mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The Real Green Economy Of The Future

Despite what you might conclude from reading the news (and sometimes this blog), green energy companies can be eco-friendly and profitable. The Economist reports:

A new study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) identifies 16 emerging-market firms that they say are turning eco-consciousness into a source of competitive advantage. These highly profitable companies (which the study dubs “the new sustainability champions”) are using greenery to reduce costs, motivate workers and forge relationships.

Many of these companies were not trying to “go green”.  They were working with limited energy resources and developed new techniques for increasing production with what they had:

India’s Shree Cement, which has long suffered from water shortages, developed the world’s most water-efficient method for making cement, in part by using air-cooling rather than water-cooling. Manila Water, a utility in the Philippines, reduced the amount of water it was losing, through wastage and illegal tapping, from 63% in 1997 to 12% in 2010 by making water affordable for the poor. Broad Group, a Chinese maker of air conditioners, taps the waste heat from buildings to power its machines. Zhangzidao Fishery Group, a Chinese aquaculture company, recycles uneaten fish feed to fertilise crops.

Environmental sustainability won’t come from international treaties setting emission standards.  It will come from lots of bottom up initiatives from families looking to save money on their energy consumption and from companies that find ways to reduce their energy consumption and provide their goods and services at lower prices than the competition.

The real heroes of the environmental movement aren’t celebrity hactivists protesting about pipelines in front of the White House.  They are people working to improve video calling technology so fewer businesses will schedule as much travel, people developing software and management practices that make more companies more willing to let more of their workers spend more time telecommuting, and people figuring out how to replace water-cooling with air-cooling when making cement.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Mick The Reactionary

    “Manila Water, a utility in the Philippines, reduced the amount of water it was losing, through wastage and illegal tapping, from 63% in 1997 to 12% in 2010 by making water affordable for the poor.”

    Cheap water -> less stealing. Makes sense.

    Cheap water -> reduced wastage. Does not make sense.

    Whole study is suspect.

  • Karl Hutchison

    Professor Meade, might you then be saying in a nutshell that progress, green or otherwise, is driven by individuals responding creatively to market dynamics, acting independently of government influence?

    Oh dear, that will never fly with the current administration or its enablers in the MSM. But then they are the ones actively suppressing the market dynamics necessary to bring this about, aren’t they? Which is why we are screwed. Because as you well know, this dynamic is not governmental or economic… it is cultural. And cultures are not formed or dissolved overnight, or even in a single generation. The current culture of dependence on government intervention has been a century in the making, and will perhaps be that or more in the unmaking, if it happens at all.

    Our last best hope is that the impetus of Locke can still best that of Rousseau in the consciousness of Western Civilization, so that this Civilization might survive in the form that has provided such unprecedented peace, prosperity, and liberty in the past 300 years.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I notice that none of the examples have anything to do with Green Energy, they are all conservation efforts.
    Drill, Baby, Drill

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service