Nov. 30: Revisiting What it Means to be “Cleantech”

Part of the Cleantech Dinner Discussion Series
Date: Monday, November 30 (rescheduled from 11/16)
Asheen Phansey & Rudy Ruggles
Free for Net Impact members, $5 for non-members
Location: Redline, Harvard Square (59 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA)

It has been more than two years since Rudy and Asheen launched this Cleantech Dinner series for Net Impact Boston, discussing and debating the roles of cycled materials, clean energy, and appropriate technologies in a company striving for a positive “net impact”. Do the ideals with which we kicked off this dinner discussion series still hold?

We culminated this “cleantech” and “sustainable business” content development by running an intensive all-day Sustainable Innovation Workshop for some corporate and nonprofit clients recently. With this workshop and a couple dozen meetings’ worth of your insights behind us, we will revisit the motivating definition that we first posited together in 2007. Namely,

A sustainable company is one that:

  • —Uses the waste of another industry as its input as much as possible, and minimizes the use of virgin materials extracted from the earth;
  • —Creates output that can be used by another industry or returned to a natural state, and minimizes waste that can’t be used by another industry or returned to a natural state; —and
  • Uses the least amount of energy to achieve the desired outcome, and uses energy ultimately derived from renewable sources.

Is this still a good working definition for a cleantech company? Is “cleantech” even the right word, now that the term has been co-opted by investors — or should we really be calling this the “Sustainable Business Dinner Series” or something else entirely?

Join us for an evening of lively discussion and active introspection as we review the tenets of corporate environmental sustainability, to work toward a new definition and set of values for this long-running dinner series.

New to the Cleantech Dinner Discussions? It’s just an informal group of folks — always with some familiar and some new faces — who gather over dinner and drinks to debate topics of cleantech and sustainable business. You can view previous cleantech dinner discussion topics at The discussions are kicked off by experts, who have included leading faculty, EPA heads, and Fortune 500 sustainability officers. Read more about who’s behind the dinner series:

We hope you’ll join us! Space for the dinner is limited, so please RSVP to Asheen at to reserve a seat. Please also note the nominal fee of $5 added to normal dinner costs for nonmembers.

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