Freelance sustainability advisor Marlon Kobacker was the first student to graduate from the world’s first photovoltaic engineering program. Since then he has devoted his professional work to green building and sustainable development. Kobacker holds several degrees in environmental fields and uses his expertise to advise and lead the industry in life-cycle assessment, carbon footprinting, and sustainability analytics.
Currently, Marlon Kobacker is serving in a professional role as the Director of Sustainable Future Group. With ten international conferences focusing on whole-of-life optimization and cost-effective, Kobacker presented the sustainable design, and he has earned the trust of other experts in his field. His book “Removing the Capital Cost Barrier to Sustainable Design” was published in 2016 and is available online at Amazon. Clearly, his goal is to educate and move forward with green thinking.
We had a few questions for Marlon on green living practices in business.
Q: What is the real problem with our old school methods?
Marlon: Frankly the effect that it has on the environment, which directly affects not only our ecosystems but our health as well. Some of the problems include cancer and poisoning from arsenic, brain damage from exposure to mercury, and breathing issues from exposure to methane gas. Environmental damages range from acid rain and air pollution to water contamination and damage to our aquatic ecosystem.
Q: Can we reasonably expect corporate businesses to get on board with green building?
Marlon: I think once we get past the initial barrier of short-term costs and look at the long-term savings, most corporations are more than happy to change the way they do business. My book explains how to go about breaking that barrier. There are smart ways to implement some of these concepts that ultimately will save money and sometimes, we just have to step out and do the right thing no matter the cost. I take our environment and our footprint very seriously; I think all of us are responsible for ourselves and future generations to be accountable.
Q: Is this environmental problem a localized problem?
Marlon: This is clearly a global issue that needs a global answer. What we do in our communities doesn’t just affect our small part of the planet. Water sources are one example, whether it is underground water supplies, oceans, rivers, or rainwater, they are all interconnected. That is one good thing about modern technology, we see the world as one big community and have begun to work together to solve our problems.
Q: So do you feel that some countries are doing more harm than others?
Marlon: For the most part no. Each part of the world, whether it is considered a third world nation, or a modern industrial society, both have certain things that are more of concern to one than the other. In prosperous areas, we need to reduce our waste and think about what we are consuming. Some other areas may need to work on clean water, or sustainable farming and logging. The important thing is to each do what we can.
Q: Where do we start?
Marlon: First we need to educate, and we have made great strides in this area. Next, do some careful planning, and most importantly take action. All of the knowledge and technology out there won’t solve the problem if we aren’t using either one. Sometimes it starts with something small, like local recycling and composting. For businesses, it may mean some bigger changes. However, every change for the better makes an impact.