Sunday, November 18, 2007

Entrepreneurs with Conscience

Sometimes people enter into my life whom I recognise have the capacity to change not just my life but also the lives of so many others. There are thinkers, there are do-ers - and there are thinking do-ers. Mike Edge, Annette and Andrew Mercer fall squarely into the latter category. They are Entrepreneurs with Conscience - and are busy persuading others to do the same on the basis of three very simple principles:

1. to build ethical and environmental businesses to tackle climate change;
2. to support those working at the coal-face of climate change - the NGO's, such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and The Climate Group;
3. to make a personal commitment to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Businesses can move, and with the assistance of these people are moving, far faster than politics (and certainly faster than our current government, who as Jonathan Porritt so succinctly stated, suffer from a chronic case of NIMTO'ism - Not In My Term of Office) to tackle climate change. They are the ones recognising that there needs to be rapid change, grasping the opportunities and are backing the big solutions.

Yesterday I joined Annette to hear Andrew speak at the Be The Change Conference about his experiences as a low carbon green entrepreneur. They have set up Footdown, a forum to foster like-minded entrepreneurs with kernals of business ideas that have the potential to make a big difference. One such kernal which took seed out of one of these meetings prompted the formation of the company 2OC. 2OC has taken to market a remarkable technological solution called geo-pressure energy. Their technology (a small turbine not much larger than the palm of your hand) enables the harvesting of clean electricity from waste energy produced from gas pressure reduction stations. Each turbine creates 2 Megawatts of clean energy - that's the equivalent capacity of the Reading 2MW Wind turbine. Their aim is by 2010 to have installed generating capacity in the UK equivalent to 1 Gigawatt (1GW). That's the equivalent of removing one million tonnes of carbon (1MtC) from the earth’s atmosphere; equivalent to the amount emitted annually by the whole of the UK’s National Health Service. No small achievement.

Andrew is an inspirational speaker - and what he, his wife and his rapidly expanding team are doing is in itself remarkable. This is just the beginning. There are other such businesses galloping over the horizon. These are the people who are raising the bar, setting the new standards, creating the new world around us and acting on the bold vision needed to ensure the right solutions are put in place. As Mike says, it's time to build a war-chest and fight for the planet. Be the Change - the sky's the limit.

Entrepreneurs with Conscience
Be The Change

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