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Friday, October 17, 2008

Green Businesses

Hi Everybody

Last Week i wrote about Shai Aggassi's effort to solve oil & energy problems through his electric car initiatives. Last issue of Time magazine came out with an article titled Heroes of Environment. The article focused on people(like Arnold Schwarzenegger44) who are making efforts to protect the environment by introducing new concepts, legislations, products, services, etc. 

Presently if we look at saving the environment is regarded as a social responsibility by many organizations and are included as part of their CSR(corporate Social responsibility) activity.

 Now it is an issue of debate whether organizations currently are genuinely interested in environment protection or  are forced to do so due to image building exercise for their enterprise.

The current IBM Global CEO study (check article on IBM report in this blog below) mentions that the enterprises of future will genuinely be interested in CSR projects rather being forced to do so.

But what about present scenario. Can Caring for environment make business sense to and provide good returns to environment, society, people and companies involved.


Well In this article I thought of compiling concepts which are trying to focus on preserving the environment while producing Green products/services at the same time are able to make business sense too.

So lets start of our engines!! (running on bio fuel)


1.       Ecover(Eco friendly washing powder) : Belgian Company Ecover is manufacturing environment friendly washing powder made of natural plant & minerals ingredients. The product also comes in a recyclable bags. Last year the company generated $15 mn in pre tax profit.



2.       Electric Sports Car!!!- Tesla Roadster, 2008 Tesla Motors electric sports car is already sold out (having price tag of $98000) & currently reservations are on 2009 model.

3. Bahrain World Trade Center : It is the world's first commercial building to incorporate large scale Wind Turbines. The Turbines generate approximately 11-15% of its energy needs.

4. Can companies be asked to pay for preservation of rainforest : Bharrat Jagdeo, president of Guyana is offering an innovative option to public & private organizations by offering countries entire rain forest as a commodity to be preserved against a fee. The organizations inturn would benefit from carbon credits obtained, ecotourism & pharmaceuticals discoveries which will provide them return on Investment. An Innovative Solution indeed.  

5. Velib : The widely reported Paris' famous bicycle renting scheme is one unique business model started by Jean francois & Jean-Charles Decaux. Launched in July 2007, today the bicycles have become a mainstream & green form of public transportation in Paris. More than 2,00,000 Parisians have taken one year subscription ($40) and in a poll in May, 94% of Velib users said they were satisfied with the service.


The examples listed above shows that being environmentally responsible can also makes business sense. I noted that concept of Design Thinking is playing its role here as consciously or unconsciously these companies are using its philosophy of being User focused and solving his/her problem while generating environment friendly concepts & thus trying make business sense also.

Like we have seen Companies doing their bit for the environment. On a personal level, can we do something. Manish send me this handout which talks about what each individual can do for the environment. Check it out.



 Go Green



Source: Time magazine, Trendwatching, Corbis