Sustainability guru Sean Schmidt champions good biz


In his Nordstrom days, co-workers called Sean Schmidt (’09, Policy Studies) the "Green Machine" and an "environmental entrepreneur." Ahead of the curve, Sean was the driving force behind several grassroots employee groups which sought to heighten sustainability awareness at the company and better serve customers who were seeking sustainable products. In 2000, Sean led the effort to launch a Sustainable Business & Development program at Nordstrom with the goal of improving and expanding the company in ways that had economic, as well as social and environmental value, by generating sales, reducing expenses through resource and process efficiency, and strengthening stakeholder relationships.

After 14 years at Nordstrom, Sean left to co-found the Sustainable Style Foundation, where he spent two years as executive director and lifestyle ambassador working across 15 design industries to promote sustainability. In 2006 he launched – and continues to run - Future-ish, a fusion website and blog that the science, design, and culture shaping our future.

As a Policy Studies student, Sean focused his research on new approaches to financing wildlife conservation, while serving as executive director of Sustainable Seattle.  Since graduating, Sean has continued to channel his passion for sustainability.  As a healthcare and research administrator at University of Washington, he spearheaded several initiatives, including Sustainability and Medicine (SAM) and the Multidisciplinary Efforts for Sustainability in Healthcare (MESH).

Currently, Sean is the Sustainability Specialist for UW Sustainability where he focuses on tri-campus sustainability reporting, student engagement, and advancement. Recent ventures include the new blog Goodbiz, a UW-wide blog by, for, and about campus partners working together to identify and share practices that help UW do good business.  Sean is particularly excited to champion the innovative efforts of UW units.