Susan Rockefeller, Karine Ohana and the investment bank Ohana & Co. hosted an event on Thursday evening in Paris having a “Brands With a Mission” theme.
Ohana said her company has been “very committed to [working] now with more sustainable and ethical brands…and developing this area that is so important for the planet and the environment.”
Ohana and her brothers, Ariel and Laurent, teamed with Rockefeller a decade ago, and she now serves as an advisory board member at Ohana & Co. that mentors on environmental issues.
Ohana was addressing the soiree’s attendees, who hailed from France, Switzerland, the U.S., Israel and China, at company headquarters on the Right Bank.
Rockefeller said it’s of upmost importance for her and her husband David Rockefeller Jr. to think about sustainability. “We are really in a state of emergency in terms of climate change and the work that we need to do to reach sustainable development goals,” she said.
“There are many solvable ways that we can do that,” continued Rockefeller. “One of the most interesting forces is to use business, be innovative and look at responsible innovation.”
That was the focus of the evening, and a number of entrepreneurs at companies with a similar vocation presented to the guests, including:
• Respire, a clean, natural deodorant brand, based in France;
• La Bouche Rouge, a luxury eco-lipstick line, based in France;
• Mother’s Choice, a maker of next-generation personal-care products, based in Israel;
• CuraLife, a producer of condition-specific natural supplements, based in Israel;
• Biologique Recherche, a personalized skin-care brand using pure, raw active ingredients, based in France, and
• Watergen, a producer of water from air, based in Israel.
Rockefeller hopes people move from consumption to creativity. “That’s why I’m so interested in the arts — and innovation in the arts,” she said, adding with her husband they share the mantra: “To protect what is precious.”
David Rockefeller Jr. thanked the entrepreneurs for having told their stories. His story is 150 years old, starting with his great grandfather, who founded the Standard Oil Co. Rockefeller mused about what his family member would have done today were he creating a company.
“Knowing what we do, I don’t think he would have been extracting oil from the ground,” said Rockefeller. “He would have been extracting sun and heat from the middle of the earth, and the wind from the atmosphere.
“It’s really interesting to think about that,” continued the philanthropist. “He probably helped to save the whales. Whale oil was the principle source of illumination for lamps. We need to think about [how] as we do one thing, what are the possible benefits and the possible liabilities. I salute all of you who are thinking so carefully about that.”