Article

Green Business

By Adva Biton, Lisa Christensen and Aisley Oliphant | Illustration by Mike Bohman

November 10, 2015

Earlier this year, UTA found cost efficiencies in its processes and was able to add more service to 15 of its routes, boosting ridership on those routes by more than 15 percent. UTA has also made it easier for people to connect to routes from their home with sidewalks, bicycle storage at stations and vanpool connections. A partnership with the University of Utah makes riding mass transit to athletic events a fan-friendly option, as well, he says. UTA is also working on an app to allow riders to buy fare tickets on their phone.

“It’s an ongoing challenge as an agency to keep up with technology, but by partnering with outside firms as well as listening to what our customers really want, we feel like we are staying ahead of the curve,” Benson says.

Innovation

Renewable Tech Ventures

Todd Stevens, managing director of Renewable Tech Ventures, spent the past 21 years working in venture capital. Previously, his career was in energy, working with a company that focused on green energy, hydroelectric and geothermal projects. His interest in sustainable energy lingered, and in 2010, Stevens—along with a partner—broke off from their previous firm to create Renewable Tech Ventures.

The firm seeks out companies with innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Renewable Tech Venture’s portfolio companies include Solid Carbon Products, a Utah-based company that has patented a catalytic process to convert CO2 to carbon nanotubes and other valuable byproducts, says Stevens. Another company the firm has funded is Ashtech, a Canadian company that has developed a sustainable, insulating, water-repelling alternative to gypsum drywall.

“Renewable Tech Ventures believes it is up to responsible business leaders and investors to develop and fund technology innovation that can solve today’s environmental problems,” says Stevens. “We are stewards over this beautiful earth that God created for us and we must work diligently to protect this wonderful gift for future generations.”

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