This past week in Washington, DC, I interviewed the Environmental Protection Agency Adminstrator, Lisa Jackson, at the "The New Green Economy" conference organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment. The conference was held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington and welcomed 1,000 attendees at this year's gathering. I caught Adminstrator Jackson as she entered the back of the hall and waited to be announced for her speech.
The keynote session topic was what many of us wonder these days: "The New Green Economy: (How) Can We Get There From Here?" Since she was waiting to address the group, I asked her what her message for the 1,000 conference-goers would be? She said she wanted to offer them the encouragement of President Barack Obama's administration and said that all of us must find our places in the new green economy. She talked about how the future is full of opportunities to Greenify and that businesses, if they want to survive, will need to fit into the new green economy to succeed in business.
We all want that, don't we? To fit into the new green economy and to succeed in business? A lot of people are wondering that right now, so that was my other question (you don't get many questions in while waiting to be announced before a speech) to Administrator Jackson. "Is there a choice to be made between the environment and the economy? Can American businesses do both?"
Her answer was extremely encouraging. She said businesses are going to have to do both. We all are worried about the economy, staying productive and growing as a business, but we need to join the new green economy, too. In fact, she says that now is the best time to Greenify because being greener is often less costly to businesses.
That's right, both Administrator Jackson and every expert I spoke with this past week said that a greener business is a more productive and cost effective business. For instance, if you put on a sweater to lower your thermostat and install energy efficient lightbulbs, you will save money. If you use recyclable paper, you will save the environment and be able to advertise that to customers. If you drive an energy efficient car, you will pay less for gas. If you drive a hybrid, you can save even more. Re-use, use it up, wear it out and recycle your way into the new greener economy.
It's an exciting time to be in business. It's a great time to Greenify. And doing both is the only way to move forward into the future with the New Green Economy.
By the way, I interviewed someone else that I was very excited to meet. I'll tell you about that in a week or two. I'm waiting for the video link to go up so you can all see that interview in action. I think you'll be excited, too!