What Drives You On Your Sustainability Journey? 10 Industry Leaders Weigh In
What drives you? What’s your why?
I’ve had the opportunity to ask nearly 100 entrepreneurs, executives, and industry leaders this question on the Bigger Than Us podcast. While conserving resources for the next generation is an underlying theme, their personal stories tell a bigger story. Here are some of the most recent answers that reveal the far-reaching impacts of climate change and environmental issues that have inspired these individuals to work to have an impact that is bigger than us.
“I’m very interested in problem-solving, especially pressing challenges. Things that really matter. I was attracted to water pollution…and then extended to energy challenges…and that just evolved.”
Climate and Clean Energy Finance Program Officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
“Intrinsically, I just want to have an impact. I want to have an impact on society that’s beneficial and I hope that we would all aspire to have that type of impact. It’s not easy. The bigger impact you want to have, the more challenges and adversity you’re going to face.”
Matthew Dawson, Ph.D.
CEO of Utility Global
“The environment has always been something that I’ve cared a lot about ever since I was a kid. And I remember in elementary school…we had the local recycling company come in…that was my first sort of taste of these concepts and these issues and I remember running home and declaring to my parents that we must get recycling bins!”
Director of Sustainability at Lyft
“I’m driven by a need to establish purpose, I need to have been relevant. If that’s important to me, maybe that’s narcissistic. But that’s how I feel. And the manifestation of that in my case is a deep commitment to the long term protection of the biosphere, to recognize things that are disruptive and problematic, and then to seek solutions that will try to mitigate that harm in a way that’s productive long after I’m gone.”
Founder and CEO of Fermata Energy
“I saw the opportunity to leverage a company I already worked for instead of leaving Kickstarter to do sustainability…if I can leverage the platform to build sustainable principles into these companies at an early stage, I saw that as a really great opportunity to pursue that work.”
Vice President of Insights and Head of Environmental Impact at Kickstarter
“I just grew up kind of oblivious. I thought brown hazy skies and rotten egg smells wafting through the air was normal…I had no idea growing up that it was the actual chemical plants and gas or oil refinery just down the road that was really making our air quality so poor.”
Founder and President of Zero Waste Strategies
“I had read the Intergovernmental Panel Report on Climate Change…I felt like someone’s got to do something, and someone needs to go around and educate businesses.”
CEO of Sustainable Business Consulting
“I was aware of the problems that we’ve created, and I just couldn’t sleep at night without contributing to solutions. As a water scientist, I know how fast our freshwater sources are being depleted. And I had to do something to address that.”
Founder and CEO of Chapul Farms
“…for me, it’s always been about ‘is what I’m doing something that is going to bring about positive change?’ And that’s been in different forums in different ways. But that’s really been the driving key for me…”
President of the Long Term Stock Exchange
“…peace is a core requirement for justice and education and human development and growth. And so it’s always just been a motivating factor for me…”
President and Co-Founder of Energy Peace Partners
We’d love to know, what drives you? Join the conversation with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Sign up for our monthly newsletter where we share what we’re reading and thinking about in the cleantech green tech sectors, plus links to the latest podcast episodes and our new comic.
- #110 Russ Mallen, Head of Sustainability & Science at MUSE Virtual - October 30, 2020
- #109 Lisa Jacobson, President of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy - October 27, 2020
- #108 Gary Cocke, Director of Sustainability at the University of Texas at Dallas - October 23, 2020