Australia

100 Water Heroes: Rich Gilmore

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The Nature Conservancy’s Australia Program Director

Rich is the Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Australia Program, where he leads the team in their mission to combat climate change and protect the Australian environment. From restoring Southern Australia’s shellfish reefs, to establishing sustainable cities throughout the country, Rich is leading a dynamic and effective team of environmentalists.

Prior to his involvement in conservation, Rich was a stockbroker at the Sydney Future Exchange. In 2005, he career path shifted and he was awarded an Earthwatch fellowship that landed him in Kenya and opened his eyes to the positive environmental impact he could have on the world. Reflecting on this expedition, Rich stated:

“Going to Kenya was literally a life-changing experience for me. I was struck by these capable, intelligent and articulate people. They could have done anything they wanted to do anywhere in the world but here they were in East Africa spending their time in the mud, solving problems for other people.”

Rich continued on to obtain a degree in Environmental Management and later became the Director of Operations and Programs for Earthwatch Australia, eventually being promoted to CEO. During his time at Earthwatch Australia, Rich was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Australian Environmentalist of the Year.

Rich is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his impactful career in conservation, and for committing himself to creating an environmentally sustainable future.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/richgilmore

100 Water Heroes: Abigail & Jamie Forsyth

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Founders of KeepCup

Today’s #100WaterHeroes are siblings Abigail and Jamie Forsyth, founders of KeepCup, “the world’s first barista-standard reusable cup.” After launching a Melbourne-based cafe chain in 1998, Abigail and Jamie were shocked to see how much unnecessary waste was produced by disposable packaging. As a solution, they created KeepCup, and now have bases in London and Los Angeles,.

As Managing Director of KeepCup, Abigail has led the company to great heights and furthered the use of reusable coffee cups throughout the world, with their product being sold in over 65 countries. She has also launched Reuse HQ, a section of the KeepCup website that allows users to figure out their personal environmental impact.

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In addition to being COO of KeepCup, Jamie is also the Founder and CEO of two other sustainability-focused businesses, Beetbox and Returnr. Beetbox is a lunchbox company that “challeng[es] the inevitability of a poor eating experience when bringing lunch from home or taking away from a café or salad bar.” Offering the world’s first portable glass lunch bowl, Beetbox encourages reusable containers that minimise single-use plastic and packaging waste. Jamie’s other venture is Returnr, an environmental initiative that “aims to replace single use takeaway packaging with equivalent reusable solutions,” and works with cafes to reduce waste.

Abigail and Jamie are today’s #100WaterHeroes because of their strong advocacy for a post-disposable world through manufacturing sustainable, appealing products.

Abigail Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/abigail-forsyth-57007613

Jamie Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/jamieforsyth

KeepCup Twitter: @KeepCup

100 Water Heroes: Graham Ross

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Co-Founder of BlockTexx & Founder/CEO of Kusaga Athletic

Graham Ross is the Founder and CEO of Kusaga Athletic, a sustainable sportswear company that has produced the world’s greenest t-shirt. Graham launched Kusaga after realising the environmental impact of the fashion industry. They have developed four sustainable fabrics and manufacture a variety of clothing including sports, casual and inner wear.

Kusaga’s products offer a sustainable alternative to cotton and polyester garments, the most famous of which being the Greenest T-shirt on the Planet, which requires only 1% of the water used to make a cotton t-shirt. This t-shirt not only uses minimal water, but is also plant-based, compostable and biodegradable.

Graham is also the Co-Founder of BlockTexx, “an end to end recycling eco-system incorporating multi-fibre separation facility, recycled textile marketplace and advisory services to drive significant change within the textile industry and the way fashion brands work.” Graham’s belief in the need for closed loop sourcing in the textile industry led to his involvement in BlockTexx, as he turned to the Internet of Things as a possible solution to consumer textile waste.

Writing on the issue of consumer textile water, Graham noted:

It’s time to move past simply collecting textile waste and establish programs that will enable the development of the textile industry and post consumer textile resource streams. I believe the future is a true closed loop sourcing methodology — from raw materials through to consumer use and kept in play within textile recycling. One where new players are encouraged to get involved along the entire supply chain with future uses going beyond current building products and shop rags.

Graham is one of our #100WaterHeroes for creating the Greenest T-shirt on the Planet, and for highlighting the need for closed loop manufacturing in the textile industry.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/grahamross2

Twitter: Graham__Ross

100 Water Heroes: Robert Brears

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Author and Founder of Our Future Water, Mitidaption & Mark and Focus

Robert Brears is a prominent voice in the water sector and has published widely on issues surrounding water management and water security. Robert has launched a number of successful water-related initiatives, including founding Our Future Water, Mitidaption and Mark and Focus.

Robert is the author of Urban Water Security, The Green Economy and the Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Blue and Green Cities: The Role of Blue-Green Infrastructure in Managing Urban Water Resources, Natural Resource Management and the Circular Economy and Climate Resilient Water Resources Management. In addition to his own renowned publications, Robert the editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s Climate Resilient Societies series.

Robert is a qualified Geologist, and has a degree in Economics and Finance. His further education includes a Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies and a Master of International Law and Politics.

Robert is one of our #100WaterHeroes for using his platform to heighten environmental awareness and solve the global water crisis.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/robertbrears

Twitter: @Robert_Brears