State of Green Business Report 2013

The 2013 State of Green Business report has just been published by GreenBiz Group Inc. It tells a story of the shifting business reality — a world slowly coming to grips with a changing climate, economic volatility and great risks to business as usual. One of the main stories is about natural capital, eivironmental efficiency and the return on natural assets.

San Francisco, 13 February 2013: The sixth annual edition of research has been expanded to include data on 1,600 companies worldwide, as well as on the U.S.-based S&P 500. GreenBiz partnered with Trucost, a leading research firm focusing on natural capital and sustainability metrics, to revamp the indicators by which they assess progress within the private sector in addressing global environmental challenges. These indicators, which look at natural capital costs as a percentage of total revenue, show how efficiently companies are using their natural capital over time.

Trucost’s calculations answer the question, "If a company actually had to pay for its impacts on natural capital, what would it cost, and how would that affect the company’s profitability?" The authors found that environmental costs represent both a risk and an opportunity. "The cost of protecting natural capital creates strategic opportunities to optimize resource use", said Richard Mattison, Trucost. As governments begin to regulate carbon and as the changing climate forces shifts in the monetary value of resources companies rely on, environmental costs will become a bigger lever for success or failure (see pages 41-50).
 
Furthermore, the report analyses environmental reporting disclosure trends and transparency: "companies are improving on both scores; they’re moving beyond disclosing just carbon emissions; and they are increasingly working with supply-chain partners to account for environmental impacts made outside their walls. Taken as a whole, these indicators point to an increasing openness among companies to share, measure, and compare environmental impacts. "
 
You can download the report here.
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