Despite a slow economy, corporate spending on sustainability will grow green businesses in the UK. According to a report from research firm Verdantix spending on sustainability by large UK firms on energy, environment and sustainability initiatives will grow by an average of 16 per cent a year for the next three years culminating in a market worth £6.8bn in 2015.
The report predicts spending on sustainability among the 420 UK firms with revenues of more than £750m will rise 12 percent in 2012 to £4.3bn, 15 per cent in 2013 and 17 per cent in 2014 and 2015.
With the UK economy expected to grow at a rate of the 0.6 percent in 2012 the growth of sustainability is welcome news. Growth is being driven by cost savings and commercial benefits that result from green investments.
The report found that sustainable business spending is dominated by the retail, high tech and emissions intensive energy and heavy industrial sectors, which combined account for over three-quarters of the entire market.
The report also revealed considerable variations in the spending growth rate for different green technologies and services. For example, smart meters, electric cars, onsite renewable energy and product stewardship initiatives are all expected to enjoy compound annual growth rates of 22-23 per cent over the next four years, while social responsibility, employee engagement, and lobbying activity will see slower growth rates of around five per cent.
Government green policies are driving spending as well as the awareness in sectors such as retail that firms will face brand damage without a reputable sustainability strategy.
The report acknowledged that sustainable business spending would be in a healthier position, were it not for weaknesses in the wider economy.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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