“5 Things We Must Do To Inspire Inspire The Next Generation About Sustainability”, with Ishu Singh of Innstal
An Interview With Penny Bauder
There are two perspectives that entrepreneurs should consider. They can solely create a product that addresses environmental issues, or they should incorporate sustainability into their on-going venture. The latter can be done by acknowledging how all our decisions and efforts impact the environment and then making sustainable choices.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Ishu Singh. Ishu is an engineering graduate and a certified PMP, Scrum Master, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, IATF lead auditor. During his seven years’ experience, he has taken companies to the next level. He oversaw Quality and Strategic Planning, which resulted in a stronger form of organizations. He is now the sole founder and creator of Innstal, which is a cutting-edge platform that is saving the environment by reducing paper waste by offering digital manuals and warranties.
Thank you so much for doing this with us, Ishu! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?
I was born in a small town in India and raised by an upper-middle-class family. Our family was very business-oriented with a history of successful entrepreneurship. My grandfather established a business that involved many members of our family. I was studying engineering along with other certifications. At that time, there was insufficient awareness about sustainability in India, which is what inspired me to strive for change. A few years ago, I moved to Toronto, and that is where I founded Innstal.
Was there an “aha moment” or a specific trigger that made you decide you wanted to become a scientist or environmental leader? Can you share that story with us?
When a product I purchased broke down, I could not locate the warranty and manual to replace it. This was a moment of frustration, which got me thinking about why these essential documents were being printed on paper, which is easily misplaced or discarded by millions of people around the world. During my two-year journey of creating Innstal, I became more aware of the environmental issues we are facing. The thought of trees being cut down for documents that can easily be digitalized inspired me to create Innstal as a digital library. I am against wasting paper unnecessarily and will always be determined to make a sustainable difference in the world.
Is there a lesson you can take out of your own story that can exemplify what can inspire a young person to become an environmental leader?
There are two perspectives that entrepreneurs should consider. They can solely create a product that addresses environmental issues, or they should incorporate sustainability into their on-going venture. The latter can be done by acknowledging how all our decisions and efforts impact the environment and then making sustainable choices. When I created Innstal, I kept the environment in my mind throughout and will encourage other people to do the same. Many new startups are continuously launching as people are innovating life as we know it. However, it is necessary to consider the environmental impact as well. Also, if a person possesses exceptional resources and knowledge that benefits the environment explicitly, then they should focus on inventing products that will save the planet.
Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?
Innstal is a revolutionary digital library of warranties and manuals that eliminates the wastage of paper. Many people do not require or read these documents unless a problem occurs with one of their products. When that happens, chances are they might have already lost their manual or warranty. Wasting paper is unnecessary and can easily be avoided in the modern world to save trees. At the same time, having access to these documents on everyday digital devices provides convenience to all customers. Instead of digging through an old shopping bag to locate a receipt, people can swipe through their smartphone and find it immediately on their Innstal app.
Can you share 3 lifestyle tweaks things that the general public can do to be more sustainable or help address the climate change challenge?
The first lifestyle tweak is to go entirely digital. If general users start accessing their documents on digital devices like smartphones and laptops, companies will be forced to produce downloadable versions of their manuals, warranties, and all other materials. These companies can also use Innstal to create their manuals in audio or video formats. This would support the environment because it would cut down the usage of paper significantly. Aside from the paper itself, it’s the ink printed on them that causes a lot of environmental harm. Paper receipts are coated with chemicals, such as Bisphenol-A (BPA), or Bisphenol-S (BPS). These toxic chemicals are hormone disruptors that get absorbed through our skin and cause reproductive impairment and many other serious health problems. My goal is to protect both the environment and the public by encouraging everybody to use digital documents.
Ok, thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview: The youth led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.
The world has shifted to an unstoppable digital era that cannot be reversed. People should embrace this and think about how they can consume more technology for their lifelong purposes, such as collecting warranties and manuals online instead of physical hardcopies. Many people do not utilize the full power of email receipts and still rely on bits of paper, which often ends up in the rubbish bins. Parents need to make changes in their own lifestyle if they want to inspire the younger generation. They should educate children about the importance of sustainability and make protecting the environment seem trendy and “Cool.” Technology is not outdated and can be used in many ways to limit waste. People should also use less plastic by adopting reusable bags and bottles while recycling litter appropriately rather than throwing everything into the general waste bin.
How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?
If a business is serious about becoming environmentally friendly, they should begin making all their warranties and manuals available on digital devices. This would be very profitable since they would save a considerable cost of printing ink while using less paper. The modern consumer is very motivated to support sustainable businesses. If consumers can access all their documents digitally, this could start a new era of environmentally cautious habits that would inspire and benefit future generations significantly.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My wife has been the most supportive person, and I am utterly grateful to her for my success. Innstal was not created in a day, it took two years of hardship, and she stood by me the entire time. She truly believed in my vision and always inspired me to keep working hard to make that dream a reality.
You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
My influential movement is to save as much paper as possible. The world needs to change and use technology to digitize all warranties, manuals, receipts, and anything that is printed on paper. We have so many powerful digital devices at our fingertips and do not need to use paper anymore. Companies need to stop cutting trees to use paper and can reduce logistics and fuel costs that transport paper from factories and such. Most consumers do not read their manuals and warranties, they always get put aside for a rainy day. This is an unnecessary practice of wasting paper that can be downloaded digitally instead. At times, paper can be recycled, but it’s the ink printed on them, which causes the most environmental harm as it is compromised of toxic chemicals leading to long-term health issues.
Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?
Thoughts are like waves; you would never know which initiated others. This quote was authored by me personally, and I hope that it inspires all readers the way it inspired me.
What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?
Readers can follow me on Twitter (@IamIshuSingh), Instagram (@Iam.IshuSingh) and Youtube (@IshuSingh)
Thank you for all of these great insights!