<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/leon#">The Business of Green</a>

The Business of Green

Money matters in the green world, by Leon Gettler.

Ecopreneurs and carbon capitalists

Al Gore

Al Gore: the ultimate ecopreneur.

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We are now in the age of the 'ecopreneuer' - the entrepreneur who builds a business around ecology and the environment, the carbon capitalist who sees climate change and the environment as a business opportunity.

The most successful is Al Gore. The former US Vice President turned eco warrior is making millions from venture capital funds and other companies focused on bio-fuels, sustainable fish farming, electric vehicles and solar power. Gore is set to become the world’s first carbon billionaire.

And then there are ordinary people, consultants and small business owners who are doing things like helping others become more sustainable, or selling sustainability products and services.

As the sustainablog says, ecopreneurs are very different from entrepreneurs.

"Ecopreneurs take a penchant for innovation and problem-solving, applying it to meaningful purpose. Ecopreneurs emblazen the re-greening of Earth, restoring degraded land, cleaning the air, building healthy and safe homes, devising clean, renewable energy sources, offering prevention-oriented alternatives to treatment focused healthcare and helping preserve or restore the ecological and cultural wonders of the planet by changing the way we experience travel, just to name a few.

"While entrepreneurs make their money work for them through the businesses they create, or assets they accumulate, ecopreneurs use their businesses to implement their Earth Mission ….While many entrepreneurs may be motivated, at least in part, to the mantra of "greed is great" on their journey to becoming a millionaire, growing numbers of ecopreneurs are adopting a different course, focusing on solving the problems facing society through the businesses they create, greening their bottom line."

If you want to know more about what ecopreneurs are doing, you can even check out their site on Facebook.

Aside from individuals, there are also companies which have discovered ways of turning sustainability into a profitable business. One of the most interesting examples is Nike, which recycles its own shoes and those of other brands, turning them into interlocking gym floor tiles, playground surfaces, athletic track surfaces, synthetic turf, indoor and outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, dance floors and equestrian surfaces.

Nike makes money out of this recycled product by selling it at market prices. It also has licensing arrangements that generate royalties.

Another one to watch is US electronics company Best Buy, which has taken recycled TVs and turns that into a profitable business.

In both cases, the two companies have redesigned their operations and management to turn sustainability into a business opportunity.