Meet Sara Gutterman, a CU Boulder Alumna, CEO, and Co-Founder of Green Builder Media! Green Builder Media is North America’s leading media company focused on green building and sustainable living practices.
Sara was born in Colorado and decided at a young age that she wanted to dedicate her professional career to protecting the environment. After attending Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, she returned to Colorado to start her first business and pursue CU Boulder’s MBA program to support her future career. While attending CU Boulder, Sara worked at a local venture capital firm where she watched the organic food industry grow into the success that it is today.
Sara left the venture capital firm in 2001 and took time to explore her other passions such as meditation, yoga, hiking, and snowboarding. In 2004, Sara met Ron Jones, an early pioneer of the green building industry, and together they founded Green Builder Media in 2005.
About Green Builder Media
As a Colorado native, Sara has always had a strong connection with nature. She found that her experience in venture capital helped her understand how to create companies that are simultaneously sustainable and profitable.
When Sara met Ron in 2004, she quickly realized that they shared the same ethic of stewardship. Ron’s experience in the building industry, paired with Sara’s experience in business, made a great foundation for starting Green Builder Media. Together, the duo could leverage the language of sustainability in a mainstream way to the building industry.
Green Builder Media provides numerous sustainable resources for early adopters, first-mover consumers, and building professionals. The company’s website hosts various blogs that highlight sustainable practices when purchasing or remodeling a home, new scientific innovations, and healthy home tips. Green Builder Media’s flagship publication, Green Builder Magazine, showcases best practices to ensure a sustainable lifestyle. Additionally, Green Builder Media has created COGNITION Smart Data, a market intelligence division that focuses on innovations that transform markets.
Green Builder Media started during a time when the building industry wasn't as focused on sustainability and the ‘going green’ mentality, Sara and Ron found it particularly challenging to communicate their vision to the building industry and shift decision-makers' mindsets from the traditional building methods. Eventually, Sara and her team were able to effectively communicate their company’s mission and started seeing a change in the industry. Sara comments,
“The key to communication is not speaking the way that you want to speak to someone, but rather speaking in a way that the listener will hear you. We focused on the things that added value in the target audience’s minds such as energy efficiency, building science, and cost savings. As the market evolved, we were also able to evolve our messaging.”
Following the company's communication shift, Green Builder Media gained traction in the building industry as the industry slowly started to trend towards producing more environmentally friendly buildings.
Upcoming Projects/ Events
Green Builder Media will host its annual Sustainability Symposium on April 13th and 14th, 2022. This event will focus on decarbonization and will host a panel of guest speakers to discuss what decarbonization is, how we can achieve it, and the various benefits that can come of it.
Sara provides the following advice for current students,
“Find what you’re passionate about and do it! Don’t be afraid. If you’re passionate about something, things will come together. It’s going to be much better if you follow your passions instead of something you aren't passionate about. Once you find your passion, put the same amount of work into it as you would your family or hobbies because that’s going to make it all worth it in the end.”