This week, we had the pleasure of connecting with Nicholaus Rohleder, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of New American Energyhttps://www.newamenergy.com/, a firm that invests in public and private clean & environmental technologies companies as well as clean energy infrastructure. Read on to learn about Nicholaus’ passion for the environment and how is firm is making an impact:
Tell us a little bit about you, your background, and your current role:
I grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma in a family of people almost exclusively employed in the oil and gas industry. During that time, seeing the change occurring in the industry and the damage to the planet firsthand, I found my passion for climate. I went on to go against the grain, studying environmental economics at Columbia University and environmental engineering and technology at the University of Pennsylvania. My climate journey has been anchored at the intersection of energy’s past and energy’s future, and I believe that this has put me in a unique position to bring together critical stakeholders at a moment in history when time is of the essence to combat the climate crisis. This led me to my current role of Co-Founder, Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Portfolio Manager at New American Energy, which is a vertically integrated asset manager focused on the clean and environmental technology sector. In addition to my role at New American Energy, I currently hold Independent Directorships at the following companies: waste remediation technology provider, BioHiTech Global (NASDAQ: BHTG), of which, at appointment, I was the youngest Independent Director of a NASDAQ-listed company; clean and environmental technology investment bank, Ardour Capital; solar + storage engineering firm, EnergyLink; integrated carbon management technology company, American Hydrogen; and climate-focused media company, Climate & Capital Media.
What is a fun fact about you?
My first job was as a day laborer in the oilfield.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
We are unfortunately on a very constrained timeline to avoid irreversible impacts on the planet from a climate science perspective. In conjunction with this, we have an exploding population, a record wealth gap, and a heightened frequency of extreme weather and environmental disaster events occurring. While this poses enormous challenges for society, business, policymakers, and practically all planetary stakeholders, it also creates a once in a generation opportunity to participate in the reconstruction of the economic, environmental, and political system to put the planet as the chief stakeholder. From a business perspective, I would compare this to the development of the internet in framing the opportunity set.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I think that environmental stewardship will take hold at the core of business. I am not entirely certain as to the mechanisms that will be put in place to achieve materialization of this, but I believe it will occur. A business’ license to operate will be predicated on its ability to carry out operations in a climate positive manner. The climate economy is a completely new industry, and I think that over the next 10 years it will become the mainstream economy because it touches everything from consumer products to energy. While my background and firm are grounded in the energy sector portion of the equation, I believe that will adapt and evolve to include other focus areas as the development of the climate economy accelerates.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
In day to day life, the average person can do the little things that compound considerably over time. These include reducing personal consumption, waste, conserving energy, conserving water, and generally trying to think of the natural environment as a stakeholder in everyday life. On the contrary, the average person has an opportunity to participate in the development of the climate economy like never before. There are extraordinary tools available at little to no cost available to the average person to educate themselves on the science of climate change, business of sustainability, and current environmental policy environment. Especially for young people; this is a new industry similar to the rise of the internet where the foremost experts are still in training.
Green.Org is a television show, podcast, social media, and news platform, hosted by Dylan Welch, that highlights climate change scientists, renewable energy experts, and clean tech entrepreneurs by giving them a voice in the mainstream media. The Green podcast highlights leading experts in cleantech, sustainability, media, finance, and real estate. Tune in and subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify to listen to interviews with leading cleantech and sustainable experts. If you are interested in being featured on Green, click HERE.