In honor of the release of Trendwatch 2012, we'll be rolling out posts about sustainability and economic recovery. You can find them here all week, or read the whole set here. Please also join us for a free webinar on February 29th where we'll be discussing the role of sustainability in economic recovery.
This year came in like a tortoise, at least as far as the economy is concerned. But everywhere we look we see signs of recovery. Just as sustainability advocates have been predicting for years, many of the sources of economic development are sustainability initiatives like green building and small scale renewable energy production where high margins allow patient investors to make returns on sustainable projects.
We also see both entrepreneurs and established leaders exploring new revenue streams like the Access Economy (aka collaborative consumption) and collaboration with unlikely partners for mutual benefit. That's not to say there aren't substantial challenges to overcome in 2012. Water will continue to be a constraining issue for companies and communities alike, especially as the global middle class continues to rise, increasing consumption and straining environmental resources.
Finally, companies will face increasing pressure to be transparent about their supply chains and environmental activities. The flip side of transparency is, of course, privacy concerns, and we also examine the increasingly common corporate practice of collecting consumer information for profit.
All of these issues will come to the forefront in 2012, and you can read all about them on Trendwatch 2012, a new series on Sustainable Industries. If you're an auditory learner, we hope you'll join us for a free webinar exploring economic recovery through sustainability on February 29th.
2012 will be many things, but it won't be dull.
image: Giovanni Orlando via Flickr cc (some rights reserved)