Hi everyone! I’m Spiffy, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with an eye on entrepreneurs making a difference on climate change. Today I’m talking with founder and CEO of Zooterra, Julio Corredor.
Spiffy: Hi Julio! It’s great to have you here today! Tell me, what climate-related challenge are you addressing with Zooterra?
Julio: Hi Spiffy, it’s great to be with you. So, a confluence of factors are driving businesses to operate more sustainably, and at the same time, the sustainability world has become complex and fragmented. Zooterra is a sustainability data intelligence platform that was created to help businesses navigate this ever-changing world. Specifically, we help companies save time and make smarter decisions. Our mission is to organize the world's sustainability data to drive sustainable organizations and protect our planet.
Spiffy: Oh, so companies can modify their data and create positive change on the environment?
Julio: That’s right, Spiffy. When we think about the current state of our planet, we are dealing with twin environmental crises: climate change and loss of biodiversity. As a world, we have to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and curb the loss of the natural environment — which is being lost at a rapid rate. We believe that businesses have a huge role to play in both of these areas.
Spiffy: You’re right Julio, whether it’s a small “mom and pop” shop or a large corporation, businesses have a huge role to play! So, what kind of ripple effect do you think this could have? How could this make life more equitable for others?
Julio: Zooterra brings all sustainability data under one roof and creates a tide that lifts all boats. As companies see the efforts of others in their industries, they can increase their own efforts and collectively raise the sustainability ambition to achieve goals such as protecting forests and achieving carbon neutrality sooner. For example, 1.6 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods, so progress on forest protection has an impact on communities around the world.
Spiffy: It sure does! What kinds of things are you doing right now to help turn the tides and create a greater impact?
Julio: Well, Spiffy, we recently completed a pilot in which companies from different industries, ranging in size from tens to thousands of employees, had an opportunity to use our platform. The pilot helped us validate the need for this type of data and identify areas that we need to further develop. It also provided the perfect input to inform our current fundraising efforts and determine how we will use incoming investments.
Spiffy: That’s great, Julio! Practice makes perfect! With these opportunities for improvement, I’m wondering if you ever experienced a full-on failure?
Julio: We have had a few instances when we were sourcing the data for our platform and thought we wouldn’t be able to properly extract the data, given the diversity of source documents. These obstacles have actually created opportunities to innovate our process and find new ways to use technology to achieve our goals.
Spiffy: So I guess obstacles don’t have to mark the end of something. I wonder what other interesting lessons you’ve learned lately?
Julio: Actually Spiffy, one of the unexpected things I’ve learned from sustainability professionals is the degree to which they are willing to collaborate with professionals from other companies to accomplish systemic change in sustainability. That has given me hope that we can affect change to protect nature and our planet.
Spiffy: The planet needs that hope! Thank you, Julio, for sparking hope and working at turning the tides of climate change! It’s been a pleasure talking to you!
Zooterra's founder & CEO, Julio Corredor, has a business background with significant experience in data and innovation, including roles in corporate innovation at Pfizer, nonprofits like CARE, and the International Society of Sustainability Professionals - NY. With Zooterra, Julio is applying his background, and passion for nature, to bring an innovative sustainability data product to market. (Nominated by StartOut)