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Big News. We Are Merging With GreenOrder!

Greg Neichin

Dear friends, family, and colleagues who have only heard from me sporadically during the last month,

I want to sincerely apologize and finally explain why your emails and voicemails have sat unreturned beneath a mountain of backlog.  The truth is that we have been furiously scrambling to the finish line of what is a genuinely transformative corporate deal!!

Today, we are announcing the merger of Cleantech Group with GreenOrder, one of the best-known sustainability consulting firms in the country.  Together we will become one, new company dedicated to uniting the worlds of sustainability and cleantech innovation.

I will spare you a discussion of “synergies” and other press approved corporate-speak (you can find the official press release here if that type of stuff interests you).  I will get to the heart of why I am so excited about the potential for our newly formed company.

#1 We will make cleantech more relevant in corporate boardrooms: Helping to lead the Cleantech Group over the past three years, I have had a ringside seat to watch the clean technology sector develop.  I have watched breakthrough products come to life only to find them relegated to small, pilot demonstrations.  I have seen renewable energy projects and energy efficiency initiatives that are solid, low risk investments go unfunded due to a lack of understanding and senior corporate buy-in.  For clean technologies to truly scale,we must elevate the conversation.  GreenOrder has been a pioneer in doing exactly this and has been the principal advisor to General Electric on the creation and ongoing development of its ecomagination program since 2004.  The program is a sustainability and innovation initiative that accounted for $21 billion in 2011 sales for GE.  By combining GreenOrder’s experience in helping over 100 clients understand—at the Executive level—the critical importance of environmental innovation with Cleantech Group’s understanding of the technology landscape, we believe that we can truly accelerate cleantech adoption.

#2 We will make sustainability more than a report: Many sustainability practitioners are adept at identifying and reporting on organizational problems in search of solutions, yet lose momentum when the time comes for pressing forward on fixes that require truly innovative leaps.  There are too many voluminous reports and too many initiatives that look good in a marketing brochure, but simply don’t move the needle.  Those with a sincere desire to drive real corporate growth through sustainable innovation need to speak the language of business unit leaders.  The approach requires far more than just rhetoric around the importance of sustainability and environmental monitoring – it requires coming to the table with real technology and business model innovation.  It demands that sustainability leaders not only identify operating issues, but play a direct role in helping executives solve these problems.  We believe that this is where Cleantech Group’s tactical insights into cutting-edge innovation, coupled with GreenOrder’s deep experience in organizational change management will help sustainability leaders move to the next level of implementation and impact.

#3 We will demonstrate that a growing, specialized boutique with a variety of data, consulting, and networking services can thrive and help create huge client impact:  I’ll admit that headline bordered on corporate speak, but here’s the straight talk.  It is not easy to be a small, independent consulting or research firm.  The knowledge business is based on delivering exceptional client value while also keeping one eye open for new business opportunities.  For a small team, this can be a near impossible task.  Much like venture-backed startups can get stuck in the Valley of Death, so too can professional service firms.  I have seen this happen to many talented, passionate firms.  We believe that this merger quickly sets our combined company apart in the market.  We will be a global firm with major offices in San Francisco, New York, and London.  We will serve over 300 of the world’s largest companies and investors.  We will be on track to grow substantially in 2013 as one of the most significant and best-known firms with a specialized focus on the cleantech and sustainability space.  In short, we believe that this merger creates an incredibly strong foundation for growth and future expansion.

I could not be more proud and excited to call the GreenOrder team my new colleagues, and we look forward to building a bright future together!

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