May Mei
China
2016 Awardee

May is the founder of GoalBlue, a Chinese startup NGO that aims to spark lasting low-carbon dietary and lifestyle trends among China’s rapidly growing middle class, urban, and millennial populations.

She’s starting by taking on two of the fastest-growing sources of emissions in China: meat consumption and private car ownership. Her work engages people via reality TV, social media, events, and partnerships with consumer brands and celebrities. She’s looking to help make bicycle use the most alluring and common form of personal transportation in major cities and to slow the projected growth in China’s red meat consumption by 40 percent. Her strategy on dietary change is to leverage cultural campaigns to reduce consumer attraction to high-carbon meats while simultaneously fostering new market opportunities for plant-based food production and distribution.

Since launching in 2016, GoalBlue has produced prominent public advertising campaigns featuring some of China’s most famous film and TV stars, gained tens of millions of video views with top trending topics on WeChat, brought nutrition and gardening education pilots into hundreds of schools, and partnered with numerous sports and entertainment companies to produce large-scale public events.

When Climate Breakthrough first met May Mei, she had been at WildAid China for 12 years and was the chief representative for the organization, running an office of 15. Before her career with WildAid, she was a director and producer for mainstream Chinese television, including CCTV and Hunan Satellite TV.

May was a key member of the very successful team at WildAid that became known for its game-changing campaign in China on shark fin soup. As a result of WildAid’s work, shark fin soup consumption has drastically decreased, representing a sustained step change in Chinese eating patterns. May has outstanding drive and ambition, as well as a unique combination of both Western and Chinese skill sets that allow her to think creatively and outside the box while also operating successfully within the Chinese context. She has a strong history of working with high-profile celebrities and high-ranking Chinese officials to support her campaigns.