Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The BBJ's Green Biz Summit

It's common knowledge that a warm, delicious breakfast makes 7:30 on a Friday morning a little more bearable. This understanding was displayed to perfection last week at the Seaport Hotel for the Boston Business Journal's first ever Green Business Summit.


A room full of green entrepreneurs, investors and local business-folk gathered to eat cheese soufflé, and more importantly, to discuss the ways in which Boston businesses and business people can make changes to how we impact our environment.

The room listened intently to a keynote by local greentech guru Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind, and two panels filled with innovative thinkers in the world of green business.

I've heard Mr. Gordon speak twice now, the first time at the MIT Enterprise Forum's Power, Drugs and Money conference in February, and he remains one of my favorite local voices. It's so obvious that Jim cares deeply not only for his company, but also for the benefits his company’s technology will undoubtedly provide to the Commonwealth.


Following the keynote, the panel discussions covered a number of issues relating to building, maintaining and expanding businesses - and doing so while keeping a keen eye on environmental impact. Some very simple ideas like riding a bike to work were followed by some more intensive ideas like cutting total energy consumption at major corporations like Millipore and Raytheon.

Joining the second panel of the morning was CHEN client and friend Dr. Christina Lampe-Onnerud, CEO of Boston-Power. Christina provided the voice of the entrepreneur on her panel, adding insight to topics like global environmental issues (Boston-Power has manufacturing facilities in China and Taiwan) and local environmental innovation (Christina chose Boston as the home for her company because of its vast resources in business, academia and investment).

The fact that the Summit sold out in short order was a pretty good sign that the Boston business community is concerned with environmental issues like those discussed on Friday. I think it’s safe to say everyone left with some “green” challenges to incorporate into both their business and personal lives.

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