by Joseph J. Romm
Island Press, 1999
Paper: 978-1-59726-116-6 | eISBN: 978-1-61091-257-0 | Cloth: 978-1-55963-709-1
Library of Congress Classification HD56.R64 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 658.5


Despite ongoing negotiations, consensus has not yet been reached on what action will be taken to combat global warming. A number of companies have looked beyond the current stalemate to see the prospect of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions not as a roadblock to growth and innovation but as a unique opportunity to increase profits and productivity. These "cool" companies understand the strategic importance of reducing heat-trapping emissions and have worked to cut their emissions by fifty percent or more. In the process, they have not only reduced their energy bill, but have increased their productivity, sometimes dramatically.

In Cool Companies, energy expert Joseph Romm describes the experiences of these remarkable firms, as he presents more than fifty case studies in which bottom line improvements have been achieved by improving processes, increasing energy efficiency, and adopting new technologies. Romm places efforts to reduce emissions in the context of proven corporate strategies, showing managers how they can build or retrofit their operations with the latest technologies to reduce emissions and achieve quick returns on the investment. Case studies explain:

  • the concept of "lean production" and why systematic efforts to reduce emissions so often lead to productivity gains

  • how changes in office and building design can significantly increase productivity, greatly compounding gains achieved from increased energy efficiency

  • options for "cool" power -- from cogeneration to solar, wind, and geothermal energy

  • energy efficiency in manufacturing, including motors and motor systems, steam, and process energy

In profiling successful companies such as DuPont, 3M, Compaq, Xerox, Toyota, Verifone, Perkin-Elmer, and Centerplex, among many others, Cool Companies turns on its head the notion that the effort to combat global warming will come with massive costs to the industrial sector. It is a unique and essential business book for anyone concerned with increasing profits and productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.