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US Firms to Double Sustainablity Spending to $60B by 2014

A study by analyst firm Verdantix predicts huge growth for the business of sustainable business in the United States, as executives increase their awareness of the importance and business benefits of green practices.

After analyzing over 1,800 companies worth $1 billion or more, Verdantix sees a growth of 11 percent in 2010 in how much companies will spend on sustainability initiatives. That growth is expected to accelerate, to 16 percent in 2011 and 24 percent in 2012.

All told, Verdantix predicts that by 2014, the annual amount spent on green projects by U.S. companies will reach $60 billion.

"Executive awareness of the business benefits of sustainability is on the rise," David Metcalfe, director of Verdantix, said in a statement. "The elevation of sustainable business decisions to the C-Suite drives increased expenditure across all sustainability issues. But the U.S. sustainable business market is still two years away from rapid growth due to the sluggish global economy, delayed federal regulations and a lack of mature programs in firms with revenues of less than $10 billion."

Verdantix developed its predictions from a model that uses more than 1,200 sustainability initiatives already in place, and covers 29 different categories of green projects in 20 industries. Among the types of projects covered in the prediction are energy efficiency, carbon management, cleantech innovation, and sustainable operations.

Broken down by industry, Verdantix projects utility companies and automobile firms will be the most rapidly growing sectors, increasing their sustainability spending by 24 percent between 2009 and 2014. Engineering sectors will grow at a similarly rapid pace, while banking and retail companies will grow at a slower 14 percent rate.

More information about the report, "US Sustainable Business Spending 2009-14," is available from Verdantix.

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