Wednesday, June 14
I’ve been writing on this blog – directly or indirectly – about climate change (too many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere) and agriculture (too little carbon and richness in the topsoil that’s left) – and energy.
After numerous references to Natural Capitalism, I picked up the book Natural Capitalism for a re-read and re-discovered a chapter, “Food for Life” that addresses climate change, agriculture, energy and solutions:
climate change: “Farming, as presently practiced, contributes about one-fourth of the risk of altering the earth’s climate.”
agriculture: “A more subtle decline than physical soil loss, but no less dangerous, is the invisible loss of the soil’s organic richness.”
energy: “The food sector uses about 10-15 percent of all energy in the industrialized countries, and somewhat more in the United States. Despite improving efficiencies, about two-fifths of energy goes to food processing, packaging, and distribution, and another two-fifths to refrigeration and cooking by final users. Only one-fifth is actually used on the farm – half of that in the form of chemicals applied to the land.”
solutions: “Agriculture based on more natural models would feature reduced land clearance, tillage, and fertilization, higher energy efficiency, and greater reliance on renewable energy.”
A technology development company, EPRIDA, has a solution in carbon capture, carbon utilization for sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Biomimicking an organic, closed-loop process, EPRIDA aims to take carbon from the air and put it in topsoil. One byproduct of the solution is called ECOSS (a fertilizer). Another is hydrogen (energy).
EPRIDA (“Sustainable Solutions for Global Concerns”) stands for: Earth People Research Innovation Development Acknowledgement. The company was founded “to provide a commercial vehicle for exploring innovative solutions to global challenges.”
Typical for technology development companies, EPRIDA has myriad product ideas, myriad potential markets and myriad value propositions. EPRIDA chooses to sell energy and fertilizer and carbon credits. Thus, it’s a solution. It’s not a widget; it’s not a product, like a can of soda.
I called Bob Gower, EPRIDA’s marketing director. I wanted to know what goes into marketing a cleantech solution. Bob is an MBA candidate at Presidio College in San Francisco and brings to EPRIDA a traditional corporate marketing background. How different is traditional marketing for a large established brand and marketing for a cleantech startup? I’ll fill you in next week. Until then, check out the “EPRIDA cycle” flash presentation…in Mandarin!
* Terra Preta is healthy, dark soil. On a sustainable farm, biomass is left on the ground to rot, or composted in, adding nutrients to the soil, a process that requires no energy input other than that from the sun and the work of bacteria, fungi, protoctists, and creatures of all sorts.
Other goings on this week:
Deloitte’s Senior Advisor, Joseph Stanislaw, on E&ETV: U.S. must take lead in shaping international energy policy (June 14)