Green.Org sat down with Courtney Blodgett, the Director of Strategy at EDO. Courtney is a motivated and passionate entrepreneur who works in sustainable investing, clean energy, microgrids, and energy efficiency. She is the Founder of Yield Positive, a platform for retail investors to learn more about sustainable investing.
Who is Courtney Blodgett?
Courtney Blodgett, Founder of Yield Positive, has worked for more than 15 years on sustainable finance. She was a climate finance advisor to the UN and led the Impact Investing Team at Vulcan, the family office of Paul G. Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder. She is an avid rock climber, hiker, traveler and sits on the boards of OikoCredit U.S. and the Carbon Leadership Forum
Courtney, thank you for being here. Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I have worked around the globe in sustainability for more than 15 years. My experience includes helping to design the rules of the carbon offset market, creating a $50 million program to facilitate private sector clean energy development in developing countries, and leading the impact investing team at Vulcan, Inc, the family office of Paul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder. I managed a portfolio of solar mini-grids in Kenya, publishing research on what electricity consumption patterns and how appliance loan programs could enable economic development. I worked as the Managing Director of Brooklyn Microgrid, a peer-to-peer energy trading company. I founded Yield Positive, a blog to help everyday investors do sustainable investing, and I serve on the Board of Directors OikoCredit US and on the Board of Advisors at the Carbon Leadership Forum and Enablesus.
What is a fun fact about you?
I am a rock climber and hiker, and I have climbed around the world including Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp.
Why do you think climate change and sustainability is such an important topic today?
The world is now truly seeing the impact of climate change in the worst ways – heavier rainfall, increased intensity of storms, extreme heat and cold. Major disruptions to our grid system and built infrastructure– and therefore economy – are being experienced on a much more frequent basis as a result of extreme weather events caused by global warming. Suddenly something that felt so distant to at least parts of the world is now here.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
I envision a world where the electricity grid is powered by clean renewable energy. When there is insufficient generation, buildings can respond with a reduction in consumption while batteries and electric vehicles offer stored energy.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
The average person can vote for politicians who care about climate change. That person can also vote with their dollars – have their savings account with financial institutions that don’t fund fossil fuels, buy products from companies with strong sustainability mandates, and use social media/letters to encourage corporations to look at the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. We can also, when possible, purchase energy efficiency appliances and equipment. The upfront price may be higher but the long-term payback and lessened impact on climate change is worth it. Additionally, we can purchase renewable energy from our utilities and retail energy providers. Importantly, we also should work to address the inequities of climate change by organizing and joining environmental justice initiatives.