“Doing just one thing is like my idea of hell,” says Lassiter. Fresh out of UNC Chapel Hill with a business degree in 2010, he worked at a Seattle start-up, followed by a couple of years at consultants Bain & Co. in Atlanta. Then, he had a “life-altering” interview at a venture capital firm in San Francisco.
“The VC partner told me, ‘Your whole career has been around taking the least risky choice,’ and that’s when I realized I had to do something irrational. I had to get off of the path I was on and explore.”
Seeking to make more of a social impact, he started GreenPlaces, an open-source platform that wants to “democratize” access to sustainability. It followed conversations with Jesse Lipson, founder of ShareFile (now part of Citrix Systems), along with support from noted Triangle entrepreneurs such as Scot Wingo of Spiffy, Todd Olson of Pendo and Tom Darden of Cherokee Investments. Lassiter officially launched the platform in January 2022.
Now, GreenPlaces has more than 2,000 integrations in a wide variety of enterprises including giant companies and small employers. The platform helps companies aggregate data about their “carbon footprint,” which is the amount of carbon compounds emitted due to consumption of fossil fuels. The program syncs with a company’s energy and water use and suggests how to make changes and prioritize improvements.
“We can make climate something that is aligned with business,” Lassiter says. “If we’re going to be honest about sustainability, we’ve all got to [work at] it. But there’s also the practicality side … there’s no possible way of aligning a business interest without also aligning profits and business objectives.””
Read the full article in Business North Carolina.