How Ted Turner has built success by sticking to a few key principles

On a mission

If you look in the parking lot at Turner Enterprises Inc., you’ll see solar panels, which Ted Turner installed as an energy source.

“Anyone can do that, and the technology already exists, and it works,” Turner says. “This building is going to be powered by those solar panels.”

Turner is passionate about environmental causes and encourages other business leaders to follow suit.

“They can put solar panels on a fence post — electrify your fence and keep out people that you don’t want to come in. Keep your cattle in or your bison for that matter,” he says. “We use solar electric power fences on a ranch. If you have a house, you can have a solar hot water heater.”

If you’re not quite sure if solar power is the way to go for your business, Turner suggests at least seeking outside help to identify ways for your business to make a difference.

“Hire an environmental consultant to come up with recommendations specific to your company and business for how you can cut down your carbon footprint and use less energy,” Turner says.

Beyond the big things, he points out there’s also myriad small things you can do. For example, when you walk into Turner’s office, it’s dim. He keeps the lights off to save energy and only turns them on when he needs them. Additionally, he uses low wattage bulbs. He also suggests looking around you for the obvious.“As you walk down the street, if you see piece of trash, you can bend over, pick it up and carry it to the next closest wastebasket,” he says. “Making the world a better place is as easy as picking up a piece of paper.”