Green Chemistry – a growing billion dollar industry

A recent article from the New York Times talked about how green chemistry is translating into a booming big business opportunities.

The article cited investors such as Vinod Khosla and venture capital firm Rockport Capital Partners jumping into the green bandwagon. Rockport is said to have invested in green chem companies such as EcoSmart Technologies, which manufactures botanical pesticides; and Advanced Electron Beams, which offers technology that reduces energy and chemical use in industrial processing.

Start-ups such as Amyris Biotechnologies, Codexis, Novomer, and Serious Materials are attracting cash inflows as well, according to New York Times.

Even media companies are cashing in on green. NBC Universal recently promoted their green week by using candles on a Sunday night football reporting and not using a power saw to cut down this year’s Rockefeller Christmas tree. They even installed a solar energy roof at the top of Rockefeller Center to help power up the tree’s energy efficient LED lights.

Green advertisings are now proliferating on TV ranging from oil companies’ promotion of their alternative energy to automobile makers touting their fuel efficient/environment-friendly SUVs.

On a recent CNBC show, money guru Suzie Orman talked about investing on green mutual funds. Her guest from securities firm MorningStar cited Winslow Green Growth Fund and Calvert Global Alternative Energy as some of their top picks.

Morningstar, however, also warned investors to look beyond the hype of green marketing to avoid pitfalls. Not only is the green industry too young and mostly subjected to government regulations and subsidies, green funds are also generally not cheap, according to analyst Michael Herbst.

The green market might be a hot commodity now but like the dot com era, this industry could see red if manufacturers, retailers and technology companies rush into promoting their green wares and initiatives before they made real progress.

Leave a Reply