A recent post by Tyler Hamilton at Clean Break brought a few things into focus for me. On cleantech investing, Tyler says: the fact remains if you want to get businesses to embrace a more sustainable way of operating and convince consumers to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle you’ve got to go back to basics: Will this lower costs/monthly bills? Will this improve operational efficiency? Will this lower risk? Will this give me an edge over rivals? I could not agree more. In my opinion, there is also an important analogy between the adoption of clean technologies and investments in those clean technologies. The analogy between adoption and investment shows that these two things will ultimately have similiar paths. For clean technologies to be adopted, they must be supported by economic benefits to the end users of those technologies. They must strengthen the business case for the customer. If the economic benefits are not there, the usage of these technologies cannot be sustainable. Goodwill runs out when the money runs out. The lack of adoption of a clean technology will of course impact an investment in the company. When we invest in a company, we own a piece of that company. Over the long term, if the company is not profitable because its products are not being adopted, our investment in that company will reflect the performance of its products. If you are investing in alternative energy companies because it is the right thing to do, but you are continually losing money, there is just so long that can last despite all your good intentions. The profits of a company or lack thereof will bring that reality home to you as an investor. The adoption of clean technologies and the investment in clean technologies both must be justified by economic benefits – it cannot just be the right thing to do. If economic benefits are not there, the adoption and investment in these technologies cannot be sustainable. Here’s to saving the world by investing in profitable clean tech companies! At some point later in time, I would like to add a forum to this site to facilitate interaction amongst the readers and to create a community. Right now, I just have the comments section of this blog. For today, I am asking that you use the comment section below if you would like to tell us about an alternative energy (or clean technology/environmentally friendly) company that you are excited about. Tell us what the company does, why you like them and the potential of the company and their products. Of course, your comments on the post itself are always welcome.
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