Travis Bradford A former private equity and hedge fund executive founded the Prometheus Institute in 2003 to address the need for reliable data, analysis and information in the renewable energy industry. He believes the lack of information limits the adoption of cleanteach, a challenge that can be addressed by “bringing the business language to the push for sustainable technology.” He says that arming companies with clear information that outlines the immediate economic benefits of sustainable solutions can accelerate the take-up of sustainable technologies.
What Are Some of the Challenges in Getting Corporations to Be Greener?
Many people try to tell corporations they need to be more sustainable. But getting corporations to look at the wider social implications is difficult because they see these interests not as benefits but as expenses. Trying to scare corporations about the harm that could happen is also ineffective because it’s about long-term events, which rarely gets them to change their short-term behavior.
What Would Be a More Effective Way of Adopting Cleantech?
People tend to make decisions based on their own interests. This is neither a good nor a bad thing, it is just the way it is. Typically a corporation’s best interests focus on cost-effectiveness, but the problem is that they don’t have a deep understanding of cost-to-value calculations. It turns out that providing a corporation with a sustainability framework that shows the immediate savings, the reduction of risk, or opportunities to increase revenue is a more decisive way of achieving the same objective. Rather than telling corporations to change what they care about, we give them the data to realize that they can adopt these technologies to achieve the objectives that are important to them.
Can You an Example of Data That Has Led to Adopting Cleantech?
The Prometheus Institute started The Carbon War Room with Sir Richard Branson and one of our first projects was for the shipping vessels industry. It was very hard for corporations to understand how efficient and cost-effective different vessels are. Using the Carbon War Room we came up with a global rating index. Now there’s a clear paradigm to assess the economic cost as well as the environmental damage. We demonstrated that more money would be saved if they used the more energy-efficient vessel.
PROFILE MAGAZINE 2/2013, page 7