Celebrating Earth Heroes
Earth Heroes are everywhere you look—taking small steps that lead to big changes when it comes to protecting our Earth. We've talked with Earth Heroes around the world to learn what they're doing to protect themselves, their homes and, in turn, the Earth.
Earth Hero: Dr. Hans Steisslinger
Dr. Hans Steisslinger is a biochemist who has contributed to many product launches and corporate strategies in life sciences and cosmetics. He was instrumental in brands like Dove, Axe/Lynx, and Pond’s among others. In 2007, Hans was part of the cross-industry initiative to create NATRUE, the international natural and organic cosmetics association based in Brussels. In 2012, he founded Dr. Steisslinger Consulting with a commitment to build respectful, productive, and long-term relationships with others—delivering on promises to go the extra mile. His commitment to people and the planet is only one reason why he is one of our Earth Heroes.
Q: Tell us a bit about your life and career as a biochemist.
A: When I had to decide which path I wanted to follow academically, I wavered between medicine and chemistry and ultimately chose chemistry. I started doing research at the interface of medicine, biology, and chemistry, and I received my PhD at the same university. I then joined the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda (Maryland) as a postdoc. We were interested in developmental neurobiology, which was great fun and scientifically very challenging. Back in Germany I left academia and worked as an R&D scientist in various roles and companies. Developing products for the end-consumer was always the most rewarding task for me. I worked on renowned cosmetic brands like Pond´s and Dove during my Unilever time. Ultimately, I was asked to run Weleda´s R&D for cosmetics and pharma—this was a dream job for me.
Q: Why was creating Dr. Steisslinger Consulting something you wanted to do?
A: There was no long term plan that I followed. I remember, I was in my late thirties and working with strategy consultants as a manager. I enjoyed the work and thought to myself: maybe I can do what they do. My life took a lot more turns until I had the opportunity to start my own business.
Q: You’ve summed up your company values in one sentence, “Truly caring for people and the planet will create prosperity for all.” Can you talk a little bit more about this and how it drives the work you do?
A: From early on in my career, I realized that alone you can achieve very little. In my work as a consultant, my prime task is to work closely with the client and figure out what they really want. What drives you? What benefit does your project or company have for the greater good? Together we are defining the scope and the objective.
Q: What is the best part about your job?
A: The best part is helping the client figure out what they really want, then helping them put everything together. To make that happen is a joy, it feels like magic.
Q: A big part of Earth Recovery is our focus on our homebiome™. In your experience with homecare brands, what is one thing you wish was universally adopted to further protect our home biomes?
A: We have driven hygiene to such a level that we are polluting our homes with unnecessary chemicals. Our environment is not our enemy, we are part of it. That's true of our homes, gardens, landscapes, and cities. I think we need to adjust our mindsets to a more positive, humane attitude.
Q: When you are not working, where do you find yourself going and what do you find yourself turning to, to relax and recharge?
A: As I live on a farm, being outdoors is a blessing for me. Work and leisure are sometimes indistinguishable. Pruning trees and mowing the lawn—that’s heaven to me. I used to be a very competitive equestrian event rider and skier. Skiing and mountaineering are still in the cards, but unfortunately I do not have time for horses anymore.
Q: What is one small step (action) that individuals can take that can lead to Earth's journey to recovery?
A: Get up early in the morning, watch the sun rise, listen to silence until the birds start singing. See the beauty in everything – bring forth more beauty – in everything you do.
Recent Earth Heroes
35 year career as a professional fashion and advertising photographer. With a creative mind, a purposeful vision, and a hopeful outlook for our world, Vukosav is one of our admired Earth Heroes.
Eva Marie Walle
Founder of Herba Solaris, Eva Marie Walle captures enchanting shapes, touching scents, and fascinating colors for her herbal teas—resulting in beneficial effects on the body, mind, and soul.