As the principal in charge of leading the sustainability advisory team with Clean Energy Corporation Australia, Marlon Kobacker brings well over a decade’s worth of experience advising both private and public organizations on a wide range of issues relating to sustainable practices. One of the foremost authorities on the subject of sustainability, Kobacker has been frequently called upon to share his expertise on an international basis and has been featured as a speaker at a number of conferences across the globe. Though his expertise is incredibly expansive, his speaking engagements often focus on strategies for removing the capital cost barrier in a manner that makes the adoption of clean energy technology far more palatable.
The first graduate of the photovoltaic engineering program at the University of New South Wales, Kobacker has always been on the cutting edge of the green energy and sustainable technology industry. In fact, his expertise in the field of sustainability led to nominations for both the “Young Achiever of the Year,” an honor bestowed by the UK Building Services, and the Property Council of Australia’s “New Achiever of the Year.” As a senior ESD consultant with Cundall, Kobacker was centrally involved in a variety of high-profile projects, including the JP Morgan Tower in Sydney and the Tiara United Towers in Dubai, among many others.
How did you get started? What inspired you to start this business?
I have always had an interest in alternative energy resources, so it was only natural that my interest was piqued when the University of New South Wales founded its photovoltaic engineering program. After earning my Master of the Built Environment from UNSW, I began working and lecturing regarding all aspects of the industry.
How do you make money?
I’m still involved with a variety of projects, but my primary role is as the principal of the sustainability advisory team for Clean Energy Corporation Australia. I also work in a similar advisory position with EarthRights.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
We are quite fortunate to have greatly exceeded our expectations and achieved profitability well ahead of schedule.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I am very passionate about sustainable energy and believe that properly motivating the market will lead to the widespread adoption of sustainable building practices.
How did you get your first customer?
Our first customer became familiar with our services through one of our speaking engagements and ultimately reached out to us shortly thereafter.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
We believe that eliminating the existing capital cost barriers is the most critical strategy for the long-term success of our business, so our marketing efforts have mostly focused on demonstrating how this can be accomplished.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
I maintain a hectic travel schedule, so deciding how to make the most efficient use of time is always difficult, particularly when I have to prioritize several responsibilities that are all of critical importance.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I truly believe that sustainable energy is a critical component in ensuring the future viability of our environment, and it is easy to remain motivated while working in such an important field.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I am unbelievably grateful for all of the opportunities I have had to share what I know about sustainability with others who want to help make positive environment changes through the use of green energy.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The belief in the importance of sustainability has grown at an exponential rate in recent years, so I am most excited to be at the forefront of the industry during this time of rapid growth.
How much progress still needs to be made in order to achieve the widespread adoption of sustainable building practices?
I think we have already progressed to the point that people understand just how important it is, so it is now a matter of demonstrating the practicality of green, sustainable energies as a resource while showcasing its clear economic viability.
Want to learn more about Marlon Kobacker? Visit: http://www.usgbc.org/people/marlon-kobacker/0010067889