For Entrepreneurs Who Value Sustainability

Over a year ago, Bob Willard kindly wrote a guest post for Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Bob has a new book coming out:  The Sustainability Champion's Guidebook: How to Transform Your Company.

I asked Bob Willard if he would be willing to revisit his advice to entrepreneurs who value sustainability.

Bob Willard replied:

I’ve mulled this over for a few days and as I re-read what I offered last year, I think my three pieces of advice:

  1. piggy-back the climate change / energy crisis
  2. be relevant, and 
  3. develop a compelling business case

still apply  – even more so because of the amount of economic stimulus money being directed toward green energy.
If anything, I’m even more strident about the original three.
All the best.
Bob Willard
[email protected]  
[email protected]  


Thank you so much, Bob!

Here is the advice for entrepreneurs Bob Willard offered in his original post for Inside VT KnowledgeWorks:

  1. Find a way to connect your product / service to climate change mitigation, carbon reduction, energy savings, and / or carbon footprint reduction. The two biggest sustainability issues / risks on the horizon threatening the value of corporations are the Climate Crisis and the Energy Crisis, joined at the hip by dependency on fossil fuels. Sooner or later, regulatory bodies will put a price on carbon, either through carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems, or both. The explosion of “green computing” and venture capital invested in “clean tech” are signals the business community is starting to “get it” on these risks. High-tech entrepreneurs need to connect their offerings to carbon risk mitigation. They need to coat-tail the climate and energy crises. (Your blog shows you have personal experience with risk. That’s what this is all about.)

  2. When marketing your high-tech offering, connect it to existing priorities / problems / challenges faced by your customers’ senior executives. Make it relevant. Meet the executives where they are and help them see new and better ways to use your offering to solve today’s problems and challenges.

  3. Develop a holistic, comprehensive, quantified business case for your high-tech offering that includes co-benefits. The green building industry has discovered that the biggest benefit from LEED standard buildings is not energy savings; it is occupant productivity and health benefits. Who would have thought? Similarly, high-tech entrepreneurs may need to include a complete menu of benefits similar to the seven I outlined in my St. Louis presentation in order to create a compelling business case that galvanizes executive commitment.

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