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Lean and Clean: How One Company Makes Factories Greener and More Competitive

One company has figured out how to make energy more competitive, and more sustainable.


In the United States, the bulk of our electricity still comes from burning stuff, which means that electricity production is the source of some 80 percent of all carbon emissions. Drill deeper, and you’ll learn that industrial production consumes about 30 percent of that electricity.

At a time when the United States is desperate to increase its manufacturing and create new jobs, it can be hard to reconcile the needs to increase industry and engender sustainability. After all, a key advantage held by factories in emerging economies, besides lower labor costs, is that they spend far less time and money worrying about emissions and other environmental challenges.

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GOODCo Finalists: For a Cleaner Future, Three Firms Build a Smarter Grid

These three GOOD Company finalists are making our electrical infrastructure smarter.

The energy economy of the 21st century demands an innovative energy grid. Right now, power comes to your house on what amounts to an inefficient one-way track. By upgrading the grid with smart meters at homes and offices that talk back to utilities, power transmission becomes more efficient as supply is adjusted to meet need. Equally importantly, a modernized grid creates the infrastructure needed to plug in distributed clean energy producers, from wind to solar. While the subject hasn’t attracted the same attention as efforts to green commutes with electric cars, it’s just as important to our future: According to the EPA, 80 percent of all carbon emissions comes from electricity production. Here are three GOOD Company finalists who are trying to change that equation:

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