When we say cleantech innovators…


If you track the advertising, marketing, and PR industries, you may have noticed a trend: many firms now have what they call “cleantech” focus areas. But “cleantech” is variously defined, or not defined at all. It’s sometimes referred to as green technology, or “greentech,” which should not be confused with “greenwashing.” In the interest of clarity, here’s what cleantech means to Posit Partners.

“Cleantech” is a term used to describe technology innovations that shift the global economy from fossil fuels to more environmentally friendly and sustainable sources of energy and material. Cleantech enterprises typically focus on one or more of the following: renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and mitigation of the environmental impacts of industry.

Cleantech enterprises invent and perfect things like wind turbines, solar grid-tie inverters, energy-efficient building materials, smart grid software. And we hope they do it sustainably. Any company – consumer products, healthcare, cleantech, etc., may operate in a sustainable manner, but that doesn’t make them a cleantech enterprise. Just like a cleantech enterprise doesn’t necessarily operate sustainably.

More importantly, promoting a cleantech (or greentech) enterprise or offering is not the same thing as using positioning, marketing, or advertising to make a company appear “green.” This practice, commonly called “greenwashing,” is misleading at best, and nefarious at worst. It is not what we do.

Instead, we work with cleantech innovators—those companies whose products are designed to create a more sustainable, livable world for everybody on the planet. Cleantech innovators can be bootstrap startups or established research and commercialization facilities. They may be led by intrepid graduate students or experienced CEOs. They may be financed by friends and family, established venture capital firms or public markets.  But wherever they come from, we’re here to help them move forward.



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