Green Zone

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Green Zone

While investing in green technology is good for the planet, there is serious money to be made in these emerging technologies. Let’s take a look at the economic impact of businesses and the government going green.

Seems Like Everybody’s Doing It

Sustainability is now a permanent part of 70% of corporate agendas.
86%
Percentage of large companies that have at least one person focused full time on sustainability

Government

Governments at all levels are getting in on the trend as well. Let’s look at how the federal government has invested in green technology and programs.
Weatherization Assistance Program for low-income family homes $5 billion
Converting federal buildings to high-performance green buildings $4.5 billion
Energy efficiency projects and modernization of facilities $3.6 billion
Energy efficiency & conservation block grants to individual states $3.2 billion
State Energy Program $3.1 billion
Energy retrofits of existing affordable housing $2.25 billion
Improved public safety and other government services — which can include renovation or repair of public schools to comply with a green building rating system $9.75 billion

Jobs

Green goods and services accounted for 2.6 percent of total U.S. employment in 2011.
Despite the recession in 2009, employment in most environmentally friendly sectors has increased recently.
2010 2011
Manufacturing 492,985 507,168
Construction 385,777 487,709
Professional, scientific & technical services 355,386 381,981
Administrative & waste services 330,650 335,417
Transportation & warehousing 242,137 238,755
Trade 205,567 223,079

Products

Sales of environmentally friendly products in the U.S. exceeded $40 billion last year.
Organic food $29.2 billion
Hybrid, electric and clean-diesel vehicles $10 billion
Energy-efficient light bulbs $2 billion
Green cleaning products $640 million
In a survey of energy efficient business leaders, 42% said their sales have increased.

The Extra Mile

Which companies are standing out in their green efforts?
IBM
In 2012 it received the European Union Code of Conduct for Data Centers Award, recognition for its long-term environmental efforts. IBM was one of the very first environmentally friendly companies.
Volkswagen
Volkswagen cars usually lead lists of the most eco-friendly vehicles thanks to the company’s efficient, eco-conscious cars, fueled by TDI clean diesel gas.
Sony
Not only does Sony focus on being energy efficient, more than 20,000 employees have gathered food for the hungry, built homes for people who couldn’t afford it and cleaned polluted water resources.
Samsung
Samsung is dedicated to the greening of its management, products, processes, workplace and communities. Leaders also put a take-back and recycle program into place.

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Sources:
http://www.environmentalleader.com
http://www.nsf.gov
http://construction.com
http://www.bls.gov
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://www.earthshare.org