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​Carbon neutral leader, impact investor in World Tree — and one of Canada’s top sports photographers

by: Carrie L. Williams, S.E. Region News (SRN), USA


One of Canada’s top sports photographers — Reuben Krabbe — shared with us how he forged his profession passion– photography — with his environmental commitment — carbon neutrality — and found an impactful partner — World Tree — along the way.

A photo of one of Canada’s top sports photographers, "Reuben Krabbe"SRN:  On your website, you shared a little about how you grew up, and when you knew what you wanted to be.  How did you become so committed to the environment?

RK:  In my family, our dinner conversations were about the environment and social justice.  Environmental issues have never been foreign to me — especially the issue of carbon emission reductions, or reducing our carbon footprint.  In fact, when I graduated from high school and began setting up my business, one of my 5 year goals was to run a carbon offset photography business.

SRN:  How did you find out about World Tree — and what have you liked best about your impact investment with them?

RK:  My brother knew about World Tree.  He knew about my goals to become carbon neutral, so he recommended that I check out this company, and he forwarded me the investor information.  At that time, I really was an amateur investor, with almost no investment experience.  But what I liked about World Tree was they made investing quite easy and understandable for me.  I didn’t feel like I had to jump through a lot of hoops.  Best yet, I saw how I could offset my entire lifetime carbon footprint through investing in more Empress trees.  Looking at the net profit from the sale of the Empress tree lumber in 10 years is promising, but what really matters to me is the carbon offset.  If I never make a profit, just having the Empress trees on the planet, drawing down that amount of carbon — that makes it all worthwhile to me.

A photo by Reuben Krabbe

Photo credit: Reuben Krabbe Website © 2019 Whistler Ski Photographer Reuben Krabbe

SRN:  What are you thinking about, in terms of a longer range contribution or accomplishment, using your profession and your environmental commitment, together?

RK:  Perfect that you ask.  Just a couple of years ago, as I was getting into skiing, I had a bit of a climate crisis. In 2016, after a film project called ‘Eclipse’ got me on a world tour, I calculated my carbon footprint. I freaked out.  I seriously considered switching careers, and I tried to get rid of all carbon-intensive forms of travel.  I stopped flying. After a lot of contemplation, I ended up deciding to focus instead on improving my businesses’ social and environmental impact as much as possible, but to stay within the niche where I love to work.  If I were to leave the ski world, I realized, someone else would simply pick up where I left off — and I would not be able to achieve as much, to benefit both the world of photography and the environment.

This year, I produced a film called ‘Nebula’ with www.SkyIslandProductions.com The film is about the long creative journey to create a surreal ski photograph with a deep space nebula in the background. The production was off carbon offset, and can be seen now at www.Nebula-Film.com.

SRN:  Are you able to share with others in the ski world, the movie industry, etc. about your passion for the environment, and be able to influence others to get involved, to support carbon neutrality?

RK:  I have had some success.  One cinematographer that I know has also taken the action to invest with World Tree, but everyone is in their process about the environment.  It’s a mix.

Those that are are ready to take a different step, do.  I am looking forward to being able to help grow and improve ski-related companies, including ski resorts, in the carbon offset opportunities, and in reducing these industries’ carbon footprint.

What’s really rewarding is to see how people respond around the world as I’m sharing with them about my personal commitment to carbon neutrality.  I recently shared a little about my personal commitment to carbon neutrality on my social media. In 24 hours, my post received 1600 likes, 34 comments, 33 direct message referrals, and 40 saves. I know people are listening — and watching.

We all can make a difference, in our own way.

Follow Reuben on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reubenkrabbe/