Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here! I’m back with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present this galactic exclusive with Yuji Satoh, co-founder, CEO, and COO of Impala Hub. Let’s see what he is doing to make a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Yuji, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Impala Hub addressing?
Yuji: It’s great to be here, Spiffy! We are addressing plastic pollution. Over 99% of plastics are made from fossil fuels and the materials take hundreds of years to decompose in the natural environment. As the materials are derived from fossil fuels, it is closely linked with greenhouse gas emissions.
Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?
Yuji: I traveled to Fiji islands during holidays in the past and I witnessed huge piles of plastic waste sitting next to the beautiful coastline. By looking at the waste, I thought I was destined to take action to solve the problem.
Spiffy: That’s inspiring! What would you say is the impact of your work?
Yuji: Impala Hub helps companies find more sustainable materials that can replace fossil-based virgin plastics. Our work results in reducing plastic and carbon footprints.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent milestone/initiative by you or your organization. What impact does that make?
Yuji: We have signed several commercial agreements with companies and are about to replace quite an amount of fossil fuels-based virgin plastics with more sustainable materials. Plastic and carbon footprints will be reduced by every ton of virgin plastics we replace.
Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Yuji: I have been conscious about environmental pollution and destruction since childhood. I was always upset to see polluted rivers and green fields turning into concrete. I felt it was unfair that the environment was handed over to us in that state. Now the situation is even worse and I don't want the next generations to feel the same way. I believe it is our job to build a foundation to solve the problem for the future.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Yuji—it’s been an honor!
Yuji Satoh is the co-founder, CEO, and COO of Impala Hub. He has experience working at a plastic component manufacturing company and a Japanese government agency. He dealt with projects related to plastic alternative materials, waste management, and renewable energy. He holds an MSc in innovation and entrepreneurship and a BA/BS in policy management and agriculture science. (Nominated by Alexey Ermakov at Impala Hub. First published on the Ladderworks website on February 7, 2024.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.
© 2024 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Sujit Kunte. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.