Scott Cooney

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Find Scott on

Impact Investing: the Game

Imagine if, instead of browsing stocks like General Motors, Research in Motion, or Constellation Wines, investors instead took their money and invested it in a carsharing service? Or an organic farm? Impact investing, as this concept is called, has great potential to change the world. The concept has been gamified by The result? GBO Hawaii, the sustainability strategy game. In the game, players are impact investors that start with $500,000, and an ambition to help the state of Hawaii go…

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Loca-vesting: Invest Local and Build Communities

The local first movement has a new frontier: locavesting.

Friday’s stronger than expected jobs reportshowed several indications of economic growth. Every sector grew, including construction, manufacturing, and agriculture. Imagine what would happen if we could actually drive investment capital to Main Street! One way to make that happen is embodied in a term I heard for the first time yesterday: Locavesting.

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Nominate a Green Business Hero: $150 prize!

We spend a lot of time blogging about the what’s, how’s and why’s of green entrepreneurship, and we feel we would like to focus a little energy on the who’s this month. It’s Independence Day in America, and we would like to use the occasion to promote independence from all the things we think are wrong with the world: big oil, GMO’s, too-big-to-fail banks, plastics, and the like. We’d like to celebrate the heroes of the new economy. The small and mid-sized businesses that are changing the world, regenerating natural resources, creating sustainable jobs that aren’t just outsourced at the first convenient moment.

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Webinar Recap: How Businesses Can Reduce Single Use Plastics

For businesses, communities, citizen groups, and the health of our ecosystems, it’s a moral imperative that we reduce our use of single use plastics. They require the extraction of fossil fuels and the processing of petroleum, transportation across thousands of miles, and then they’re in use for 1-5 minutes and last a thousand years or more. They leach chemicals that can end up in our food, and wildlife mistakes plastic bags for potential prey items like jellyfish, and end up ingesting them.

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Hawaii Becomes First State in U.S. to Ban Plastic Bags

Following the City Council’s 7-1 vote in favor, Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle signed SB2511, a bill banning plastic bags in retail stores yesterday across Honolulu County, which comprises the island of Oahu and Hawaii’s capitol city of Honolulu. What makes the bill’s passage extra significant is that Hawaii’s other counties had previously banned plastic bags, meaning that Hawaii has just officially enacted the first full statewide ban on plastic bags in the nation.

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Green Business Opportunities for Aspiring Eco-Entrepreneurs

Ecopreneurist does a terrific job of educating the public about green business, especially startups.  My own personal blog,, has a variety of pages that also address this topic, though with woefully less information and diversity, since it is only my blog, and doesn’t have the wealth of writers associated with Ecopreneurist. But the interesting thing is that my blog gets a decent number of hits. Not, mind you, for any of the articles I write, but only for the…

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Starting a Mobile Sustainable Food Vendor Business

Economic downturns have historically been times in which there are more startup businesses than usual.  This particular recession is a great time to start a green business.  One easy place to start, for someone without a great deal of startup capital or knowledge base, would be to start a mobile food vendor business. Sometimes the bane of parents who learn that their kids are spending their lunch money on junk food from mobile food vendors, this sustainable food business concept…

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Thinking of Starting a Small Green Business? Start by Interning for One.

There can be no greater thrill in the world than watching your hard work pay off in the form of a successful green business venture.  But how to learn about the world of running a small green business before simply launching in?  Try doing a green internship.  The connections will be tremendous, the learning opportunities varied and interesting, and the work gratifying. Companies looking for highly skilled, motivated and energetic interns may find volunteers coming out of the woodwork if…

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Green Architecture and the Future of Building

There may be few occupations that have more opportunity to incorporate sustainable choices into their products, services, and day-to-day operations than architecture.  The market for green building has cooled down along with everything else, but it seems inevitable that it will replace its traditional counterpart faster than most other sustainable industries.  Organic foods, for example, grew 20% year after year for almost a decade before slowing to a 6% growth in overall sales last year, but no one believes that…

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