Verdantix says Australian firms should wake up to the opportunities in the $3 billion sustainable business market

London, April 19, 2011 - The Australian sustainable business market will grow to $2.9bn in 2014 from $1.6bn in 2010, according to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix.

The report forecasts that sustainability spending will exceed $1.8bn in 2011, grow to $2.1bn in 2012 and reach $2.5bn in 2013. The forecast is based on analysis of spending by 139 firms with Australian revenues of at least $900m and cross-industry research into over 1,000 Australian corporate sustainability initiatives. The Verdantix model categorises spending by 29 initiatives including energy efficiency, carbon management, sustainable supply chains, cleantech and sustainable product innovation.

“Many Australian business leaders perceive climate change and sustainability trends as a break on growth and a cost to business” commented Susan Clarke, Verdantix analyst and author of the report. “But carbon regulations, rising energy prices and natural resource scarcity also create new market opportunities. Innovative firms like CarbonSystems, Energetics, Intelligent Pathways and WSP Environment & Energy already benefit from the market for energy efficiency and carbon management. A pure focus on blocking and tackling new energy and climate change regulations will protect margins in the short-term but misses out on big opportunities like bio-diesel refining.”

According to the Verdantix report, Australian Sustainable Business Spending 2009-14, the market will experience a 13% CAGR from 2009 to 2014. Sustainability spend will increase by 9% in 2011 compared to 2010. This positive trend will continue with a year-on-year increase of 13% in 2012. The recently proposed carbon price mechanism, if it is implemented by 2013, will cause an increase in year-on-year growth rates, reaching 20% in 2013 and 2014.

Across 29 sustainable business initiatives the Verdantix market forecast finds that spending on smart grid and electric vehicles will grow fastest. Spend on smart grid will grow at a 27% CAGR to reach $72 million in 2014. Electric vehicles and infrastructure will grow at a 22% CAGR to reach $58 million in 2014. Public-private consortium partnerships such as the ‘Smart Grid, Smart City’ demonstration project encourage investment from firms like AGL Energy, Ausgrid and Sydney Water.

Reflecting the structure of the Australian economy, energy and emissions intensive industries account for 43% of sustainable business spending in 2011. The basic resources sector will invest $360 million, accounting for 20% of spend. Oil and gas firms account for 12%, travel and transport 6%, and utilities 5%. Despite strong commitments to sustainability by services firms like National Australia Bank their budgets are significantly smaller than the industrial sectors.

“Australia is already experiencing a boom in commodities demand as the Asian economy gathers steam. Our forecast for a 13% CAGR between 2009 and 2014 assumes economic growth in Australia of 3% to 3.5% over the period,” stated David Metcalfe, Verdantix Director. “Spending on sustainability is positively correlated with global and national economic growth because they drive up the price of fossil fuels and other natural resources. As a result, spending on initiatives such as energy efficiency, sustainability communications, lobbying and renewable energy production will be higher if economic growth is above current forecasts.”

The Verdantix report, Australian Sustainable Business Spending 2009-14, launched today and is available to Verdantix clients at

About Verdantix

Verdantix is the fastest-growing, independent, analyst firm focused on sustainable business strategies and market opportunities. For more information visit

Press contact

Elinor Newman-Beckett,

+44(0)203 371 6792

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