Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute
(1982; Basalt and Boulder CO, Washington, NYC, Beijing; ~190 staff;

An independent nonprofit that encourages an efficient and restorative use of resources. Aims to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. They push for the global energy transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables by working in partnership with businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to advance market-based solutions.

Guiding Principles:

  • Advanced resource productivity by using natural resources more efficiently
  • Whole-systems design based elegantly frugal solutions with multiple benefits
  • Positive action – “We don’t lobby, litigate, or harass those with whom we disagree”
  • Working with markets, not against them
  • End-use, least-cost approach
  • Biological insight on nature’s extraordinary design solutions
  • Corporate transformation an essential part of the solution
  • Pursuit of interconnection – The importance of a “vision across boundaries”


  • Global Energy Transitions – Because climate change is a global problem, RMI has been expanding its efforts around the world. Partnerships with governments and in-country partners in Sub-Saharan Africa, and China
  • Transportation – Pushing the transportation transformation to make it possible to move people and the goods that we depend on using significantly less oil—and emitting less carbon.
  • Electricity – Transforming the U.S. grid from one based on big central power plants that burn fossil fuels to a combination of centralized large-scale renewables and distributed solutions right in our communities, businesses, and homes.
  • Buildings – Catalyzing massive market growth for buildings that are more productive, valuable, healthy, and safe for the people who occupy them, society, and the planet.
  • Global Climate Finance – Aims to align global investment with clean energy goals, and engage financial institutions and policy-makers to support a low-carbon future.
  • Areas of Innovation – Tackling innovative new energy challenges.


  • Annual and financial reports
  • A library of 1500+ reports, papers, blogs, press releases, articles, books, presentations, etc.
  • Solutions Journal (since 2007) – A self-published magazine featuring articles that celebrate the people, projects, innovations, and impacts driving the clean energy revolution
    • “Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?” (Foreign Affairs, 1977, 15p.) Armory Lovins impactful article that influenced the national debate around renewables and resulted in him getting an invitation of Jimmy Carter to the Whitehouse.
    • Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (1999, 416p.) – This book explores the lucrative opportunities for businesses in an era of approaching environmental limits. Natural Capitalism describes a future in which business and environmental interests increasingly overlap, and in which businesses can better satisfy their customers’ needs, increase profits, and help solve environmental problems all at the same time.
    • Reinventing Fire (2014, 352p.) – A book by Amory Lovins built on 30 years of research and work in the field that maps pathways for running a 158%-bigger U.S. economy in 2050 needing no oil, no coal, and no nuclear energy.

Leadership: Jules Kortenhorst (CEO), Amory Lovins (Co-founder, Chairman Emeritus, Chief Scientist)
Budget: $42.6m (2018)

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