From a young age, Ariel Sharir had a strong love for the natural world. Upon realizing he could mesh his passion for the environment with his interests in long-term investing and technology innovation, Ariel dove headfirst into Climate Tech investing. Ariel is currently an analyst at The Atmospheric Fund.
Becoming an Environmental Advocate
Due to his upbringing in beautiful British Columbia and strong family-instilled environmental values, Ariel Sharir, HBA '21, always had a passion for sustainability. Growing up with an appreciation for the natural world, Ariel’s hobbies of fishing, skiing, and hiking allowed him to see firsthand the detrimental impact climate change was having on the environment - declining fish stocks, shorter winters with less snow, and more frequent forest fires. These firsthand experiences were why Ariel always knew he would end up working to move the needle on solving the largest and most pervasive problem of his generation - climate change.
At Ivey, Ariel had the opportunity to cultivate and explore his interests by taking part in the Sustainability Certificate. He also participated in courses like Sustainable Finance and became involved in student-run initiatives like the London Propel Impact Fund and the Social Impact Club. By surrounding himself with like-minded people interested in driving social and environmental change, Ariel was able to reflect and expand his thinking on how he could best leverage his skills and passions in a professional capacity to ultimately have a positive impact on the world.
Pursuing a Path of Purposeful Investing
Ariel dove into the world of impact investing during his HBA, completing internships at Active Impact Investments and Rally Assets. Through his internship experiences, time at Ivey, and playing too many games of Settlers of Catan, Ariel realized he loved thinking about how the future will play out, evaluating innovative companies, and taking significant calculated risks. These interests led him to join The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) as an Analyst on the impact investing team. At TAF, Ariel supports the investment team in carrying out their mandate of deploying catalytic capital to fuel the growth of budding climate tech solutions that will accelerate the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s goal of becoming net zero by 2050. To do this, they ensure the ventures and projects they invest in tackle emission pain points specific to the region. These include new net-zero construction, deep energy retrofits, electrification of transportation, and modernization of the electric grid.
Ariel notes that one of the most exciting ventures he’s had the opportunity to perform due diligence on and ultimately invest in is a company called Noveon Magnetics. The startup is creating a new process for recycling rare earth magnets, a critical input for wind turbine and electric vehicle motors. Currently, less than 1% of all rare earth materials are recycled from end-of-life products, with the rest ending up in the landfill. Noveon’s innovative approach will emit up to 95% fewer carbon emissions than the traditional mine-to-magnet approach. Ariel believes that inherently sustainable companies who prioritize the triple bottom line (planet, people, and profit) will drive long-term growth for all stakeholders and that outperformance will become synonymous with sustainability.
Reflecting on his experiences, Ariel advises students who want to enter sustainability-related fields to spend time reflecting on their interests and skill sets so they can start to pinpoint where to best position themselves for maximum impact within the sustainability space. He believes sustainability will play an increasingly prominent role across all sectors of the economy and that if one pursues something intrinsically exciting and important to them, they will realize more fulfillment and be inspired to work harder and perform better. Ariel believes Ivey is a great place to begin to test and explore one's interests - through clubs, courses, and extracurriculars. Additionally, he recommends chatting with as many Ivey Alumni as possible - hearing about different personal and career sustainability journeys will provide invaluable insights that will help shape one’s own path forward.
To connect with fellow alumni, join Ivey's LinkedIn Sustainability Community.