TEDxBoston

Greg Kats

Founder & CEO, Smart Surfaces Coalition

Greg has played a substantial role in developing the clean energy, green building and decarbonization industries as a long-time thought leader and impact investor. He founded the Smart Surface Coalition in 2019 to slow global warming, redress social inequity and build urban resilience. He is President of Capital E which invests in clean energy startups and helps institutions design, scale and implement clean energy and decarbonization.

Greg served as Managing Director of Good Energies, a several billion-dollar global clean energy PE/VC fund investing in clean energy and low carbon companies. He served for 5 years as the Director of Financing for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the US Department of Energy. Greg played a large role in designing and developing LEED, the green building standard, and received the first US Green Building Council Lifetime Achievement Award.  He was the Founding Chairman of IPMVP and built the Protocol into the global energy and water efficiency design and verification standard for $50 billion in building upgrades. Greg received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alliance to Save Energy. He chaired a congressionally established advisory board which guides the greening and energy efficiency of 430,000 federal buildings, and served on a National Academy of Sciences board on strengthening US global competitiveness.  Greg is co-developer and Founding Chairman of the CarbonStar standard- the first international standard on carbon in concrete. He is a cofounder of both the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the country’s first green bank. In 2022 Greg was recognized as an American Institute of Architects Honorary Member for his contributions to the field. AIA notes that “through his steadfast commitment to green design, Kats has supplied countless architects with the economic evidence to convince clients to embrace sustainability. Without his work, there’s no doubt that architects would face fewer opportunities than they do today.”

Greg is the author of widely referenced studies on the cost effectiveness of greening infrastructure, including the book Greening Our Built World; Costs Benefits and Strategies.  He consults and testifies on topics related to clean energy, green cities and financing issues, including before/with the US Congress, the World Bank, the Knesset, the UN, and the National Academy of Sciences. Greg earned an MBA from Stanford University and is a Certified Energy Manager. He has served on a dozen clean energy/decarbonization corporate boards, including Blue Planet. Solar PV powers his family home and electric car.