2 min read
Gavin Sheppard (Pinwheel author)

Gavin Sheppard

Welcome to Pinwheel

The story of Pinwheel starts in 2019 when a few friends and colleagues and I started to talk about how we might play a role in restoring our planet. Having spent much of 2020 exploring different approaches and ideas, we started working on Pinwheel as you see us now. Our insight is very simple: compensation and offsetting for harm as part of the relentless drive towards organisational net zero claims won’t bring about the change needed. We can restore our planet if businesses, their staff, customers and on-the-ground planet-repairing projects work together and focus on contribution to positive action.

We want Pinwheel to be the platform that enables and nurtures that virtuous circle. Happily, we are not alone and it is heartening to see many ways in which organisations support this vital mission. Our vision for Pinwheel is to offer high quality projects across the spectrum of biodiversity, habitat and carbon action and to do so in an accessible and integrated way, empowering people to make choices that matter to them. My colleague, Rob, has written a story about our project portfolio and how we’ve set about selecting them.

Amongst the founding team at Pinwheel, many of us come from an advertising and marketing background. My previous role was as marketing chief for the British smart meter rollout – itself a central plank in the Governments net zero strategy. My colleague Mark (our tech lead) has previously been co-founder/CTO at an energy auto switching startup; Rob (our sustainability lead) is a former civil servant at the Department for Climate Change and a well-known media commentator on energy and sustainability; and Robin (our finance lead) was previously at the advertising agency McCann. We’re joined by a great non-exec board of Rupert Howell (our chair), previously MD of ITV; Amber Rudd, previously Secretary of State for Climate Change in the UK; and Shantha Shanmugalingam, previously Dyson’s strategy director.

As much as corporate action is vital to support planet restoration and financial support will be transformational for some of the most impactful planet restoration projects in the world, nothing is more important than taking steps in your own life to reduce your carbon emissions and plastic usage. That inevitably means making some changes to the way we live. If we all take these steps together and use our collective power to support the people on the ground working to restore our planet, we can make a huge difference.

Thank you for visiting Pinwheel. We very much value your input, so if you have comments, suggestions, questions or corrections, please drop us a line at It’s good to be on this journey with you.

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