Green venturing with a purpose
Author: Andrew J. Nemeth (EMBA 2016)
It is with great pleasure and gratitude to Notre Dame and specifically the Mendoza College of Business that I write about my own experience in “making your mark.” Business with a purpose and a moral compass is not only beneficial to the company or organization but for the greater good. That is what the Mendoza College of Business is all about — the greater good not merely just profits and shareholder value.
Thanks to my time at Notre Dame I find myself as a partner in a new venture, Andrew J. Nemeth & Sons Artisanal Imports, LLC. The genesis of this company would not be possible without Notre Dame. It all started in 2014-2015, thanks to the International Immersion Program I participated in while I was a student in the Notre Dame EMBA Program. This organization’s core competency is importing (exclusively) award-winning spirits from Brazil into the USA and North America as well as Africa into its emerging markets. This international JV Partnership is made up of people from the U.S. and Brazil from the import company and the Kalvelage Distillery.
The distillery — which I believe to be the only distillery worldwide that has won multiple gold and silver medals for more than one distilled product line (both gin and vodka worldwide) — is literally located in the South Atlantic rainforest, adjacent to a federally protected rainforest park. All of the inputs for the products come from the South Atlantic rainforest: pure rainforest water, rainforest grains and even sustainable farming for the wood to heat the kiln is sustainable while being good stewards of the earth.
After many trips to Brazil and specifically the rainforest distillery, I was able to comprehend the natural splendor, beauty, and gifts of the rainforest. My partners and I felt compelled to “give back,” as to whom much is given, much is expected in return. We decided to set up a foundation to help fund “save the rainforest,” campaigns and we will be allocating/donating $1 per bottle sold in the United States to this end and set up a foundation governed by a board of directors to facilitate the allocation of resources over future years while being “green.”
Being green is not just about being Irish and asking more of business, it is at the core of Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame! It is possible to do what is right and lead by example to impact the greater good.
Special thanks to Professor Chris Stevens, AKA “Mr. Coffee,” for his encouragement and wisdom to me to “follow your dreams and shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’re still amongst the stars.”