Sustainability Guru Heads Up an Exiting Day of Alt-Vehicle Fun, at Northern California Racetrack
Sustainability leader L. Hunter Lovins is well-known for her love of horses, and her ubiquitous 10-gallon hat. It just so happens that she also has love affair with a completely different kind of horsepower: the kind generated by noisy creatures with wheels.
Yes, it's true: your favorite cowgirl-slash-environmental-activist-extraordinaire is a motor-head speed-freak! (She's raced motorcycles, cars, and even snowmobiles.) But, according to Ms. Lovins, she is, in no way an oxymoron, or a hypocrite. Speaking at last Thursday's Accelerating Sustainable Performance Summit, Lovins said, "Sustainability is about higher performance." (a common theme of books like Braungart & McDonough's Cradle to Cradle, and Lovins' own Natural Capitalism.) She went on to note that higher performance is what motorsports is all about.
The summit was hosted by Infineon Raceway, ground zero for all things fast and sustainable, in Northern California. The idea is to bring together an eclectic mix of auto industry movers-and-shakers, green vehicle advocates, sustainability experts, academics, and media, all with a common purpose: to create a platform for disruptive innovation in clean transportation, and to leverage the massive popularity of motorsports, as a way to bring the sustainability message to the masses.
Accelerating Sustainable Performance
In its inaugural year, the Accelerating Sustainable Performance Summit wants to answer the following questions:
Lovins, the day's main attraction, says that motorsports will be the proving ground, for green transportation technology. "Racing has brought us...innovations: increased safety, better aerodynamics, composite materials, higher performance - it is an integration of what racing does. We need to combine what people want with what we can give them and we need racing to help us get there."
"NASCAR, the number one spectator sport, is going green. Race cars now use 15 percent ethanol. Why? Because it boosts horsepower."Innovate or die
Off to the Races
There were a number of exciting announcements and cool things to see, at the event. I'm going to list them here, briefly, but check back, for links to the in-depth articles:
I can't think of a better way to get people excited about sustainability.
Steve Puma is Director of Business Development for SABA Motors, and a sustainability writer/consultant. His work focuses (mostly) on clean transportation, including Plug-In Electric Vehicles, something he is very passionate about.
Steve holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BA in Computer Science from Rutgers University. You can learn more about Steve by reading his blog, or following his tweets.
<em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">Steve Puma</a> is a sustainable business consultant and writer.
Steve holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from <a href="http://www.presidioedu.org/">Presidio Graduate School</a> and a BA in Computer Science from <a href="http://www.cs.rutgers.edu/">Rutgers University</a>. You can learn more about Steve by reading his <a href="http://www.brightpuma.com">blog</a>, or following his<a href="http://twitter.com/stevepuma"> tweets</a>.</em>