|| Print ||
|Articles - September 2013|
|Monday, August 19, 2013|
Page 1 of 2
BY LINDA BAKER
B. Scott Taylor doesn’t exactly wear his green credentials on his sleeve. “Environmentalism is not my priority,” says the 49-year-old CEO of Green Endeavor, a startup providing green cleaning solutions for industrial and institutional customers. “My priority is making money.” A serial entrepreneur, Taylor founded a relocation company in 1997, sold it to Monster.com in 2000 for just under $100 million, then launched TAOW, a creative agency in which he worked with the Nikes and Red Bulls of the world — “all real cool, sexy things,” Taylor says.
TAOW shut down in 2011, felled by the economic downturn. Now Taylor is setting his sights on a venture that couldn’t be less sexy if it tried: sourcing environmentally friendly cleaners, de-scalers and degreasers for food processors, waste haulers, recyclers and the like. But if Green Endeavor is a departure from his previous, well, endeavors, Taylor, a New York native, is approaching the business with what appears to be a signature combination of manic energy and ambition, leavened by a dose of self-skewering humor. “I’m taking my marketing savvy and applying it to a place that’s probably one of the stalest, most boring and mundane places on the globe,” he says. The industrial-cleaning sector is worth $13 billion, Taylor adds. "We want to be the Whole Foods for industry. This is going to be huge. It’s bigger than anything I’ve ever done.”
Founded two years ago, Green Endeavor consists of a six-person crew, most who work out of the former TAOW offices, a loft in Northwest Portland’s industrial district. “All we knew was: Green is the new black. Green is cool,” says Taylor, summing up how much he and his partner, Vince Loglisci, knew about the environmental business sector. They soon found a more substantive reason to launch.
“We discovered chemicals were the last elephant in the room when it came to sustainability,” Taylor says. Environmentalists wax enthusiastic about composting and riding bikes, he says. “But no one is talking about the tons of toxic chemicals being used. And the more we started learning, the more excited we got, because there’s a huge void.”
Green Endeavor doesn’t manufacture green cleaners; instead, Taylor and his team source eco-friendly products from around the country, then consult with clients to find the best application. It’s no easy task. In the consumer-products sector, market demand has fueled huge demand for eco-friendly cleaners. But many industrial manufacturers still rely on toxic chemicals to clean equipment and machinery, and employees charged with buying supplies are often disinterested or suspicious of solutions with green claims.
Another problem is locating sustainable alternatives. Low impact industrial strength cleaners are typically manufactured by small-batch chemists for a single purpose — soot removal, for example — but are rarely used for other applications.
“These guys will invent a really cool formula that will have zero, if any, impact on the environment,” says Taylor. “But chemists aren’t marketers. They’re happy working out of some obscure office in some obscure town making a couple hundred grand selling to some niche business.”
Taylor is filling the marketing gap. He has also surrounded himself with scientific experts: “people who are actually smart, who can legitimize what we’re doing. I’m just a knucklehead entrepreneur.” Weighing in as the heavy hitters are chemist Mitch Tracy, Green Endeavor’s technical director, and University of Oregon chemistry professor Jim Hutchison, who is affiliated with the university’s nationally regarded green-chemistry programs.
Green Endeavor’s biggest challenge is avoiding “regrettable substitution,” says Hutchison, who is acting as an informal advisor and critic. The recipes for many cleaning products are proprietary, he explains, so it’s difficult to figure out “what the heck’s in them.” To ensure the alternatives are actually better for human health and the environment, Hutchison says, Green Endeavor needs to develop an evaluative process based on clear and defensible data.
“It’s a tall order but Scott has addressed tall challenges before."
|The more they change, the more they stay the same|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Large Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The 2014 List: The Top 33 Small Companies to Work, For in Oregon|
|The future of money|
|Cerberus Capital to buy Safeway|
|U.S. adds 175,000 jobs|
|Bitcoin creator revealed|
|Staples closing 225 stores|
|EU to offer aid package to Ukraine|
|Daily sugar intake 'should be halved'|
|White House reveals 2015 budget|
Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest means enjoying our wonderful surroundings, while remaining aware of the multiple types of natural disaster threats that we face: winter storms, windstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis.“
Oregon State University's hospitality degree program invests in next-generation leaders.
Allowing individuals to access their own healthcare options has created more difficulty instead of making things easier. There are so many examples that illustrate why agents are more important than ever in helping businesses and individuals determine the healthcare coverage that best fits their need.
Capital Pacific Bank, a Portland-based community bank serving businesses, professionals and nonprofit organizations, today announced that it has earned recognition as a Certified B Corporation by B Lab, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building a community of socially responsible businesses. The bank is one of six financial institutions across the country to achieve B Corp status.
On Thursday, April 3, from 8 a.m. to noon (registration begins at 7:30 a.m.), Lane Powell will team with Oregon Business magazine for a half-day seminar titled “Best Practices For Best Employers™: How to Become One of ‘Oregon’s Best Workplaces’ Starting Today!”
For the 5th year in a row, Oregon Business Magazine has recognized Barran Liebman as one of the 100 Best Places to Work in Oregon.