Yesterday morning I was listening to Al Gore on CNN being grilled on all the hoopla around climate change:
- Is it really man-made? (Today less Americans think so than a few years ago.)
- Are environmentalists hypocritical for changing their position on nuclear power?
- What about ClimateGate? (The recent stolen e-mails from scientists in regards to climate change.)
And as you probably well know, the reason these questions are so hot right now is this week started the UN’s Climate Change summit in Copenhagan, Denmark. Over 90 heads of state will be attending and putting in their special interests, including Obama’s next week.
In the interview today Gore did well keeping the conversation focused on the core issue: excessive carbon in the atmosphere has already started cooking us. Little credible scientific evidence disputes this.
How does this relate to small business?
Simple: when we can demonstrate how to make money removing carbon from the atmosphere, there will be a stampede of entrepreneurs heading for ‘dem hills!
To do this will take carbon negative companies.
Examples of carbon negative companies here in NYC:
- www.AliveStructures.com – green roofs and walls as well as ecological and container gardens.
- www.gothamgreens.com – Urban rooftop farming using hydroponics (just water, no soil.)
- www.re-char.org – bio fuel and fertilizers using biochar and pyrolysis technologies.
- http://rooftopfarms.org/ — Urban rooftop vegetable farms.
These green technology companies are really state-of-the-art.
I have personally met with and/or worked with these guys and some have been successful raising substantial dollars from outside sources to get their businesses to the next level.
Yet the early adopters that jump on board and mold these technologies to today’s market are the ones that are most likely to do extremely well.
A sustainable carbon negative company takes:
a) Profitability (or for non-profits, financial stability.)
b) Carbon sequestration—the conversion of carbon into oxygen, via photosynthesis, or its long-term storage in biomass or underground or underwater.
c) A program for taking care of your stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, community, etc.)
d) A plan for reducing your business’ carbon footprint.
While this can be technical stuff and is just now starting to be done, already some are showing very promising results.
Meanwhile, back in Copenhagen, I, along with many others, have a beef. The agenda is reviewing some fairly complicated and somewhat convoluted suggestions for dealing with companies that are belching out carbon into the atmosphere.
Cap and trade, which includes carbon credits, trading and offsets is the key model being considered right now. But it has some serious flaws and most likely will not be successful.
To learn the basics on Cap & Trade from an excellent brand new video, check out The Story of Cap & Trade by Annie Leonard.
A model I (as well as many others) feel would be much more successful is a simple one: to tax carbon emitters. All of them/us!
So the leaders are in Copenhagen along with their financial experts trying and figure out how to manage the carbon crisis. And I prefer to stay here in NYC helping small businesses build a solution from the ground up.
My two companies, BEST Coaches and The Shift Group are launching a pilot program The Green Business Mastery Program for early next year. We will be working with green companies, helping increase their revenue by $100,000 and get fully funded while going carbon negative.
We intend to produce UnReasonable results much faster than what is expected to come out of Copenhagen.
Action Steps for the Week
Review your business model. Calculate your carbon footprint (the amount of carbon you are producing)? Even if you have a service based company. And then how to reduce your carbon.
Next, look to see how you can actually convert carbon into oxygen. As mentioned above, you can best do this using photosynthesis (live, green, leafy plants and trees). How can you build this up in your home, office and community?
Perhaps you can make it a mission for your business to do this on the side? If so, how can you then leverage it to gain attention to your commitment to carbon reduction on the planet?
Perhaps you can partner with a company to help you do this program. Who can you contact for this…