Corporate America Learns That Being Green Brings Pays

Does international supplier Ingersoll Rand know something that others don't?

It plans to hire 1,400 heating, ventilating and air conditioning specialists worldwide to cash in on what it sees as an emerging market for more energy-efficient buildings. "Climate solutions" is apparently the company's fastest-growing business segment.

Ingersoll Rand understands that energy efficiency makes sense, both economically and environmentally. Minimal investment can yield maximum returns as these examples show. Cutting power bills and redirecting that money into the pocketbooks of consumers and local governments is a big part of what we do here at the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization.

Ingersoll Rand, which sells everything from dead bolts to boilers, has made a major commitment toward conservation, cutting power costs $4 million through a federal program that uses employee volunteers to look for ways to decrease utility bills, according to this report.

It sent representatives to the United Nations 2010 climate talks in Cancun to spread the word of energy efficiency, telling participants that conservation is the biggest bang for the buck.

The talks were characterized, in part, by the emerging infuence of corporate America in clean energy and efficiency. Jeff Moe, director of global policy and advocacy for Ingersoll Rand's Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, attended the conference and put it this way:

"Climate change in the form of rising sea levels, shifts in growing seasons and increase of extreme weather can impact the health and economic well-being...Understanding how today's technology can help offset energy usage, and associated greenhouse gas emissions, is paramount in managing the issue."

Ingersoll Rand gets it. Increasingly, other businesses are getting, and spreading, the message too. Walmart, Target, Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola, General Motors and General Electric are among businesses that have in recent months announced climate initiatives.

Google and other technology companies are making large investments in green energy. In fact, technology firms are well represented on Newsweek's 2010 list of greenest companies. If corporate America is on board, maybe the government will be next.