Thursday, October 22, 2009

EPA's Greening Your Products

Hello, fellow Charleston Green Business supporters! I just wanted to share a document with you that I ran across while surfing the Internet.

In February 2002, the EPA released a very educational document entitled “Greening Your Products: Good for the environment, good for your bottom line”. In the paper, they give reasons why introducing green products can be more profitable. The authors provide thoughts on identifying, producing, and marketing green products.

They also provide many useful links, diagrams, and environmental program descriptions that may aid in a green businessperson’s product/service conceptualization. The article also supplies several case studies that set the ecopreneurial mind in motion.

Whether you already have or are considering launching a green business, this publication is definitely worth your perusal.

The full document (a great source of reference) can be viewed and downloaded at:

Green Roofs

I posted pictures of green roofs in Norway last year. Turns out those are rather popular (one of the major links in to the blog from Google searches). Today the Post and Courier has a story on green roofs. Of course it's not about roofs in Charleston. Some of my students a year and a half ago looked into the possibility of getting a green roof business going here and the initial response was rather negative - most people had no idea what one was or why they would want it. Maybe today's article will help on both counts. Can the green roof wave hit Charleston?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

EcoSwims: Using swimming to raise money for good causes

I partnered with Charleston Waterkeeper, a non profit organization dedicated to protecting Charleston’s waterways, and Barrier Island Ecothon, a local multisport racing company, to conduct open water swim clinics starting this Fall.  These EcoSwims take place every Friday at station 29 on Sullivan’s Island with a suggested donation of $10.  My experience in coaching around the country, collegiate swimming, and Ironman distance triathlon is utilized by those who want to improve their swimming skills, get over their fear of the water, or just come out for a beautiful sunset swim. 

I am thrilled at the results: it is a winning situation for each entity involved.  CWK benefits from the generated revenue, publicity, and increased involvement in the waterways, which enhances the embodiment of ‘owning’ our waterways.  BIE benefits from the generated revenue, publicity, and increased involvement in training clinics for its’ adventure races.  The participants receive great training and confidence in the water.  I benefit from knowing that my skills are being used to generate funds for two great organizations, share my love of the water, and increase awareness about open water swimming.  I initiated this collaboration in an effort to develop a culture of open water swimming in the Lowcountry much like the supportive swimming network I experienced while living in San Francisco.

For more information on these swims please view the following websites:




South Carolina Bioenergy Summit tomorrow

Clemson is hosting a summit, primarily on switchgrass, all day tomorrow in Florence. Info at
Featuring Presentations on:
- Impacts of Climate Change Legislation on Biomass Demand
and Production
- Bioenergy Research in South Carolina
- Emerging Biomass Industries
- The SC Switchgrass Initiative
- Biomass Opportunities for Limited Resource Farms

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Environmental Consulting Marketplace just launched a site for consultants and those looking for consultants.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Funding a Green Business

I gave a talk on funding green businesses at the Green Business Expo last week. This week there is an article on the topic from a VC perspective. Some of it mirrors what I talked about:
AC: You outline 5 types of investment capital in a business: self-funding, friends and family, angel investors, venture capitalists, and traditional lenders. Which strategy is most appropriate for seed stage, early stage and late stage companies?

BK: Seed stage is really just an idea and a business plan. Early stage is when you have a product or service ready to handle sales and customers. Late stage is when you are up and running, you've got customers, and are further along in generating revenue. Most venture capitalists are early and late stage investors because seed stage deals carry greater risk to the investor. For these seed and early stage companies, self-funding, friends and family, and angel investors are the best bets.
But it does get more into the VC perspective than I discussed.

One key lesson - get out there, start the business and focus on generating revenue. You're not going to get much investment without proven sales.