Growing a Green Business - Page 7 of 7

Growing a Green Business

Building Council. LEED Certification ensures that a building is environmentally safe and responsible.

  • LOHAS: An acronym for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability that refers to a segment of consumers focused on healthy lifestyles, the environment, and sustainable living. It’s a market segment estimated to be worth approximately $209 billion in annual sales.
  • Organic: This term refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed. This includes how they are produced, distributed, and sold e.g., without pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
  • Sustainability: Describes the ability to meet present needs without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A sustainable process can be carried out repeatedly without negative environmental effects.

    –Erinn R. Johnson

    Green, Greener, Greenest
    While there’s no precise definition of what constitutes a green business, the Center for Small Business and the Environment segments the green economy into the following industries. Here’s a snapshot of some of the areas you might want to look into.

    • Recycling: With an annual payroll of $37 billion, the recycling industry employs more than 1.1 million people in more than 56,000 reuse and recycling establishments.
    • Environmental clean-up: Encompassing measures such as waste water treatment and air pollution control, it was a $231 billion industry in 2003.
    • Green lifestyle: Estimates show that some 100 million consumers make purchases guided by health and environmental concerns every year.
    • Ecotourism: Ecotourism, or travel where the environment and local community benefit, is among the fastest growing travel trends–estimated to be a $77 billion market.
    • Renewable energy: Also called “clean energy,” sources such as biofuels, wind power, solar power, and fuel cells are estimated to expand from $55.4 billion in 2006 to more than $226.5 billion within a decade.
    • Energy efficiency: Businesses that focus on the development of energy-efficient products and services. One key area of growth: The registration of new commercial hybrid vehicles rose 1,000% between 2003 and 2007.
    • Organic agriculture: Perhaps you’ve begun to pick up a few organic items in the supermarket. Sales are expected to grow 18% annually from 2008 to 2010.
    • Green building: From commercial sites to residential condos, the green building industry is projected to grow as much as fourfold, to $38 billion by 2010.
    • Land conservation: Measures to protect land as parks and open space often generate huge economic benefits for the local community, such as the opening of Chicago’s Millennium Park in July 2004–which features two pavilions that convert solar energy into electricity.

    –Trevor Delaney