Bhavani Prakash
Co-founder - Sustainable Gaia
Bhavani's introduction

I am the Co-Founder of Sustainable Gaia, a Singapore based sustainability consultancy, focusing on sustainability reporting using GRI, TCFD, UNSDGs, ISO 14064 and other frameworks. I also help companies through sustainability consulting, training and research to help them meet and go beyond ESG compliance needs, to manage risks and to unlock opportunities while transitioning to a net zero world.

I have a background in Finance (MBA from IIM Calcutta), Financial Economics (M.Sc from University of London) and ESG (through various certifications and sustainability experience). I have done curriculum development and training for a wide range of companies, and agencies like National Environmental Agency and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy around Systems Thinking and Social Entrepreneurship respectively. 

Countries where Bhavani can help you: India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam

What brought you to sustainability?

A wake-up call in 2004 as a Volunteer Guide in the rainforests section of the Singapore Botanic Garden, urged me to do something about rainforest destruction and climate change.  In 2008, I set up an advocacy portal called ‘Eco WALK the Talk’ which was chosen as a Finalist in the SEC Environmental Journalism Awards. I also started “Green Collar Asia” which trained companies on various sustainability issues. I got to speak on TEDx twice, once on biodiversity of food plants, and the second time on sustainability of our planet.  At the time, SONY-IWA conferred a "Woman of the Year" award for playing a pioneering role in environmental advocacy.

After a career break, my full time efforts now are with Sustainable Gaia which I co-founded with my life and business partner, Prakash Natarajan. He brings over 3 decades of strategy experience in Finance, IT and sustainability. Together, we are helping companies manage their transition in a strategic way to a greener future.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisation?

The sustainable actions in terms of Sustainable Gaia revolve around:

Training: Communicating to organisations not only the regulatory requirements, but the strategic benefits of anticipating regulation, and the business opportunities for innovation.

We also customise employee engagement and team building programmes using facilitations and games to get employees excited about different aspects of sustainability, whether it's the UN SDG goals, systems thinking, circularity, biomimicry etc, and that creates more engagement in the organisation's sustainability initiatives.

Strategy: Providing guidance to organisations to help them make better decisions and future-proof their organisations against climate and biodiversity risks.

Research and Writing: To provide deep insights into various domain areas that organisations may not have time for or don't know where to look.

On a personal front, I believe it is necessary to 'walk the talk'. I use public transport, have a vegetarian/vegan diet, and do my best to maintain a needs based consumption, moving towards 'less stuff' and 'more quality of life experiences.'

Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

Back in the 2010s, I used to feel frustrated that the awareness on climate action was growing too slowly. The best way for me to overcome the challenge was continuing to talk at every possible forum and never giving up hope. Then one day in 2014, I got the chance to speak in front of PM Lee Hsien Loong ,C-suite members of my alumni (about 800 people) about why sustainability was important.  

I cannot take any credit for changing anything, but I know collectively, passionate people all over the world have helped and continue to help, to push for the kind of regulations and innovations we see in Singapore and in the world.  

To never give up communicating around climate change and its solutions is the best way to ensure somewhere down the line, it will be heard and acted upon!

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud when audience members (in case of trainings) or clients (in terms of consulting) share their 'aha' moments in our engagements.

These 'aha' moments that induce positive behaviour change are so satisfying and are rewarding in and of themselves, and makes the sustainability journey (however hard the slog!) so meaningful.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  1. Be generous in your sharing. I believe there is so much to learn from one another, and that one gains even more by giving!
  2. Collaboration is key which is why I am so proud to be a part of The Matcha Initiative, where there are so many like-minded peers who can support one another through learnings as well as through shared assignments.
  3. In the age of climate anxiety, be the voice of hope. It may be a messy future with twists and turns, but the voice of hope is what will lead the brain (individual and collective brain) to come up with innovative societal, economic and technological solutions.
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing
  • Sustainability Career Advisor
Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

Share various regulatory changes in sustainability reporting, sustainability strategy and training tips, mentoring, and simply having a chat on anything green!

Bhavani's 3 main sustainability skills

GRI,TCFD,SDG / Carbon reporting / Training

Countries where Bhavani can help you

India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam

Bhavani kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send her a message.