Lisa Ann Pinkerton: Clean Tech is One of the Biggest Emerging Markets

March 26 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: Green is the Future

Real talk: I don’t know much about recycling. There, I said it. If you’re the same, no need to shrug and toss something in the recycling bin with the hope that it’s right. Here are some tips: Clean and dry your plastic and metal before tossing in the bin. Last week’s Diet Coke remnants can contaminate everything it’s around, resulting in it being trashed. Plastic bags and Styrofoam can’t be recycled, and girl, don’t think about putting a dirty diaper in that blue bucket. Containers often have symbols with numbers on them, which help to identify what the hell to do with something.


As more and more people learn about the dangers of climate change, companies are taking notice, too. American consumers, to the tune of 86 percent, expect businesses to make efforts to reduce their waste and act on environmental issues. I recently saw a segment with the co-founder of a popular shoe company who said being good for the Earth and being profitable or successful aren’t mutually exclusive. Being sustainable can, in fact, be good business.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Lisa Ann Pinkerton, Founder of San Francisco's Women in Cleantech & Sustainability

When Lisa Ann Pinkerton started San Francisco’s Women in Cleantech and Sustainability (WC&S), she didn’t know what she was in for. It’s been eight years and dozens of monthly meetings later since she started the networking group. During her time as a broadcast journalist for NPR and other national outlets, Lisa Ann started learning exactly what all this green stuff was all about.

Now that it’s pretty cool to be green, there’s plenty of talk about the environment; however, it can be daunting to know how to really make an impact toward a more sustainable world. That’s what makes WC&S such an asset: Women in the clean tech industry are able to meet, collaborate and support one another.

We’re all—quite literally—in this together, so WC&S members find the comradery and innovation more than inspiring, because it’s one step closer to figuring out some of the world’s dirtiest problems. Alongside her green group, Lisa Ann spreads the word about up-and-coming clean tech through another business she founded, Technica Communications.

She’s responsible for taking an energy storage brand from a “who dis” to a noteworthy force in the industry. Because of Lisa Ann, environmental media coverage has helped changemaking companies secure funding and get the word out about ecological dangers.

One piece of inspiration I’ve gained from learning about Lisa Ann isn’t even about the environment or technology or renewable energy. (Ladies, take note): On her LinkedIn page, Lisa Ann shares the accomplishments that mean the most to her under a heading called “Proudest Moments.” It’s to the point and gives the reader a super quick insight into why this woman’s a powerhouse.

It goes along with Lisa Ann’s message to women: Accept opportunities where you’re the spotlight. That means speaking at a conference in your field, publishing that blog you’ve always wanted to write, applying for a leadership position. Lisa Ann says that few people step up without a lift from colleagues and friends, both new and old.

Finally, she suggests joining an organization or professional group. Women who help other women are just good for the world. Period.


This quote by Sheryl Sandberg is just what you need to get through that to-do list:

"Done is better than perfect."

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