The global environmental industry grew 3.6 percent in 2013, generating revenues of $1.047 trillion, while the U.S. environmental industry grew only 0.7 percent in 2013 compared to 4.5 percent in 2012, according to new research from Environmental Business International.
In 2013, the U.S. environmental industry’s total of $344.84 billion in annual revenues represented 2.81 percent of the gross domestic product, while the environmental industry employment reached 1.75 million.
At $340.4 billion in 2013, the U.S. continues to be the largest global market for environmental technologies and services, followed by Western Europe at $292 billion and Japan at $104.8 billion. The fastest growing environmental markets are in the Middle East and Africa, both at 8 percent, and in Canada at 7 percent.
Of the 14 business segments tracked by EBI, water utilities ($167.1 billion), clean energy systems and power ($164.7 billion) and solid waste management ($163.8 billion) were the top three global segments by size in 2013. Clean energy overthrew solid waste from the number two spot it held in 2012.
The U.S. government as a client category was the single largest reason for declining growth in environmental service revenues in 2013, according to George Stubbs of EBI’s Environmental Business Journal. The impact of federal markets was felt most strongly in environmental consulting and engineering, one of 14 environmental segments tracked by EBI since 1988. The primary market driver for the global environmental industry is resource development, led by oil and gas activity. This is followed by power, key manufacturing sectors, water and wastewater utilities and renewable energy.
In August, EBI released a report that showed weather-related disasters present significant opportunities for companies positioned to help clients prepare for, adapt to and even gain competitive advantage from the consequences of climate change. The global market for this could be as high as $2 billion.