At Green Spaces, we have a pool of extremely talented entrepreneurs making a difference in the world every single day. We want to use our platform to highlight these efforts and encourage our readers to embrace the outstanding work that’s happening right here in Denver.
Our first member spotlight is Quinn Middleton, a trail blazer in the field of sustainability and the way its perceived in the world of business.
Green Spaces: How long have you been a member of Green Spaces and what company do you work for?
Quinn: I joined Green Spaces when I was hired by Michael Thomas in October of 2018, and we work together on two different companies within the coworking space. The fact that Green Spaces is centered around sustainability makes it a perfect fit for what we do. Michael started Campfire Labs, a content marketing company, after exiting his last startup in Silicon Valley. Our goal with this company is to support our impact fund, which is currently focused on climate policy. We’re working with tech companies right now to debunk the myth that businesses have to pollute the planet in order to grow the economy. I started out by managing all of the operations for the content marketing company, but as of January I transitioned to running the impact fund.
What are the current issues that you guys are working to solve with the impact fund?
Right now, our resources are going towards helping to implement bold climate change policy. We’re building the platform at Responsible Growth to become liaisons between the tech community and legislators supporting environmental policy change. Currently, there is a lack of involvement between the tech community and legislation, and our role is to encourage engagement between the two parties. In order for real policy change to happen, we need tech leaders to step up and voice their opinion. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for these business leaders to do so.
What is the reason you are focusing on tech leaders and climate change?
The tech industry is an ideal candidate to engage in policy advocacy to support nationally leading climate action. Tech comprises 14% of Colorado’s economy, generating $43 billion in economic activity and creating over 285,000 jobs. Comparatively, the oil and gas industry generates $31.38 billion in economic activity and creates 232,900 jobs. The tech industry has enormous economic power and therefore a ripe opportunity to influence policy. Additionally, the tech community overwhelmingly supports climate action. The below chart demonstrates the percentage of each group that ranks climate change as extremely important to them:
On the policy level, what are you working on right now?
We’re working to get support from business leaders to place Colorado back into the Paris Climate Agreement.
What are some of the most important metrics we should be focused on?
Scientists say that we must lower greenhouse gas levels to 90% below 2005 levels by 2050. We believe this is achievable to hit but we have A LOT of work to do by 2050.
How do we hit these metrics in your opinion?
Based on the current amount of pollution and the rapidly decreasing timeline, we have to look at the big polluters and big solutions rather than just try to get individuals to shift some of their actions. It’s a difficult conversation because some corporations have major financial incentive not to change.
What are some ways that tech companies can implement practices to help move the needle?
The best thing that business leaders can do right now is voice their opinion to support bold climate policy. In order to do that, these leaders have to be informed on what bills to support and how to effectively do so. My recommendation would be to find environmental organizations that can help keep you informed about key bills and how to best support them. If you’re a tech leader who cares about climate change, I would recommend joining our newsletter at https://responsiblegrowth.co/, and we’ll help keep you informed without taking too much of your highly coveted time.
Why are you passionate about sustainability?
The reason that I became passionate about sustainability is when I realized that it’s a social justice issue. Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change. For me, it’s not just about our planet, it’s about the people who are affected.
If you’re a tech leader and want to help take action on bold climate change policy, we recommend that you consider taking a look at Quinn & Michael’s impact fund, https://responsiblegrowth.co/. Their email newsletter will help you stay involved on important climate change bills that are coming up. They’ll provide you with 2 or 3 sentence overview of bills that are coming up and will let you know if the environmental community is in support. Their goal is to keep you informed as a busy tech leader so that your voice can help support actionable and bold policy for the future of climate change.