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“Cost Less, Mean More”: A $10 Trillion Product Revolution

Bill Roth | Friday December 11th, 2009 | 2 Comments

Recycle graphicAn Australian expression I love and use constantly is “No worries!” That phrase captures the essence of an entrepreneur’s faith. And it captures my faith that it will be our entrepreneurs, rather than government, that lead the way in figuring out solutions to our current environmental and economic mess. My attendance at the Cleantech Open re-enforced this faith as I enjoyed an entire day listening to entrepreneurs pitching how their green products will save the planet, grow jobs and make money. And here’s the key maturation in green business that has just occurred this year. ALL of these entrepreneurs had price competitiveness at the core of their green product designs.

Achieving price competitiveness drives my economic analysis projecting a $10 trillion global annual revenue sustainable economy by 2017. This projection is based upon cutting-edge market research documenting that consumers will almost always buy the green product if it is at price parity with the non-green product. Market researchers have branded this shift in consumer behavior as a search for cost less, mean more solutions. And the great news for our economy and environment is that our entrepreneurs are now launching a green product revolution covering market segments from construction materials to chemicals to energy that is focused upon selling “cost less, mean more” solutions.

Check out Scott Cooney’s Triple Pundit post on a Cleantech Open award winner called Micromidas. This company has a technology that converts organic waste water into biodegradable plastic by removing carbon from waste water and converting it into plastic that can be used to satisfy our love affair with the plastic bottle. But the Micromidas bottle will degrade within three years after being discarded. Great environmental result but from a business perspective this product design literally turns sh_t into profits! Cost less, mean more!

A personal favorite presenter at Cleantech Open was tru2earth with the corporate motto of “Rethink, recycle, rebuild.” This firm takes plastic bottles and turn them into roof tiles. The typical residential roof made of asphalt tiles represents about a hundred barrels of oil. After a couple of decades, you have to replace them with another 100 barrels of oil. Also, the emerging water efficiency of capturing roof top rain runoff is defeated if the asphalt tiles contaminates the water and thereby limits it is use. The tru2earth tile enables roof top rainwater recapture, they last 50 years, they look great and they cost the same! Cost less, mean more.

The Global Grand Prize winner at the Cleantech Open was Replenish Energy from Puerto Rico, which uses an old shrimp farm to harvest for micro-algae for the production of vegetable oil that can be used as a bio-fuel. The saltwater ponds where the micro-algae is harvested also forms a symbiotic relationship with an adjacent fish farm.

My belief in entrepreneurs as the solution to restoring our environment, economy and jobs has never been stronger. They are engaged on a global scale that is singularly focused upon making their fortunes by creating “cost less, mean more” solutions. While world governments talk about two-stage climate change treaty negotiations, Congress crafts 1400+ pages of climate change legislation that defies layman understanding and the regulated utility business model grinds toward the smart grid, it is the world’s entrepreneurs that are creating, funding and launching solutions that “cost less, mean more.” You can take this quote to the bank, “No worries mate, green entrepreneurs have got our backs.”


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