195 episodes

A podcast about a recovering software entrepreneur (me!), and my quest to reorient my career around helping solve climate change for this next chapter and beyond. Includes interviews with people in the thick of tackling this problem, and commentary from yours truly. I'm glad you are here!

My Climate Journey Jason Jacobs

    • Business

A podcast about a recovering software entrepreneur (me!), and my quest to reorient my career around helping solve climate change for this next chapter and beyond. Includes interviews with people in the thick of tackling this problem, and commentary from yours truly. I'm glad you are here!

    Startup Series: Terraformation

    Startup Series: Terraformation

    Today's guest is Yishan Wong, Founder & CEO of Terraformation.

    Before founding Terraformation, Yishan served as CEO at Reddit and was an engineer at Pay Pal and Facebook. After exiting Reddit, Yishan learned that native forest restoration outperformed any other known method of carbon capture by nearly an order of magnitude. However, he also found three significant bottlenecks to large-scale forest restoration: land availability, freshwater, and seed. So, in 2017, Yishan founded Terraformation to restore forests and reduce global emissions. Terraformation believes that reforestation is one of the fastest, most efficient, and immediately scalable solutions to address climate change. Its low-risk, politically feasible carbon drawdown solution aims to restore forests at a global scale. In June of this year, Terraformation announced a $30M raise.

    In this episode, Yishan explains his motivations for founding a climate startup, the ambitious mission Terraformation has set for itself, and why reforestation is essential in addressing climate change. We also discuss Terraformation's solution, its most recent raise, and scaling global forest restoration. This is an excellent episode for those interested in reforestation as a climate solution.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded July 1st, 2021

    • 56 min
    Ep. 166: Costa Samaras, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

    Ep. 166: Costa Samaras, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

    Today's guest is Costa Samaras, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

    Costa Samaras began his career as a civil engineer working on several multibillion-dollar infrastructure megaprojects in New York, including rebuilding the subway line underneath the World Trade Center after September 11th. After pursuing his Masters in Public Policy at NYU and his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Civil & Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Costa served as a Senior Engineer and Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation and an Adjust Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon. Costa has also led analyses on energy security, strategic basing, and infrastructure issues faced by the Department of Defense. Since 2014, Costa has been an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He has published studies examining electric and autonomous vehicles, renewable electricity, transitions in the energy sector, was a contributor to the 4th National Climate Assessment and was one of the Lead Author contributors to the Global Energy Assessment. Costa also developed the course "Climate Change Adaptation for Infrastructure," one of the first civil and environmental engineering courses in the world that teaches climate change adaptation to engineers.

    Costa joins me to talk about the clean energy transition and why climate mitigation and resiliency are paramount as we built the infrastructure of the future. Costa explains his research at Carnegie Mellon and what motivated him to focus on climate as a civil engineer. We also have a lively discussion about voluntary individual action versus significant systems changes and why policy and public engagement is essential to address climate change. Costa is a great guest with a wealth of knowledge on resiliency, automation, and the energy transition.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded June 23rd, 2021

    • 50 min
    Startup Series: Carbicrete

    Startup Series: Carbicrete

    Today's guest is Chris Stern, Co-Founder & CEO of Carbicrete.

    Carbicrete is a Montreal-based carbon removal technology company that is developing innovative, low-cost building solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company's patented technology, first developed at McGill University, enables cement-free, carbon-negative concrete production. The process uses an industrial by-product – the slag from steel factories – to replace cement as a binding ingredient in precast concrete products. The process injects CO2 into the fresh concrete to provide strength while permanently sequestering the carbon.

    In this episode, Chris outlines Carbicrete's mission, its technology, and what makes the company unique. Then, we dive into the process of taking technology from the lab to market and non-dilutive capital versus equity capital when raising funds as a startup. Chris also explains why cement is so hard to decarbonize and what gives him hope that we can address climate change.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded June 21st, 2021

    • 36 min
    Ep. 165: Graeme Pitkethly, CFO of Unilever

    Ep. 165: Graeme Pitkethly, CFO of Unilever

    Today's guest is Graeme Pitkethly, CFO of Unilever.

    Unilever is a multinational consumer goods company with 400 brands focusing on foods and refreshments, home care, and beauty and personal care. In 2010, Unilever announced its Sustainable Living Plan with climate-focused benchmarks and goals.

    Graeme joined Unilever in 2002 and has served as Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Unilever UK and Ireland business. Before taking the CFO role, he held several senior financial and commercial positions within Unilever, including Senior Vice President of Finance for Global Markets, Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions, and Chief Financial Officer of Unilever Indonesia. Graeme brings considerable experience to the role, having spent the earlier part of his career in senior corporate finance roles in the telecommunications industry and at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He also serves as Vice-Chair of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

    I was excited to record this episode as Graeme has been on our guest wishlist for quite some time. Graeme walks me through Unilever's sustainability goals over the last decade, an overview of the company's carbon footprint, and how he ended up focusing on climate. We dive into Graeme's perspective on carbon offsets, carbon pricing, and the areas that are hardest to decarbonize for Unilever. He also touches on why sustainability is vital to the future of the global economy and what initiatives would most accelerate tackling climate change.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded June 17th, 2021

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Startup Series: NCX

    Startup Series: NCX

    Today's guest is Zack Parisa, Co-Founder & CEO of NCX.

    NCX, previously known as SilviaTerra, is a forest carbon marketplace. Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, NCX created an AI-powered forest called Basemap to connect American landowners with net-zero companies. For landowners, NCX makes it possible for them to get paid not to cut. For buyers, NCX provides greater transparency for carbon credits that has measurable and immediate impact. Built on a decade of industry-leading expertise, NCX takes a data-driven approach to democratize carbon markets in forests.

    In this episode, Zack and I discuss NCX's mission, the company's origin story, and how Zack became climate motivated. We dive into the key phases and staging of NCX, their recent collaboration with Microsoft, and what makes the company unique. We also have a lively discussion about the controversies about carbon credits, why a voluntary market can only get us so far, and what policies would most accelerate NCX's success. It was great to have a conversation with Zack and learn more about NCX.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded June 11th, 2021

    • 56 min
    Ep. 164: Mira Inbar, Partner at ArcTern Ventures

    Ep. 164: Mira Inbar, Partner at ArcTern Ventures

    Today's guest is Mira Inbar, Partner at ArcTern Ventures.

    ArcTern Ventures is a Toronto-based climate-focused venture capital fund. They invest in early-stage climate startups across industries, energy, and agriculture mobility.

    Growing up in Southwest Florida, Mira watched as the natural habitat around her was replaced by parking lots, supermarkets, and housing developments. After graduating from Oberlin, Mira volunteered with indigenous communities replanting trees in the Urubamba River valley and worked at Forest Trends, an international conservation organization. She then jump started her career as an environmentalist in the platinum mines of South Africa. Before joining ArcTern Ventures, Mira spent over a decade launching clean energy businesses in large corporations like Dow Chemical, NRG, and Shell.

    In this episode, Mira walks me through what first motivated her to focus on climate and her career path from entrepreneurship to sustainability to venture capital. She explains ArcTern Ventures' approach to investing, how the firm tracks impact and supports its portfolio. Mira also touches on greenwashing, the viability of a carbon tax, and the energy leaders of tomorrow. Mira has a unique background and experience that make her a fantastic guest.

    Enjoy the show!

    You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and email at info@myclimatejourney.co, where I encourage you to share your feedback on episodes and suggestions for future topics or guests.

    Episode recorded June 18th, 2021

    • 48 min

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