RMI’s Lovins says she’s moving on

Jennifer Davoren
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Hunter Lovins, co-founder and co-CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, resigned her post last week.

An award-winning environmentalist, Lovins announced Friday that she is leaving the environmental think tank to pursue outside projects. A press release issued by RMI on Monday stated that Lovins and the organization’s board of directors “had experienced differences in philosophy about growing the world-renowned think tank,” and Lovins decided to step down as co-CEO.

Norm Clasen, RMI’s director of communications, said the split was a mutual, amicable agreement between Lovins and the RMI board. The board agreed that Amory Lovins, who helped found the institute with Hunter Lovins in 1982, will take over as the sole CEO.

“There’s no anticipated replacement of Hunter, although I’m sure down the road we will. You take somebody like that out of an organization, you have to find ways of filling that void,” Clasen said.

In the RMI press release, Lovins said her exit from the organization will allow her to focus her attention on special projects. The idea of natural capitalism, a concept explored through a book she co-authored with Amory Lovins and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, will be a top priority, she said.

“I’ve been thinking about going out on my own for some time,” Lovins said. “There are many, many opportunities that come my way. The day-to-day running of RMI has prohibited me from focusing on what I really want to do: taking natural capitalism to a greater audience.”

Lovins has become a much-lauded environmentalist in her 20 years with RMI, picking up honors such as the “Hero for the Planet” designation she earned from Time magazine in 2000. Lovins has written or co-authored numerous books in her time with the institute, and will finish her latest, “The Human Dimensions of Natural Capitalism,” now that she has resigned from RMI.