Nuha Siddiqui (BComm 2018), co-founder and CEO of Erthos, has been selected by Bay Street Bull for their annual 30x30 guide, which showcases a group of incredible individuals who are redefining the way we do business, championing their communities, and cultivating entirely new industries. Below is a snippet of a one-on-one interview with Nuha, where we get to know her a little better: her values, mission, lessons learned, and best advice.
What is your elevator pitch to the world?
Nuha Siddiqui: Building a massively scalable platform for better materials that help solve our planet’s plastic waste crisis.
What excites you most about the work that you are doing?
Nuha Siddiqui: To think that we are creating a transformational shift in our industry and reducing the environmental footprint of plastics is what excites me! We can build a better alternative to everyday single-use products which are used by everyone, everywhere.
Where do you think you have made the most impact in your community?
Nuha Siddiqui: At erthos, we are driving forward a new standard for materials that truly puts our earth first. With our plant-powered alternatives to traditional plastics, we have been able to influence some of the world’s largest brands and manufacturers to choose a more sustainable path forward.
For our industry, we have been able to build a compatible solution that minimizes disruption and promotes the seamless adoption of sustainable materials. For our planet, we’ve been able to create materials that directly divert plastics from polluting our environment and reduce our overall environmental footprint.
There is a lot of confusion around the word ‘sustainability.’ How do you define sustainability for yourself and what do you think the industry can do to better inform consumers about the choices they make?
Nuha Siddiqui: Sustainability, for me, is ensuring that the decisions we make today will positively impact our planet today, and in the future. It’s important to remember that “sustainability” is not just about being “eco-friendly”. Sustainability encompasses environmental, social, and economic factors that need to be balanced well to guarantee long-term positive impact. For example, at erthos, our standard for sustainable materials is embedded into everything we do. From choosing materials that are ethically sourced, to creating functional products that guarantee value, our choices are always centered around a holistic view of sustainability. Is the choice you’re making today going to bring more harm or good to our planet in the future? It’s a simple, yet very important question you can ask yourself when making choices everyday.
Climate change is one of the, if not the, most pressing issues that we face today. How do you think we can have more productive conversations around combatting climate change and environmental waste without making others feel powerless?
Nuha Siddiqui: Diversity in perspectives, collaboration, and continuous improvement. To have productive conversations around combating climate change, we need to make sure we first recognize that the challenges we face are complex and require diverse perspectives. We aren’t going to accelerate our path forward if we come up with a solution that only caters to one specific demographic or region in the world. We must be inclusive in both the conversation and the solutions that we build. By collaborating with all stakeholders, we can then maximize the positive impact and execute on a global scale. Even though there is a clear urgency to act in big ways, it’s important to not let that discourage us from the small acts we can be doing every day. No one is powerless and everyone can be a part of the solution, small or big.
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