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Green Transition Scoreboard Tops $4.1 Trillion!

The year 2012 was an inflection point for the green transition worldwide, with $4.1 trillion of private investments tracked in this report. Technology and innovation such as in electricity generation and transport began forcing structural changes and rethinking of business models, urban design and development toward integrated systemic approaches - still unreported in mainstream media. Global policy makers, businesses and civic society began realizing that environmental, social and human capital must be assessed and integrated into financial markets in order to achieve equitable and sustainable forms of development. The output of Rio+20 was an unprecedented reintegration of human knowledge resulting in new global shared goals and paths transitioning 191 member countries toward low-carbon, cleaner, greener, information-richer economies. Awareness grew of localization as a key principle for redesigning industrial methods, agriculture, infrastructure, sustainable communities as developed by our partner company, Biomimicry 3.8 and our joint Principles of Ethical Biomimicry Finance™.

As the green and biomimicry innovation revolution gathers speed, the year 2013 promises further shifts away from the fossil-fueled Industrial Era as illuminated by our Green Transition Scoreboard® (NYSE:GTS) which tracks private investments growing the green economy worldwide since 2007, totaling in Q4 of 2012 this $4.1 trillion. The Green Transition Scoreboard® tracks five sectors: Renewable Energy; Green Construction, Energy Efficiency; Corporate R&D and Cleantech, representing broad areas of investment in green technologies, many overlapping. Each covers an area of substantial capital investment in technologies which Hazel Henderson's years of research as a science advisor and which the Ethical Markets Advisory Board expertise indicate have contributed and are contributing to a sustainable future.




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Renewable Energy


Green Construction


Energy Efficiency


Corporate R&D






While some governments and institutional investors are increasing their focus on growing greener economies, they are not included in this report. Our recommendations that investing at least 10% of institutional portfolios directly in companies driving the global Green Transition, provide a way to update strategic asset allocation models both as opportunities and as risk mitigation. Such shifts in investments will solidify the Green Transition worldwide. Many studies, computer models and reports confirm our view of investing $1 trillion annually until 2020 in material and energy efficiencies, wind, solar, geothermal and other renewable energy, sustainable land-use and forestry, smart infrastructure, transport, building and urban re-design.

This transition strategy is now on track (see our barometer) and recognized in the 2012 report by Mercer which suggested 40% of portfolios should be in Green Transition sectors. This consensus validates models indicating that investing $1 trillion annually until 2020 can scale these innovations and reduce their costs. This updated Green Transaction Scoreboard® 2013 report finding of over $4.1 trillion puts investors and countries growing green sectors globally on track to reach $10 trillion in investments by 2020.

The March 2013 GTS report demonstrates that many other private investors are following our recommended avenue for institutional investors to shift to green sectors. Fossilized sectors are becoming increasingly stranded assets as their perverse subsidies are targeted and as low-carbon regulations are implemented and oil, coal and gas reserves become harder to exploit. Green technologies and systems investments are simply the next evolution of human societies as we learn more from the earth systems sciences and the satellites tracking the conditions on planet Earth.

Our definition of 'green' is quite strict, omitting areas such as nuclear, clean coal, carbon capture & sequestration, and biofuels from feedstock other than sea-grown algae. We are also looking closely at nanotech, genetic engineering, artificial life-forms and 3D printing, determining their green contribution on a case by case basis. For example, genetically modified microbes to produce fuels - dubious propositions for long-term sustainability. Research indicates that increasing production of crops, even inedible grasses, still require water and land better suited for range or agriculture food production.

GTS data sources include the highly respected Cleantech, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, Reuters and many UN and other international studies, NASA and individual company reports. Companies, organizations and the sources of financial data included in the GTS are screened by rigorous social, environment and ethical auditing standards. They can be found in indexes such as Calvert, Domini and Pax World, the PowerShares Cleantech Portfolio, Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, London's FTSE4GOOD, NASDAQ OMX Green Economy Global Benchmark Index, ASPI Eurozone, the many newsletters from around the world we post daily at and others.

Renewable Energy - Important to this rapidly expanding sector is the growth of renewable energy in developing countries.

Green Construction - This is the most conservatively under-reported sector of this report. We are only counting green construction materials, not including labor.

Energy Efficiency - Investments include conservation efforts and initiatives and products focused on lowering energy needs or using less energy than a comparable product, as companies now recognize efficiency investments' rapid payback periods.

Green R&D - Significant company investments show sustainability is integrated into its core strategy, serving as a strong indicator for investors. This data helps identify innovative companies ahead of the curve in responding to heightening environmental risks and regulations.

Cleantech - As Cleantech grows, energy storage increases in importance, at the level of power plants and grid electricity and at retail and local levels with improvements in batteries, fuel cells, flywheels, ultra capacitors, flow batteries, compressed air as well as metering of use at all levels.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Additional disclosure: I have many SRI investments mentioned in the report to which I refer, with full disclosure in the report.