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Joining E2 is the most effective way to stay informed about cutting-edge environmental issues, leverage your professional network, and use your skills to influence important environmental policy issues.

Join Now E2 is a partner of NRDC
Business Voice for the Environment
photo Meera Balakumar
Principal
Sterling Analytics
Meera Balakumar joined E2 in August 2008 with an interest in promoting environmentally conscious investing and green best practices within her professional industry, real estate private equity. Meera is a Principal at Sterling Analytics, a firm that provides analytical services to institutional investors in real estate, specializing in underwriting green buildings and green development. It leverages a strong understanding of the CO2, energy and water impacts of real estate and the financial benefits to be gained from mitigating some of those effects.

When Meera first heard of E2, she had already joined the Full Circle Fund, a venture philanthropy fund, and, as a member of their Environment/Energy "circle," led a Full Circle Fund team to invest in and advise a water-related non-profit, Imagine H2O. She subsequently learned that E2 was "amazingly impactful on several important environmental issues" such as smart growth, energy/water efficiency and biofuels.

"I joined E2 because I've always believed in the public-private partnership model for sustainable growth. E2 is a vehicle for sharing lessons and best practices between the private and public sectors." E2 has been instrumental in developing Meera's understanding of how public-private partnerships can be effectively used for advancing positive change. The exposure she has gained through E2 has informed her work at Sterling Analytics and her leadership of the partnership between Imagine H2O and Full Circle Fund.

In her first 11 months as an E2 member, Meera has prodigiously leveraged her membership, time and ideas. For the past year, she has worked on E2's effort to pass and implement a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in California, leading a module in the campaign to gain the support of the investment community, attending meetings with and delivering testimony before regulators, and participating on a joint E2/NRDC Steering Committee on the LCFS. In May, she participated as a delegate on E2's 2009 Sacramento trip, where she promoted policies that would result in the production of green jobs and more efficient use of energy and water.

Meera believes that green building can have a large beneficial impact in developing countries, where substantial capital inflows targeting real estate in recent years have significant implications for local and global environmental changes. Meera lived in Sri Lanka as a child and, as E2 marks its 10th birthday, Meera doesn't mind the idea of an eventual Sri Lanka chapter. NRDC International Program staffers have been talking to Meera about their plans to start a U.S.-India Initiative on Climate Change and Energy, including meeting with partners in India, where she has some contacts.

Asked what she appreciates about E2 membership, Meera responds, "E2 members have a high intellect and invaluable practical competence, combined with a personally engaged passion for the environment. E2 members are focused on transforming the way we practice business to account for and protect the environment. They are accomplished and enthusiastic about the issues and I learn a lot from being around and engaging with them."

Meera has a background in investment banking and real estate private equity, having participated in transactions in the U.S., Europe and Asia. She is a Fulbright Scholar who has studied and volunteered on economic development issues in environmentally challenged parts of Asia and Africa. She has a BA in Economics and Development from the University of California, Berkeley.

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