Real Leaders

This Lender Helps Commercial Real Estate Finance Clean Energy Installations

PODCAST PEOPLE: A Summary from the Real Leaders Podcast

“I do think there is something about that mission, it kind of bonds you to one another and to the company and the mission of the company. You’re going to work for something more than just the career and the paycheck.”

Alexandra Cooley is the co-founder and COO of Greenworks Lending, a private capital provider that funds commercial real estate through Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). This financing makes clean energy a smart financial decision for commercial property owners and developers. Greenworks Lending is among the Real Leaders 100 Top Impact Companies of 2020.

The following is a summary of Episode 69 of the Real Leaders Podcast, a conversation with Greenworks Lending co-founder, Alexandra Cooley. Read or listen to the full conversation below.

Fewer Emissions, More Jobs

Alexandra explains how Greenworks Lending has given commercial real estate the opportunity to finance clean energy installations. However, she elaborates that commercial property owners and developers sign on with personal agendas for energy alternatives. As a result, the opportunity for more cash flow due to saving on energy costs is a big incentive, as well as the potential for new construction and development.

While environmental benefits may not be the initial intention for these investments in clean energy, the environment and the economy inevitably benefit greatly. With Greenworks Lending, more companies get on board with reducing emissions, and consequently generate a need for more clean energy jobs.

“We actually report on our impact every quarter. Nobody’s requiring us to do this. None of our investors require it, we just do it because we think it’s really important for us personally. It’s very motivating to see that we’ve created X more jobs this quarter. It’s also really motivating for the people on our team. We have, to date, created over 2,000 clean energy jobs. So that is really exciting.”

Listen to Episode 69 on Spotify, Anchor, Crowdcast, and Apple Podcasts

Give Away Your Legos

The evolution of Greenworks Lending, from a two-woman startup with her co-founder to a Top Impact Company with over 40 employees, has required Alexandra to adapt her leadership role. She explains how the company has adopted into its vernacular the idea coined by Molly Graham: “Give Away Your Legos.”

“It’s more about leading and managing than doing, right? You have to give things that you’ve built to other people to maybe do a better job at, maybe do a worse job, while you go off and struggle doing something new. And it’s hard, and it’s not natural. Because you go from direct discussion and debate to meeting to influence and managing perceptions. That was very challenging for me. And I think that is probably something that most people in our in our position struggle with.”



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