Businesses going green

For almost half a century, environmentalists have been advocating for big businesses to incorporate and implement sustainability principles into their practices. Yet even ten years ago, it was rare to hear of any business with dedicated green, environmental, or sustainability initiative. Today green has gone mainstream. It is big business. A recent study by The Pew Charitable Trusts found clean-energy technology outpaced all other sectors in job growth and investments, even during the recession. A number of other trends also point to the increasing premium the private sector is placing on environmental outcomes, including the growth of the market for green building materials and reports that a high percentage of consumers are purchasing environmentally friendly products. In fact, the Pew report predicts that government and private investments are creating “tremendous potential” for the green economy in the future. America currently faces two historic sets of challenges, one to our economy and the other to our environment. In February 2010, 14.9 million Americans were unemployed. At the same time, people here and across the world are facing increasingly dire immediate and impending impacts of climate change, such as disastrous droughts, melting arctic ice, and ever more destructive storms. The emerging clean-energy economy can solve both sets of problems. It has the potential to drive innovation and stimulate a sustainable economic recovery that changes the environmentally harmful “business as usual” practices of the past. Where other people might see problems and crises, innovative green business leaders see opportunity. A wave of companies both large and small is using success in business to achieve social and environmental change. These emerging business models seek to preserve environmental quality, promote social equity, and stimulate sustainable economic growth.

Adapted from greenforall.org


Exercise 1


Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) a person who cares about the nature: __________
2) a rule or value to follow: __________
3) being environmentally balanced: __________
4) to be ahead of competitors: __________
5) an economic downturn: __________
6) economic results: __________
7) to buy: __________
8) at early stages of development: __________
9) to promote something: ___________
10)much attention or emphasis on sth (also monthly insurance payments):__________
11)effect, influence: __________
12)plural of recession: __________
13)an occasion to have a lucrative business deal: __________


Exercise 2


Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) to drive economic growth
2) to stimulate initiatives
3) to incorporate business models
4) dedicated technology
5) environmentally other sectors
6) emerging innovation
7) green growth
8) clean energy economy
9) to outpace friendly
10)job principles


Exercise 3


Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) zrównoważony (np. rozwój)
2) propagować
3) wyprzedzać (np. konkurencję)
4) zakupić
5) nowopowstały model biznesowy
6) wprowadzić zasady
7) przeznaczony do jakiegoś celu
8) wzrost (np. gospodarczy)
9) odsetek
11)pobudzać (np. wzrost)

Grammar corner…

In the text you could see words like growth, outpace or investment. They were made from other, smaller words by either modifying them or by adding something
in front or at the back of the base word. This process is called word formation and, especially in English, it helps you express yourself clearly and concisely. It also
makes English one of the most adaptable languages in the world. If you want to make an opposite in English, you can add a PREFIX at the beginning of a word. If you want to turn a word into a noun or an adjective, you add an SUFFIX at the end. Sometimes you may make some changes to a word to turn it into a different part of speech.


Exercise 4

Complete the sentences with correct form of the word in brackets. Make all the necessary changes so that it fits the grammatical context:

1) Many _________________________ block building sites because they believe they are harmful for the nature. (ENVIRONMENT)
2) China is unwilling to implement _________________________ laws that are quite common in, for instance, the EU. (SUSTAIN)
3) The government has enacted a legislation package that is supposed to stimulate _________________________. (GROW)
4) Many companies are introducing cheaper versions of their products so that they can sell them to clients in the _________________________ markets. (EMERGE)
5) There have been many economic _________________________ before, but the one in 2008 seems to be the hardest one. (CRISIS)
6) Apple has _________________________ competitors in terms of innovation and quality. (PACE)
7) There have been many foreign _________________________ in Eastern Europe since the fall of Communism. (INVEST)
8) Since its _________________________, Microsoft has grown to be a multinational company. (INCORPORATE)
9) _________________________ friendly business has been gaining popularity recently. (ENVIRONMENT)
10)A high _________________________ of consumers turn to green options. (PERCENT)



advocate – promować / propagować
to incorporate – wprowadzać / wdrażać
sustainable – zrównoważony
principle (on principle) – zasada (co do zasady)
mainstream – główny nurt
to outpace – prześcignąć
to point to sth – wskazywać na
premium – nacisk (lub składka ubezpieczeniowa)
currently – obecnie
to face a challenge – stać przed wyzwaniem
economy – gospodarka
immediate – bezpośrednie
impending – nieuchronny / nieunikniony
to solve a problem – rozwiązać problem
business as usual – zwykłe prowadzenie działalności gospodarczej
innovative – innowacyjny
to achieve – osiągnąć
emerging – na początkowych etapach rozwoju
seek – poszukiwać (w tekście: dążyć do)
preserve – zachować
equity – równość (lub kapitał)
growth – wzrost


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Ex. 1
1) environmentalist
2) principle
3) sustainability
4) outpace
5) recession
6) outcomes
7) purchase
8) emerging
9) advocate

Ex. 2
1) to drive innovation
2) to stimulate economic growth
3) to incorporate principles
4) dedicated initiative
5) environmentally friendly
6) emerging business models
7) green economy
8) clean energy technology
9) to outpace other sectors
10)job growth

Ex. 3
1) sustainable
2) to advocate
3) to outpace
4) to purchase
5) emerging business model
6) to incorporate principles
7) dedicated
8) growth
9) percentage
11)to stimulate
12)to implement

Ex. 4
1) environmentalists
2) sustainability
3) growth
4) emerging
5) crises
6) outpaced
7) investments
8) incorporation
9) environmentally