There’s so much buzz today about a sustainable, “green economy”. There’s chatter that a green economy is the key to healthy humanity, ecological success, and economical success. Swarms of companies are adapting sustainable practices, and making countless changes that portray them in a green light. Cities are donning numerous eco-conscious lists that delineate “greenest city” or “most sustainable economy”. What has been lacking among the eco-friendly buzz? Facts. Well here’s some good news for those of us who prefer to see hard facts when assessing the status of economic growth. The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program in partnership with Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice, have just developed and released a report entitled Sizing the Clean Economy. This report is result of an 18 month assessment of the current nature, size, and growth of the “green” or “clean” economy in U.S. regions.

It’s been hard to truly gage the “clean economy”, because there have been minimal standardized measurements and comparisons, thus a small amount of concrete data to record and explain its nature, size, and growth at the regional level. This Clean Economy Report covers the years 2003 to 2010 for larger U.S. metros, and provides a new source of current information. This information is both consistently applied so as to allow cross-region comparisons, and detailed enough to be of some use to inform national, state, and regional leaders on the dynamics of the U.S. low-carbon and environmental goods and services super-sector as they’re transpiring in U.S. regions. This report makes it easier to understand the status of existing green jobs, and U.S. economic growth with an eco-friendly incentive.

As the first concrete measure of the size and growth of the clean economy, we can infer that this report is perhaps imperfect in some respects. However, this is a huge step for our country’s collective conscious; a step in a direction that leaves less carbon footprints behind. We can expect to see more green focused intensive studies, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics plans to release a green jobs count in 2012. The U.S. is finally beginning to see tangible facts for a sustainable economy, and greener future.

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