February 2nd –

Meet the GreenBuzz Zurich Volunteer Team!

We are proud to have a great and diverse team of sustainability professionals supporting our activities with their expert knowledge.

Simon Sudbury has a wide experience in the corporate world, including FMCG, the BBC and startups. Along with his compulsion for evidence-based thinking and growing olive trees, he energises our community at events as a moderator who does not shy away from asking the tricky questions, too.

We asked Simon to share his personal sustainability journey with us, what it means to him and how he wants to create impact at GreenBuzz. Read his answers here:

Why did you choose to join the GreenBuzz Zurich team and what role do you play within the organisation?

I’ve been around environmentalism for ages, both privately and, at times, professionally. (I was lucky enough to be involved with the BBC Natural History Unit 25 years ago.) Over that time, I have seen various environmental trends come and go and GreenBuzz is the perfect way to stay in touch. I love its energy and it is an honour to be invited to help out as a moderator. In the spirit of the maxim that “the best disinfectant for bad ideas, is better ideas”, I think it is essential to speak openly about options and impacts. This is how I see my role as a GreenBuzz moderator.

What does sustainability mean to you?

In a word, Humanitarianism. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are framed from a humanitarian point of view. By far the most important is SDG 1, “No Poverty”. 

In your opinion, what do you see as the biggest challenge for sustainability within your industry?

My worst fear is not the end of the world, but that we inadvertently hurt people, especially the poor, through bad policy choices. A cornerstone in a humanitarian calculus (and SDG1) is surely that all lives have equal dignity and I worry that sometimes we de-emphasise this in our thinking, and fixate instead on planetary factors. The “availability bias” plays a role here, but my own theory is that this distortion of priorities is more to do with the fact that humanitarian metrics like QALY (Quality Adjusted Life Year), are harder to use than planetary/physical metrics like ppm or tCO2. So in my view the biggest challenge is finding a way to spread this humanitarian way of thinking in the sustainability community and beyond.

And on a more optimistic note, what is a positive development within your industry with regards to sustainability (either a solution to the above-mentioned challenge or an outlook towards positive change)?

Just use QALY thinking. Once you start it’s easy.