Norman Crowley isn’t short of strong opinions.
He loves Elon Musk, thinks banks are “crap at tech” and says saving the planet is a business opportunity that more companies should be seizing immediately.
He’s also not short of business ideas either.
He has founded three businesses, The Cloud, Inspired Gaming Group and Trinity Commerce, before the age of 40, which are now worth a combined total of over $750m.
The savvy entrepreneur is now focusing most of his energy on his company Cool Planet, which is helping the likes of Google, Johnson & Johnson and BT save hundreds of millions of dollars by reducing emissions throughout their operations.
For Crowley, climate change is more than an impending crisis – it’s a business opportunity.
“The truth is, for businesses, decarbonisation is a 20 per cent return on your money. Anyone who’s reading this and thinks that’s BS, call us and we’ll explain.”Norman Crowley
At the time of setting up Cool Planet, he found that a lot of people were angry about climate change, “but nobody was looking at it as a business problem”.
He believes the problem of climate change is not being approached in the right way, and said policy makers and politicians should be thinking like businesses and asking “what is the fastest way to solve it?”.
He laments the fact that so few see it this way and that policy makers still lack a coherent, numerical answer to the question of how to fix climate change.
Grand COP meetings and debates about plastic straws are just a “distraction” that oil and gas companies are delighted by, he said.
Instead he argued we should be focusing on regulating factories and buildings so they stop wasting the majority of the energy they consume.
Greater attention should also be paid to electrifying transport and reducing the emissions from meat and agriculture, he added.
“We can do these, and we don’t need COP to do it,” he said.
“The truth is, for businesses, decarbonisation is a 20 per cent return on your money. Anyone who’s reading this and thinks that’s BS, call us and we’ll explain,” he said.
Ultimately, he believes it is the business world that should be championing climate change solutions, not governments.
One business owner that he believes “does more for the climate than anyone else I can mention” is Tesla founder Elon Musk.
To help firms engage more with the idea of reducing their carbon footprint, he said Cool Planet is trying to “gamify” their platform and “make it much more like Instagram”.
His firm, like many others, is also looking to harness the power of artificial intelligence to improve users’ experience through a chatbot that can root out and fix problems.
Not everyone is successful at this kind of service though, Crowley said, who thinks “banks are crap at this stuff”.
Generative AI still has flaws such as learned biases from data used to train the models and when it makes up false statements, known as hallucinations.
But for those who underestimate it, said Crowley, “it’s going to be an expensive day”.