State of Green Business

Topics: Sustainability, Sustainable development, Capital Pages: 110 (27483 words) Published: May 12, 2013
by Joel Makower and the editors of

in partnership with

Sustainable Business Trends of 2013 The Index


06 14 21

01: Natural Capital

09 16 24

02: Risk & Resilience

11 19 28

Where Impacts Happen


Natural Capital


Company Performance


03: Corporate Reporting

04: The Sharing Economy

05: Commerce

Disclosure & Transparency


Corporate Leadership


06: M2M 07: Sustainable Apps 08: Materiality

Technology Convergence Shaping the Profession




63 69

09: Company Goals


10: Peak Sustainability


About GreenBiz

About Trucost


© 2013 GreenBiz Group Inc. ( May be reproduced for noncommercial purposes only, provided credit is given to GreenBiz Group Inc. and includes this copyright notice.

In this, our sixth annual State of Green Business report, we’ve made some significant changes — not just in the look and feel of the document you’re reading, but in its content. First and foremost, we’ve partnered with Trucost, a leading research firm focusing on natural capital and sustainability metrics, to revamp the indicators by which we assess progress by the private sector in addressing global environmental challenges. In the spirit of continuous improvement, we scrapped the set of metrics we’d used for the previous five reports in favor of a more comprehensive and robust set that is global in scope. They cover companies’ natural capital costs, their supply-chain impacts, various measurements of transparency and disclosure, and other things. Unchanged is our Top Trends section, which looks at where the world of sustainable business is headed — the leading indicators of future progress. Our efforts mirror those of the business world we reflect: a work in progress. I hope you find insight and inspiration from this year’s report, and look forward to your feedback.

Joel Makower Chairman & Executive Editor GreenBiz Group


The global economy needs deep and liquid markets of all types of capital to run effectively. Natural capital, long overlooked in traditional financial accounting, is now recognized as a material economic input as businesses increasingly seek to manage volatile commodity prices linked to resource scarcity and extreme weather events. Important steps are now being taken to account for the natural resources that fuel economic growth, as well as the pollution that undermines it. We are pleased to partner with GreenBiz Group to bring natural capital metrics to the “State of Green Business” report. Trucost has been valuing natural capital and putting a price on resource use and pollution for more than a decade to help companies and investors address sustainability issues in board room business decisions. Trucost’s Environmental Register, the world’s most comprehensive database of natural capital metrics, provided the data insights for this year’s report, showing that companies became more environmentally efficient over the past five years. Simply put, businesses used fewer resources and polluted less to generate revenue. Notably, though, U.S. companies were found to lag their global peers, suggesting that without improved corporate efforts in North America to measure and manage the natural capital in their operations and supply chains, their global competitiveness may stall. Although companies are developing ways to deliver goods and services more efficiently, their overall reliance on natural capital grew, with environmental costs rising by 8 percent to almost $352 million between 2007 and 2011. Companies have yet to decouple growth from environmental damage. This is mainly because of our global economy’s continued reliance on carbon-intensive fossil fuels, which meant that 42 percent of costs came from greenhouse gas emissions.

Dr. Richard Mattison CEO Trucost Plc

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