We can all do more. If we think about it, each of us, within our own capacity and means, can do a lot more for the only planet we have.
From time to time, you come across people who not only do more for the planet but also empower others to do the same. This inspires others to do as much as possible for the common good.
Brian Sheth is one such person. His story is fascinating and motivating, and one thing is clear — this planet and its inhabitants are better off for it.
“We haven’t found another planet, yet, that has any life on it,” Sheth said in an interview with global media platform Worth. “And the clean air that we breathe, the clean water that we drink, all the things that we sometimes take for granted come from the biodiversity that is on the planet.”
Let’s take a closer look at Brian Sheth and his relentless pursuit to retain, restore, and revitalize our planet.
The Road To Riches
A self-made billionaire, Sheth is a co-founder and former president of a private equity firm and one of the world’s youngest billionaires. With a net worth exceeding $2 billion in 2018, he left his corporate life in 2020 to dedicate more time to his philanthropic efforts.
It’s essential to reflect on one of the aspects that makes Brian Sheth unique. The pursuit of wealth, for many people, is a lifelong quest. It also tends to be all-consuming, addictive, and obsessive. Sheth, however, chose a different pathway. Some might even say that he chose a path in the polar opposite direction.
Since departing from the corporate sector in 2020, he’s been dedicated to positively impacting the world, primarily in children’s services and wildlife conservation. He told Worth, “The biggest challenge of my generation is to maintain some sense of ecological balance and [to ensure] that we have clean air and clean water for my kids and hopefully several generations after that.”
Brian Sheth’s first venture into conservation was Earth Alliance, an organization formed to help protect the planet’s life support systems. Three co-chairs founded this nonprofit: environmental activist and Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio, businesswoman and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, and Sheth.
The alliance was formed in response to a growing climate crisis and biodiversity loss that both threaten life on Earth. To maximize the impact of Earth Alliance, the Emerson Collective (founded by Powell Jobs), the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, and Global Wildlife Conservation (chaired by Sheth) pooled their resources.
According to its website, the Earth Alliance is dedicated to protecting ecosystems and wildlife, ensuring climate justice, supporting renewable energy, and securing Indigenous rights. In areas most affected by biodiversity loss and climate change, the Earth Alliance will provide grants, fund campaigns, and work with grassroots organizations and individuals.
In an interview with Variety, DiCaprio said, “Laurene and Brian are incredible civic leaders who share my passion and understanding of the urgency and scale of the challenges we face. I am proud to partner with them to form this new larger, nimble platform that shares resources and expertise while identifying the best programs to drive real change around the planet.”
Originally from Austin, Texas, Brian Sheth also devotes much of his energy to local issues. His Sheth Sangreal Foundation contributed to a multimillion-dollar campus for the Boys & Girls Club of the Austin Area (BGCAA), which serves underprivileged kids. A total of 120,000 children worldwide have benefited from the foundation’s learning programs and advancement opportunities.
“We’re committed to the long term support of our neighbors, many of whom aren’t supported by traditional means,” Sheth says.
The number of children living in poverty has increased significantly in recent years, making it almost impossible for them to reach their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. In response, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation stepped in — and stepped up — and made a multimillion-dollar donation, largely funding a new facility for the Boys & Girls Club.
The BGCAA Home Club opened on April 26, 2019, on the Sheth Family Campus. The facility includes an indoor athletics facility, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis and basketball courts, a teen center, a STEM learning center, a library, a computer lab, and art, recording, and dance studios.
The Sheth Sangreal Foundation
The mission statement of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation reads: “For our children, our planet and our well-being, to ensure no one stands alone while protecting life in a changing world.” Through this fantastic foundation, Brain Sheth can make a real difference in the lives of millions of people through charitable and environmental initiatives.
The Sheth Sangreal Foundation has saved 50,000 miles of forest and 83 species from extinction and impacted over 120,000 children worldwide. It has 430 projects and over 90 ongoing partnerships with like-minded organizations, governments, local authorities, and communities spanning over 80 countries worldwide. The foundation has contributed over $60 million to save our planet.
And here’s where Sheth’s business expertise comes into play: According to the foundation’s website, ”Brian applies the same systems-driven strategies that have yielded billions of dollars of value for investment partners to the charities and programs he supports. His breakthrough strategies and leadership resources foster operational excellence and measurable impact in programs that support the resilience and wellbeing for all life on Earth.”
Earth Matters — Brain Sheth and Re:wild
Brian Sheth is a co-founder and emeritus chair of Re:wild, formerly known as Global Wildlife Conservation. Its mission is as follows: “Conserve the diversity of life on Earth, where all of life has value and can flourish: plant, animal and human. We can retain, restore, and revitalize our planet.”
Sheth believes that environmental conservation is a good investment and that it’s possible to measure the return on investing in environmental conservation in real dollars. The benefits include “not only clean air, water, and food, which are all important, but also direct benefits to people like arable farmland and soil preservation.”
The organization was founded by Leonardo DiCaprio. With offices in 50 countries, Re:wild is dedicated to protecting ecosystems and wildlife worldwide. In 2020, the organization helped preserve 45 million acres of wilderness and improved the status of 835 species listed as endangered.
Saving The Islands: Brian Sheth and Re:wild Come Together for the Galápagos Islands
In 2021, Newsweek magazine reported that DiCaprio had pledged $43 million to restore the wildlife population on the Galápagos Islands. His pledge includes numerous other islands in Latin America.
Sheth and his wife, Adria, joined forces with DiCaprio in this effort.
The following activities will be undertaken in Latin America over the next 10 years:
— Increase the protection of each country’s waters to 30%
— Restore a minimum of 25 islands
— Ensure local economies are sustainable and resilient
— Protect and manage twice as many areas
— Enhance the working capacity of regional restoration ecologists by protecting area personnel
Sheth is an excellent example to all of us to do as much as possible to preserve our beautiful planet. We can all do more, and there’s no better time than right now.
“If you look at something that’s going to impact all of the people on the planet,” Sheth says, “and disproportionately impact people who are used to a great standard of living, i.e. Americans — environmental degradation is No. 1 on the list.”