Green.org sat down with James Hand, Co-Founder of Giki, which helps people learn to live more sustainably and then take step-by-step actions to cut their carbon footprint.
James, thank you for joining us. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I am the co-Founder of Giki a mission led B-Corp whose mission is to help people learn what they can do for the planet. I founded Giki with my wife in 2017 following a 20 year career in Finance where I was the co-Chief Investment Officer at a global asset management firm and led our ESG initiatives.
What would you do with $1 Billion dollars?
Say thank you. And then: $500m to set up and run a global programme which educates young people about the importance, and benefits, of sustainable and healthy diets. Funding would include direct help to communities who are food insecure because of climate change. $350m to fund retrofitting of old houses for people in the lowest economic decile so they are more energy efficient including funding for research to show the benefits and how this can be scaled. $100m to educate women and girls about climate change and adaptation. Women and girls are both the most affected, and most vulnerable, to climate change. $40m to set up a prize that will fund 40 start ups focused on individual climate action. And $10m for Giki so we can accelerate our mission!
Why do you think sustainability is such an important topic today?
Because the effects are now being felt by billions of people and they are going to accelerate over the coming years. Everyone will be affected, some catastrophically, and yet we have many of the solutions that we need to halve emissions by 2030. And because nature will be affected in the same way. There is no bigger issue that is so tied to health, biodiversity, security and economic wellbeing.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
Totally transformed. Individuals will have an understanding of their carbon footprint, and their carbon budget, which will impact and shape their day to day decisions. Countries around the world will look to engage their population about what they can do to live more sustainably and people will see that a sustainable life has many co-benefits including health, community relationships and saving money.
What can the average person do to make a difference?*
2 big things. 1) the average carbon footprint in wealthy countries is 10 tonnes. Everyone needs to cut a tonne every year by 2030. The top 1%, with footprints over 50 tonnes, need to cut much more 2) use your influence at work and in your community to bring more people with you.