GreenGen’s Path to Sustainable Success: Empowering Organizations and Transforming the Indian Built Environment

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Bradford H. Dockser, CEO of GreenGen  


Please tell us about how Green Gen is helping organizations in empowering sustainability?

At GreenGen, we’re at the forefront of helping some of the world’s leading organizations in their transition towards net zero, and do it in a way that actually boosts their bottom line. It’s always been our belief that financial and climate goals aren’t mutually exclusive. Acting as trusted advisors, we bring our expertise in energy, real estate, capital markets, and tech to the table, crafting end-to-end decarbonization strategies that not only integrate sustainability throughout the asset lifecycle but also make it profitable by enhancing building efficiency and value.

A lot of our work has been with global investors, many of whom have a presence in India like Blackstone, KKR, and BGO. Since we’ve already been collaborating with them around the globe, expanding into India felt like a natural move to better support our clients. We’ve built up an incredible team of mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineers, as well as a program management lead, right here in India, lending their expertise to our worldwide projects. Integrating our business into the region in this way has not only positioned us to better support our existing clients, but has also amplified our capabilities locally, enabling us to expand with new clients in India as well.

How does GreenGen view the current landscape for sustainable building solutions in India?

There’s quite a buzz around green certifications and a significant push towards renewables, especially solar PV, here in India. Newer buildings are pretty efficient with their equipment, lighting, controls, and management systems. However, what seems to be missing is a more integrated approach to tackling climate change. It feels like efforts are a bit fragmented—some focus on solar, others on lighting, but there’s less emphasis on merging these initiatives together. At GreenGen, we’re trying to bridge that gap, offering a new perspective, with a business case, that ties these efforts into a cohesive and holistic strategy.

While there has been a surge in renewable energy projects in India, energy efficiency and demand reduction aren’t getting the attention they deserve, despite being the only areas guaranteed to offer a return on investment. Renewables are critical to a net zero world, but energy efficiency is where you’ll consistently see a boost in your asset’s value.

How will GreenGen’s expansion into India benefit real estate investors and businesses looking to achieve net zero goals?

Having spent over two decades on the investment side, including starting at a firm called JMB Realty in Chicago – a catalyst for colleagues who later started Blackstone’s real estate business and Starwood Capital, I’d say we’ve got a pretty good grasp on what investors are looking for. And we understand real estate, which is key — how it’s valued, cap rates, how leases work, how expense recoveries work, and how time matters.

In our experience working with many global players in the real estate and private equity sectors, we have found that a key to our success has been listening to the clients’ needs and goals at the outset, so we can then provide a KPI-based approach to their local challenges, ensuring consistency across their entire organization. We have the unique ability to understand global challenges in a local context in ways that local competitors may not be able to. This approach not only differentiates GreenGen from the start but also builds a strong foundation with our clients based on trust and reliability.

What are some of the biggest challenges GreenGen anticipates in its work toward decarbonization of the Indian built environment?

India’s rapid economic development and urbanization are driving an increase in energy demand, making it the third-largest emitter globally behind China and the United States, though it’s worth noting that per capita emissions are still remarkably low. The real challenge lies in maintaining these low per capita emissions amid rapid economic development. GreenGen recognizes the critical need for sustainable urban development in India to avoid the carbon-intensive approaches historically adopted by other nations.

Most entities are full of ideas and aspirations for greener operations, but turning these into financeable projects is the tricky part. That’s where GreenGen’s expertise in both strategy and execution becomes crucial. It’s also about providing clarity and direction for businesses unsure of their next steps toward sustainability, translating across the myriad of stakeholders, and ensuring that addressing climate goals don’t get sidelined by other priorities by focusing on a strong business case.

Are there specific partnerships or collaborations GreenGen is considering in India to further its goals?

Absolutely, while there is nothing specific to discuss right now, we’re always on the lookout for partnerships! Our approach is about blending global insights with local know-how to ensure we’re delivering top-notch solutions everywhere. And that often means teaming up with local experts to best serve our clients. In India, our engineering team is already making strides in support of not just local but also global projects. This local expertise paired with our global insights amplifies our operational strength and paves the way for additional collaborations and project initiatives within India, aligning perfectly with our strategic vision for growth and sustainability in the region.