We never need an excuse to hang out in New York city, but learning about earth-friendly business practices is a pretty good one. So we’ve been watching some of the speeches out of the C40 Climate Summit in Manhattan, with some interesting opinions from CEOs of United Technologies Corporation, Citigroup, Con Edison and mayors including New York’s Michael Bloomberg. So what if the lights in central park were on full blast on a bright sunny day.
There’s a lot of information being put out there on this subject, but we thought we break it down to 5 reasons why this mash-up of tech, business and green is going to be on massive opportunity for innovators:
1). Bigger business revolution than the Internet: Some analysts and investors are starting to call the business of clean technology a bigger opportunity than the Internet. Well, clean tech investor and Sun cofounder Bill Joy said that in an interview. Pip Coburn Consulting Clients also sent out a note recently that had a similar suggestion for investing: “I have suggested for 4-5 months that the opportunity in green-related [business] across 10yrs is potentially far wider than the internet opportunity has been so far.” Citigroup has also pledged to spend up to $50 billion over the next decade to invest in renewable energy and other green technologies. Yeah, that was FIFTY BILLION.
2). Web as the green organizer: Green is the latest fodder for social networks, web 2.0 services, blogging (us) and videoblogging. Learning about and collaborating on eco-friendly practices is easier now than its ever been with grass roots web tools, a broadband connection and a passionate community. Today Business Objects and nonprofit Zerofootprint Toronto launched an online footprint calculator and social network. Yahoo launched its green site yesterday. And if you’ve never read Hugg, the green Digg, then seriously, go check it out.
3). IT needs earth-friendly: The costs of powering computing is reaching close to the cost of the data centers themselves. Companies like Google that need massive data centers don’t like the sound of that. We wrote about this last week, when IBM pledged a billion a year on efficient data center efforts. As Michael Bloomberg said this morning, there is a lot of “enlightened self interest and preservation, when it comes to green business, but there is nothing wrong with that.” Nothing wrong at all, as long as it still reduces carbon emissions.
4). Gore’s gang — business leaders join in: Gore used to be the quintessential symbol of the intersection of business (savvy investor), tech (he, uh, invented the Internet right?) and green (need we say An Inconvenient Truth). Now all the big business leaders are joining the eco club. Rupert Murdoch just joined, Steve Jobs spoke out recently, and Virgin’s Richard Branson has his competition and biodiesel plans. So maybe some of these guys might back anything that saves their corporations some money, but they’re backing it nonetheless.
5). Decentralized: In some ways the distribution of digital content driven by the Internet, is going the same way as the distribution of energy – decentralizing. Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch, but its the similarities of networks in a post-industrial world. A panel on energy with speakers like the CEO of EDF Energy and mayors from Rotterdam and Copenhagen, were focusing on decentralized energy solutions, like local solar sources and systems that can tap back into the grid — uploading so to speak.