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Photo: G-Bit/screen capture

When the day comes to start incorporating plant-based, paint-on solar panels into green building designs, many cutting-edge green building professionals may first hear about it on g-bit, a new online service designed to help professionals in the green building, clean energy and corporate sustainability sectors to keep track of the latest relevant research and trends.

It is hard to predict the tipping point when a technology transforms from a costly mistake to a wise investment. Many too well-intentioned green business projects end up bankrupt because decision-makers paid more attention to hype than to reliable data. For example, early biophotovoltaics prototypes–to return to the example above–capture 0.1% of the sun’s energy, but the technology won’t make sense to incorporate into green building designs until efficiency reaches 1 or 2%. The idea behind g-bit is to help green business professionals stay on top of relevant trends and business opportunities, without having to to sift through the noise and discover quality research results themselves.

As director of R&D for Cherokee, an environmentally focused investment company with over $1 billion of assets under management, and Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Christopher Wedding has been scouring the internet for high quality research related to clean energy, green building and corporate sustainability for decades. His career relied on finding reliable quantitative data and keeping track of important trends in the sustainability sector.

Wedding was frustrated with how long it took for high quality research to reach the people who could act on it.

“There’s an incredible amount of information out there about environmental impact and sustainability, but if business professionals can’t find it, or make sense of it, it may as well not exist.”

Certain that there must be a better way to do market research, he teemed up with his friend Christopher Guidry, a VP at Bank of America with years of experience building large databases, and created a green business informatics tool. g-bit mines data from over 150 sources, vets it, aggregates it and distills it into a form that green business professionals can use to make better strategic and investment decisions. Unlike Google search, where anyone with a blog can show up on your search results page, g-bit only returns the caliber of sources that a private equity firm like Cherokee would use to make investment decisions. Advertisers also have no way of paying for visibility on g-bit.

g-bit is both a content discovery platform and a market research tool. Subscribers receive personalized news feeds, monthly trend reports and executive summaries, as well as access to a database where they can quickly find the reliable data points they need to be an expert in their field. Additionally, g-bit allows users to save and organize their research, and share it with other members of their team. Now when Wedding does his research, the whole sector stands to benefit.

With partnerships in place with a number of major thought-leaders in sustainability, like the University of Cambridge Centre for Climate Mitigation Research and the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, g-bit is already delivering reliable data into the hands of people who can make good use of it.

g-bit is currently offering 14-day free trials to green business professionals.