Sustainability: The US

September 2021

Due to robust energy generation, growth in renewable energy production, sizable water reserves as well as an abundant supply of affordable food, the US ranks highly in the Global Sustainability Index. However, the country’s reliance on production of energy from fossil fuels, as well as high air pollution, remains the major factor that weighs on overall performance. Furthermore, the country is feeling the global warming effects as it becomes increasingly vulnerable to various natural disasters.

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The Country Briefings series examine market potential, economic and consumer trends impacting each country and how they are set to change.

Each Country Briefing covers one of these topics:

Economy, Finance and Trade: Understanding the structure, health and potential risks of an economy are important for decision-making within an existing operating environment as well as for expansion strategies. Real GDP growth, inflation and exchange rate fluctuations will directly impact consumer market potential. Import and export trade profiles help gauge how open an economy is to trade and investment, while analysis of government finances can be used to explore macroeconomic stability and susceptibility to economic shocks.

Income and Expenditure: Insights into income, wealth and expenditure of consumers are vital in helping businesses make strategic decisions with regards to which country (or even which region within a country) to enter, which consumer segment to target, which products or services to market, and at which price point. Other factors such as the size and expansion of the middle class and income inequality are also important in helping companies gauge the potential of a country market.

Households: Global shifts in gender, ageing, migration and housing are transforming the size, location,  general make-up as well as income and expenditure of households around the globe, with diverse implications for governments and companies. Households insights can help identify the decision-making processes and consumption tastes of different household groups and types within a country, and assess household appliance and digital readiness that is key for formulating market technology and internet strategies.

Business Dynamics: A stable and competitive business environment is vital to operate efficiently and attract inward investment. Businesses can assess these factors alongside challenges such as corruption, political instability and terrorism, also gain insight into business operating environment and make strategic investment decisions. Transport infrastructure, ICT readiness and labour force dynamics will also identify potential issues with a supply chain and the level of workforce skills.

Sustainability: Insights on key sectors directly related to the environmental sustainability of a country such as energy, water, pollution, environmental resilience, forest and biodiversity and food and agriculture help businesses to make strategic decisions in relation to environmental and sustainability trends, improve brand reputation and ensure long-term operations while ultimately growing the bottom line.

The briefings cover 103 countries and identify topics of crucial interest to planners, marketers and researchers.

Sustainability: The US



New administration directs spotlight towards renewable energy investments
US re-enters Paris Agreement and sets ambitious pollution reduction goals in 2021
Climate Plan aims to better protect American forests and land from fossil fuel mining
Warming temperatures and droughts threaten water availability in western states
Prevalent obesity raises health risks in light of the pandemic
The US experiences the rising threat of natural disasters in 2020


Chart 1 Environmental Sustainability Index: The US Chart 2 Global Sustainability Ranking: The US Chart 3 Energy Ranking: The US Chart 4 Energy Availability Landscape in the US Chart 5 Energy Efficiency, Security and Equity Landscape in the US Chart 6 Pollution Ranking: The US Chart 7 Air Pollution in the US Chart 8 Waste and Water Pollution Landscape in the US Chart 9 Forest and Biodiversity Ranking: The US Chart 10 Forest and Biodiversity Landscape in the US Chart 11 Water Ranking: The US Chart 12 Water Availability, Equity and Security Landscape in the US Chart 13 Water Security and Efficiency Landscape in the US Chart 14 Food and Agriculture Ranking: The US Chart 15 Food and Agriculture Landscape in the US Chart 16 Role of Agriculture in the Economy of the US Chart 17 Environmental Resilience Ranking: The US Chart 18 Environmental Resilience Landscape in the US

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