Tommy Linstroth
Sustainability VIP 2024 Finalist

Tommy Linstroth started his career in real estate development with a company that committed to sustainable building practices. This company handled everything from historic building renovations to affordable housing to the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified McDonald’s in 2005. 

During this time, the Savannah, Georgia-based entrepreneur realized that a lot of construction projects require manual processes and “spreadsheet after spreadsheet after spreadsheet.”

“I wanted to make my own life easier and was not finding a solution,” Linstroth said. “I decided to launch Green Badger to automate that process and make those headaches go away.”

Founded in 2014, Green Badger is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that helps automate LEED and environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts in the construction industry. The company has also added other third-party certifications in recent years, including FitWell, Living Building Challenge and WELL. The company helped 1,600 projects meet their LEED goals, from small offices to remodeling airports. 

Those 1,600 projects have turned into another initiative for Linstroth and Green Badger — planting more than 16,000 trees. In partnership with One Tree Planted, Green Badger plants 10 trees for every project they bring on. The latest planting is focusing on revitalizing areas of California ravaged by wildfires.

“We’re working to do our own part to reduce and offset any emissions,” Linstroth said. “We felt that making tree planting part of every project we bring on board is an outward sign that shows our partners that it’s important to us, and we’re going to continue to do it.”

Linstroth hopes that automating LEED efforts in construction helps create buildings and structures that last well into the future. 

“Buildings are around for a long time, decades if not hundreds of years. The residual impact they have if not building them correctly is just huge. It’s a pressing global need to have more sustainable buildings,” Linstroth explained. “It’s a contractual obligation [in most cases] … So we’re there at the implementation level to help [contractors] meet their project goals. … “Every year you maximize the life of a building reduces its overall impact.”

But buildings don’t last forever, particularly in coastal areas like Savannah. Making sure older buildings are deconstructed safely and sustainably is another passion for Linstroth. He is on the board of directors for Re:Purpose Savannah, a nonprofit that deconstructs old buildings and reuses as much material as possible in new construction.

“It’s not the typical process where you come in with a front-end loader and knock the building down and throw the whole thing away,” Linstroth explained. “We come in and pull out the 100-year-old framing lumber and put it in our shop yard to resell it.”

These reused materials have less embodied carbon than newer materials, and this process keeps construction materials out of landfills.

“It’s a fantastic example of hands-on sustainability,” Linstroth said.

For business owners looking to implement LEED and ESG strategies into their business, Linstroth said simply, “take your time.” 


“It’s not going to happen overnight. Think about it like you would any other business strategy,” Linstroth explained. “Come up with an implementation plan and take it in steps or phases, and it’ll give you a much higher likelihood of success.”