The Opportunity For New Green Enterprises In The UK Green Economy

uk-green-economyAccording to Nick Clegg at the Rio+20 talks in June 2012, the UK green economy is already estimated to be worth 8% of GDP and is one of the few bright spots in our economy, growing at 4.7% per annum. The green economy includes energy efficiency and generation, waste reduction and the long-term management of resources and its growth is being fuelled by:

  • government legislation, regulation and incentive schemes as it pushes towards hitting its legally binding carbon budgets
  • businesses as they green their products, services and supply chains, thereby reducing costs, finding new markets and improving their reputation
  • demand for green products and services from consumers around the world

We are at the start of a massive transformation of our economy that can be compared with the Industrial and IT revolutions. We are moving into a period of great change bringing huge opportunities for businesses to innovate, develop, produce and sell green products and services, replacing the wasteful goods in the market today. Those who embrace the change will be winners and those who try to continue with business as usual will lose out.

Examples of companies who are making a real impact in this area include:

  • Ecotricity – the renewable energy generator
  • Ewgeco – developed and selling energy monitoring equipment for domestic and commercial use
  • Commonwheels – and other car pooling companies addressing the problems of inefficient personal transport systems
  • Riverford Organics – whose founder, Guy Watson, recently won the farmer of the year competition at the British Food and Farming Awards and who provide organic vegetable boxes to consumers across the UK
  • Kanes Foods – who recently completed one of the largest green roof projects in Europe
  • Rapanui – who produce a range of environmentally friendly and ethical clothing

There is plenty of opportunity for many more entrepreneurs to enter the green economy as we sweep away inefficient ways of producing goods and services and unethical ways of doing business.

There are some huge green projects underway and in the pipeline. For example, at the infrastructure level, there are enormous and expensive projects to renew our energy generation to provide the clean energy we need to drive the economy forward; the installation of 53 million smart meters across the country; the energy refurbishment of our homes and commercial buildings; and de-carbonising our transport system. New small businesses can play a part in all of these projects!

The transformation also applies at the everyday level. Objects we buy and use every day have all been designed and produced in the context of cheap energy, cheap and available resources and with no real concern about waste. There are massive opportunities for people to redefine these objects so they are greener and cheaper. We can learn from history and how the industrial and IT revolutions transformed the way we live and the things we consume – and who were the winners and losers from these revolutions.

How can the UK be among the winners?

About the author

ecoskill-logoecoskill provides inspiring online courses for entrepreneurs and existing businesses wanting success in the growing green economy. Their ecoskill new Green Economy Start-up Series of e-learning courses is designed to help green entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to take advantage of the green economy opportunities. Ecoskill’s aim is to act as a catalyst for people to start-up and develop new businesses, making more green products and services available in the market. For more information please visit the ecoskill website.

About the Author Staff Writer

Our writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.

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