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Alumni Profiles

Glen Lindgren, MBA '00: Carbon Trading


Glen Lindgren wants to help save the planet, one deal at a time. As a player in the global energy and emissions trading market, he sees the online buying and selling of environmental commodities as a key to keeping global climate change at bay.

Lindgren, vice president of environmental markets for World Energy Solutions [], based in Worcester, Mass., brings together large-scale energy commodity suppliers and buyers in internet-based auctions where carbon emissions credits are exchanged.

Emissions trading is a relatively new concept, and using online auctions to do it is even newer, requiring Lindgren to educate potential buyers and sellers on how they can meet pollution-control objectives using financial, rather than regulatory, tools. Then he has to bring everyone to the table.

He splits his time between Japan and Europe, where emissions trading is more established than in the U.S., and notes that every day is a learning experience. "There's no guidebook for what I do, and my role is continually changing, from organizing an auction to communicating the message that we can manage the change required to protect the environment," he says.

That might sound like a social activist, but Lindgren rejects that label, pointing out that his training as an engineer, plus his previous experience in water management and alternative energy at the consulting firm CH2M HILL, provide a unique technical perspective on environmental issues and resource use. A seminar on sustainability at the Johnson School and the responsibility he felt as a Park Leadership Fellow spurred Lindgren to examine how he could best develop solutions for a global crisis.

And what better place to focus on a sustainable future than his hometown of Portland, Ore., a progressive city where Lindgren finds time for hiking, working in the garden, and even a little ballroom dancing.

"I like this work; we are dealing with an important environmental issue," he says. "The question is, 'what's the best way to address climate change?' I feel that we can use our financial machinery to have a positive impact on the situation."

- Jay Wrolstad

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