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Green to the Core: Launching & Growing a Sustainable Business

Hosted by: Equinox Center, Startup Leadership Program and San Diego Regional EDC
June 7, 2012

Thanks to the more than 90 of you who turned out for last week’s “Green to the Core®: Launching & Growing a Sustainable Business” event hosted by Equinox Center, Startup Leadership Program and San Diego Regional EDC.

Did you miss it? Not to worry -- here's a quick recap!

This event featured a spirited panel discussion with three of the region’s most innovative green entrepreneurs, networking and craft beer by Lost Abbey.

If you are a current or aspiring entrepreneur who missed the event but would like to learn more about Startup Leadership Program (SLP), a world-class training program for outstanding leaders and innovators who are or want to be startup CEOs, click here. SLP is recruiting 2013 fellows now!

For more on Equinox Center’s Leaders 2020 initiative, click here.

Our dynamic, inspirational and at times hilarious speakers stressed the importance of getting involved on a local level to drive smarter, more sustainable policies that can support a clean economy in the region and beyond. The discussion also spanned topics like what to do about “greenwashing,” the impact of the policy environment on green business, and de-politicizing sustainability.

The Future of Business and the Environment

Wall Street Journal / invitation only event
March 21-23, 2012

The Wall Street Journal’s fifth annual conference on the business of the environment took place in Santa Barbara, California, March 21-23, 2012. As always, the focus at ECO:nomics was on discussion, debate, and the pursuit of real solutions. For full coverage of the conference, click here for selected video and here for the Special Report published by the Journal on March 26, 2012.

Speakers included:

  • Bill Gates on what it will take to deliver affordable energy while slashing carbon emissions
  • Gov. Jerry Brown on the tensions between good politics and sustainable energy policy in California
  • T. Boone Pickens and former Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell on making sure the U.S. takes advantage of the energy bonanza
  • David Rubenstein, a founder and managing director of Carlyle Group, on how private equity and sustainability can go together
  • Robert McDonald, CEO of The Procter & Gamble Company, on putting consumer products on a more sustainable path
  • David Steiner, CEO of Waste Management, on transforming his company and new ways to profit from what people throw away
  • Edward Cohen, president and CEO, Atlas Energy and Aubrey McClendon, chairman and CEO, Chesapeake Energy on the case for natural gas, with a response from Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay
  • Aris Candris, president and CEO, Westinghouse Electric and James Rogers, chairman, president and CEO of Duke Energy on nuclear energy
  • Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation and Natural Resources Defense Council president Frances Beinecke on green energy, the environment and the economy
  • C. S. Kiang, chairman of China’s Sustainable Development Technology Foundation and Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy on how we should view China’s role in the world’s energy, environmental and economic future
  • Jim Talent, Former U.S. Senator from Missouri and advisor to Mitt Romney on energy policy

As well as Ned McMahon from Malama Composites.

ECO:nomics participants also joined an array of working groups to come up with smart ways to deal with some of the most crucial environmental issues for companies and investors. Vinod Khosla reported on his group’s discussion about green investing. Betty Noonan, senior vice president of Panasonic Consumer Marketing Company of North America, came back with recommendations about marketing green efforts. Eric Spiegel, CEO of the U.S. unit of Siemens, joined Rocky Mountain Institute chairman Amory Lovins in shedding light on energy efficiency. Mark Williams, downstream director at Royal Dutch Shell plc, and IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates chairman Daniel Yergin discussed the outlook for fossil fuels. Bank of America’s global technology and operations executive, Catherine Bessant, and Duke Energy chief executive James Rogers talked about the best ways to capture a CEO’s ear on environmental issues.