Real Value Documentary Review


Real Value

Directed by: Jesse Borkowski

Starring: Dan Ariely, Lyle Estill, Eric Henry

Nothing Underground, 2015,

This documentary stars Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, Durham, NC.

“Real Value” covers a variety of topics including:

  • Four diverse businesses that have an expanded definition of sustainable operations.
  • What is value?  
  • What is the greater role of profit in business?  
  • Are people willing to pay for social good?
  • Am I on the right business path?

This documentary can be seen on YouTube and Amazon and includes the following organizations:

Piedment Biofuels, Pittsboro, NC (spokesperson, Lyle Estill)- this organization creates biodiesel fuel from locally collected used oils.  To this co-op organization bigger is not always better and energy should be made where it is used. Lyle also addresses the concept of conservation in our driving habits and much more.

tsdesigns, Burlington, NC (spokesperson, Eric Henry) – Founded in 1977. They are a custom wholesale t-shirt printer.  They produce T-Shirts made from locally grown Carolina cotton. They believe in a transparent supply chain and focus on their people, the planet and their product.  They include the social and environmental impact costs into their pricing model. tsdesigns’ customers buy into the concept of buy better, buy less, and buy local.

The Redwoods Group, Morrisville, NC – (spokesperson, Kevin Trapani) Provides insurance to schools, youth camps, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and religious organizations.  The organization feels it is important to do important work and to do it well. As a self-identified social enterprise, their goal is to stop kids from getting hurt.  They review data from insurance companies to ascertain what causes kids to get hurt and they share this information with their clients in order to change business models to create a safer environment.

Sow True Seed, Ashville, NC (spokesperson, Carol Kourg) – This enterprise supports sustainable food production and regenerative agriculture.  They want to save food from disappearing. Heirloom seeds can bring back diversity to our food supply. Business principles are a key ingredient to their success and being part of the community also provides great value to the business.  It is important to be trustworthy and upfront with your customers.

This film does a great job highlighting creative ways for organizations to build both sustainable profits and sustainable practices for society.