Brando Crespi is the Founder and Executive Chair of Global Biochar Inc, a company focused on the deployment of biochar and green charcoal as the most effective way to mitigate our climate crisis while also addressing food security, deforestation, biodiversity loss, and global health issues.
He also focuses on philanthropic and advisory work. As the co-founder in 1985, and still executive vice-chair of the Brazilian-born NGO Pro Natura International (PNI), for more than three decades, Crespi has helped design, fund, and implement developmental projects, many using biochar and climate smart agriculture (CSA), in the Americas, Africa, and Asia.
Over the last decades, PNI has deployed 1.6 billion euros in 63 countries and has helped lift over 7 million people out of what was often abject poverty. For this work, in 1997 it was awarded the Mitchell Prize by the United States’ Academy of Sciences, widely considered the Nobel of Sustainability.
Today, PNI’s work is mainly focused on the West Africa’s “cacao corridor” and on the completion of Africa’s “Great Green Wall”, an 8500 km forestation project bordering southern Sahara from one coast of Africa to the other.
Amongst its previous achievements, PNI has been responsible for the development of 12 million hectares of the Juruena region of the Brazilian Amazon, where in the 90’s it created the world’s largest “carbon sink” by planting 2 million trees to offset the carbon emissions of the French car company Peugeot, and for prize-winning developmental work in Nigeria’s Niger Delta.
On the for-profit side, in 2004 Crespi created a “Eco Jeans” line for Armani using hemp fabrics and headed a project at L’Oréal to use hemp oil in cosmetics. In 2007, he was called to Beijing to help develop the city’s “Green Great Wall” to defend it from the Gobi desert’s sand.
Today Crespi continues his advisory work. Amongst his past and present clients are such companies as Procter and Gamble, L’Oréal, Armani, Cerruti, Fendi, Versace, E Zegna, Habitat, Givaudan, ST Microelectronics, Lucent, US Robotics, Rome’s Sustainability Company, Beijing’s BMK, and Shanghai’s Matsuoka and CFNL.
He is a co-founder of PolyMateria, a UK company deploying innovative biodegradable plastics and is an investor in several “green technology” companies. Crespi also sits on the Boards of several clean-tech, NGOs and social ventures.