Big tech or large brands are not likely to be bold or have the human element, so small businesses and start-ups especially have extra opportunities to stand out in the ever-changing world
Amidst the bustling tech industry, Ray Pastoors stood out as a visionary leader, driven by a passion for environmental sustainability and a commitment to making a positive impact.
His journey began with a personal awakening, realizing the hidden environmental consequences of his digital presence. This sparked a fire within him, igniting a mission to empower individuals and businesses to embrace sustainable digital practices. Ray’s vision materialized into True Green, an Australian web-hosting company that revolutionized the industry with its eco-friendly approach. True Green offers locally-based web hosting powered by renewable energy, ensuring that businesses can operate with minimal environmental impact.
Ray’s passion for sustainability has been deeply rooted since a young age. His entrepreneurial spirit ignited early on, leading him to start a venture selling stickers to raise money for koala conservation. This initiative reflected his deep concern for the environment, a passion that would continue to shape his path. Ray recalls, “I started True Green as a passion project as part of my ethical digital marketing business.
This was after I spent two years researching and understanding the impact my digital presence had on the world. I had not heard about the issue before. I forgot that my digital habits played a role in the environment because I could not see the poles and wires or energy consumption directly near me whenever I created a website or loaded one.
“Once I discovered it, though, I was inspired to find a way to solve the issue. The passion to make a difference likely came from my early entrepreneurial days with my first venture selling stickers to raise money and help save the koalas. We still support the Australian Koala Foundation today.”
“Today most small business owners have no idea of the impact their online presence can have on the environment, as it’s so much harder to see. But we know that globally the internet contributes to around 2-3% of carbon emissions, and this is expected to increase to 8% by 2030. If the internet was a country, it would be the world’s sixth worst polluter,” says Ray.
A beacon of sustainable web hosting
Using word of mouth and networking, coupled with my digital marketing and analytical background, has also helped me to reach more people
Armed with newfound knowledge and a burning desire to make a difference, Ray embarked on a mission to create True Green. Ray believes that these values are not just guiding principles but essential components of success. “The environment is a crucial focus of my values as a person and in my business,” he asserts. This commitment to environmental responsibility permeates every aspect of his work, from product development to marketing strategies.
Ray’s dedication to transparency and honesty stems from his first-hand experience navigating the murky waters of marketing and big tech. “I’ve seen the good and bad eggs in marketing and big tech,” he acknowledges. This exposure has instilled in him a deep appreciation for integrity and openness, qualities that set his company apart in a competitive marketplace.
Leveraging his expertise in digital marketing and analytics, Ray has employed word-of-mouth marketing and networking to raise awareness about digital carbon footprints and empower individuals to make a positive impact. “Using word of mouth and networking, coupled with my digital marketing and analytical background, has also helped me to reach more people and inform them about their digital carbon footprint and how they can make a difference,” he explains.
Ray places a high premium on active listening, believing that it is the bedrock of effective communication and customer service. “Listening is also a critical habit for my team and my business,” he emphasizes. To ensure that his team consistently delivers exceptional service, Ray takes a hands-on approach, reviewing support tickets and even listening to phone calls. This commitment to quality remains unwavering despite the company’s growth. “Even as we grow, I don’t see that changing,” he assures.
Ray fosters a positive work environment that encourages learning and experimentation. “My team enjoys this as we foster a positive culture of learning and experimenting with the experience,” he remarks. Empowering his team members to contribute their unique talents and perspectives is a core tenet of Ray’s leadership philosophy. “After all, I want to empower people to do great work in their unique way,” he concludes.
Driven by a passion for sustainability and a commitment to innovative solutions, Ray’s company stands apart from the crowd. Its commitment to transparency and environmental stewardship sets it apart, offering clients an annual carbon report card and offset program based on their actual page views. To top it off, the company firmly adheres to the Planet pledge, actively planting trees and encouraging small businesses to embrace eco-conscious practices. “This report demonstrates the value clients get in being part of this movement, in addition to the 1% for the Planet commitment we have, the trees we plant every year, and our encouragement of small businesses to be mindful of their carbon footprint.”
Their unwavering commitment to innovation is another hallmark of the company’s success. A culture of continuous improvement and eagerness to embrace new ideas drives them to constantly enhance their services and exceed client expectations. This dedication to innovation is evident in their efforts to simplify processes and language, making it easier for business owners to navigate the complexities of web hosting. “So we don’t just rest on our laurels and do what everyone else is doing; we look at ways to challenge the status quo and make things easier and jargon-free for business owners with a lot on their plate. A simple example of this was making a switch form for those who joined us and simplifying the language so people could come to us without needing a technical background.”
Technology is not always reliable and requires people, processes, risk and system management to support a reliable network that keeps websites and services humming.
Ray openly shared his entrepreneurial journey, filled with both triumphs and challenges “I’ve faced numerous hurdles as a business owner,” Ray confessed, “and sometimes, they can weigh heavily on you. But you must also be mindful of what you can and cannot control.”
Ray recounted his early days as a hosting business owner, when he attempted to manage everything single-handedly. “I tried to do it all myself, including learning how to run and maintain a server,” he recalled a hint of amusement in his voice. “Thankfully, after much frustration, I realized it was simply impossible to handle it all alone.”
With newfound wisdom, Ray sought collaboration, partnering with industry experts and establishing a 24/7 technical support team. “I learned the importance of teamwork and the need for expertise to ensure we could provide the best possible service to our clients,” he affirmed. Ray’s unwavering dedication to his mission fuelled his resilience. “Every morning, I wake up with the purpose of delivering for our clients,” he declared, his voice resonating with determination. “I remind myself of why we are here – to make a positive impact on the world.”
Ray’s commitment to kindness extended beyond environmental sustainability, permeating every aspect of True Green’s operations. “We infuse kindness into our communication with people,” he emphasized, “because it makes helping them feel more effortless for our teams.” Ray’s appreciation for the human element in technology-driven businesses was evident. “Technology is not always reliable,” he acknowledged. “It requires people, processes, risk, and system management to maintain a reliable network that keeps websites and services running smoothly. My prior corporate and small business experience has given me a deep appreciation for these complexities.”
His journey epitomized the power of purpose-driven leadership, demonstrating how passion, innovation, and empathy can transform an industry and inspire positive change. His legacy continues to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women, to embrace their unique perspectives and make a tangible impact on the world.
Be bold and be different
Ray urged aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace their unique perspectives and boldly disrupt the market.
“Be bold and be different,” Ray passionately declared. “Go out there and share your passion with the world. Look at ways you can challenge the status quo and reimagine the customer experience in new and innovative ways.”
Ray recognized the distinct advantages that small businesses and startups possess over their larger counterparts. “Big tech or large brands are not likely to be as bold or have the same human touch as smaller businesses,” he asserted. “This presents a tremendous opportunity for small businesses and startups to stand out in the ever-changing world around us and make a tangible impact on the planet.”
Ray emphasized the importance of simplifying the customer experience, even in seemingly mundane aspects like website navigation. “Whilst it might sound simple to make things easier for clients, many small businesses still add unnecessary barriers,” he pointed out.
“Even ensuring you have a well-organized website menu that clearly explains your offerings can not only make it easier for customers to find what they need but also reduce the number of clicks they need to load the information they’re looking for.”