Sustainability Champions is a multimedia brand that highlights the people working hard to solve the most significant environmental challenges we face today. Founder Daniel Hartz created a platform to share the voices of those pushing sustainability to inspire others to make a change. Sustainability Champions has grown to over 127,000 followers on Instagram and 16,000 on LinkedIn since launching.
“The key to Sustainability Champions is that people inspire people. They are people just like us, who have a passion and a skill and use it to make a positive impact on the environment. We follow a storytelling formula of this person PLUS their action EQUALS a positive impact. I read about these personal journeys, and it makes me wonder what more I can do to help. The hope is that it does the same for others,” shared Daniel.
The founder wears many hats, including entrepreneur, creator, and leader of his media brand. He created a multimedia brand because he was inspired by the innovations of others every day and believed there was value in sharing these powerful messages. Daniel adds, “as a creator, I look for ways to share positive messages in fun and engaging ways and always welcome feedback.”
The expectations and desires people have for the companies they support are changing. More and more consumers are looking to support brands that align with their values. Sustainability Champions has featured companies around the world that are finding that it is more cost-effective, and even more profitable, to adopt greener practices.
“From the corporation that switches to biodegradable plastic to the footwear startup using plant waste as raw materials, going greener often makes economic sense,” Daniel shared. “For longer-term projects, we are seeing venture capital investments going into verticals never considered previously, from cultivated meat to DACS (direct air carbon capture and storage).”
Every industry has the option and opportunity to adopt more sustainable practices and potentially save money at the same time when it is done at scale. Businesses that sell directly to the end users tend to get a lot of public support by catering to ever greener public demand, but many B2B companies are also doing their part. One example is Climeworks, a company recently featured on Sustainability Champions that recycles carbon dioxide. Nonetheless, many companies still have a way to go.
“I prefer to look at which industries have the biggest hurdles to overcome,” Daniel shares. “I think for the construction industry it is the most challenging. Just as an example, the cement industry alone produces 7%-8% of global carbon emissions and the steel industry produces another 8% of global carbon emissions. Finding ways to reduce the carbon emissions from producing these materials will be extremely difficult, but I am confident that we can find a solution!”
For companies looking to do their part and become more sustainable, Daniel suggests open and honest communication with customers about your plan to be better. He adds, “set goals for your organization and be transparent about your progress. I have found that people are much more receptive to a company’s sustainability goals when share what is really going on even if it is not perfect. Anything is better than not saying anything or trying to cover it up with greenwashing style tactics.” Every attempt to become a greener company is a good thing. We are seeing more companies normalizing the creation of chief sustainability officers and publishing their progress with this goal in mind.
The more we talk about sustainability as it pertains to companies both large and small, the more we make this as an important part in running a business. Sustainability, carbon footprint, and green innovations are topics being discussed at our dining tables and that should carry over to our boardrooms as well. The more these concepts are normalized, the more they will be factored into daily decision-making at the individual, company, and government levels.
Daniel adds, “there are so many people, communities and companies working hard to solve some of the greatest environmental challenges and I want to find them and share their inspiring stories. I hope Sustainability Champions can be an antidote to the doom and gloom in the news and be a place to encourage more people to act and be a champion in their own environment.”