Green Investments Too Much of a Good Thing?

Wed, 2009-09-23 23:35

Are we in a Green Bubble?

I think one of the hallmarks of a bubble is that no one knows it’s a bubble until it’s too late. Just because something is a good thing doesn’t mean it’s going to implode at some point. There may have been a lot of people who lost a lot of money in Internet stocks back in 2000, but the Internet itself wasn’t ever a bubble and is still going strong. Regardless of how these venture companies fare, we still have tremendous strides to make in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency.

We work to educate the building industry, and we don’t look at green building as something unique but rather as a better way of designing something. For example, a building that uses 30% less energy because it was designed for energy efficiency as part of its base criteria is not just an “environmentally friendly” building, it’s also a better building, period. 

After looking at literally hundreds of green technology or service startup ideas, I don’t think we are in an actual bubble in terms of investment but rather we are in a marketing bubble. How is it that nearly every company and/or product line is now green (even gasoline is green)? When looking at all of the media attention, it amazes me how much of the “green” marketing is really just there to make the user feel good about the same old activity they’ve always done.

I think the neat thing about green is what will happen, as sustainability and resource efficiency simply become a part of the standard design criteria for all things kind of like the Internet just works in the background now and is still changing the way business works, yet that bubble burst 8 years ago now.