hansen and Lester Brown to name a few.

Extended Producer Responsibility

From 2011-2012, Future 500 led a four part multi-stakeholder “Dialogue” series to address what Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy might mean for the United States.  As a result of these discussions, new momentum was injected into the waste issue, leading to efforts across the country around voluntary and regulatory approaches from industry and recycling  advocates alike.

Definition of Stakeholder Engagement:

Stakeholder engagement is the systematic and proactive integration of feedback from a host of individuals and organizations who feel they have a stake in an organization’s operations.