If you are of a certain age, then you remember the
original Star Trek series (let's all forget about that
new one that opened last month). Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and the rest of the intergalactic crew dazzled us with their fancy flying machine i.e. the USS Enterprise, phasers, communicators and of course the transporter; "Beam me up Scotty."
While we can't yet soar through the galaxies and I'm not sure that I would trust my co-worker Scotty to beam me anywhere, we have managed to build spaceships and communicators (iPhone
anyone). And in the process we've also managed to invest in some pretty cool technology that in addition to the “cool factor” helps us to protect, restore and redefine our approach to business and the environment. But other than keeping an eye on the future
(a la the Deutsche bank Carbon clock), what else can we do? Well some financial institutions have figured out not only how to do more but to make money doing it.
A number of organizations, yes even banks are investing in technology that would--once upon a Star Trek time--have been seen as science fiction. Morgan Stanley announced in February that they were building an off-grid data center powered by tidal energy
in Scotland's Pentland Firth (the story popped up again today in the rotation of the Innovation Gallery so check it out). Think about it… tidal wave energy…it even sounds like science fiction. Of course, in the early part of this century when Apple’s
Steve Jobs first introduced the iPod—which looked more like an iRuler—did any of us imagine that they would become an essential even ubiquitous part of our daily workout? And I don't think anyone doubts that Apple has made a little money. But back to
This morning Siemens announced that it expects 6 billion euros of its anticipated 15 billion euros ($20.9 billion) worth of new orders to come from
green technology contracts. Last week, the Chicago Climate exchange established a new record for daily volume and has seen open interest grow
by 232%. Not bad for an organization, the first in the world to make legally binding commitments to reduce all six greenhouse gases that routinely trades in something that no one had ever thought about prior to 2000.
Perhaps, someday we'll be trading
dilithium crystals on a new intergalactic exchange operated in a space station powered by tidal wave energy. Who knows what some inventive financial whiz or even the next Steve Jobs might be contemplating right now.