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The Sustainability Entrepreneur

Galen Karlan-Mason talks the business of sustainability.

galen-karlan-mason

September 25, 2017

"I like feeling uncomfortable. That's why I like to travel. That's why I like entrepreneurship. I like the unknown and I feed off of discomfort."

—Galen Karlan-Mason, MBA '17

As a child, 2017 Brandeis IBS MBA Candidate Galen Karlan-Mason's family put their spare change in coin jars. When enough jars were filled, they planned trips—not vacations. Karlan-Mason traveled to Mexico and Guatemala, living with local families and immersing himself in their community and language. These experiences grew his passion for social and environmental justice, one that he would pursue through childhood and into his higher education.

During his undergraduate studies at Brandeis University, Karlan-Mason continued his exploration of the world, studying abroad in Peru and taking a semester off to remain there. His time In Peru reinforced his belief that sustainable business has unparalleled potential to improve socioeconomic equality and minimize humans' environmental impact. It became clear to him that pursuing his MBA at Brandeis International Business School was the next step.

While at Brandeis IBS, Karlan-Mason and fellow student Rafael Martins Guimãres launched their own sustainability-focused business, GreenChoice. The company empowers consumers to make smart choices about the food products they purchase with a unique point scale, called a GreenScore, rating freshness, nutrition, harmful substances, animal welfare, corporate sustainability and company transparency. Their core objective is to provide GreenChoice users with the knowledge they need to make purchases that align with their values and improve the quality of their lives.

His studies allowed him to delve deeply into the quantitative and analytical aspects of GreenChoice. He shares that he is grateful for the tools Brandeis IBS has given him in quantifying business problems, in thinking about finances, in running pro formas and evaluating competitive strategies.The school fostered Karlan-Mason's unique entrepreneurial spirit as he shaped his vision for GreenChoice, a for-profit enterprise, to prove business can be ethical, environmentally conscious, sustainable in nature and still be incredibly lucrative.