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About RMI

“At Rocky Mountain Institute we are practitioners, not theorists. We do solutions, not problems. We do transformation, not incrementalism.”
–Amory Lovins

Who We Are

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent, non-partisan nonprofit that drives the efficient and restorative use of resources. Co-founded in 1982 by Amory Lovins, its Chairman Emeritus and Chief Scientist, RMI now has approximately 150 full-time staff, annual operations of $30 million, and a global reach and reputation.

What We Do

RMI advances market-based solutions, engaging businesses, communities, and institutions to cost-effectively shift to efficiency and renewables. We employ rigorous research, analysis, and whole-systems expertise to develop breakthrough insights. We then convene and collaborate with diverse partners—business, government, academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and military—to accelerate and scale solutions. 

Our Strategic Focus

RMI's strategic focus is transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure energy future.

Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era, RMI's 2011 book, offers a vision, rigorous analysis, and a solutions roadmap for achieving that focus in the United States, demonstrating a future energy paradigm that gets the country off oil, coal, and nuclear energy and onto efficiency and renewables. Such an energy transition could support at 158%-bigger 2050 U.S. economy at a $5 trillion net present value savings over business-as-usual.

In 2013, RMI embarked on a similar Reinventing Fire study for China in partnership with three other major organizations as input for China's next five-year plan. In addition, RMI has undertaken targeted applications of its proposed solutions at city, state, and regional levels. We focus on accelerating deployment of solutions in the four energy-using sectors of our economy: transportation, buildings, industry, and electricity. In each of these sectors, RMI drives innovation in technology, policy, design, and especially business strategy and market opportunity.

Driving Impact

RMI employs rigorous research, analysis, and whole-systems expertise to develop breakthrough insights. In partnership with collaborators, chiefly in the private sector, RMI tests and refines those ideas. Then RMI convenes and collaborates with diverse partners—business, government, academic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and military—to accelerate and scale solutions. That’s why we call ourselves a “think-and-do” tank.

Our donor-funded work boldly tackles the toughest long-term problems—challenges often ignored by those held to short-term results. Through donor support, RMI has the freedom to choose projects that make our vision of a world thriving, verdant, and secure become reality.

The potential impact is huge, as evidenced by the U.S.-specific analysis of Reinventing Fire:


Buildings consume 42 percent of the nation’s energy and 72 percent of its electricity. RMI envisions an energy efficiency revolution that could revitalize the real-estate sector, create jobs, and help to rejuvenate the national economy while dramatically reducing the need for fossil fuels. Read More


Fossil fuels generate 70 percent of the nation’s electricity. But RMI’s analysis shows that, after profitable efficiency measures, at least 80 percent of electricity in 2050 can be reliably and affordably produced from wind, solar, and other renewable sources. Read More


The U.S. burns 13 million barrels of oil a day, three-fourths of its total oil use, for transportation. The hidden costs of U.S. oil dependence total roughly $1.5 trillion a year, twice what we pay for the oil, bringing its total cost to one-sixth of GDP—plus any costs to independence, security, stability, health, and environment. RMI has targeted trucking, electric vehicle infrastructure, and vehicle lightweighting as primary focus areas. Read More


U.S. industry generates more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP and employs almost 20 million people. Doubling its energy efficiency by 2050 can economically invigorate and de-risk the sector, creating jobs and driving global competitiveness. RMI works on design challenges for industrial processes and equipment, including electricity-hungry users like data centers and high-tech manufacturing. Read More

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