Could 2013 Be a Tipping Point for Sustainability Spending?
Corporate spending on sustainability could double in 2013 from current levels, sparking a massive market expansion as companies increasingly see the business value of investing in enterprise-wide programs.
Global sustainability spending will soar 50 percent to 100 percent between 2011 and 2013, predicted research firm Verdantix. Firms in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada with $1 billion-plus revenue will dole out roughly $60 billion in 2013 on workers, equipment or implementation of strategies directly related to sustainability, climate change, carbon management or energy efficiency.
"Spending on sustainable business initiatives such as energy efficiency, sustainability assurance and clean tech innovation is positively correlated with global economic growth," David Metcalfe, Verdantix director and a regular contributor to GreenBiz.com, said in a statement Thursday. "By 2013 a powerful mix of market drivers, led by the forecasted global economic rebound, will significantly increase strategic investment in sustainability programs. The arrival of the 2013 tipping point will be good news for cash-strapped clean tech innovators and struggling sustainability entrepreneurs."
Verdantix will details its findings in a webinar on June 2.
Verdantix based its predictions on four years of research into the spending habits of more than 2,500 worldwide companies. The analysis revealed three key trends.
First, the rise of the chief sustainability officer is helping to scale corporate sustainability programs and promote the virtues of sustainability externally to professional associations and the like.
Meanwhile, the concept of sustainability is increasingly seen as a need-to-have by corporate boards and CEOs, rather than a nice-to-have. Sustainability carries with it a range of quantifiable, bottom-line benefits that enhance competitiveness, such as resource efficiency.
By 2013, Verdantix predicts, trends we're seeing now, such as growing demand in Asia, tougher energy and climate change policies, and evidence on how sustainability provide business value, will have solidified, deepening the business case for investment.