The UK's burgeoning green businesses will continue to defy the sluggish economic backdrop, according to research firm Verdantix. They are predicting that spending by large UK firms on energy, environment and sustainability initiatives will grow by an average of 16 per cent a year between now and 2015.

In money terms, that means it will rise 12 per cent this year to £4.3bn, before climbing 15 per cent in 2013 and 17 per cent in 2014 and 2015, culminating in a market worth £6.8bn.

Much of this spending will offer big opportunities to IT and Consulting businesses who can offer expertise in the application of technology to improve business sustainability.

“Sustainability is one area where companies are looking to differentiate themselves. But it is also a ‘must-have’ in order to compete in certain markets in the US and Europe. This is opening doors for consulting and other specialist businesses looking for an entry-point into the corporate environment,” said Neil Ritchie, managing director of INCo, the business development firm that finds sales opportunities for IT and Consulting firms

The Verdantix report found that sustainable business spending is dominated by the retail, high tech and emissions-intensive energy and heavy industrial sectors, which combined account for over three-quarters of the entire market.

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