Greenpeace as the tech industry’s green stamp of approval

Greenpeace has done its absolute best to be an epic pain in corporate world’s collective butt since 1971. So when Greenpeace says the corporate world is doing something right, there is an upside for said corporate world. After all, when just about every company in the world wants a good environmental record, who’s a more credible source than your most intractable green enemy?

A few days ago, Greenpeace released its third report on the computer industry’s green quotient. This year’s survey covered almost all of the heavy wood in the tech hardware industry: Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HCL, HP, Lenovo, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Blackberry, Samsung, Sharp, Sony Ericsson, Sony, Toshiba and Wipro. (Not Apple, though. The two of them have been like a pair of wet cats in a gunny sack since 2006, when Greenpeace apparently singled Apple out for criticism of its environmental practices because a fight with Apple would draw the most press attention.) The reports ranks 18 of the world’s top desktop, laptop, television and game console manufacturers on three criteria:

  • removing toxic substances from their products;
  • end-of-life takeback; and
  • energy efficiency.

For the first time since it started the report in 2006, Greenpeace says the industry is making substantive progress in all three areas on a large scale. The report’s subtitle isn’t all that glowing – “Getting Greener But Not There” – but the progress made in just two years looks impressive. When Greenpeace did the first report in 2008, none of the products surveyed could claim to be green. Only a few scored even five out of a possible 10 points. By 2010, the picture was a lot brighter. Most companies were scoring well above five out of 10. The gap between the highest and lowest scores was much lower than in the previous two surveys. The industry significantly reduced its toxic chemical use and exceeded energy efficiency goals. High-tech companies still aren’t doing enough in product end-of-life, according to the report, but it also went on to say that:

This is an incredibly competitive, innovative and solutions-based industry, capable of creating the changes necessary to guarantee a sustainable lifecycle for each product manufactured. From our first Guide to Greener Electronics in 2006 to this third Survey in 2011, Greenpeace has seen the industry’s ability to consistently put greener products on the market. We believe the industry has the ability to overcome these existing challenges.

That’s an extraordinarily upbeat assessment from a group that isn’t famous for its good manners. Greenpeace is one of those groups that gives even their sympathizers the shakes now and again. There’s an unmistakable tone of smug superiority in their campaigns and their public statements, and they often come across as insufferably self-congratulatory. Their rhetoric is often over the top, such as calling Dell a “bloody marketing machine” for failing to eliminate hazardous chemicals from their products on a previously announced schedule. Greenpeace’s more colorful stunts routinely make the news media. In 2009, the group painted “Hazardous Products” on the roof of HP’s Palo Alto headquarters to punish the company for reneging on a promise to build more environmentally friendly products. Greenpeace members have chained themselves to public buildings, disrupted missile tests on restricted government property, and played chicken with whaling boats (though the group says it opposes violent tactics like that of former Greenpeace member Paul Watson). Greenpeace members scaled a water tower near George Bush’s Texas ranch to spotlight his administration’s environmental policies. They run embarrassing advertising campaigns against companies that don’t subscribe to their environmental orthodoxy.

They’ve also done things that, whether or not you agree with them, take incredible personal courage. Greenpeace volunteers have wrapped their bodies around baby harp seals in Arctic temperatures to protect them from Canadian hunters. Others blockaded the hunters’ ships to give still more volunteers time to douse the seals with green dye to ruin their fur. Those tactics helped effectively end the trade in harp seal fur in Europe in the 1980s. Greenpeace has often suffered for their boldness. In 1985, a Greenpeace photographer was killed when French government operatives blew up the group’s ship “Rainbow Warrior” as it sat in a New Zealand harbor preparing to protest a French nuclear test. Japan has imprisoned two Greenpeace activists on trumped-up trespassing charges after the pair turned over information that documented illegal whale meat sales.

What this is all leading up to is that no one can dispute Greenpeace’s authenticity. Love them or hate them or indifferent toward them, you can’t deny that their environmental cred is sterling because they’ve put skin in the game for 40 years. And the high-tech industry needs environmental cred.

The tech industry’s high electricity and toxic chemical consumption and its products’ relatively short lifespan have made it a target for environmental groups agitating for a more environmentally sustainable economy. There’s a lot of greenwashing going on these days as tech companies try to prove they’re not molesting the environment as they’re going about their business. Journalists and the public are getting more suspicious of environmental claims. Greenpeace is immune to greenwashing charges. The tech industry apparently understands that as much as they might privately loathe Greenpeace – hello Steve Jobs and the HP headquarters staff – the group’s imprimatur carries weight with a public that cares more and more about environmental issues. When Greenpeace and industry have a symbiotic relationship – even an uneasy one – you know the world is changing.

Admit flaws to achieve perfect tone

Rhetoricians call it “arguing against interest.” In simple terms, it’s a good way to build credibility fast. You readily admit a weakness in yourself or your argument to actually advance your larger case. I swear to you, your honor, I had no role in the killing of which I’m accused. I was out of state, uh, delivering a shipment of drugs. This mechanism causes the audience to wonder, who but an honest-to-God truth teller would disclose something so damning?

Arguing against interest can be a powerful tool for building brand credibility. Look at Domino’s Pizza, now publicly admitting their old pizza was terrible. Or Dos Equis: What, the Most Interesting Man in the World doesn’t always drink beer? This is a beer commercial!

What makes arguing against interest so powerful is its stark contrast against the vast majority of communication that argues, often lamely, in its own interest. Ads, websites, press releases and corporate blogs dump buckets of overstated goodness on a cringing consumer. You know, if you buy the right camera, you’ll shoot National Geographic quality images. With the right diamond necklace, you’ll be back on your honeymoon, and with a fabulous spouse.

Not saying such images aren’t seductive, but overstatement is the Achilles heel of marketers who are mired in old-school corporate communications. While gilding the lily has never been a great persuasion technique, today’s audiences despise it. They are sophisticated, discriminating and skeptical, if not cynical, driven largely by social media.

Case in point
A wonderful example of a brand arguing against interest to deepen credibility is Patagonia, the maker of outdoor apparel for skiers, rock climbers and campers (it’s like a crunchy Timberland). They’re not just sprinkling their content with a few aw shucks asides, they’re actually building their brand around a concept that, at first glance, is directly opposed to their own goal of making money.

The company’s Common Threads Initiative is urging customers to buy less clothing, wear it longer, repair it instead of throwing it away, and when it’s worn out, hand it back to Patagonia for reuse or recycling.

… to wrest the full life out of every piece of our clothing, the first three of the famous four R’s are equally important – to reduce, repair and reuse as well as recycle.

Under reduce, the company is calling on consumers to “buy what you’ll wear, and want to keep long enough to wear out” in order to “get by with fewer clothes.”

Under repair, it’s offering to fix zippers for free if the garment has enough life left in it.

(The company already has a recycling program that’s collected 39 tons of used clothes.)

This initiative is like General Motors telling you to drive your clunker into the ground because it’s the right thing to do. Of course, Patagonia is a for-profit business and commercial brand. So their larger goal with the Common Threads Initiative, one assumes, is to deepen customer loyalty, reduce raw material costs, and put a noble face on plain ol’ customer service (I mean, they’re probably going to fix zippers anyway).

Deep in the content
All this is clearly a flavor of cause branding, but Patagonia is taking it to the next level with a generous dose of argument against interest throughout its public content. For example, Patagonia recently underwent a corporate social responsibility (CSR) audit. A nonprofit watchdog organization took a hard look at their operations. Patagonia blogged about the audit in great detail. The post mentions a couple of instances of where the company fell short in the review (arguing against interest). They even admit they’re a founder of the group that was auditing them. Who even blogs about audits, much less the negative findings and conflicts of interest? Now you might be asking, where’s the marketing value in this? What comes through is not Patagonia’s warts, but its seriousness about being green and transparent. It’s as authentic as you can ever expect communications to get. And utterly believable.

Another example: In writing about the new Common Threads Initiative, Patagonia talks about its five-year-old recycling program, whose goal was to make all Patagonia clothes recyclable within five years. “This we will achieve in fall 2011,” Patagonia writes, “a year behind schedule.” Another argument against interest. This line is just sitting there in the copy, no excuses, no tortured transitions, just a fact. You make the call. This kind of statement is convincing.

Patagonia has a minisite, The Footprint Chronicles, that drills into the origin of Patagonia garments. Click on the Merino 2 Crew sweater and learn that the wool is sustainably ranched, the dye is okay, and the factory is okay,  but the wool travels 16,280 miles from sheep to store. “This is not sustainable,” the Patagonia website tells us. Who says this about their own supply chain? Nobody. In how many instances is it true? All the time, presumably. Patagonia cares so much about getting it right they readily admit what they’re still getting wrong.

In another Patagonia post, a blogger admits his orthopedic problems ruined his climbing adventure. One would expect tales of glory. But while Nike has LeBron and UGG Under Armour has Tom Brady, here’s Patagonia speaking through a guy whose arm keeps dropping out of his shoulder socket.

If all this arguing against interest sounds like overkill, it’s only because we’re calling out the exceptions to the rest of the Patagonia content, which as you would expect is generally favorable to the company. But this positive content is all the more believable next to a few well-conceived arguments against interest.

By acknowledging that’s nobody’s perfect, starting with yourself, you can strike the perfect note.

Branding innovation at Greenbuild 2010

I kept an eye out for branding innovation at Greenbuild 2010 as I maneuvered my way along (what felt like) miles of floor featuring over 1,000 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees.

Branding highlights:

  • Social responsibility alignment – besides the typical association with energy saving and planet-survival, some Greenbuild companies extended their brands beyond the oh-so-obvious. Accoya, for example, had a “Sign our wall” fundraising effort with every signature translating into $10 for Haiti rebuilding. Other companies displayed Susan G. Komen for the Cure pink ribbons. Shaw asked people to respond to Twitter queries so it could donate $1 to the Make It Right Foundation, helping rebuild the Hurricane Katrina-devastated Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. Good for them, good for the world.
  • Transparency – Interface Floor won my prize for branding transparency. A massive graphic displayed above their booth featured a black and white illustration of a brain beside a barrel of oil. Their messaging platform: “Be smarter than oil.” Gradually leaving its oil industry connections behind, the company’s mantra is zero environmental impact by 2020. Clear messaging permeated the booth on laminated cards: “16 years and counting to becoming a sustainable company…” Other companies shy away, evade or obfuscate; this brand appears to be living its stated mission.
  • Personal reinvention – David Gottfried wore shoes as he autographed free copies of his book “Greening my life.” The founder of USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) and LEED standard creator personalized his brand, sharing insight into his personal transformation from hard-charging empty life exec to green-inducing happiness. Kudos for having the guts to share lessons learned with others.
  • Promotions – not surprisingly, the top tease prize at Greenbuild 2010 was the iPad. Several companies featured iPad promotions including Dupont and NCI Group. My favorite giveaway? The cool hybrid Sanyo Eneloop bike.
  • Living its mission – While 80% of Greenbuild 2010 exhibitors are indistinguishable (packing too many products, imagery and pleas into every corner of space), Dyson stood out with its “less is more” approach. Only two products were featured: hand dryers and bladeless fans. The booth was white, spacious and all messaging was tightly displayed on five panels. Copy was simple and memorable, contrasting the way it used to be with the way it is now (thanks to Dyson).
  • Let’s have fun – Next time a company or client says “our stuff is in the weeds; we can’t do much creatively” remember Bluebeam. This company essentially has a better Adobe: a PDF based real time project collaboration file management tool. Yawn. But Bluebeam made the mundane come alive with its “Mighty Bluebeam” cartoon character, case studies galore, comic books, exhibit booth worker matching t-shirts and fun messaging like “It’s PDFin’ time!”
  • Interactive messaging – Most companies struggle with messaging. Not only trying to explain what they do, but also finding clever ways for people to “get it” and relate. Kudos to SYNLawn and SAGE for doing both. The former divided its narrow booth into three sections, allowing visitors to putt on a golf course, feel astro turf in a stadium and stand on a front lawn at home. Dynamic window maker SAGE (disclosure: client) made its “Power to change” tagline come alive several ways, including windows showing multiple exterior views and an interactive exhibit where visitors pressed a button and the glass transformed. Whenever messaging can be experienced like this, it’s a very powerful thing.
  • Green nation building – standing out from a sea of corporate sameness were… countries. Scandinavia, Canada and France all sent delegations to Greenbuild 2010, positioning themselves – via products, technologies and companies – as green-inspired economies.


Fossil fuels = slavery?

If you have any doubt about the power of messaging, consider how we talk about renewable energy.

If you want someone to oppose renewable energy, talk about dollars. If you want someone to embrace renewable energy, try comparing fossil fuel use to slavery. Point out how our stubborn consumption parallels history’s reluctance to relinquish the most horrifically cost-effective of all labor.

Dollars: The New York Times just published a withering story on how the relatively high cost of renewable energy is delaying and scuttling wind and solar projects. By cost, we mean the price you pay a utility for power generated by that means. In this light, renewables are a luxury we can’t afford. (Of course, rates never account for the long-term cost of climate change, including health care impacts, nor God forbid, ecocide. Nor do they account for the cost, in dollars and lives, of foreign wars to keep our oil coming.)

Now consider slavery: That’s right. Purely economic arguments sustained slavery, as they do unfettered fossil fuel consumption, long after it should have ended, University of Michigan Professor Andy Hoffman points out. Hundreds of businesses had vested interests in the continuation of slavery. Apologists for slavery warned that abolition would end our “way of life” and crush the economy. They argued for self-regulation and quotas under the premise that capping the quantity of enslaved human beings would somehow mitigate the disgrace.

You see parallel arguments today in the crusading defense of ratepayers against even the slightest increases, the fetishizing of big vehicles (that thing got a Hemi?), and merely token investments in renewables.

Writes Hoffman:

Just as few people saw a moral problem with slavery in the 18th century, few people in the 21st century see a moral problem with the burning of fossil fuels. Will people in 100 years look at us with the same incomprehension we feel towards 18th-century defenders of slavery? If we are to address the problem adequately, the answer to that question must be yes—our common atmosphere will no longer be seen as a free dumping ground for greenhouse gases and other pollutants. (via

True? Melodramatic? Hyperbolic?

ARPA-E’s fate foretells cleantech’s future

Folks across the entire political spectrum concur the new election may blow a chilling wind across the cleantech industry (if you omit nukes). Budget-cutting is job #1 for this upcoming Congress, and the change of guard within key budget appropriation committees does not bode well for future government cleantech investments.

While all eyes are on cap-and-trade legislation and how the House will act to block EPA climate rules, perhaps the better barometer of cleantech’s future is the continuation of ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy) funding.

ARPA-E was created in 2008 with strong bipartisan support to reverse the nation’s falling position in global clean technology markets. What DARPA did for national defense, ARPA-E was to do for energy technologies, bridging the “gap between basic energy research and development/industrial innovation.”

But ARPA-E didn’t really get off the ground until the Obama administration, when Stimulus Bill funding filled its budget coffers. Since then, the agency has funded 37 cutting-edge projects from an initial pool of 3,600 applications. By most accounts, the program has been a strong success, as the New York Times points out:

Last week marked the anniversary of the first round of grants for the Department of Energy program, which is charged with finding game-changing energy research and awarding jolts of funding. Business leaders and other energy experts say ARPA-E not only has found such “breakthrough” projects, but has unleashed interest throughout the innovation chain – DOE, universities, corporations, startups and the financial world.

Beaupre client, SAGE Electrochromics, is one such example. In March it received $72 million in loan guarantees from the program to develop dynamic window glazing technologies that make buildings highly energy efficient. It has since broken ground on a new 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Minnesota that is bringing 160 new green jobs and 200 construction jobs.

But SAGE’s immediate impact is the exception within ARPA-E .  Most projects probably won’t start yielding big results for at least five years. As the mid-term election showed, Americans are impatient. Congress already punted on funding ARPA-E for the current fiscal year, saying current Stimulus funds should be sufficient for now. Who knows what the lame duck Congress will do.

With a Teaparty-inflamed House itching to slash and burn budget expenditures anywhere they can find them, ARPA-E will be the bellwether by which America regains its advantage or falls farther behind the world in clean technology innovation,  along with all the good jobs and good karma that comes with it. DARPA gave us the Internet. A short-sighted vote to chloroform ARPA-E could be an equally monumental loss.

Environmental disasters are so yesterday

The media decides what we’ll worry about. Today, that would be the economy, midterm elections, two wars, a tsunami, a new Bin Laden tape and a party drink dubbed “blackout in a can.”

Nothing much on BP these days, so the Gulf of Mexico oil spill must be pretty much taken care of, right?

Not according to this article in USA Today, which reports that:

  • The length of shoreline where oil is present has increased from 287 miles in early July to 320 today.
  • In Bay Jimmy, La., alone, 32,000 gallons of oil were sucked up in a recent 10-day period.
  • Oil, not surprisingly, is clinging tenaciously to marsh grass.
  • Cooler fall and winter weather will thicken the oil and make it harder to extract.
  • Cleanup worker count has dropped by nearly two-thirds, from 47,000 at the height of the spill to 16,200.

The disaster hasn’t gone away, but where’s the media? Well, kudos to USA Today for the above info, and to Frontline for kicking BP’s tail on Tuesday night. But in general, the media follows the conflict, the drama and the fancies of its paying audience to those insipid places we yearn to go. As a result, we’ve moved on from Afghanistan. We’ve moved on from Haiti. And we’ve moved on from the Gulf of Mexico.

To document this catastrophe fatigue, we searched for news stories on “Deepwater Horizon” (the name of the exploded rig and shorthand for the entire debacle) from April 2010 through Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 10:30 EST. Here’s what we found.

As you can see, the media bombards us with stories from April through July. Then the fatigue sets in. Just six months after the worst oil spill in history, the media is practically silent.

But the problems remain. That’s why Sean Penn is still in Haiti. That’s why Billy Nungesser is still in Plaquemines Parish. That’s why BP workers are still cleaning up the oil – some of them, at least.

Meanwhile, the media, drawn by our own insatiable appetite for trifling entertainment, has moved on to … well, Brett Favre’s … ankle.

A different green wave coming from Ireland

And now a message from the “Signs of Hope for Renewable Energy” Department concerning that hotbed of renewable energy development – Ireland?

That’s right. A cloudy little island with no vast prairies or sun-drenched deserts recently announced that it generates 15 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, mainly wind and solar. To expand its renewable energy production, Ireland is now going hammer-and-tongs at the promising but under-unexplored area of wave power. Last week, Sustainable Energy Agency Ireland (SEAI), the country’s renewable energy agency, announced a major wave power development deal with the Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy to develop Ireland’s Belmullet wave energy area. SEAI estimates there is enough energy in the waves that wash against Ireland’s west coast to meet 75 percent of the country’s energy needs. Harnessing it is another matter, of course, with a lot of unanswered questions and untested technologies to evaluate. Nevertheless, the country is plowing ahead to help reach a goal of 40 percent renewable power by 2020.

Seeing as the United States has two thousand-mile coastlines, Ireland’s move into wave power should be of more than passing interest. There are pockets of interest in wave power in the U.S., most notably in Oregon, where the first U.S. wave power facility started construction in February of this year. The news coverage of the project, however, struck a skeptical note about the project’s potential, pointing out that a wave facility in Portugal went under for financial reasons, that a pilot wave power facility sank off the Oregon coast in 2008, and that the wave plant’s electricity will be five to six times more expensive than conventionally generated electricity.

Okay, so those projects bought the farm and the economics haven’t caught up to the technology. So what? Whatever happened to Yankee ingenuity? I’m old enough to remember watching the first Moon landing on television. It came after a lot of embarrassing and occasionally deadly mistakes, including the 1967 Apollo 1 launch pad explosion that killed three astronauts. Two years later, Neil Armstrong made history by jumping out of the Lunar Module. Is figuring out wave energy that much harder – if at all?

Not according to Ireland, and in my humble opinion the Irish have built up some cred in this area. Solar energy is a significant portion of Ireland’s renewable energy capacity. Solar means sun. How often do you think of Ireland and sun in the same breath? The place makes Seattle look like Santa Fe, it’s so cloudy. If the Irish can turn the same trick with waves that they did with the sun, they’ll reach their goal of 40 percent renewable energy by 2020 in a walk. Where will the resource-rich U.S., currently with 7 percent of its power generated renewably, be in the renewables race by then?

An inconvenient wrapper, or what Al Gore didn’t tell you about SunChips bags and climate change

The tissues next to the sink in the men’s room at work taunt me every time I stand at the slow-working hand dryer waiting for my hands to stop dripping. It only takes about 15-20 seconds under the dryer until I can go back to work, but drying my hands on tissues is even faster – maybe three seconds. Nevertheless, I resist the siren call of processed wood pulp. When I use the hand dryer, I’m not throwing anything out. Since the climate change debate started, I’ve been obsessed with throwing away as little as possible in favor of the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra. So I stand there with my hands under the dryer even though the paper product would be more convenient.

Convenience: a perfect segue from hand drying to junk food bags.

Frito Lay, maker of those quasi-healthy crunchy snacks called SunChips, recently embraced the “recycle” part of the 3R mantra by packaging SunChips in a compostable bag. That’s quite a leap up the sustainability index from the plastic bags that most snack food comes in. Most plastic never degrades completely, even in direct sunlight, because there’s nothing in plastic for microorganisms to eat . The compostable bags, by contrast, can be gone in a couple of weeks because they’re made of plant matter that microorganisms like just fine. Considering the amount of snack food Americans eat, Frito Lay’s biodegradable SunChips bag was definitely a step in the right direction.

It was a step right back when Frito Lay announced this week that it’s discontinuing the compostable bag because customers think it’s – waaaaaaaiiiiit for it – too loud. Apparently, the compostable bag’s molecular structure makes it snap, crackle and pop lustily every time a chip junkie sticks his/her paw into a handful of no-trans-fat flavor. Facebook groups like “I wanted SunChips but my roommate was sleeping…” and “Nothing is louder than a SunChips bag” cropped up in protest. Customers complained to Frito Lay, which decided to replace the compostable bags with plastic on all SunChip flavors except the original.

First of all, what kind of wusses have Americans become when the crinkling of a food bag turns us catatonic? How loud can one bag of chips be? Are people bleeding out of their ears because they had to go for that one extra handful of SunChips with lunch? No matter. A vocal slice of the populace don’t want their late-night munchie attacks broadcast over the SunChip BagNet, so 30 million plastic bags are heading back into the waste stream.

This is the wrong message for corporations to send the public. As a society, Americans need to throw away less. What we do throw away should be as biodegradable as possible. Packaging is a major contributor to pollution and landfill clutter. Frito Lay’s initial effort to make a mainstream consumer product more environmentally sustainable was the right message to the general public. Snuffing it wasn’t.

Here’s a radical solution for all of the people who think the SunChip bag is too loud. If you don’t want anyone to know you’re having a private moment with the SunChips bag – waaaaaaaaaaaaiiiit for it – take it OUTSIDE before you open it. You’ll get some fresh air with your healthy SunChips and maybe burn a few of them off as you walk from the couch to the porch for a fix. Ask Frito Lay to bring back the biodegradable bag. It might not be the convenient solution, but it’s the right one.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I have to hit the men’s room with my new fast but environmentally sustainable hand-drying solution: the backs of my pant legs.

Globe tells feds to make China compete cleanly in renewable tech

The Boston Globe weighed in on China’s increasingly blatant efforts to corner the world market on key renewable energy technologies through questionable subsidies and trade practices. This editorial prevails on the Obama Administration to help level the playing field by calling China on its policies, as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner did before Congress last week.

Green Launching Pad innovates state-level clean energy branding

One of the more innovative collaborations between a higher education institution, statewide and federal government is unfolding in New Hampshire.

This past February, the Green Launching Pad was launched. It’s a strategic partnership between the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (ARRA).

The organization connects entrepreneurs and private industry with technical, scientific and business faculty, students and state-level resources to successfully launch and accelerate the growth of new green businesses.

Five New Hampshire companies received funding in Year One of the program. Seventy-one businesses and entrepreneurs submitted applications for this funding, bolstered by $750,000 in federal stimulus funding.

An advisory board selected the five winners who are now being supported with an intensive business accelerator program aligned with UNH. The companies are connected to business, science and engineering faculty to develop product development, finance and marketing plans. The GLP also builds relationships on the financing side via angel investors and private sector business mentors (disclosure: Beaupre mentored one of the five winning companies, Air Power Analytics).

The new Green Launching Pad businesses are required to help the State reduce carbon emissions in sustainable ways. By building successful companies, New Hampshire believes it will also fuel job growth and broaden economic opportunities.

Governor John Lynch led a roundtable discussion with GLP companies last week, answering their questions and uncovering their needs and concerns. He said “I want to see you succeed in New Hampshire. I want this effort to create jobs. I want to help you win.”

So far, it’s a model bearing fruit in the Granite State.

This week “Venky” Venkatachalam, one of the original GLP founders, told Michael McCord of “You read about this when you have academia and industry working together. This has been a huge positive experience that could be a powerful force for economic development.”

Clean energy conscious state government, higher ed institutions, energy companies and the corporate sector may benefit by keeping a close watch on its progress.