GreenBiz’s 4th annual State of Green Business report examines the growth of sustainable business practices over the past year and looks at green business trends for 2011. Even while faced with a tough economy, businesses both large and small continued to expand their sustainability goals during 2010 including fuel efficiency, energy efficiency and waste reduction goals.

In 2010, FedEx set a goal to increase its fleet fuel efficiency by 20% by 2020, Proctor & Gamble is working on powering their factories with 30 percent renewable energy by 2020, and Walmart is working with small and medium-sized farmers to sell $1 billion of fresh produce in its stores.

According to Joel Makower, Executive Editor, “Companies are thinking bigger and longer-term about sustainability – a sea change from their otherwise notoriously incremental, short-term thinking. And during these tough times, many have doubled down on their sustainability activities and commitments. During 2010, we saw a steady march of progress with some of the world’s biggest companies and brands putting a stake in the ground in the name of environmental (and, sometimes) social sustainability.” Source: GreenBiz

The top 10 green business trends for 2011 reflect many of the sustainability goals that companies set during the previous year. Trends we should expect to see during the next 12 months include a surge in sustainability goals from consumer packaged goods companies, a continued focus on zero-waste and supply-chain issues, green fleet goals and even water footprinting.

Green fleet initiatives have been popular for several years and the efforts are paying off. A quick look at the following infographic shows that since 2007, the annual greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle has dropped from 14.59 tons to 11.56 tons last year. The increased use of alternative fuel and electrified vehicles will continue to drive this number lower.

This is just one example of how sustainable business practices are already delivering measurable results. To learn more about how companies changed in 2010 and what’s on tap for 2011, download the State of Green Business 2011 report at

Photo: GreenBiz

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