Monday, January 30, 2012

A Slowdown for Green Business in 2012?

There are indications that as government money dries up, it will auger hard times for green business in 2012. The financial crisis saw a capital infusion into the green economy of around 2.400 billion USD. In 2012 we are seeing widespread spending cuts and funding has slowed dramatically.

This is the conclusion of the 2012 State of Green Business Report which indicates that for the first time in five years there is strong evidence for a significant slowdown in growth.

“For the first time, we saw a significant decline in progress—not just in one indicator, but several. Cleantech investments, energy efficiency, green office space, packaging intensity, toxic emissions, and toxics in manufacturing — all of these trend lines leveled off or reversed course in 2011. Only one indicator — green power use — markedly improved."

According to the report the reason for this decline is what they term "a recessionary hangover." The postive reports that we did see in 2010 and 2011 were described as "lagging indicators based on work done with pre-recessionary budgets. As the economic realities have set in, environmental progress has stagnated, or worse."

Despite the bad news there is still some good news in the report: More companies are making more commitments related to their products or operations; there is a rise in sustainable consumption; there is a growing engagement from chief financial officers in companies' sustainability initiatives; and clean technology is flourishing even in the absence of political support.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

Next: What can be Done to Manage the Sustainable Business Slowdown in 2012?

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