In arguably his most famous role as Iron Man, Hollywood superstar Robert Downey Jr plays an industrialist, tech tycoon who uses the high-tech armoured suit he constructed to evade capture, to fight against evil forces and save the world. Now the actor himself is playing another role *IRL* – that of a green tech investor.
Downey Jr has founded the Footprint Coalition, which describes itself as “a coalition of investors, donors, and storytellers committed to scaling technologies to restore our planet”.
The Footprint Coalition invests in “high-growth, sustainability-focused companies” and makes charitable grants available to non-profits that “advance the adoption of environmental technology”.
The venture capital funds have already invested in a number of green businesses, including Ynsect – a company that is pioneering large-scale production of mealworm protein in controlled environments for use as an alternative fishmeal and fish oil source for livestock, pets and people; and RWDC, which manufactures PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoates), a bio-based alternative to plastic that leave no trace of microplastics, but feels and behaves like regular plastic.
“I realised a few years ago that I’d amassed a pretty wide audience, I guess you call them followers nowadays. And it seemed like just posting more videos of me dancing with my alpaca wasn’t really moving the conversation on this existential threat. I felt moved to try to do something that would be impactful.” – Robert Downey Jr, Founder of the Footprint Coalition.
You can watch the interview with the BBC’s Tech Tent here:
“In 11 years, when I’m 65, if we make a noble dent in what I consider is a massive threat to our future – the mess we leave behind – I’m going to come back, and I’m going to throw the nuttiest retirement party you’ve ever seen, and all of you are invited.”
– Robert Downey Jr, Founder of the Footprint Coalition.