Donnel Baird, CEO and Founder of BlocPower, Among 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2021 Builders + Innovators Summit
New York, NY - October 13, 2021 -- Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) is recognizing BlocPower’s CEO and Founder, Donnel Baird, as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2021 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Healdsburg, California.
After working on President Barack Obama’s multi-billion-dollar federal Better Buildings Initiative, which supported job creation and energy upgrades to make buildings more efficient, Donnel Baird was determined to learn how to make greening America’s aging urban buildings more affordable for low-income communities, more profitable for investors, better for the environment and scalable nationwide. His efforts led to the formation of BlocPower in 2014.
Since then, BlocPower has greened more than 1,200 buildings in New York City, with ongoing projects in 26 cities. The company created cutting-edge technologies to identify buildings that would benefit most, determine which green solutions would have the greatest economic and environmental impact, and reduce construction time and costs. In conjunction with Goldman Sachs, it also created an innovative financing solution that allows building owners to upgrade to green energy systems with no money down and pay for the equipment from their energy cost savings.
By transforming antiquated buildings into greener, smarter, healthier facilities, BlocPower has reduced building energy costs by 30-50% and reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 40-70% in current projects. The company believes it can reduce U.S. GHGs up to 25% in 10 years and recapture up to 30% of the millions of dollars in wasted energy spent.
To fuel this green energy transformation, BlocPower hires and trains workers from under-served communities and disadvantaged populations to install clean energy heating and cooling systems and community-owned WiFi networks – including a $37 million jobs program in NYC. BlocPower’s Civilian Climate Corps advances environmental social justice issues, fights the increasing climate crisis and allows these communities to share the wealth generated by the green economy.
"What if hiring 1,000 George Floyds could save the planet?” asked Baird. BlocPower’s new NYC contract allows the company to hire and train up to 1,000 adults from three of the city’s poorest neighborhoods to deliver cutting edge clean energy solutions. “BlocPower is teaching these folks -- who are struggling to make ends meet -- to turn thousands of low-income NYC buildings into the equivalent of ‘Teslas,’ making schools and homes smarter, greener, healthier, and all electric. We want to train and transform these vulnerable workers into the backbone of a modern, powerful, tech-enabled green construction economy. We want historically disenfranchised communities to lead the next technology revolution this time. I believe in my heart that this path is how you prevent more George Floyds."
“Innovation doesn’t happen just anywhere; it thrives where there’s a wide range of thoughts and perspectives,” said David M. Solomon, Chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs. “One of our great strengths is our ability to bring together people from different walks of life and to spark conversations today that will lead to breakthroughs tomorrow. The leaders we’ve chosen to highlight at our Builders + Innovators Summit are truly remarkable, and we are pleased to recognize Donnel Baird as one of this year’s most intriguing entrepreneurs.”
In addition to honoring 100 entrepreneurs, the summit consists of general sessions and clinics led by seasoned entrepreneurs, academics and business leaders as well as resident scholars.
BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup that is making American cities greener, smarter and healthier. Since its founding in 2014, the company has retrofitted more than 1,200 buildings in disadvantaged communities in New York City, with projects underway in 26 cities. BlocPower uses proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management, and monitoring of clean energy projects that save customers between 20-70 percent on annual energy costs. For more information please visit https://blocpower.io.
Eric Sokolsky, Sparkpr for BlocPower