Though I think the headline on this article from the San Francisco Chronicle is a bit misleading, I’m glad to see Co-op America‘s Green Business Conference (which started yesterday) get this kind of major coverage. The article itself demonstrates that green business is not merely trendy — it’s mainstream and profitable:
The green economy, from socially responsible investing to green building to fair-trade certified products, is getting closer and closer to a “tipping point” at which it will achieve critical mass, said a lineup of speakers.
Organic products, for example, are easier to find than ever. Almost three-quarters of conventional grocery stores now carry them, said speaker Diane Joy Goodman, a consultant to the organic industry. About 2 out of 3 U.S. consumers buy organic products at least occasionally, fueling a 20 percent annual growth rate during the past 15 years. In 2004, the organic market was $13 billion; the industry projects it will hit $30 billion in 2007.
On the other hand, Katherine DiMatteo, executive director of the Organic Trade Association, said in an interview that with organics accounting for only 2 percent of all food sold in the United States, “It’s hard to say that we’re mainstream yet. I think the tipping point for organic will be when we reach about 5 percent of food sales, and the majority of the population knows what organic is and understands the difference between that and ‘natural.’ “
But the very concept of green economy “has definitely gone mainstream,” she added. “The idea of alternatives, whether in energy, food or vehicles as a concept for the general population is not foreign, not off the charts or so left or so extreme.”
I’m sure some sustainablog readers are attending the conference, so check in with us and let us know what’s happening.