A Changing Climate for Green Leaders

Everything starts with a vision, including the green startup businesses that are leading the way to economic and environmental recovery. Each of these businesses starts with the vision of an entrepreneur who sees the potential to make a positive difference in the world by providing solutions for the big problems like climate change that we face.    

There are imposing problems to be dealt with on many fronts, but climate change takes the cake. It’s hard to overestimate the challenge presented by climate change, probably the biggest global challenge we’ve ever faced. Even when the current economic crisis fades, dealing with climate change will still require a steady path, long-term commitment, and practical, cost effective solutions. Addressing such a long term goal requires true leadership from all spheres, including the business world.    

As the CEO of the Eco Investment Club, Yeves Perez is recognizing business and investment professionals who are leading the fight against climate change with his new ClimateChanger™ designation. ClimateChangersTM are described as “business people who have demonstrated an eagerness to reduce carbon emissions in their industry of practice, and the knowledge and creativity to achieve that goal.” By earning this designation, and proving their commitment to finding business solutions for climate change, the idea is that ClimateChangers can demonstrate to investors, partners and the rest of the business world that they are the real deal when it comes to green. “Upon completion of ClimateChanger™ requirements, recipients will possess a tangible, marketable, and recognized credential based upon high-quality professional education, and demonstrable business implementation,” said Perez.    

For the educational requirement for the designation, entrepreneurs and investors can take advantage of two different courses currently. The first is “Climate Change and Business - The ROI for Going Green,” a 2 day course being offered by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego. The second course is the “Eco Investors Bootcamp,” which includes classes and tours of green businesses to get up to speed on the state of the green business community. In addition to these classes, ClimateChangers must demonstrate that they are putting their vision into action. The key is taking action to make a real difference.    

The CEO of Envision Solar in San Diego, Bob Noble is the first to receive the ClimateChanger designation as recognition of his know-how, his commitment, and his achievements. As the CEO of Envision Solar, Bob Noble has a vision for how solar carports can change how solar is integrated into the built environment. “A ClimateChanger™ is an influential business or investment professional who leads in creating a green corporate culture, reducing carbon emissions, and constantly improving the return on investment for going green”, said Noble.   

I talked with Noble recently for the latest book I’m working on, and I was impressed with the potential for what Envision is doing and by the vision of Noble. “It’s not just about solar, it’s about the built environment, with form and texture, light and dark, and shape and space,” said Noble. “Solar needed to tell its story, because it’s beautiful.” Beyond solar carports, Envision is in the process of creating LifeVillages out of readily fabricated steel buildings and solar panels to bring shelter, services, and power to parts of the world like Sub-Saharan Africa where these basic aspects of life are often absent.   

One benefit of the ClimateChanger designation is avoiding confusion. As the green business world grows rapidly, sorting out the true greens from the wannabees can be confusing. Having certification standards for green business leaders may help to cut through confusion and provide solid value, just as it is doing for green products and green businesses.   

Climate change remains an immense problem, which makes the opportunity to address climate change with profitable businesses all the greater. With ClimateChangers like Bob Noble and others, we’ll effectively address climate change and other environmental challenges while building a stronger and more sustainable economy in the process.  

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