According to the latest issue of ClearProfit, a clean energy Hedge fund has been launched: The ALMA Clean Energy Hedge Fund, managed by Bozkurt Aydinoglu.
If anyone doesn’t know what a hedge fund is, don’t worry, plenty of hedge fund managers probably don’t either these days. It’s sort of a generic and often inappropriate term for any semi-private investment vehicle. The
original hedge funds were called partnerships, and run by living legends like Warren Buffet and George Soros, who would often hedge different investments or futures market positions so that they would make money no
matter which way the overall market went, or sometimes they wouldn’t. Nowadays, Hedge funds might specialize in different sectors of the financial markets, like commodities, energy, currency exchange, bankruptcies,
spin-offs, and of course, Clean energy.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers are, however, have you heard of them? They’re a Silicon Valley venture capital firm who helped to bring us the likes of Google, Amazon and Netscape. Guess what they are into now? Clean Tech. They have put 200 million or more into the likes of solar, biofuels, biomass gasification, and energy storage. This is great for the industry, and great for the future of greener, cleaner life on earth. Venture Capital can work wonders for start-ups because VCs aren’t afraid to have their money disappear completely nine times out of ten. Why? Because they make an astounding financial return on the tenth company, take it public, sell a bunch of it to schmucks in the IPO market, buy a newer 200 foot yacht, and sail it around while looking for ten more candidates to start the cycle over again, all the while donating bundles to charity.
BMW has just released its new 7-series Hydrogen Powered Vehicle. This is landmark event by any accounts. They plan to build one hundred of them over the next year, and up to several thousand per year eventually.
Unfortunately, like its non-tailpipe emitting brethren in green, the electric cars, The New 7 series is limited in range, and can only go 125 miles on Hydrogen. That’s not quite far enough to make a tour with it between the handful of Hydrogen refueling stations in Europe. Never worry, this super sedan can change over to old faithful gasoline at the flick of a button on the dash, keep right on motoring for another 310 miles, and people can smell the emissions it makes right there at the tailpipe just like a 1980 318i.
When I travel, I reluctantly throw away my recyclables as it is too much hassle to seek out a recycling bin. I guess I’m not alone: According to the WSJ “Airlines Feel Pressure as Pollution Fight Takes Off“, the airline industry throws away enough aluminum cans each year to build 58 Boeing 747s. To put that in perspective, since 1970, only 1469 747s have been built, and fewer than that are in service.
Never mind the plastic cups, glass, magazines, and all the fuel consumed. The airlines are actually improving somewhat – fuel efficiency is improving 2% per year. However, air travel has been growing at about 5% annually, for a net increase in waste.
To their credit, Airlines have been working on more important things for those of us who occasionally like to fly, like staying in business. And since the 70s, they have cut down on noise pollution, air pollution, and as
those who fly know, they don’t serve food anymore. Yes, we complained about the food, and now we complain about the absence of food.
Here’s one I never quite saw coming when I was firing a pottery kiln with veggie oil in 1999. According to the WSJ, 12/5/06, “As Alternative Fuels Heat Up, Environmental Concerns Grow.” Malaysians are getting sick from a nationwide haze of blue smoke caused by rushed and rampant burning of forests in order to plant palm oil trees and attempt to meet global demand for biodiesel.
According to the Journal, “The alternative energy field ‘is almost like the internet in terms of the pace of how fast all this is changing,’ says Chris Flavin, president of the World Watch Institute”
Internet is good, alternative energy is good, hot money chasing change leaves a wake of destruction.
Keep your money in your coat. As for now, I’ll keep fillin’ her up with unleaded (cut with Ethanol of course.) Sometimes the most sustainable thing I can do is nothing at all. [wsj link here - requires subscription]
Now this is the essence of waste into food, or food into fuel, or something: According to Shortnews.com, a Norwegian businessman who now lives in Miami, named Lauri Venoy, is negotiating with Jackson Memorial Hospital to obtain more than 11.5 litres of human fat obtained from liposuction operations every week. Normally burned, Lauri can turn it into truck fuel.
This could be for the Goth movement what soybean oil was for the hippie movement. I can see the sticker now on the VW Jetta: 100% powered by Human Fat. [link here]
Enough of this Bush-Cheney nonsense that conservation, energy efficiency and environmentalism are some hobby we can’t afford. I can’t think of anything more cowardly or un-American. Real patriots, real advocates of spreading democracy around the world, live green.
In today’s SustainableBusiness.com Update, editor Rona Fried, is calling this year the year of the greens:
2006 is definitely going to be “our” year – for so many of us that have spent our lives trying to help people of all kinds understand the importance of sustainability.
Last week Joel Makower gave us his top ten list: five reasons for optimism, and five reasons for concern, about the state of business and the environment. The State of Green Business: Good News and Bad is Joel’s synopsis of the last fifteen years of green business:
And despite the obstacles, I remain optimistic — indeed, confident — that the hard work of good people inside good companies will continue to raise the bar, the performance, and the appreciation of corporate environmental practices.
We’re happy to see BusinessWeek Online reporting on the value of Green MBA programs in last weeks article It’s Getting Easier Being Green. The article reviews many “Top Notch” MBA programs around the world and concludes that “recruiters will increasingly look for students who are at least aware of these social and environmental issues.” It seems “students really want to align their personal values with their career goals and still make a profit.” …Their on to us!
Last week launched the fourth Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) report, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Opportunities and Challenges for Business and Industry. The report highlights ways in which businesses depend on services provided by ecosystems, how those ecosystem services are changing, and the ramifications for business and industry.
MA’s findings show two-thirds of these services are being degraded presents real challenges as well as opportunities for business. For these key findings and to download the report, go to MA’s Web site.
At the recent Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City, Utah (Jan 28-Feb 1) a new tradeshow concept called Green Steps was introduced- designed to raise awareness on sustainability and showcase outdoor companies that support a healthy environment. Operating under the premise that retailers are increasingly interested in building relationships with exhibitors that support green business practices, it received high marks from both retailers and exhibitors and plans to implement “Green Steps” into future tradeshows is in the works. So remember to follow those green steps while at your next convention!
This month ClimateBiz.com is kicking off its brand-new Ask the Climate Expert column. Every other Monday, expert-in-residence Dr. Mark C. Trexler will answer readers’ questions on emissions reduction, climate risk management, and other hot topics. Read about Mark’s professional background and start getting your climate questions answered today!
International Women’s Day started today with a march for equal rights. 30,000 people were expected in Sao Palo, Brazil to begin the world march in search of an international charter for women’s equal rights. The sexual revolution may have changed the lives of millions, but it has not yet reached much of the world’s female population living in exploitation, oppression and violence.
According to a report published Tuesday by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, 70 percent of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty are women. And although women hold 39 percent of the world’s 2.8 billion jobs, a higher proportion than ever before, “the best paid jobs are overwhelmingly reserved for men,” the confederation said.
The Seattle-based firm, Team Hybrid, in partnership with non-government organizations Asiana Education Development and Doctors of the World, is transforming shipping containers into well-designed health clinics that can be put into long-term use in Sri Lanka. The aid stations will be outfitted with medical supplies and moved to a new location every four months. The team hopes to have them in place by April. Sustainable Metropolis has more on this story.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Daihatsu Motor Co. have jointly developed a new environment-friendly, water-based paint and new painting methods. These new technologies are expected to reduce VOC emissions by about 70 percent and CO2 emissions by about 15 percent compared with conventional processes, resulting in the lowest emission levels in the world. Daihatsu began selling cars painted with these new technologies on December 20, 2004. Learn more about this innovation in this months Japan for Sustainability.
A new online tool by the nonprofit Clean Air – Cool Planet was launched a to help colleges and universities take action to reduce the threat of global warming. The Campus Climate Action Toolkit was in development for two years and contains a spreadsheet for taking an inventory of emissions, a guide to identifying emissions reduction targets and developing a campus climate action plan, case studies of projects and measures from other institutions, and a variety of links to resources for specific action steps. Even if you’re not in college, it’s a great resource.