Making Millions from Going Green: The UK Green Rich List

Image credit: Times Online

We missed this story over the holidays, but it is worth posting, even if we are a little late. And it's worth it because it flies in the face of those who claim that environmentalism is all about ruining the economy. The Times newspaper, which last year published a Green Rich List, released a Top 20 listing of British business people who have struck rich with green products or services. Unsurprisingly, wind energy pioneer Dale Vince, who made it onto the Times' regular rich list, tops the bill, but there are plenty of other examples of folks who are out to prove you can make money from doing the right thing. From the Mark Group—a family business worth GBP45million—hat insulates over 3000 homes a week, to various multi-millionaire owners of PV Crystalox—a solar wafer manufacturer—you would hope that the kind of figures shown in this list would be enough to persuade mainstream business that you don't necessarily have to choose between profitability and sustainability. And with Dale Vince telling the Times he's planning on launching his eco-supercar into production, it looks like many of these folks aren't just sitting on their new-found millions either.

Of course the list may be great ammunition against those 'skeptics' who tell us that environmentalists will ruin the economy, but what of the opposite argument (sometimes confusingly pushed by the very same people) that climate legislation is all about the elite getting rich quick? Nonsense, says I. Dale Vince may be worth a pretty staggering GBP85 million, but I'd be willing to bet that this pales into insignificance compared to the billions folks are making off of tar sands, coal and other fossil fuels. I for one look forward to a day when the elite are indeed a bunch of green tycoons, but that day is some way off yet.

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