Sust Global’s climate risk analytics platform enables investors, companies and data scientists to understand the impact of future climate events. We have pioneered techniques using Spatial AI (satellites and machine learning) to give greater confidence in the data, and frictionless integration into customer workflows.

How has the business evolved since its launch? 

Sust Global have stayed true to our mission of ‘enabling every decision to become climate informed’, and tactically we have remained focused on providing accurate, flexible climate data

and frictionless integrations into customer workflows. The thing that has evolved is the market for climate risk analytics - regulatory drivers and real-world climate events have led to a huge increase in applications of our data, and we have been amazed at the creative ways in which customers utilise our analytics to find solutions for regulatory reporting, risk management, and implementing climate adaptation measures.

What is your favourite thing about being a founder?

It’s a cliché but being a founder is never boring, and you’re constantly learning. It’s incredibly fulfilling to be learning, solving interesting problems, and working with incredibly gifted climate operators on a daily basis. It also allows a really positive framing of our approach to some of the biggest global issues like the climate crisis – working on these problems creates a sense of autonomy and excitement for solutions, rather than the fear of the future that many have today.

Which founders or businesses do you see as being the most inspirational?

There are three business that spring to mind:

  • Big thinking: Pete Worden. Pete was the Director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, and now leads the Breakthrough Initiative which is exploring space and finding life beyond earth. Pete’s work at NASA played a key role in enabling SpaceX, Planet Labs and countless other startups to succeed, including Sust Global.
  • Building in public: Sam Corcas at Levels, a metabolic health startup. Sam is a really inspirational CEO who has decided to build in public – every team meeting and many internal documents are made available to the public. This increases trust, and also has provided me with a lot of value in learning how to run Sust Global more effectively.
  • Giving back: TAP London is an initiative set up by Polly Gilbert and Katie Whitlock, enabling Londoners to easily give to charitable causes and organizations addressing homelessness. The initiative has been rolled out to multiple cities, and is now being led by the Mayor of London. Polly and Katie have worked hard on this project for many years, and it’s great to see entrepreneurs focusing on the growing social issues that we see everyday in our cities. 

Which other figures in your life inspire you?

I think about previous generations of family - we’re all just links in the long chain of human history. I also like to think about how my grandkids will remember me, and how the actions I make today will decide on that.

Outside of family and business, I love talismanic sports people. Francesco Totti and Alan Shearer for showing loyalty to their football clubs and cities, and Allen Iverson for never backing down from a fight in the NBA.

What has been your biggest business fail?

I turned up to a European Space Agency conference in Germany to present Sust Global’s work that was funded by ESA, and confidently walked onto the main stage – only to find that I was supposed to give a technical poster that could go on the wall outside the conference room. 

What are the things you’re really good at as a leader?

Being a founder is a balancing act of articulating a vision of how the world could be and creating a plan that can get us there. It requires big vision and ruthless execution.

Which areas do you need to improve on?

As a founder you are constantly faced with new problems that you have never solved before, so it’s very clear to me that every area of my work needs to be improved on a daily basis.

What’s in store for the future of the business?

We recently launched Sust Global’s Carbon Initiative. This project allows carbon project developers, data scientists and companies to access AI-enhanced risk models with guidance from our team of climate scientists. Participants can access forward-looking wildfire and carbon sequestration data on over 190 carbon offset projects across the globe. We’re looking forward to expanding our work in the natural carbon sector through this initiative, and to collaborating with new partners that are working on exciting climate action projects (such as forest restoration and conservation for the purpose of reducing carbon emissions).

We’re also continuing our work with financial data providers and other financial institutions to provide our climate risk analytics to more users, helping to facilitate the shift to sustainable finance and ensure that every decision we make is climate-informed.

What advice would you give to other founders or future founders?

The amygdala was an incredibly useful part of the brain when we were hunting wooly mammoths - if you fail, you die. It’s an incredibly useless part of the brain in entrepreneurship – failure is just another way of learning – fail faster, learn faster, and don’t be afraid. 

And finally, a more personal question! We like to ask everyone we interview about their daily routine and the rules they live by. Is it up at 4am for yoga, or something a little more traditional?

Wake up, walk the dog, have a cup of coffee with my fiancée. After that, the day can get very crazy, so starting the day spending quality time with loved ones is one of my life’s great little pleasures.

Josh Gilbert if the CEO of Sust Global.