How E2 works: July 2002: "Automakers said the new limits on emissions that state lawmakers were considering would hurt the economy and prevent consumers from buying sport-utility vehicles. Environmentalists said they would help curb global warming. Into the fray stepped Environmental Entrepreneurs, insisting that business and environmental interests are not at odds.
Last week's passage of the Assembly bill limiting greenhouse-gas emissions -- the first of its kind in the country -- was just what Nicole Lederer and Bob Epstein envisioned for Environmental Entrepreneurs, a 2-year-old group of business leaders who support environmental causes.
E2, as the group is known, presented undecided Assembly members with business leaders -- mostly Silicon Valley financiers and tech executives -- who supported the bill. That gave politicians a defense against the charge that they were anti-business. ``They were essential to the passage of the bill,'' said Anne Baker, a staff member for Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Woodland Hills, who created the bill. ``They wrote Op-Eds, they wrote to legislators, they came here and met with members of the state Assembly on a regular basis. They were relentless.'' ..
Rick deGolia, chief executive of Fonelet Technology, a San Francisco start-up, appreciates the approach E2 takes, particularly how it makes presentations, called "ecosalons,'' to members about environmental issues. "They're professional, sophisticated, mature,'' said deGolia, who hosted one on the oceans last year at his home. "They're helpful to me to gain expert knowledge from people who are really dedicating their lives to environmental issues and presenting them in a way that's very valuable to business leaders.''
A call to action from E2 often means clicking ``Yes'' in response to an e-mail asking for permission to use the member's name and professional status in literature supporting a legislative goal. To rally behind Pavley's emissions bill in March, E2 gathered 86 names over e-mail and submitted them to legislators as evidence that the business community was in favor of tougher environmental policy.
E2 is a select group. It requires a minimum contribution of $1,000 to the NRDC to join; so far E2 has raised $1.8 million. Epstein also has started a pet project called E2 Venture Endowment -- a fund to support start-ups working on technology that helps the environment or makes another technology cleaner." 12:43:31 PM