RMI is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization of experts across disciplines working to accelerate the clean energy transition and improve lives. Since our founding in 1982 by Amory Lovins, RMI’s chairman emeritus, we have grown to 300 staff working on four continents with a global reach and reputation.

Authored Works

Hypercars: A Market-Oriented Approach to Meeting Life Cycle Environmental Goals

This paper from 1997 discusses the growing social and regulatory pressures that are compelling automakers to make cars with higher quality and lower life cycle environmental impacts. Examples include rules and incentives for clean manufacturing, low-emission vehicles, and recycling. Yet focusing on any single issue or stage of the car’s…


Paying for Growth, Prospering from Development

This paper addresses the difference between growth and development, the reasons communities seek growth, the ways in which local governments unwittingly worsen growth problems in their attempts to solve them, and how communities can develop viable local economies without growth. Residents of many growing towns and cities are learning the…


Ultralight Hybrid Vehicles: Principles and Design

The technical feasibility of superefficient family cars has been demonstrated. Yet it has typically compromised vehicle performance, safety, cost, manufacturability, or marketability. Industry experimentation has tended to focus on improving performance, on implementing hybrid-electric drive systems in essentially conventional vehicles, on reducing mass and drag, or on improving safety—but has…


Water 2010: Four Scenarios for 21st Century Water Systems

This report examines the challenges and uncertainties facing municipal water systems in 1996. The authors developed several hypothetical scenarios to envision what water systems will look like in 2010. The scenarios can be used as learning tools for people considering the future of water systems. The scenarios include a mandate…


Greening the White House: a Comprehensive Energy and Environmental Retrofit

This report describes RMI’s experience with the “Greening the White House” project. In this initiative, the Clinton administration analyzed, designed, and implemented a program to improve the energy use in the building. The White House has had a long tradition of demonstrating technological innovation. In keeping with that tradition, the…


Greening the Building and the Bottom Line

This paper, which was written jointly by RMI and the Department of Energy, describes the energy efficiency measures undertaken by eight organizations. In each of the cases presented, improved efficiency in lighting, heating, and cooling increased worker productivity, decreased absenteeism, and sometimes improved the quality of the work being performed.


NMB Bank Headquarters: The Impressive Performance of a Green Building

This paper describes the development, design, and construction of an early green building, the NMB Bank Headquarters in Amsterdam. The integrated project team worked across disciplines to design the building. The team included architects, construction engineers, landscape architects, energy engineers, and artists. This paper details the green characteristics of the…


Why America Beat Iraq but Loses to Japan

This paper compares superiority of the Japanese over the U.S. in competitive business strategy to the U.S. win over Iraq in the first Gulf War. The author argues that America won the military war against Iraq for the same reason the Japanese are winning the high-technology trade war against the…


Greenhouse Warming: Efficient Solution or Nuclear Nemisis

In this paper from 1988, Bill Keepin compares the environmental and economic costs of nuclear power and energy efficiency in order to determine which option can create the most energy with the least impact. The analysis shows that while nuclear energy is an energy option with little carbon impact, it…


Brittle Power

Brittle Power: Energy Strategy for National Security, prepared for the Pentagon in 1981, was the first and remains the definitive unclassified treatise on the vulnerability of energy critical infrastructure. It also synthesizes from engineering and biology how to redesign energy systems to be resilient, so that major failures, now inevitable,…