About

 

GreenShift Corporation facilitates the more efficient use of natural resources by developing and commercializing technology-driven economic incentives that motivate large groups of people and companies to shift their consumption habits, and thereby make incremental environmental contributions that are collectively disruptive.

 GreenShift focused its early efforts on the renewable fuels industry, where the company developed and commercialized patented technologies that integrated into the backend of corn ethanol plants to extract and recover a historically-overlooked natural resource – inedible crude corn oil, for use in the production of advanced carbon-neutral liquid fuels and other biomass-derived alternatives to fossil fuel derivatives. No corn oil was extracted by ethanol plants before GreenShift commercialized the process. Today, upwards of 95% of the U.S. corn ethanol industry uses the technology to displace more than 20 million barrels of fossil fuel, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and tens of millions of metric tons of greenhouse gases every year, while producing more than $1.2 billion of additional annualized profit. In total, those gains have accumulated to industry-wide savings exceeding 250 million barrels of fossil fuel and $11 billion in additional profit since inception. 

 Such results are both disruptive and globally-meaningful, but they are also just the output of an early prototype – the validating proof of a repeatable and scalable concept. As with any prototype, there were growing pains and lessons learned as we guided the technology from bench to standardization. In the end, only about 10% of the industry properly licensed our technology, generating about half of the income we needed to commercialize a series of technologies that were designed to dramatically improve on our historical results, and iteratively transform first generation corn ethanol facilities into a powerful tactical platform for decarbonization.  

Our first business plans were written nearly twenty years ago, in a world that was still debating the existence of global climate change, the extent of humanity’s contribution, and the role of our myriad consumption practices. GreenShift’s founding mission was based on the assumption that we had to use profit to align interests with environmentally-positive outcomes, under conditions in which those outcomes were not explicitly sought or valued by our clients and their stakeholders. We reasoned that if the incremental consumption practices of populations and industries could do harm, then they could be harnessed to do good. A lot of good. Quickly. With the technologies of our time.

Our first business plans were written nearly twenty years ago, in a world that was still debating the existence of global climate change, the extent of humanity’s contribution, and the role of our myriad consumption practices. GreenShift’s founding mission was based on the assumption that we had to use profit to align interests with environmentally-positive outcomes, under conditions in which those outcomes were not explicitly sought or valued by our clients and their stakeholders. We reasoned that if the incremental consumption practices of populations and industries could do harm, then they could be harnessed to do good. A lot of good. Quickly. With the technologies of our time.

 

 

The world is different today, and it continues to change in ways that we only mostly understand. The risks and stakes have grown. Our population has increased by more than 26%, from about 6.2 billion to about 7.8 billion, and it continues to increase at the rate of three new lives per second. We are ripping through resources and emitting greenhouse gases at increasing rates in the face of increasing scarcity. We are insatiable and we are horribly inefficient about it. We are burning our only candle from both ends. Ecosystems globally are disrupted and under constant assault. However, we have also innovated and become far more connected as a species; and, as imperfect as our connections may still be, we are communicating, learning, and growing in ways that were impossible twenty years ago. That interaction and the infrastructure that makes it possible gives us the potential to unite and cooperate to act as one for the first time in the history of humanity.

 It is no coincidence that we are no longer in denial. A new consensus is emerging, not merely amongst scientists and progressive leaders, but amongst the billions connected to the internet, and especially the millions that have listened and engaged. A global conversation has begun, and it has shifted to shared urgencies, realistic risk assessments, and innovating practical solutions to the storm in our path. Enough of us are aware to make a difference, armed with the knowledge the war against global climate change will be won or lost on our watch, by changing the consumption habits of everyone alive today.

Winning that war will require humanity to coalesce and cooperate in unprecedented ways, including by forging, articulating, and executing a global consensus as to the endgame. Fortunately, the standard for victory that we must aspire to is visible for anyone to see, hidden in plain sight. Think through the processes by which we use natural resources. Step back up and out of the forest. Learn to see humanity and its each of its production practices as discrete participants in our shared global ecosystem, and you will see the fronts on which we must fight – the malignant imbalances that we have created with nature, and the tactics that we must use – the new balances that we must strike and sustain if we are to win the war while advancing our way of life.

Leveraging existing liquid fuel supply chains to decarbonize transportation was an obvious first example and target when GreenShift was founded, and it still is. Burning less, burning smarter, shifting to transition fuels, and electrification are vitally-necessary targets as the world moves to clean energy. The transportation sector is expected to dramatically increase the production of electric vehicles to more than 30% of all auto sales by 2030. But, as amazing as that may be, it is nowhere near enough. Combustion will inevitably continue to provide the dominant source of power for transportation and industrial needs for decades. Therefore, if we are to win the war and co-exist in balance with the natural world, if zero emissions are the target, then we must learn to burn in balance by innovating technologies that valorize our combustion emissions – to burn our only candle more profitably while we make more candle out of the smoke.  

 That is GreenShift’s continuing mission: to develop and commercialize technology-driven economic incentives that empower and leverage populations and industries to deliver globally-meaningful financial, natural and social gains, in balance with local and global ecosystems. To contribute to sustaining our home so that it can sustain us

All we need is a lever long enough and fulcrum on which to place it, and we shall move the world.