Study Confirms Trend to Sustainability

By early 2009, but perhaps in less than a year, the American business community will have reached a tipping point in embracing sustainable practices as a cornerstone of their corporate philosophy, according to a recent study by Siemens and McGraw-Hill Construction. At that point, more than 80% of companies will have opted for sustainable materials in at least 16% of their building stock.

The report, “The Greening of Corporate America,” found that the recognition of green practices among executives is growing very quickly. The majority of survey respondents were at the CFO or CEO level (84%).

“Today’s corporate leaders are already very conscious of using green practices when considering new facilities, and they expect green building to have an increasing impact in the future,” said Brad Haeberle, director of marketing for Siemens Building Technologies. “Moreover, they believe that green building is in their company’s best interests, not only for the clear economic benefits, but for the market differentiation and competitive advantage.”

Rising energy costs were identified as a fundamental driver of green building in corporate America.

“The results show us that the market can only grow for more efficient, clean-energy technologies, particularly as they relate to building design and operation,” Haeberle said.

Notable findings in the survey include:

Sixty-three percent of CEOs recognize the financial benefits of green building, and 67% of them see a specific operating-cost benefit from green;

Sixty percent of CFOs see the market differentiation that sustainability activities and green building can provide their companies, with more than half of other respondents seeing this same benefit;

Fifty-seven percent of respondents think green fosters innovation within their companies; and

Government and internal management are strong drivers of green activities.