New Report Unveils 10-Point Plan to Harness San Francisco's Clean-Tech Future

New Report Unveils 10-Point Plan to Harness San Francisco's Clean-Tech Future

(December 1, 2004)

San Francisco, CA – November 30, 2004–The city of San Francisco is uniquely positioned to capture an emerging market segment, clean technology, one of the fastest-growing investment categories in North America, according to a new report released today by Clean Edge, Inc., a California-based research firm.

The report, "Harnessing San Francisco's Clean Tech Future," was funded by the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the Mayor's Office of Economic and Job Development. It examines two clean-tech segments -- energy and transportation -- and the potential each has for San Francisco's economic growth and future. Specifically, it looks at how these technologies can attract new jobs and businesses to the city, and describes the opportunities and challenges that face San Francisco as it looks to become a clean-tech magnet.

The report also examines what other leadership cities are doing to attract clean-tech industry, profiling the efforts of Chicago, Austin, and Portland, Ore., and outlines a ten-point plan for bolstering San Francisco's clean-tech business- and job-creation efforts.

Clean technology, which includes such emerging sectors as solar and wind power, hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cells, and bio-based materials, has risen to become the sixth-largest venture investment category in the U.S. and Canada, behind information technology, software, biotechnology, health care, and telecommunications.

The report finds that San Francisco already is well positioned to attract a range of clean-tech business. Among its leadership initiatives are the solar roof installation atop the Moscone Center, the city's fleet of more than 700 clean-fuel vehicles, and its nation-leading residential recycling rate. But, says Clean Edge, it will take a concerted effort by government, industry, community groups, and other key stakeholders.

Among the strategies and recommendations outlined in the report are the following:

  • Appoint a clean-tech manager for the city. The role of the manager will be to market and execute the city's clean-tech business attraction strategy. This position will also lead San Francisco's efforts in establishing public-private partnerships.

  • Align the city's procurement goals. Committing the city government to purchase clean-energy and clean-transportation products and services can send a strong signal of the city's commitment to clean technology, and can draw companies to locate within the city's boundaries.

  • Leverage San Francisco's financial strengths. The city should consider leveraging its strong investment community base, by promoting San Francisco as a center for clean-tech finance. The city also could more actively participate by creating its own version of the state's Green Wave environmental technology initiative.

  • Attract the flagship conferences. San Francisco already has made headway in attracting leading conferences on clean technology and sustainable business, being the host city for several conferences focusing on clean energy and other clean technologies. The city also could support the tourism industry by leveraging the city's commitment to clean technology as a means of drawing environmentally minded conferences and events.

  • Partner with other regional players. Berkeley, Oakland, and the Silicon Valley area all have visions and programs to lure companies and institutions -- and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. A coordinated clean-tech effort could be synergistic -- and support the entire region.

About Clean Edge, Inc.

Clean Edge, Inc., based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is a leading research and strategy firm that helps companies, investors, policymakers, and NGOs understand and profit from clean technologies. Through its customized research and reports, online publications, and conferences and events, the company is devoted to tracking and analyzing clean-tech market trends and opportunities. Founded in 2000 by environmental and high-tech business pioneers Ron Pernick and Joel Makower, Clean Edge and its network of partners and affiliates offer unparalleled clean-tech insight and intelligence.


Becky Ballinger, SF Environment: 355-3754

Ron Pernick, Clean Edge, Inc.: 415-386-8681, [email protected]