‘State of Green Business Report’ finds businesses are thinking bigger and longer term about sustainability, according to the CSRwire press release. In its 4th annual report, Greenbiz.com measures the progress of U.S. business and the economy from an environmental perspective, and highlights key trends in corporate culture in regard to the environment to show some promising developments in the area of sustainability. CSRwire outlined the following 10 Big Trends from Greenbiz.com’s free downloadable report.
- Consumer Giants Awaken to Green – big push by consumer
- Companies Aim for ‘Zero’ – growth of zero-waste goals and achievements by big companies
- The Developing World Yanks the Supply-Chain – key issues like “conflict minerals” and sustainable palm oil rattling supply chains
- Greener Transport Gains Speed – new green technologies coming to market – not just electric vehicles and plug-in cars, but also trucks, trains, and planes
- Sustainable Food Sourcing Becomes Palatable – more commitments by big companies, led by Walmart
- Metrics and Standards Become the Rule – a surge of interest on sustainability standards and on standardizing metrics for assessing companies
- Greener Chemistry Comes Out of the Lab – combination of toxics headlines around the world and surge of new products from Big Chemical makes this a mainstream market
- Companies Learn to Close the Loop – the growth of new products made from recycled materials
- Water Footprinting Makes a Splash – the growth of methodologies and technologies for understanding the footprint of a product, facility, or company
- Bioplastics Become Material – a steady flow of new materials emerges, made of corn to coconut to cashews
According to the report some areas where the U.S. is lagging:
- Carbon Intensity: U.S. companies have a long way to go in setting meaningful targets that will help move the country closer to President Obama’s goal of reducing emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
- E-waste: Governments, corporations, activists, and the public are increasingly aware and concerned that we are exporting our environmental impacts to the developing world but not enough action is taking place to correct the system or hold onto our valuable resources.
- Toxic Emissions: There was a modest decline in facilities releasing or disposing emissions to land, water and air in 2009 but the EPA believes the decline may be due to several factors, including a shift to other management methods, fewer facilities reporting, changes in raw material composition, and overall reduction in chemical use or production. The recession may also be a factor.
Image Credit: Cover of the State of Green Business 2011 report via Greenbiz.com.