Businesses will get greener over next three years, says survey

The construction and materials sectors will increase their investment in greening their businesses by 17% a year over the next three years, faster than any other industry sector, according to research published this week.

All sectors will increase their spending in green markets by 11-17% a year but construction will outpace 19 other areas of the economy, the report by independent analyst firm Verdantix predicts.

The survey looked at the spending predictions of 457 companies worth $1bn (£0.6bn) or more, including 30 from construction and materials, with Balfour Beatty and materials giant Wolseley, two of the firms featured.

Construction and materials currently accounts for 7% of the country’s climate change and sustainability spending, with a total of $363m (£224m) in 2010.

A quarter of this spending went towards industrial emissions reductions, while almost a fifth of the money went on sustainable product development.

The survey found that of the $5.3bn (£3.3bn) of green spending in the UK in 2010, the biggest proportion went on improving building energy efficiency, which was worth $699m (£432m), although only a minority of this was construction work.