An environmentalist in his spare time, with a day job as director of development for alternative energy company BE Solar, Stratton Hatfield lives and breathes climate change awareness and potential solutions.
He was a volunteer, in his 20s, for the government’s Sustainable Development Department, and was the force behind a team that cleared away invasive trees in Paget Marsh, replanting the area with endemic species; he has worked with Groundswell on their lionfish campaign, participated in the Bermuda National Trust’s Vision 2020 campaign, which aims to plant 2,020 trees in the year 2020, and is a regular at Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB) clean- ups. He also takes an active interest in policy, leading the marketing for the Better Energy Plan, which moved Bermuda onto the path of having 85 percent of the island’s electricity supply generated from renewable sources by 2035.
Hatfield’s passion for the world around him began at a young age. “My grandmother was always a big environmentalist and her sister, Phyllis West-Harron, started KBB,” he says. Now, at 34, Hatfield’s main concern is the lack of urgency society is placing on “this catastrophe,” saying, “people are more aware of it now, but they’re not changing their habits or their lifestyle—they’re not making the shifts we need to change things…Something as simple as shifting what you choose to eat, how often you travel, what sort of transportation you choose to use, the businesses you choose to support.” He emphasises that every small, positive change you make, has a ripple effect. “You don’t have to become full vegan. Think of the CO2 associated with producing a gallon of milk. If you cut it out once a week, you’re still making a difference.”
Hatfield studied industrial design at the Savannah College of Art and Design, with an emphasis on sustainability and sustainable design practices, later starting his own design consulting company, Strativist. He returned to full-time education in 2018, earning a MSc from Brunel University in London after completing a degree in sustainability entrepreneurship and design, during which he conducted considerable research on food security in Bermuda.
“About 80 percent of our food is imported,” he says. “If we can grow it here, it would mean we are more secure.” He is currently supporting a company called Agra Living, which promotes growing food locally. In the future, Hatfield hopes to be in a position to guide Bermuda towards a more resilient and sustainable community, and hasn’t ruled out running for parliament as an independent.
“Right now, the world and Bermuda lack leadership with regards to enhancing our sustainable development. I’m interested, long term, in what I can do to help shift that leadership mentality.”