AllGreen Member Spotlight - Simi Valecha Johnson

Simi Valecha Johnson, Co-Founder of Johnson Resolutions

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career background? 

I’m a HCPC certified Integrative Arts Psychotherapist by profession, with experience in the NHS, third sector and higher education; I’m currently working in private practice specialising in individual and online therapy. I also co-run an investment company called Johnson Resolutions (JR), which my partner and I started after making the move to a plant-based diet and realising we wanted to make a difference and have more of a positive impact through our work and investments. My husband Cliff is an accountant and is fondly referred to as ‘the numbers guy’, while I’m the ‘people person’, being the therapist. Through JR we offer start up investments that support the thriving plant-based industry through financial consulting, as well as cultivating workplace wellbeing to create successful and progressive working environments. 

What makes your business sustainable? 

The types of businesses we are interested in are changing the world for the better. We look for products and services that shift the needle towards helping people make more sustainable and ethical choices in the way they live. 

How did you start incorporating sustainability more into your business practices? When did you first realise this was necessary?

Once we started understanding more about plant-based diets and the all-round effects of our food choices a couple of years ago, there was simply no going back. We knew that we had to take responsibility for the choices we were making and wanted to channel our energies in the direction that felt most important. 

What there a stat or a figure that made you take stock and realise that you need to play a part in sustainability? 

There were so many shocking statistics in the documentary What the Health that we had to keep pressing the pause button to fully grasp the information and process what was being said. One after the other, we were stunned by stats that were quite hard to digest. Every day people are being bombarded with information that feels too overwhelming to process, which in turn can lead to disengagement and apathy. The only way to overcome that feeling of helpless is to take action. Hence why I am so in awe of Greta Thunberg and her impact on the consciousness of the masses. 

What’s the biggest challenge to having a sustainability-focused business? 

Communicating the urgency of why we need to be backing more companies that are solving some of the world’s biggest problems in a way that is impactful and fosters curiosity in customers and investors. 

What are your biggest learnings?

If you can’t communicate why you do what you do in a way that resonates with a person, they will simply switch off and go down the path of cognitive dissonance.

Which businesses do you admire in this space?

All the companies we have invested in! I admire businesses that tackle a few of the SDGs at the same time inherently in what they do, rather than as ‘add ons’. When a company tries to do more than one impactful thing – e.g. a great vegan men’s grooming product that also creates support groups for men to talk about their mental health – this to me is a business that has got its morals and ethics in the right place. 

What’s one thing you believe everybody should be doing to lead a more sustainable life? 

Be a conscious consumer. Educate yourself on the impact of what you consume and how you consume. Without being more informed, we cannot make informed choices. So watch the documentaries, attend talks and be open to change, because the way we have lived so far is simply not going to be possible in the long term; urgent change is needed now. 

What would you like to see in the future with sustainability at its core? 

Education at every level. 

Do you follow anybody on Instagram that’s great at getting the message out there?

So many of the vegan food chefs have great info and recipes. [GET NAMES]

What are your top tips for living more sustainably at home?

Start with the food on your plate. There are 21 meals in a week that can be mixed up with a whole food, plant-based diet. Personally I have now changed to a fully plant-based diet, but it took me a while to transition. Nowadays it is so much easier to switch out meat, dairy and fish due to the incredible substitutes and alternatives available. It’s a way to eat differently while still having a healthy, balanced diet that causes less harm to the planet and other sentient beings. I also think minimalism is the way forward – having less of everything is incredibly freeing and empowering. 

If you could invent anything, what would it be?

The solutions are already there – we just have to know about them and start choosing to live differently.