Investor Brian Sheth has long fought to keep the environment safe. Along with his wife, Adria, he created the Sheth Sangreal Foundation to give more people (and animals) a chance to thrive.
“If there’s one thing we know about life on Earth,” Sheth says, “it is that all of our diverse animals, plants, soil structures, and waterways are interconnected in complex ways, many of which we cannot fully understand.”
Along with completing hundreds of projects and forming partnerships with around 100 conservation groups in more than 80 countries, Sheth’s spent millions of dollars on everything from saving species to preserving forests.
The Earth Alliance is an environmental powerhouse that was created with the help of Leonardo DiCaprio and Laurene Powell Jobs. Together with Sheth, they formed this nonprofit to prevent biodiversity loss as well as climate change. The alliance, which Sheth chairs, works to protect ecosystems, support renewable energy, and secure the rights of all Indigenous people on Earth. By providing grants, funding campaigns, and working with grassroots organizations in areas that are most threatened by climate change, Earth Alliance is making a considerable dent in reversing the effects of climate change.
This team made headlines, not least of which because it drew such powerful players to the table. There were some very high hopes laid out from the very beginning. Said Sheth, “Our planet is at a critical turning point, and we have an opportunity to transition our society to a sustainable one in harmony with — and in support of — all life on Earth.”
Global Wildlife Conservation (which changed its name to Re:Wild in 2021) is a group that Sheth has supported every year, which makes sense considering he was one of the original founding donors. He made headlines in 2017, when he increased his matching gift from $10 million to $15 million. This decision, made right before an important campaign for the Finca San Isidro Amphibian Reserve in Guatemala’s Cuchumatanes mountain range, was pivotal to protecting Jackson’s climbing salamander. The species, which was rediscovered in 2017, was a significant breakthrough for GWC. It also allowed the group to hire Chief Conservation Officer Russ Mittermeier, Ph.D., an essential member of its leadership team.
The key initiatives of the Sheth Sangreal Foundation were made based on Brian and Adria’s systematic approach to a problem we all are facing. To have the largest impact on the world, the foundation members have to be strategic about where to put their efforts.
That’s why Sheth first looks at which areas are being most ravaged by climate change. He then identifies why those areas face more devastation, and researches who needs to be consulted and what needs to be done to make the adjustments. When there are logistical problems, the Sheth family is there to help untangle the mess. Unfortunately, there can be many things standing in the way of righting this wrong. From resources, to funding, subject expertise, and labor, there’s a lot to coordinate. It involves everything from community response to adverse government officials — and everyone usually comes to the party with a different agenda.
Even with all those obstacles, Sheth has managed to make headway worldwide. For instance, in Vietnam, the focus is on Pu Mat National Park, home to endangered species of animals like the muntjac and the Annamite striped rabbit. Re:wild also works in the Amazon to protect wildlife, in Asia to bring the Javan and Sumatran rhinos back from the brink of extinction (due to poaching), and in Nicaragua to keep the jaguars and Baird’s tapirs safe. In Australia and New Zealand, the group is focused on protecting the Parma wallaby, Tasmanian devil, and long-nosed potoroo, among many other species.
Brian Sheth is also well known for acting locally in his hometown of Austin, Texas. He’s known for donating to all kinds of community efforts, including the Children’s Hospital. During the pandemic, he donated $1 million to several groups helping people survive one of the most frightening years on record. Regardless of what the Sheth Sangreal Foundation chooses to tackle, the public can rest assured that this money and time is being put to good use.