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Meet 30 Rising Stars Under 30 Fighting Climate Change at Work

Younger adults lead other generations in seeking purpose-driven work: A large majority of Gen Z (86%) and Millennial (89%) workers say that having a meaningful mission is important in their career, according to a Deloitte survey of 22,800 younger workers.

They’ll even “climate quit” when their employers renege on sustainability commitments.

This year’s GreenBiz 30 Under 30 list recognizes the rising stars of sustainability. These are the people who are driving change, at scale, at some of the world’s largest organizations. 

The ninth class of the GreenBiz 30 Under 30 were all born on or after March 29, 1994. They hail from the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil and the Philippines.

The GreenBiz editorial team has selected these individuals from nearly 300 nominations submitted in the spring, for their unique and effective efforts to impact the climate crisis at scale.

They are working at corporate giants like BlackRock, Estée Lauder and Whole Foods; startups such as HelloFresh and Circ, and non-governmental organizations including EDF and GRID Alternatives. 

Their vocations include making sure that Starbucks serves ethically sourced coffee beans, doubling JetBlue’s sustainable fuel usage and helping drive Zara’s use of recycled fabric.

Their influence is already vast: Assessing climate risk for $2.5 trillion in assets under management at Barclays. Engineering millions of square feet of low-carbon buildings at Gensler, the architectural firm. Setting up the U.S. Department of Energy’s $3.5 billion carbon-removal hubs.

And they’re doing hard, difficult work that often goes unsung, like electrifying truck fleets and home appliances, embedding circularity into food and textiles, and installing renewable energy sources at companies that previously burned oil.

It’s important work, and it’s just beginning. Wish them well — because we’re all going to live in the future they are creating today.

—Elsa Wenzel

The 2024 GreenBiz 30 Under 30

Getting the carbon out of consumer goods

Kayalin Akens-Irby, Head of Growth at Planet FWD in San Francisco

Kayalin Akens-Irby, 28, helped sign this product life-cycle assessment startup’s first 50 consumer goods customers, including Blue Apron, Compass Group, Patagonia Provisions and Ritual. She was also instrumental in closing its $10 million Series A fundraising round in 2022.

Before joining Planet FWD in January 2021, Akens-Irby conducted due diligence for ESG investments by Malk Partners and other private equity firms, which had a total of more than $300 billion in assets under management.

— Heather Clancy

Kayalin Akens-Irby

Wants to bring a net zero city to life

Alex Authie, Associate, Energy and Sustainability at AMA Group in California

Alex Authie, an engineer, has certified millions of square feet of LEED building projects, from low-slung stores to high-rise offices. His work has yielded electricity savings approaching 2 dozen gigawatts.

Three years ago, the 27-year-old created AMA Group’s Energy and Sustainability Group, which he leads. This past year, he has worked on three LEED Platinum and half a dozen LEED Gold certifications.

In a side project, Authie is developing a calculator to help Californians grapple with the state’s upcoming decarbonization laws.

— Elsa Wenzel

Alex Authie

Cisco’s Scope 3 footprint

Sneha Balasubramanian, Sustainability Specialist at Cisco in Austin, Texas

Sneha Balasubramanian, 29, helps quantify Cisco’s Scope 3 supply chain emissions by gathering data from across the $186 billion company’s many divisions.

Earlier, at carbon-market nonprofit Verra, she helped develop a plastic recovery and recycling program. That work drew from her previous experience with Tetra Pak, where she worked with waste pickers in India to keep Tetra Pak cartons out of landfill sites.

— Elsa Wenzel

Sneha Balasubramanian

Keeping JPMorgan on track with the Paris Agreement

Raunak Barnwal, Vice President at JP Morgan in London

Raunak Barnwal, 29, was a lead architect of JP Morgan’s “Carbon Compass” framework, aligning its financial portfolio with the Paris Agreement.

He was instrumental in setting portfolio-level emissions intensity reduction targets for carbon-intensive sectors — a first for U.S. banks. 

Barnwal, an electrical engineer, also advises companies on financially pragmatic climate transition strategies.

—Meg Wilcox

Raunak Barnwal

Starbucks’ ethically sourced coffee

Ngozi Chukwueke, Africa Technical Associate, Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices at SCS Global Services in Washington, D.C.

Starbucks buys more than 3 percent of the world’s coffee annually. It’s Ngozi Chukwueke’s job to verify that the company’s suppliers in East Africa are selling beans sourced ethically from farms that meet environmental and economic equity standards.

Chukwueke, 25, co-chairs the diversity, equity and inclusion committee for SCS, and is also part of the Black Oak Collective, a nonprofit that seeks to increase Black representation in environmental and sustainability jobs.

— Heather Clancy

Ngozi Chukwueke

Finance for reforestation

Tin Dalida, Chief Operations Officer and Co-founder at Wovoka in Manila

At carbon finance company Wovoka, Tin Dalida leads mangrove and forest restoration where 2 million tons of carbon will be sequestered over four decades. 

Dalida, 26, previously quantified carbon stocks in mangroves and seagrasses across 16 Philippine provinces as a researcher at the University of the Philippines.

In the California carbon compliance market, she traded credits for electric vehicles and Renewable Energy Certificates for solar farms, generating more than $3 million.

—Meg Wilcox

Tin Dalida

Working on product sustainability at Estée Lauder

Dan Dinh, Assistant Manager, Product Sustainability at The Estée Lauder Companies in New York

Dan Dinh drives green chemistry, ingredient transparency and packaging sustainability for Estée Lauder. She tracks product sustainability data across its product portfolio and works with the $44 billion company’s brands, which include Aveda, Clinique and Origins, to identify levers to eventually reduce Scope 3 emissions and packaging waste.

Dinh, 27, drew on her training in environmental and public health in earlier work where she evaluated personal-care product safety for consultancy Cardno ChemRisk.


—Elsa Wenzel

Dan Dinh

Climate comms at the London Stock Exchange

Edward Freer, Sustainability Communications Lead at the London Stock Exchange Group

As a college student, Edward Freer began his career as a steward, guiding crowds at Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium. Its “Red Way” sustainability campaign inspired his career.

Now, he’s leading climate communications at the $48 billion London Stock Exchange Group. The 25-year-old led the firm’s communications on its double materiality assessment (reporting on how the company affects the environment and how the environment affects the company), London Climate Action Week and educated employees on sustainability progress.

— Elsa Wenzel

Edward Freer

Millions deployed with pre-seed climate startups

Hannah Friedman, Founding Principal, Independent Strategic Financial Advisor at Planeteer Capital in New York

At VC firm Closed Loop Partners, Hannah Friedman deployed tens of millions of dollars to early-stage carbon and circular materials startups, and helped raise a $50 million-plus fund.

Two years ago, Friedman, 28, founded Planeteer Capital, where she is raising $75 million for pre-seed climate tech ideas. She has backed three startups involving carbon removal from buildings, repurposing electric vehicle batteries and carbon auditing.

— Heather Clancy

Hannah Friedman

Cruise line emission cuts

Holly Funk, Manager of Energy Performance at Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings in Miami

Holly Funk, 29, supports Norwegian Cruise Lines’ fuel and energy savings efforts, including new technology investments. By optimizing ship itineraries, she identified ways to save 15,000 tonnes of CO2. Funk leads fuel emissions reporting for the fleet’s 32 vessels, supporting the $7 billion company’s ambition of net zero by 2050.

The South Floridian studied biological engineering before joining Norwegian as a supply chain specialist, and then became an energy data analyst. 

—Elsa Wenzel

Holly Funk

How climate risk affects loans for farmers

Vincent Gauthier, Manager, Climate-Smart Agriculture, at Environmental Defense Fund in Boston

Vincent Gauthier grew up on farms. His groundbreaking research with the Environmental Defense Fund helps agricultural banks understand how climate risks like extreme temperatures affect the loans banks give to farmers and ranchers. 

Gauthier, 28, is studying how regenerative agriculture affects yields and profits in collaboration with the Intertribal Agriculture Council.

— Heather Clancy

Vincent Gauthier

BlackRock’s emissions reduction initiatives

Nicoline Good, Associate, Corporate Sustainability at BlackRock in New York

Nicoline Good, 28, is part of a team that manages BlackRock’s multimillion-dollar operational emissions reductions. In 2023, she developed BlackRock’s guidelines for carbon and sustainable aviation fuel credits and onboarded a new team of ESG data controllers at the $10 trillion investment management company.

Before BlackRock, Good worked in Indonesia and for consulting firm ERM, where she helped over 20 companies calculate and manage more than 300 million metric ton of greenhouse gas emissions.

— Heather Clancy

Nicoline Good

Low-carbon commercial architecture

Peter Harrison, interior designer and climate action + sustainability specialist at Gensler in Portland, Oregon

Architecture giant Gensler designs and creates more than 1 billion square feet of commercial space each year. Peter Harrison, 29, is working to ensure that all of it comes from circular or low-carbon material.

Harrison led Portland International Airport’s use of safer chemicals for indoor materials, and contributed to the LEED certification for San Francisco International Airport’s Terminal 3.

He also leads training on Gensler’s product sustainability standards.

—Elsa Wenzel

Peter Harrison

Jack Daniel’s supply chain emissions guru

Maile Hartsook, Environmental Sustainability Program Manager at Brown-Forman in San Francisco

Maile Hartsook managed a climate initiative to reduce more than half of Brown-Forman’s Scope 3 supply chain emissions. The pilot launched at the corporate parent of Jack Daniel’s amid internal resistance with 12 suppliers in spring 2023. It eventually became permanent and doubled in size.

Hartsook, who turned 30 in late May, also worked on a plan to change Brown-Forman’s packaging, which would cut product-level emissions by 5 percent.

Next up: Hartsook is researching Brown-Forman’s strategy for water, nature and biodiversity loss.

— Heather Clancy

Maile Hartsook

The future of sustainable aviation fuel

Bella Horstmann, Senior Analyst, Sustainability & ESG at JetBlue Airways in New York

Bella Horstmann, 25, manages JetBlue’s efforts to make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) account for 10 percent of its fuel use by 2030. To that end, she doubled JetBlue’s use of SAF over the past year and more than doubled sales of the company’s SAF certificates. She also signed future agreements for more than 100 million gallons of SAF.

Horstmann is currently in charge of the airline’s quantitative analysis of progress on greenhouse gases and science-based targets.

—Elsa Wenzel

Bella Horstmann

Recycled fabric fashionable enough for Zara

Arshiya Lal, Director of Corporate Development at Circ in New York

At textile-recycling startup Circ, Arshiya Lal launched the first recycled polyester and cotton blend collection with Zara and worked on a denim product made from waste-based lyocell and recycled polyester.

Before that, at Modern Meadow, she developed lab-grown leather handbags for Everlane, Tory Burch and Senreve.

The 28-year-old founder of the Atlanta Fashion Tech Summit has also experimented with 3D-printed recycled plastic garments for Milan Fashion Week.

—Elsa Wenzel

Arshiya Lal

Advancing Host Hotels’ 2030 goals

Andrew Loranger, Senior Analyst, Energy & Sustainability at Host Hotels & Resorts in Bethesda, Maryland

In two years at luxury hotel owner Host, Andrew Loranger led 68 energy return-on-investment programs, slashing Host’s energy and water consumption and saving $2.1 million annually toward its 2030 goals.

Loranger, 27, helped stand up five new 1.3MW solar projects, and he’s drafting a $15 million plan to bolster Host’s climate resiliency and bring on another 5MW of solar capacity. 

Loranger has past experience in supply chain logistics at Amazon.

—Meg Wilcox

Andrew Loranger

HelloFresh’s supplier decarbonization agenda

Pedro Alexandre Martins, Senior Sustainable Sourcing Manager at HelloFresh International in Berlin

In his first year at HelloFresh, Pedro Alexandre Martins overhauled sourcing strategies for a supply chain representing more than 1 billion euros in spending. A new fund helped the meal-kit company’s suppliers invest in emissions reduction measures and regenerative agriculture.

Martins, 29, is also responsible for the HelloFresh “no deforestation” agenda. He spent five years as head of sustainability at Brazilian startup Liv Up, scaling up purchases of organic vegetables from smallholder farmers without increasing consumer costs.

— Heather Clancy

Pedro Martins

Preparing Mexico for the 2026 World Cup

Kermith Morales Moguel, Impact Manager at United Nations Global Compact in Cordoba, Mexico

Kermith Morales Moguel, 29, helps sustainability execs at Mexican companies weave UN climate and human rights principles into their operations.

His team tripled the number of Mexican companies signing on to the Science Based Targets initiative. They’ve trained more than 120 companies on the SBTi commitments.

Moguel is preparing a proposal to train Mexico’s 2026 FIFA World Cup cities in sustainability practices.

—Elsa Wenzel

Kermith Morales Moguel

From protest to policy

Marcela Mulholland, Deputy Director of Partnerships at the Carbon Removal Alliance in New York

Marcela Mulholland’s climate career began with the Sunrise Movement, a climate protest group: She was arrested at a 2018 sit-in demanding a Green New Deal at the office of then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Now Mulholland, 26, is shaping policy. She helped set up the Department of Energy’s $3.5 billion regional demonstration hubs for carbon-removal technologies. At the Carbon Removal Alliance, she helps companies tap the government funding needed to bring those new technologies to life.

— Heather Clancy

Marcela Mulholland

Human rights and social impact at EY

Charles Orgbon III, Manager, Climate Change & Sustainability Services at EY in San Francisco

At age 12, Charles Orgbon III founded the nonprofit Greening Forward, which raised more than $250,000 in cash, and $500,000 in-kind resources for 10,000 youth climate activists. “Young people bring a different mindset, energy and creativity to the table,” Orgbon says.

As an adult, Orgbon, 28, has built a career in sustainability consulting. He joined EY two years ago where he advises clients on energy, waste, water and supply chain issues, and provides insights to its human rights and social impact practices.

— Heather Clancy

Charles Orgbon III

Going the extra mile for heavy-duty transportation

Colton Orr, Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at Gladstein, Neandross and Associates in Los Angeles

Colton Orr, 28, works on large-scale clean transportation projects. That means building electric truck charging stations to make it easier to charge medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, or “drayage” trucks at ports, and solar-powered battery storage providers for last-mile logistics.

In less than two years at GNA, his work has yielded big savings in both CO2 emissions (250,998 metric tons) and air pollution while increasing “range security” for fleets looking to transition to zero-emission vehicles.

—Meg Wilcox

Colton Orr

Designs for health and climate

Daniel Park, Sustainable Design Specialist at HOK in Ellicott City, Maryland

With global design firm HOK, Daniel Park, 27, has left his mark on more than 10 million indoor square feet of buildings, shrinking their carbon footprint by 23,000 metric tons.

One example: In designing a mental health center in Southern California, Park simulated the daylight, views and temperatures to optimize patient health with heating, cooling and ventilation needs.

—Elsa Wenzel

Daniel Park

The strategist behind Anthropologie’s regenerative cotton collection

Sarah Reice, Sustainability Manager at Anthropologie in Philadelphia

In April 2024, Sarah Reice, 27, helped shape the launch of Anthropologie’s first shirts, shorts and dresses featuring natural dyes and cotton from farms that use regenerative practices designed to improve soil health.

She started her sustainability career at B Lab, where she oversaw assessments for large companies seeking B Corp status, including Nespresso and Patagonia. “My overarching commitment lies in democratizing sustainability, making it accessible to all,” she says.

— Heather Clancy

Sarah Reice

Putting an end to food waste

Kaity Robbins, Senior Program Manager of Diversion at Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas

As a child, Kaity Robbins went on Earth Day trash pickups and recycling drives. Later, she created a composting program for Boston University.

Now Robbins, 29, is working on Whole Food’s goal to halve waste by 2030. 

Her team's wins so far include making 30 million pounds of annual food donations and diverting 40,00 pounds of food through a partnership with Too Good To Go, the app that allows consumers to buy soon-to-be-expired food cheaply.

—Elsa Wenzel

Kaity Robbins

Building trust in voluntary carbon markets

Jess Roberts, VP of Ratings at Sylvera in London

Jess Roberts, 28, leads efforts to incentivize investment in voluntary carbon markets and nature-based solutions at Sylvera, the carbon credit research and rating agency.

A geographic information scientist, Roberts helped Sylvera develop its first rating framework for nature-based solutions in 2021.

Under her leadership, the company has conducted 270 ratings and expanded the scope of the nature-based projects it assesses.  

—Meg Wilcox

Jess Roberts

Home is where the hard-to-abate carbon is

Campbell Weyland, Senior Sustainability Analyst at Lowe's Companies in Charlotte, North Carolina

For Campbell Weyland, 29, home improvement means slashing the CO2 of residences, which cause one-fifth of US climate emissions. 

His mission is to educate suppliers and consumers about energy-efficient, electric and renewable goods with the goal of hitting Lowe’s net zero target date, 2050.

Weyland also built a database with the Retail Industry Leaders Association to help retailers measure Scope 3 emissions from their products.

—Elsa Wenzel

Campbell Weyland

Fleet electrification in the pipeline

Michael Wong, Senior Manager for Environmental Sustainability at Ferguson in Richmond, Virginia

Michael Wong helped launch the faucet-and-pipe seller’s electric vehicle program. Ferguson’s first electric trucks in California have traveled 80,000 miles so far. Partnerships to establish charging-as-a-service and a hydrogen vehicle pilot are in progress. 

Wong, 28, also secured the company’s first Virtual Power Purchase Agreement for a wind farm that has generated 60,000 Megawatt-hours since December.

—Elsa Wenzel


Michael Wong

Energy sovereignty for tribal communities

Angelica Wright, Tribal Education and Workforce Manager at the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund, GRID Alternatives in Orlando, Florida

Angelica Wright, 26, and her team have deployed more than $10 million in philanthropic project funding to more than 75 tribal communities, including $600,000 for solar training and scholarships. Her work is among GRID Alternatives programs that recently received a $250 million commitment from the Environmental Protection Agency

Wright, who is from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, encourages corporations to highlight Indigenous perspectives. "There is so much funding that is coming down for tribal work and having Native people leading this work is an essential role for making sure that tribes are able to represent their people and act within their own sovereign rights."

— Heather Clancy

Angelica Wright

Assessing climate risk for $2.5 trillion in assets

Christy Zakarias, Climate Risk Vice President at Barclays in London

Christy Zakarias’s job is to ensure that Barclays’ portfolio is aligned with a net zero future.

“The sustainable transition requires capital, and it is critical that financial institutions are transformed from inside-out to facilitate this flow of capital,” she says.

She collects data from more than 100 executives for the bank’s annual reports, assessing climate risk for $2.5 trillion in assets. 

Zakarias, 24, is the Indonesian delegate for the G20 Youth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

—Elsa Wenzel


Christy Zakarias