Principal, Blu Communications
Rick Petersen is a pioneer in values-based communications. For more than three decades he has worked with leading organizations in Canada, the US and internationally to help them overcome obstacles – real and perceived – and to capitalize on opportunities to achieve their business goals, all through values-based communications. He has researched, developed and implemented CSR programs for multiple enterprises in sectors as varied as lotteries, banking, energy, retail, agriculture and many others. He was the architect of the World Lottery Association’s Responsible Gaming Framework, now a standard in 70 countries around the world.
He was described in Marketing magazine as “one of the world’s leading experts in corporate responsibility” and in 2009, was ranked as one of “Quebec’s 10 Green Leaders” in the business journal, Les Affaires. He was the founder of the annual Tremblant Forum on Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, one of Canada’s leading international conferences. Articles by Rick have appeared in Corporate Governance Quarterly, Marketing, and the book, Sustainable Development & Communications. His own book, Voices for Sustainability, was released in 2011. He is currently host and executive producer of the web TV series, Voices for Sustainability, which profiles the next generation of sustainable business leaders.
Prior to founding Blu Communications in 2011, Rick was Executive Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship for one of the world’s largest apparel companies, where he was responsible for global environmental performance, social compliance, NGO relations, engagement among 42,000 employees, community investment as well as all internal and corporate communications.
For seven years, Rick was a Partner at NATIONAL Public Relations – the fifth largest such firm in the world, and founded the pan-Canadian Corporate Responsibility communications unit, a practice that was ranked in the Top 10 in the World for communications firms by Corporate Responsibility Officer magazine. Rick and his team served clients in numerous industry sectors and regions and helped them successfully navigate both crises and opportunities.
He served on the Advisory Board for the Carbon Disclosure Project (the world’s largest network of institutional investors), the Advisory Board of the Network for Business Sustainability (Canada’s leading sustainable business think tank), and was the author of the Capital Markets and Sustainability report for the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy. Rick is an active speaker across Canada and internationally at a wide range of conferences, including those on investor relations, green business, labour rights, ethical marketing, human resources and corporate positioning. He is a guest lecturer at several Canadian universities in both Masters level business and communications programs. Rick is currently a mentor for the EcoFuel Accelerator program of Cycle Capital Management, supporting new ventures in the clean-tech sector.
Rick is also a serial entrepreneur, including co-founding Naked Sports Innovations, a Seattle-based manufacturer of the revolutionary Naked running band, now sold to serious trail runners, triathletes and marathoners in over 60 countries globally.
Active in the community, Rick has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Fondation de Dr Julien, Oxfam Quebec, Public Relations Without Borders, Students in the Running, and the Ruiter Valley Land Trust.