Environmental Technology Spotlight
The Environmental Technology Industry in the United States
The United States is the single largest market for environmental technologies in the world, representing a quarter of the $1.2 trillion global market. According to Environmental Business International, Inc., approximately 114,000 enterprises and 1.6 million workers make up the industry. In 2018, the total U.S. market was estimated at $345 billion, with approximately 54 percent from services, 21 percent from equipment, and 25 percent from resources.
Small and medium-sized businesses account for 99 percent of the industry and generate approximately 18 percent of the total revenue. Large companies represent only 1 percent of private sector activity, yet account for 44 percent of revenue. Public-sector municipalities and similar entities make up the remaining 38 percent and dominate water utilities, wastewater treatment works, and solid waste management.
The U.S. environmental technology industry has undergone significant restructuring and consolidation but has experienced growth over the past 15 years. Change of ownership and structure within the environmental industry is expected to continue, particularly in the water sector where gaps in infrastructure investment offer significant investment opportunities.
Air Pollution Control & Monitoring: This subsector includes air pollution monitoring and control technologies for both stationary and mobile pollution sources. Stationary sources include emissions from thermal energy generation and industrial sources such as boilers, incinerators and smelters. Primary industries for air pollution monitoring and control include electricity, mining, cement, oil and gas refineries, and chemicals. There have been significant improvements in U.S. air quality over the last several decades. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since 1970, aggregate U.S. emissions of six key air pollutants have dropped by an average of 70 percent. In 2018, U.S. revenues for the air pollution control and monitoring sector, including equipment and services, were estimated to be $21.5 billion.
Waste Management & Recycling: This subsector includes solid and hazardous waste management, recycling and resource recovery, and soil pollution prevention and remediation technologies. The technologies needed by this sector depend on the composition and properties of the waste generated. U.S. solid and hazardous waste management and remediation industry revenues in 2018 were estimated at $143.9 billion, predominantly from services. The recycling industry is driven by demand from the materials markets, and its growth is dependent on the price of raw materials. The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) 2018 Recycling Industry Yearbook estimates that the U.S. recycling industry generates nearly $117 billion annually in economic activity.
Environmental Technology Industry Associations
Air & Waste Management Association
American Water Works Association
Institute of Clean Air Companies
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries
Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association
National Waste and Recycling Association
Solid Waste Association of North America
Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association
Water Quality Association
Environmental Business International, Inc.
Climate Change Business Journal
Environmental Business Journal
Global Water Intelligence
Water Desalination Report