The Colour of Growth report released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK's largest business lobby group, shows how a further push towards green growth could add more than £20 billion to the UK economy by 2014-2015.
The CBI represents more than 240,000 British businesses, including more than 80% of the FTSE 100. This figure includes some of the UK's biggest emitters. Pure Advantage asks if even the heaviest emitters of British industry can recognise the benefits of green growth, why can't New Zealand?
John Cridland, CBI Director-General says, “the so-called ‘choice’ between going green or going for growth is a false one. We are increasingly hearing that politicians are for one or the other, when in reality, with the right policies in place, green business will be a major pillar of our future growth.”
The CBI report is a timely reminder of the many economic opportunities available to New Zealand industry if it embraces green growth. New Zealand's Position in the Green Race demonstrated that the global green race is potentially worth a staggering $6 trillion globally. It offers the perfect chance for New Zealand to exploit its natural talents. The geothermal industry, for example, is set to be worth $40 billion by 2020. With two New Zealand companies already in the global top 10 of geothermal production, New Zealand is well placed to get ahead and help us make the move towards becoming a greener, wealthier nation.
The report highlights how each country must develop its own green growth formula, by addressing key environmental performance deficiencies and building on areas of core competitive advantage.
In the UK this means focusing on offshore wind and marine technologies, in New Zealand this might be in our strong suits of renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, forestry, or our deficiencies in the built housing environment.
Pure Advantage advocates that private industry must take the lead in New Zealand and although government has the ability to greatly accelerate green growth, any strategy must not be dependent on government support. The CBI report's most important lesson is that green growth will require industry leadership and vision. If New Zealand wants to get ahead in the green race, then corporates need to take the lead. It's the path to becoming a greener, wealthier nation in the 21st century.