Austin businessman Brian Sheth understands the priceless power of protecting the environment. Growing up in Massachusetts, he says he was enamored with the natural wonders of nature from the time he was just a boy. Demonstrating that not all who wander are lost, Sheth eventually melded the childhood walks he took with his friend Wes Sechrest into a lifelong mission to heal the Earth. Sechrest is now the CEO and board chair of Sheth’s organization Re:wild.
“For our planet, our children and our well-being, we ensure that no one stands alone while protecting life in a changing world,” Sheth, who also founded the eco-conscious Sheth Sangreal Foundation, states on the foundation’s website.
Sheth has long been investing in the planet and says other businesses should place more value in it.
As a video on the Sheth Sangreal Foundation website states: “Our home is the only planet in the universe known to sustain life. Over 2 million species of animals, plants, and microorganisms crafted over millennia form the theaters of life that we call ecosystems. From tropical rain forests to coral reefs, grasslands to desert, rivers to mangroves to ocean. These are the heartbeat, veins, and lungs of our planet — the wellspring from which we draw everything from fresh water to clean air, crop pollination to climate stabilization, artistic inspiration to emotional well-being and happiness. We need the symphony of life not just to survive but to thrive.”
Through the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, Sheth has championed 430 projects and counting. One such project is plastics sustainability. In 2021, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation funded an initiative to aid brands in reducing the environmental impact of plastics while strengthening their plastics value chains.
“This initiative, led by science, will bring public and private stakeholders — from Wall Street and government, including local officials, to the world’s largest network of conservation leaders — to the same table to solve this global issue,” Brian Sheth told qrius.com
Sheth stresses that it’s crucial for businesses throughout the nation to define a solid set of practices with a sustainable path on how to get there while reducing their environmental impact.
Brian Sheth Explains Why Investing in the Environment Works
“It’s one of these great things and we’re still working with financial institutions going toward financial leverage to help [them] understand how to really account for this,” Brian Sheth said during a 2017 Milken Institute discussion. “But in a real dollar term, every billion dollars that we invest in environmental preservation has about 110 [times] return. [It’s about] investing in our wilderness and our wildlife.”
Sheth says that it must go beyond clean water, pure air, and organic food, which he emphasizes are important, but he wants to shed a spotlight on direct benefits to individuals in terms of arable farmland, soil preservation, and other urgent issues.
In 2021, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation presented Discovery Museum in Massachusetts a five-year, $1 million challenge grant to help the museum carry out a plan to convert to solar electricity and grow its environmental education programming.
Sheth also recently teamed up with actor Leonardo DiCaprio to draw attention to the plight of snakes living in the wildest remote areas of Ecuador, Colombia, and Panama. They were permitted to name the tree-dwelling snakes in honor of loved ones. The reptiles are in danger thanks to illegal gold mining operations that are plaguing that part of the world. Gold mining is not only deforesting these jungle regions, but it’s also causing a rise in mercury levels. Brian Sheth is hoping to raise awareness for these struggling animals and the Indigenous populations affected by the mining.
Planting trees is another root cause Brian Sheth is firmly standing behind. The business executive says he is a proud Global Citizen partner and he is working with the organization to plant 100 million trees by 2030.
“By taking care of our planet, we also take care of each other,” Sheth said in a YouTube video.
Through the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, Sheth has not only helped environmental causes; he’s also been at the helm of community causes such as donating food to those in need during times of emergency disasters in his hometown of Austin, Texas, and he has also been a benefactor to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area.
Building a Team of Equally Eco-Conscious People
Sheth says he believes assembling the right team of people matters and it helps to share a common vision. At his company, Haveli Investments, Sheth has a star-studded lineup of environmentally savvy staff members such as Lucas Joppa, who is Haveli’s chief sustainability officer and senior managing director. He formerly handled environmental sustainability issues for Microsoft.
“Nature, thankfully, which is much older than we are by several billion years, has come up with its own mitigating technologies,” Brian Sheth shares. “And so by helping to re-wild the planet and helping to invest in these nature-based solutions, I think they’re the best, most effective ways to do that.