Nestled in the heart of Acton, MA, is the Discovery Museum, where science, nature, and play come together to create a communal destination for all ages. An important hub for Acton locals and visitors alike, the Discovery Museum made headline news when the Sheth Sangreal Foundation announced it was presenting a 5-year, $1 million challenge grant in support of the Discovery Museum’s Sustainability Plan.
Founded by Brian Sheth, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation has played a pivotal role in supporting major initiatives for DevilArk, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Re: Wild.
Taking Action In Support of Sustainability
Even non-profits are taking part in the renewed focus of corporate sustainability. The Discovery Museum located in Acton, MA, was awarded a 5-Year, $1 Million Challenge Grant by the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, created by Adria and Brian Sheth, to support the museum’s efforts. The 5-year plan runs through 2025 and focuses on achieving several key goals.
- Carbon Neutrality Through Onsite Solar Power
- Boost Campus Building Efficiencies
- 50% Reduction in Museum’s Environmental Footprint
- Educating and Communicating Environmental Literacy
Neil Gordon is the CEO of the Discovery Museum, and his response to the grant was effusive with praise. Neil Gordon stated that the work would not be possible without “Brian and Adria Sheth’s commitment to fostering awareness of and taking real steps toward environmental sustainability.” Underscoring the efforts of their five-year sustainability plan, Gordon would add, “We have set energetic goals aimed at reducing the Museum’s mark on the Earth.”
For his part, Brian Sheth has been an activist within the Museum and an advocate for environmentalism and sustainability. Through his efforts with the Sheth Sangreal Foundation, Sheth and his team have helped preserve more than 50,000 miles of rainforest, 350 acres of biodiverse hotspots, all while supporting 430+ projects around the globe.
Upon the June 22 announcement declaring the 5-Year Sustainability Plan, Sheth would also release a statement through the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. Sheth stated, “I’ve long been inspired by the Discovery Museum’s good work in my hometown of Acton.” Sheth also points out the importance of educating the youth, so they can become the next great stewards of the planet.
As the $1 million grant goes into effect, the Sangreal Foundation will also supply a $200k matching grant through the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund for immediate use by the Museum to prepare for on-site solar installation.
Sustainable Plastic Initiative Launched
Taking aim at more than the problems of today, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation has worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to develop a Sustainable Plastic Initiative geared toward reducing the proliferation of plastics into the supply chain. Crafted under the guidance of Adria and Brian Sheth, the new initiative will aim to educate the public on the required conditions for businesses to thrive in a positive, sustainable, and environmentally friendly way.
Brian Sheth says of the new initiative, “This initiative, led by science, will bring public and private stakeholdersto the same table to solve this global issue.”
To target these broad global goals, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation is focusing on the research of plastic innovations within the value chain, addressing materials used in engineering as well as industrial design. Sheth says of this process, “It is imperative that the full lifecycle of these practices is studied to ensure they don’t lead to additional negative impacts.”
Spurred on by the global COVID-19 pandemic, Sheth and his team watched as single-use plastics exploded due to the pandemic. From surgical masks to plastic cups, Marc DeCourcey of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation says, “Plastics will be critical to the next phase of COVID-19 recovery as we work to create a thriving economy that is good for people and the planet.”
Whale Watching from the Skies With Brian Sheth
Environmental conservation is the steady throughline that defines the work done by Brian Sheth and his team at the Sheth Sangreal Foundation. In addition to the many local projects performed throughout North America, the Sheth Sangreal Foundation has extended itself into several notable projects throughout Oceania, including a whale-watching project in New Zealand.
Predicated on satellite tracking technology, Brian Sheth helps fund scientific research performed by the Cawthron Institute and the University of Auckland. Working in subzero temperatures, scientific researchers are utilizing a sheltered harbor known as Port Ross to track, research, and otherwise study whales traveling for the summer months.
The research performed by the University of Auckland has thus far outlined how whales are traveling even further southward to Antarctica to find warmer, more comfortable waters. Dr. Emma Carroll, a researcher at the University of Auckland, stated, “That’s a clear indication of just how important this area is to these amazing animals.”
Continuing their research is of the utmost importance, particularly with climate change posing major challenges. Dr. Simon Childerhouse of the Cawthron Institute added, “Other tohora populations in the Southern Hemisphere are not faring that well.”
While there are reasons for concern, Dr. Simon Childerhouse has been optimistic about some information acquired through the project. Dr. Childerhouse points out that the whaling population of tohora has recovered fairly well from over-fishing in the 1800s. The tohora population had reached lows in the double digits before rebounding to an estimated 2,000 whales as of 2009.
Brian Sheth helped to fund this research in cooperation with other private equity lenders, including the Lou & Iris Fisher Charitable Trust and the Royal Society of New Zealand.
About Brian Sheth
A first-generation immigrant from India, Brian Sheth was raised in an Irish-Catholic household in Acton, MA by his mother, an insurance analyst, and his father, a finance and marketing specialist. Raised from a young age to value hard work, Sheth would go on to attend the University of Pennsylvania. It was there that Sheth graduated with a B.S. in Economics, a degree that would serve his transition into mergers and acquisitions with companies like Deutsche Morgan Grenfell and Goldman Sachs.
Throughout his time in the public sector, Brian Sheth has accrued a net worth north of $2.2 billion, according to Forbes (2020). After establishing the Sheth Sangreal Foundation with his wife Adria, Sheth expanded his work into several other fields of conservation, including presiding as chair of the Global Wildlife Conservation Committee.
Brian Sheth says of businesses that would seek to follow in his footsteps, “It is essential that businesses take action to protect and improve the health of our planet while inspiring the next generation to further that vital work.”