Global Environmental Services
The global market for environmental goods and services is expected to grow to almost $800 billion by 2015, according to the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development, representing 45% overall growth over a ten-year period. Technological innovation remains essential to limiting the environmental impact of industrialization and urbanization, while meeting the world’s increasing demand for clean drinking water.
Leading Market Segments
- As governments become more concerned about the environmental impact of energy choices, customers are equally becoming more conscientious, choosing more eco-friendly options. The demand for green packaging is forecast to see close to 6% annual growth to surpass $210 billion in 2015, according to Freedonia. Recycled content packaging represents the largest subcategory, though it will likely see the slowest growth. Faster growth is expected in other subcategories, such as reusable and degradable packaging.
- According to research from Markets and Markets, generation of e-waste will surpass 93 million tons in 2016, representing an increase of 52 million tons over five years. The e-waste management market is forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of more than 17%, surpassing $20 billion in 2016. Technological innovation and greater purchasing power has lead to an ever-increasing turnover of electronic products such as laptops and mobile phones. The resulting electronic waste means that recycling will remain an important aspect of waste management going forward.
- The demand for water treatment products, growing in tandem with the global population, is expected to hit $65 billion in 2015, according to Freedonia research. Industrialization is on the rise in developing countries, driving demand for wastewater treatment. The global demand for water disinfection products is expected to rise 7% yearly through 2014, according to Freedonia.
Key Regional Market Share
The US is the world’s leading green-packaging market, representing close to a quarter of worldwide sales in 2010, followed by Japan and Germany, though national market growth in Japan is expected to slow through 2015, according to Freedonia.
Recycling market growth will be most pronounced in Asia, particularly India, Indonesia and China. Growth in the Asia Pacific region is driven by food and beverage industries. Growth will continue to be strong in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central and South America, which together made up 12% of global demand for green packaging in 2010.
Demand for water treatment in developing regions - such as Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East - is considerable, with one billion people lacking safe water. Developed countries with greater wealth are not exempt from water supply shortages or supplies of inferior quality water. The need for desalination (removing salt and minerals from water) is present in developed and developing nations alike. In regions where water supply is strong, contamination means water treatment remains an issue.
With increasing global awareness regarding environmental degradation, green consumerism is increasing, with rising interest in alternatives to traditional consumer patterns such as clean energy and electric vehicles. Advances in this sector will be technology-led. In developing economies like Brazil, Russia, India and China, there is rising demand for waste treatment due to urbanization. Urban and industrial activities have expanded the solid waste management market in these regions where the rate of urbanization is expected to hit almost 35% in 2015. The solid waste management market is expected to show 7% annual growth through 2015.
The global population is currently over 6.5 billion and expected to reach 9 billion within the next three decades, representing a growing demand for clean water. Rising industrialization will equally fuel demand for this scarce resource, boosting the market for wastewater treatment.
Leading Industry Associations
- Bureau of International Recycling www.bir.org
- Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries www.isri.org
- The Recycling Association, UK www.therecyclingassociation.com
- Construction Materials Recycling Association www.cdrecycling.org
- International Solid Waste Association www.iswa.org
- International Water Association www.iwahq.org