Sara Gutterman

Sara is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green Builder Media. An experienced entrepreneur, investor, and sustainability consultant, Sara specializes in developing companies that are simultaneously sustainable and profitable. Sara is a former venture capitalist and has participated in a portion of the life cycle (from funding to exit) of over 20 companies. Sara graduated Cum Laude from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and finance from the University of Colorado.

Recent Posts

The Celestia Project: Manifesting What we See

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 24, 2014 1:50:51 PM

In the words of the illustrious American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired so long as we can see far enough.”  

At Green Builder Media, we keep our eyes keenly focused on the horizon, always gathering ideas and inspiration from what we see in the distance. Our interest in the future drives our thought leadership content, and we do our best to paint a compelling vision of how we can affect a sustainable future.

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Decade of Climate Action: Celestia Begins

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 16, 2014 1:34:19 PM

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the third installment of its benchmark scientific study on climate change. There were no surprises in the report—the future looks bleak unless we take ambitious and immediate action towards reducing our global carbon emissions and changing our current energy portfolio.

The study deployed cutting edge modeling technology to research over 1,000 potential emissions pathways, and found that, without decisive action, our current emissions trajectory will likely lead to a 4°C (or more) temperature increase, causing increasingly dangerous super storms, wildfires, droughts, rising sea levels, and extreme temperatures. In this hotter world, accessible fresh water declines by 20% for a portion of the population, forests around the world—which are essential to carbon sequestration—are disseminated, and coral reefs die en masse.

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Topics: Climate Change, Celestia

Can Elon do it Again?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Apr 3, 2014 9:06:00 AM

Elon Musk is changing the world. The visionary South African-born entrepreneur has radically changed the transportation sector through his groundbreaking companies Tesla and SpaceEx. His solar leasing company, SolarCity, is delivering affordable solar solutions to homeowners across the country. Now, Musk is poised to deliver a sea change in the battery industry, opening the door to massive advancements in clean technology.

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Topics: solar, solar leasing, electric vehicle, clean technology, renewable energy

Get Ready for Big Data

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Mar 27, 2014 8:42:00 AM

In our fast-paced, ever-changing, technology-driven world, big data has become the Holy Grail. Tracking and understanding customer behaviors, preferences, and purchasing decisions is now serious business.

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Topics: Climate Change, Environmental Economics, Climate Data Initiative

The Energy-Water Nexus

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Mar 20, 2014 9:51:00 AM

Green Builder Media President Ron Jones has an ominous prediction: “If you think the oil wars are bad, wait until the water wars begin.” With severe drought conditions expanding across the globe, I fear that his warning may become a reality sooner, and more acutely, than we think.           

In this country, California, Texas, Arizona, and Georgia are on the frontline of the water crisis. Arizona just experienced its fourth warmest winter to date, causing water shortages across the state, and Texas is suffering through the lowest reservoir levels in 25 years.

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Topics: net-zero energy, graywater, Green Landscaping, water conservation, water saving, KB Home, solar thermal, water purification

Innovation for a Better Life

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Mar 6, 2014 1:56:48 PM

Jack Truong, the CEO of Electrolux, makes an interesting differentiation between creativity and innovation. “Creativity is invention for the sake of discovery, whereas innovation is advancement that adds value,” he told me in a recent interview.

Formerly a Vice President at 3M and Senior Engineer at Polaroid, Truong has focused his career on developing innovative products that add distinctive value and improve consumers’ lives.

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The Demise of Utilities

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 27, 2014 12:19:49 PM

Last week, I wrote about the Fossil Fuel Bubble, a possible future economic scenario that could be realized if oil, gas, and coal companies are forced to abandon fossil fuel assets as a result of a potent combination of increased regulation, divestment, consumer demand for renewable energy, and price parity pressure from clean technology.

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The Fossil Fuel Bubble?

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 20, 2014 2:44:00 PM

An interesting phenomenon is happening in the world of philanthropy. 17 large and reputable Foundations, including the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, The Educational Foundation of America, The John Merck Fund, The Russell Family Foundation, The Sierra Club Foundation, and the Wallace Global Fund, with assets totaling nearly $2 billion, have launched an initiative to divest from fossil fuel investments and place those funds into clean technology and organizations that beget a sustainable future.

This initiative, called Divest-Invest Philanthropy, has been created to raise awareness about the importance and urgency of moving away from fossil fuels and towards climate solutions. The Foundations involved in the Divest-Invest Philanthropy are joining environmental activist organizations like Bill McKibben’s 350.org as well as college students across the country (who are questioning en masse the endowment investment practices of their schools) to make a stand.

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Turning Risk into Success

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 13, 2014 2:12:00 PM

Sustainability has evolved beyond a buzz word on Wall Street—it has become a sound investment strategy. In fact, we’re starting to see investors shift funds and focus away from companies that are not developing viable social and environmental policies that appropriately address the financial risk associated with our changing climate and diminishing resources.

A recent study by Ernst & Young shows that companies with mature environmental risk management strategies are financially outperforming their competitors, with “companies in the top 20% of risk maturity generating three times the level of EBITDA as those in the bottom 20%.”

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Confidence Restored

Posted by Sara Gutterman

Feb 7, 2014 2:15:00 PM

The Green Builder Media team spent this week at the International Builders Show (IBS) and Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS), which co-located in Vegas. For the first time in years, the show felt vibrant. Manufacturers expressed confidence about the market, and building professionals were lively.

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