Sustainability Awareness and Search

In November, 2008 I wrote a short paper on Prosperity, one of four elements of sustainability.   I referenced our mission of increasing sustainability awareness, awareness being the number one inhibitor to change.

“I had no idea it was so serious.”

At that time I noted that search traffic on Google, an awareness indicator, was at 30M.  Today it’s still at 30M.

sustainability awarenessAs organizations adopt sustainability strategies, the news and conversations emanating from these actions increase the search traffic on Google, so the “buzz” hasn’t increased much. Two years ago, the U.S. was sixth in search traffic on the term, behind the U.K, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. A measurement of our success for the mission of increasing sustainability awareness was moving the U.S. from sixth to first. Over the period of the last twelve months the U.S. is in ninth place, according to Google Analytics. Interest in sustainability in Asia is rising.

Screen shot 2010-11-14 at 8.16.13 AMA Reuters report last month referenced a study by the UK-based analyst firm Verdantix. They reported “the United States’ spending on sustainable business will double to $60 billion by 2014 from the current $28 billion.” Verdantix director, David Metcalfe also noted, “In the U.S. market, executive awareness of the business benefits of sustainability is on the rise.

Awareness rising in business circles is a positive sign, yet overall the stagnant numbers on search traffic suggest our citizens are not being motivated to learn more about sustainability and are not active in the learning cycle. Once an individual searches on the term, he or she has entered the learning cycle and on the path to sustainability adoption at some or all levels – personal, business, community.

We are embarking on a more aggressive campaign to involve more partners in our quest to grow and stimulate sustainability awareness and adoption.