Green goods market growth image via Big Green Opportunity

Growth rates for green business products and services are rising faster than conventional goods in America’s economy, outpacing the overall economy through the depths of the recession, and creating opportunity for the 88% of US businesses classified as “microbusinesses” with five or fewer employees.

These findings come from The Big Green Opportunity,” a new survey of 1,300+ businesses conducted in 2012. Respondents said the greener a product, the more likely its sales increase, with 75% reporting an increase in green business from 2008-2011 at a 19% price premium compared to traditional goods.

Consumer Demand Creates Green Business Opportunity

The survey hints at a shift in consumer demand toward sustainability creating “green competition” among businesses, especially those with high environmental footprints. 79% of small businesses – particularly those in the food, personal goods, and construction markets – say offering green goods or services gave their business a competitive advantage.

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Green business market opportunity via Big Green Opportunity

That competitive advantage is being fueled by massive growth of consumer demand in the green economy. “Green segments today are growing far faster than their overall industries,” said Denise Hamsler of Green America. “The growth we’re seeing today is off the charts.”

Green Building And Renewables Outpaced The Recession

The economic promise of green business is most strongly shown in the construction industry. When America’s housing bubble burst, the recession began – but not when it came to green building. Between 2005-2011, the green building segment grew 1,700% while the overall US construction industry shrank 17%

By the end of 2011, green building represented 38% of the US construction market, up from just 5% in 2005. Profits have followed growth, with green building worth $54 billion in revenue in 2011, and forecast to hit $200 billion in 2016.

Spurred on by the need to save money and green building’s market growth, small businesses have also overwhelmingly opted to invest in small-scale renewables instead of fossil fuel to power their operations and energy efficiency measures to help cut costs.

From 2002-2011, renewable energy consumption (solar photovoltaics, biofuels, geothermal, and wind) grew 456% while non-renewables (oil, natural gas, and coal) fell 3.2% Survey respondents also reported purchasing energy efficient equipment, training staff to conserve energy, and installing efficient lighting were the top three actions they took to produce the fastest return on investment.

Read full article at The Energy Collective


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