The Business of Clean Tech

By Mark D'Alessio, Associate Manager, Research and Publishing at BCLC
Jul 15, 2011 1:15 PM ET

The Business of Clean Tech

In an  article for Fortune today, Dan Mitchell opines that the clean tech industry could be headed for the cliff, so to speak, as federal stimulus spending runs out.  Mitchell’s take is that the industry is held afloat by government funding and this will need to continue in the near future until the “clean tech economy” can solely be driven by the private sector.   However, with massive budget deficits both federally and locally, subsidies for clean tech and clean energy could be in jeopardy, putting more responsibility on the private sector to keep this growing industry moving forward.  Well, I have good news-the business community is on it.

Large companies like Siemens, IBM, Microsoft, FedEx, and Baxter Healthcare have all invested heavily in clean technology and are continuing to grow their portfolio through research, design, manufacturing, and operations.   Then there are the start ups, the entrepreneurs, the dreamers who have started businesses with the environment in mind.  Companies like  Ecovative Design, which develops natural composites that replace plastics and foams,  SunEdison, a solar energy company committed to providing sustainable, clean energy to its customers, and  ZippGo, which provides an earth-friendly alternative to the cardboard box for people who are moving, are all companies that have embraced the free market system to start their business with sustainability as a core value.

Next week, BCLC will be hosting the inaugural  National R4 Conference in Las Vegas to discuss the private sector’s role in clean technology and sustainability.  We will be bringing together representatives from the private sector, the nonprofit community, and local and federal governments to expand on what is already being done around environmental innovation, and ways to partner moving forward.  I encourage you to join us from July 18-20 to partake in the conversation.