By Joel Makower
It seems much longer, but it’s only been a decade since the notion of clean technology came into public consciousness. At the time, in 2001, in the wake of the dot-com bust, a small group of us had a vision of the next great wave of innovation and business creation: companies creating a wide range of products and services to deliver energy, water, transportation, and materials that utilized renewable resources and radically reduced energy and emissions.
Ten years later, that clean-tech “revolution” is still emerging, slowly but surely. Renewable energy still represents a tiny slice of overall energy production, electric vehicles are just now coming into the marketplace, and biobased materials are still more the exception than the rule. But clean technology has become a fact of life — and a growing part of corporate activity. Today, most big companies seem either to be buying some of these technology or, increasingly, are making them part of their business offerings.
Last week, a 10th anniversary report from Clean Edge, a firm I co-founded, shined a light on the trajectory of clean technology since 2001. I’ve seized the moment to offer my own perspective of the decade just passed, and what’s ahead.
Green Buildings New York: I encourage you to check out Green Buildings New York, March 30-31, at New York City’s Javits Center. Produced in association with GreenBiz.com’s GreenerBuildings channel and its executive editor, Rob Watson, Green Buildings New York focuses on products and services for retrofitting, renovating, restoring and maintaining existing commercial and residential buildings.
Also this week: The latest episode of The Walmart Chronicles, this one focusing on the retailer’s zero-waste initiatives … the new incarnation of the EPA’s oft-lamented Performance Track program, now an independent nonprofit organization … and news from AB InBev, HP, Pepsi, UPS, and more.
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