How tech companies are propelling the environmental movement, and why it's time to do more

Working on their own processes is key for morale and branding, but as for impacting climate change, it doesn't make much of a difference. Rather, Stepp said, tech companies are mostly influencing consumer behavior through their products, like Google buying Nest, AT&T and its work on connected cars, Verizon and its smart home technologies.

This extends to startups in the industry, as well. As the cleantech space becomes more crowded, it's important to make sure companies are moving the narrative in the right direction: awareness, then action -- which could be the key to influence other industries such as energy, retail, travel, and manufacturing.

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