In this first entry in Digital Lumens’ blog, I could tell you how innovative our idea is, how great and experienced our team is, and how important the problem we are addressing is. I will definitely do that at a later date, but I want to focus on a key economic issue that is getting short shrift. For all the strategies and initiatives meant to boost economic recovery and spur job creation, there is one that is still not getting nearly enough attention: energy efficiency.
Green to Gold co-author Andrew Winston has written a compelling new book, Green Recovery, in which he outlines how companies that curb their energy use and increase sustainable practices will better weather the current economic conditions and emerge on the other side prepared to compete and win. Winston addresses head on some of the misconceptions around sustainability, taking on my personal favorite – the idea that going green is expensive. “Of all the mental hurdles keeping your company from profiting from green thinking, none compares to the misconception that environmental practices always cost a lot of money. But green doesn’t raise costs; it lowers them (quite often in the short run, and definitely in the long run).”
Every day, I meet with executives in companies that are struggling to control costs as they protect their market position and valued employees. Energy has been identified by all of them as a key area for containment and reduction. My translation of that sentiment is that these leaders “would rather fire a kilowatt than fire an employee.”
I recently participated in a forum with Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, a member of Congress and member of the Committee on Energy and Conservation, who concurs. He has decided to put his efforts into advocating for energy efficiency, the poorer cousin to sexier areas like energy generation – biofuel, wind, solar, etc. — which are seen as direct job creators. However, as Representative Welch correctly put it, “A dollar saved by energy efficiency is a dollar put back into the local economy.” And those dollars can be managed on the local level, rather than directed at the federal or agency level.
More on this issue and others in later posts. Of course, I will get to how innovative our idea is, how great and experienced our team is, and more. That is my job, after all. And, I sincerely hope you will join in the conversation and share your thoughts and comments.