March 14, 2022

How a 3-Pillar "People Plan" Just Might Save the Planet with Norman Crowley

This week on The Winning Zone, Norman Crowley, serial entrepreneur and Group CEO of Cool Planet, joins Hilmon Sorey to talk about his life as a serial entrepreneur, but more importantly, to discuss Cool Planet and what they are doing to combat climate change. 

Cool Planet

Norman explains that Cool Planet is a group of companies that work with the biggest energy users and carbon emitters in the world to reduce their energy-spend and the amount of carbon they produce. The concept came about in 2004 when a friend of Norman’s kept inviting him over to meet scientists that were talking about climate change. Norman quickly began to realize how big of an existential crisis climate change is. As time went on, Norman began to see that the approach to this crisis was all wrong. Continue listening at 00:34 to learn about Cool Planet’s approach to the climate change crisis. 

Have We Reached the Chasm of No Return?

According to Norman, we are getting to a very dangerous level with climate change, but it can always be reversed; one way being through engineering weather. However, the more preferable way to reverse the problem is to stop doing all the wrong things and start doing all the right things. Climate change breaks down into three areas: energy, transport, and meat, and we have the technology to solve all three of those areas. Listen at 04:25 to learn more.

Crowley Carbon

Crowley Carbon works from four pillars. The first is the facility (a building or a thousand buildings). The goal is to understand the building at a data level and then highlight how they can dramatically reduce their energy by stopping waste. The second pillar is to integrate renewable energy into factories and buildings. The third pillar is mobility; to decarbonize your fleet by changing everything to electric. The final platform is carbon accounting, figuring out where all the carbon is going and how to account for it. Continue listening at 07:51 to gain a more in-depth perspective regarding Crowley Carbon’s four pillars. 

The Prognosis for Climate Change

Norman believes that climate change will be largely sorted by 2035; however, we will also be in a position of having to figure out how to fix all of the damage we created with carbon emissions, and this will take at least 50 years. The question is how exactly to go about doing this. Listen at 12:21 to learn more.

A Serial Entrepreneur

Norman grew up in Ireland when there was no money, and he wanted desperately to succeed. By the time he was 15 he was already running his own welding business with employees under him. He sold that business 5 years later and decided to move on to software. He continued to start and run his own companies and then sell them after a few years. He was a serial entrepreneur who just continued to broaden his sights and build his success. However, most success comes with a price. Listen at 14:09 to find out more about Norman’s journey, including his existential crisis. 

Building the Best Team

At 19:48, Norman explains that, in order to build a successful team, they run several pillars, one being that they fire fast; if it’s not going to work out, then it’s not going to work out. If you are in the team, then they run off a different set of pillars, such as training for tactical skills and how to be a functioning human being that interacts with other humans successfully. Norman adds that 50% of their training budget goes to a program that helps employees figure out how to be an evolved and happy human being. Continue listening to learn more. 

An Evolution of Existence

In 2008, Norman realized he was deeply unhappy with many aspects of his life. The sale of his business was sort of an existential crisis and he was questioning everything. It took him a couple of years to find a meaning and a way. This is why Norman’s current company puts so much time and money into helping their employees find their happiness. Continue listening at 25:15 to learn more. 

Mobility and Mobilizing Fleets

Norman wanted to understand all about mobility and mobilizing fleets, so he decided to build his own electric vehicles; he created a company called AVA. They are beautiful, luxury, and electric. They are not mass-produced. From building these cars, Norman has been able to gain an understanding of mobility and mobilizing fleets. Listen at 28:19 to learn more. 

Norman has decided that he is going to rest his serial entrepreneurial hat for now and stick with Cool Planet and combating climate change. 

Key Snippets

00:34 Cool Planet

04:25 Have We Reached the Chasm of No Return?

07:51 Crowley Carbon

12:21 The Prognosis for Climate Change

14:09 A Serial Entrepreneur

19:48 Building the Best Team

25:15 An Evolution of Existence

28:19 Mobility and Mobilizing Fleets

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