Company Sustainability Activity on the Increase, Says New Report

Ninth annual “State of Green Business” shows encouraging progress post-COP21
Feb 2, 2016 9:00 AM ET
Press Release

OAKLAND, Calif., February 2, 2016 /3BL Media/ — Companies are making good progress in addressing their environmental impacts, and the aftermath of December’s Paris climate agreement is catalyzing continued growth in sustainable business activities, according to a new report.

 “State of Green Business 2016,” produced by GreenBiz Group in partnership with Trucost, is the ninth annual assessment of progress by companies around the world in addressing their energy, waste, water, greenhouse gas and other impacts — and increasing their investments, transparency and other leadership activities.

The report assesses the performance of U.S. companies in the S&P 500 index as well as those in the MSCI World Developed Index, which includes more than 1,600 companies in 24 developed markets.

“This year’s report comes on the heels of COP21, which set a course for companies and nations to transition to a low-carbon economy, with innovations that accelerate markets for clean energy, electrified transportation, advanced materials, water-efficient processes and many other things,” said GreenBiz Group Chairman and Executive Editor Joel Makower, the report’s lead author. “It’s an exciting time to be in business.”

One promising area of progress is in the financial cost of natural capital impacts — the aggregate dollar value of environmental degradation caused by companies’ resource use and emissions. After years of increases, the costs took a downward shift for the most recent year of data, suggesting that companies are becoming more efficient and environmentally responsible.

Other positive trends include low-carbon investments, sales of green bonds, investor use of environmental data, companies’ science-based targets and increased efficiency in energy, water and waste metrics.

“2015 was the year that the investment community made critical commitments to finance sustainable growth,” said Richard Mattison, CEO of Trucost plc, which provides data and analytics to help companies identify opportunities and risk in sustainability issues. “It is undoubtable that 2016 is the year for companies to best position their business models to capitalize on sustainable growth opportunities.”

The report also names 10 sustainable business trends for 2016, including the growth of the b-to-b sharing economy, the increased use of green infrastructure to protect against climate impacts, innovations that turn carbon dioxide into products like plastics and fuels, and the growing business opportunities in protecting oceans.

The free report can be downloaded at



GreenBiz Group’s mission is to define and accelerate the business of sustainability. It does this through a wide range of products and services, including its acclaimed website and e-newsletters, GreenBuzz and VERGE; webcasts on topics of importance to sustainability and energy executives; research reports, including the annual State of Green Business; the GreenBiz Executive Network, a membership-based, peer-to-peer learning forum for sustainability executives; and its annual GreenBiz forum and VERGE conferences.

Becky Dempsey
Marketing Programs Manager, GreenBiz Group
+1 (510) 740-2358