If more than 200 companies, including some of today's largest and powerful -- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Citibank (NYSE:C), Genentech, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) -- all belonged to an organization that had just announced it intended to better the world by making it more environmentally sustainable, or "greener," you'd probably yawn and say, "Big whoop, whatever."

But if the same organization was honest enough to admit that its only motive wasn't just about garnering a little positive PR and that it was actually doing it to make some of that other green stuff -- money -- you might actually take notice. I did, anyway.

This past month, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a regional business trade association group, unveiled a 12-point campaign dubbed "Clean and Green" that takes a variety of business issues and frames them in a way it hopes will help members reduce their environmental footprint while at the same time making them more profitable.

For instance, the "Cool Commutes" initiative is a contest designed to encourage members to lower greenhouse gas emissions by increasing the number of employees who carpool, take mass transit, or work from home -- thus helping these companies lower some overhead costs.

The "Injecting Fuel Efficiency in the Supply Chain Equation" initiative is aimed at figuring out how to help companies more effectively ship supplies and products from one point to another. Rising transportation costs have a way of eating away at margins, and any effort to lower these costs is likely to be widely embraced.

Some of the members, such as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), use vast amounts of electricity to cool massive data centers. Therefore, a few of the initiatives are focused on using more solar power as well as designing more energy-efficient computers.

The group even wants to employ its clout to build a market for alternative-fuel vehicles. Such an initiative might benefit a member company like Daimler-Chrysler in the short run, but to the extent that the group can facilitate the widespread introduction of hybrid plug-in vehicles, it could ultimately reduce the amount of fuel many of these companies consume.

The bottom line is that this latest action offers further proof that "clean tech" could very well be the biggest opportunity of this century and that Silicon Valley is likely to be at the forefront of this revolution.

Interested in other clean-tech foolishness? Check out these articles:

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Fool contributor Jack Uldrich is the author of two books on nanotechnology, including Investing in Nanotechnology: Think Small, Win Big. He owns stock in Intel and Microsoft. The Fool has a strict disclosure policy.