Rocky Mountain Institute: Valuing Natural Capital

Posted by Amy Guinan

Feb 17, 2015 7:30:00 AM

aea013ed-b181-40c3-813f-cc3a22bfd0cfThe Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is a "think and do tank" that helps corporations, non profit organizations, academic institutions, the military, and other organizations implement market based solutions to work in more efficeint, ecologically responsible ways.  

RMI adheres to the principles of "Natural Capitalism" in which business and environmental interests overlap and natural resources are properly valued. (Natural Capitalism is the 1999 book written by Paul Hawken, Hunter Lovins and Rocky Mounatin Institute co-founder, Amory Lovins).

In 2011, drawing from RMI's 30 years of research and work in the field, Amory Lovins and the Rocky Moutain Institute authored the book, Reinventing Fire,   According to the RMI website, Reinventing Fire,"maps pathways for running a 158%-bigger U.S. economy in 2050 but needing no oil, no coal, and no nuclear energy."

RMI makes the case in Reinventing Fire that by 2050 the following goals are acheivable:

  • Transportation:  Eliminate oil for transportation 
  • Buildings:  Create buildings that are 50% more efficient than they are today
  • Industry:  Reduce energy consumption 9% below 2010 levels
  • Electricity:  Meet 80% of electricity demand with renwables
In order to ensure necessary benchmarks are being met to reach the 2050 goals, the Institute has created bold intermediary goals they hope to achieve by 2025:  
  • Source U.S. electricity renewably
  • Make U.S. buildings superefficient
  • Transform communities' energy systems
  • Reinvent fire in China and beyond

According to the RMI website, co-founder Amory Lovins, is "an American consultant experimental physicist and 1993 MacArthur Fellow, and has been active at the nexus of energy, resources, economy, environment, development, and security in more than 50 countries for over 40 years. He is widely considered among the world’s leading authorities on energy—especially its efficient use and sustainable supply—and a fertile innovator in integrative design and in superefficient buildings, factories, and vehicles."


This blog is part of an on-going series highlighting thought leaders in the Non Profit sector.

The Politics of Energy - Educated Voices Needed

The next two years will be challenging for advocates of clean energy in America.  

The new Republican majority in Congress is threatening to rollback the progress of the past 6 years.  Fossil fuels (tar sands oil, coal and natural gas) are their energy sources of choice - with renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal) pushed aside and starved of funding.

That is why the non-profit organizations we are highlighting in this series need your support.  They have the means to educate - to inspire - to call to action - people (like you) that can make a real difference in the debate - and keep us moving on the road to clean energy.

Ready to take the next step with wind energy? Look here for assistance with installing solar on your residential or commerical property,  

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