Commerce Department Measures the Green Economy
The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) released a report that defines and measures the size and scope of the green economy. Analysts used publicly available data, mostly from the 2007 Economic Census, on more than 20,000 products and services as the basis of the report.
Identifying green products as those whose main function either conserves energy or other natural resources, reduces pollution, or both, “Measuring the Green Economy” presents the results using two versions of this definition. The lower, narrow estimate includes products that generated little controversy regarding their green status, and the higher, broad estimate includes products whose greenness could be up for debate.
Some findings of the report include:
- Green products and services accounted for 1 to 2 percent of private business in 2007
- Shipments/receipts of green products and services amounted to between $371 billion to $516 billion
- The number of green jobs ranged from 1.8 to 2.4 million
- Approximately three-quarters of green business activity was centered in the services sector, manufacturing represented about 13%
- Energy conservation, resource conservation and pollution control were the predominant green activities
This report is based on 2007 data, and can be used as a starting point to gauge future growth. The green economy is in a position to grow quickly; consumer demand for green products is on the rise and energy prices are still high, which promotes conservation efforts. Also, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has authorized $90 billion to promote growth in this area.