Meet Our Founder
Sandra Taylor, President & CEO (Full Bio)
A woman of global environmental impact
A pioneer in the field of sustainability and CSR, Sandra Taylor has been responsible for the development of groundbreaking global strategies and initiatives, bringing major brands, including Starbucks and Eastman Kodak, into the global sustainability realm. As an executive for Starbucks, she led the creation and launch of C.A.F.E. Practices, influencing global standards for environmental sustainability and ethics throughout the coffee industry, with major focus on equitable supply chains.
International Business Leader and Corporate Board Member
Sandra Taylor is a passionate yet pragmatic advocate for corporate responsibility, ethics and environmentally sustainable business practices, both globally and locally. She possesses deep expertise applied to meet the growing need to balance sustainability and prudent risk management. In her corporate roles and as an entrepreneur, she has been a builder and motivator of diverse teams that transcend cultural, geographic and political barriers to achieve challenging goals and transform organizations in a competitive business climate.
Her experience includes active involvement in areas that can have significant impact on business operations, such as crisis management, supply chain management, strategic change leadership, gender diversity, sustainable business operations, proactive risk management, public relations and external communications. She has served on both for-profit and nonprofit boards of directors, including DE Master Blenders 1753 N.V. in The Netherlands, a spin-off of Sara Lee Corporation and Capella Education Company in the US.
From coffee to wine: A discerning palate
As an expert in coffee sustainability, Taylor has traveled the world of coffee – Central and South America, East Africa, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia – honing her palate regarding the distinct regional differences, unique flavors, acidity and varietals of coffees from around the world. Her work with coffee helped develop and expand her decades-long avocation of wine tasting, wine collecting and wine tourism. Thus she was inspired to reach out to winemakers regarding sustainability issues, while pursuing a master in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious Bordeaux School of Management. Learn more about Sandra’s wine journey at: DISCOVER SUSTAINABLE WINE
The written word
Taylor is a writer and published author. She has written articles about supply chain management, marketing sustainability, motivations for environmental and social responsibility in wine value chains and the role of sustainability in corporate governance. Her first book: The Business of Sustainable Wine: How to Build Brand Equity in a 21st Century Wine Industry, will be released August 1, 2017 and available on Amazon. In The Business of Sustainable Wine, Taylor offers a new view of how the industry can be an important actor in sustainable agriculture. Like fair trade cocoa and shade grown coffee, wine must, sooner or later, meet the powerful demands of social activists and a growing consumer contingent for ethical and organic products. Read about the book at: DISCOVER SUSTAINABLE WINE
Changing the world
Taylor has a unique talent for creating the kind of partnerships that make a difference. From the establishment of micro-loan programs and price equity standards for coffee farmers in Central America, to educational opportunities and clean water programs for impoverished children in China and Africa, Ms. Taylor has raised the bar regarding corporate philanthropy and innovative social investment. She reached out to Save the Children to launch the Guatemala Education Initiative, which provides educational opportunities for indigenous children in coffee-growing regions, and partnered with the Chinese Soong Ching Ling Foundation to create the China Education Program for that country’s children in impoverished rural provinces.
Economic advocacy for women
Devoted to women’s economic advancement throughout the world, Taylor organized and led a coalition of NGO leaders, corporate officers and representatives from academia and the media, known as La Pietra Coalition, to take on the issue and bring it to the attention of world leaders, successfully campaigning the G20 Heads of State to put women’s opportunity on the agenda for their 2011 meeting in France and 2012 meeting in Mexico.
“The only way to sustain a business is to have a sustainable business.” Sandra Taylor
As an established global expert in sustainable development and social responsibility, Taylor is often invited to speak at conferences around the world. She is an educator — as Expert in Residence at Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco as well as guest lecturer at Georgetown University and Stanford University Graduate School of Business. And she is a wine educator and founder of Fine Wine Divas of Washington, DC, a learning experience for women on the origins of wine grapes, geography, terroir, viticulture and sustainability, and tasting techniques for fine wine.
Awards & Recognition
World Environment Center Gold Medal Award 2006; Puget Sound Business Journal Women of Influence Award 2006; Corporate Ambassador, Vital Voices Global Partnership 2008; Aspen Institute’s First Mover Fellowship 2009; Outstanding Black Alumni Award, Boston University School of Law 2010; Johnson Institute Exemplary Leadership Award 2015