Five inspiring green entrepreneurs
In celebration of Earth Day 2016, we’re spotlighting some of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs who’ve made a positive impact on our planet, through their commitment to living an eco-friendly lifestyle and growing environmental awareness. Read on to discover who we’ve picked as our top five!
Coveted British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is credited for bringing punk rock fashion to the forefront in the 1970s and has since been known across the world as one of the fashion industry’s most prominent leaders. No stranger to pushing for environmental change, Westwood reportedly donated £300,000 to the UK’s Green Party in 2015, and is also an advocate for vegetarianism. In a commercial for PETA in 2014, she recited, “By avoiding meat, you do more for the environment than recycling or driving a hybrid car.”
Former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, has built a career in environmental activism, and his efforts to raise awareness for global warming were recognised when he became a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In a speech made at NYU Law School in 2006, he said, “Many scientists are now warning that we are moving closer to several tipping points that could – within as little as 10 years – make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilisation.”
Often regarded as the fastest man on Earth, Usain Bolt has become a household name in sports since his big win at the 2008 Olympics, held in Beijing. Using his celebrity as a platform to inspire others to give back to the environment, Usain serves as an ambassador for the Zeitz Foundation, which since 2008, has been creating and supporting global ecological projects with an emphasis on conservation, community, culture and commerce. Usain has also proven himself to be a wildlife advocate, when he decided to adopt a cheetah during a ceremony at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) headquarters in 2009.
Arguably the original celebrity environmentalist, Robert Redford has been dedicated to protecting the earth since the 1970s. His political activism, generous donations, and commitment to protecting US land and wildlife has earned him accolades from several awarding bodies. In 2007, he was named “Hero of the Environment” by Time Magazine, and in 2009, he was the recipient of Duke University’s lifetime environmental achievement award in the fine arts. The actor is also the founder of the Sundance Institute, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance Catalog, and the Sundance Channel, which airs “The Green,” an environmental programme which showcases modern day ecological issues.
Recognised as the world’s premier chimpanzee expert, the legendary Jane Goodall started her career in primatology at the age of 26, when she moved from England to present-day Tanzania in 1960 to study and observe apes in their natural habitat. For over 55 years, Jane has dedicated her time and energy to wildlife conservation, and today, the Jane Goodall Institute furthers those causes via sustainable development programmes, targeted to Tanzanian communities and local partners. In an interview with Discover Magazine in 2007, she remarked, “Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans have been living for hundreds of thousands of years in their forest, living fantastic lives, never overpopulating, never destroying the forest. I would say that they have been in a way more successful than us as far as being in harmony with the environment.”
If you’re an eco-entrepreneur in the making, keep checking InterActive's news and social media pages for information about our upcoming 2016 Eco-entrepreneur Scholarship, to be launched on Earth Day 2016, where you could win a fully funded online MBA programme!