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Good news, bad news in The State of Green Business 2014 report

See also has just released its seventh annual assessment of corporate trends and metrics – the State of Green Business 2014 – and the outlook is both encouraging and challenging.

On the plus side, the report maintains that the state of the art of corporate sustainability continues to evolve and cites innovative breakthroughs in everything from bio-based products, accounts systems that place value on water and carbon, smart supply chains that optimize transportation and energy, renewable energy and more.

The report also identifies 10 key trends that indicate ways toward future advancements and progress in the year ahead.

However, the report also acknowledges that when the year-in-year progress companies are making in sustainability is measured, the results leave much to be desired.

To create the metrics for the report, the environmental performance disclosures of 500 U.S. companies that make up the Standard & Poor’s Index, and the MSCO World Index, covering more than 1600 companies in 24 developed markets were reviewed – comparing the two subsets over a five-year period.

According to the report, in most cases the progress is incremental. In some cases, it is flat or declining. In fact, total greenhouse gas emissions among both U.S. and global indices were essentially unchanged during the period of 2008-2012, while global emissions rose slightly.

Not only that, but the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2013 are expected to be about 2 percent above the 2012 level despite the commitment of hundreds of U.S. companies to become “carbon neutral.”

Nevertheless, the report is optimistic that significant shifts in the attitudes and outlooks of companies, their investors and customers - coupled with the growth of technology – will drive future improvements in environmental conditions.

For a more in-depth analysis of The State of Green Business 2014 and to download the free report, click here.

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