Norman Pater

Founder/Chairman

Norman Pater

Norman is passionate about acting on climate change. As an informed and concerned citizen, he is acutely aware that urgent and meaningful actions to decarbonise our society and improve the natural environment are needed now.


Since meeting Al Gore and being exposed to his movie The Inconvenient Truth in 2011, Norman has been searching for ways to reduce his own environmental footprint, as well as that of society as a whole. He has drawn heavily from climate scientists and Project Drawdown in defining his action plans.


Therefore Norman’s focus is on these key initiatives:

  1. Restoring 1-million hectares of Australian farmland within 10 years by means of biodiverse plantings, through the not-for-profit Carbon Farming Foundation he felt driven to create;
  2. Delivering large-scale renewable energy to the Australian grid by assisting the Zen Energy group;
  3. Converting biomass and municipal waste to biofuel and biochar by working with Renergi to commercialise its unique grinding pyrolysis technologies world-wide; and
  4. Helping build new-age industrial hubs and deliver creative solutions to transition heavy energy users to renewable energy solutions via Sunshot Industries.

In actively helping to build these projects for success, Norman draws on his entrepreneurial and academic background in software, marketing and business. He has B.Com and MBA degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, has previously listed his IT company on the JSE in 1987 and served on numerous private, public, listed and not-for-profit boards over the last 37 years.


Norman believes it is important to be impact invested to help fund change. Therefore he holds equity in companies as diverse as Gondwana Property, Future Super, Delorean Corp, Impact Investment Group and Wide Open Agriculture. He has converted an inner-city warehouse into carbon-neutral commercial offices and added unique public art in the form of 7-metre high solar PV flowers.


The journey of becoming more ‘woke’ over the last 10 years has made Norman realise that environmental justice is intimately woven into social, gender and myriad other facets of justice in our modern society and that there is still much to be done.


Norman is the lucky husband of soul-mate Gita Sonnenberg, fortunate father of awesome sons Duan and Rogan, and blessed grandfather of the wonderful Laith. He is a keen cyclist, sailor, camper, kayaker and kite-surfer.