Our favorite green media company, Greener World Media based here in Oakland, came out with their inaugural “State of Green Business 2008” report today. Unfortunately, most US businesses are not making much progress going green. One shining light is Green Build. This sector appears to be pulling out ahead of the rest and we hope will encourage other industries to follow suit.
The following is the Green Build portion of the report.
In a year that saw the construction market go from boom to bust, green building was one of the industry’s few bright spots. The green market, building for years, began soaring in 2007, as several marquee projects opened their doors and some big-time initiatives were born.
Among the bright green ribbon cuttings of 2007 were the Clinton Presidential Library (LEED Platinum rating), the New York Times Tower in Midtown New York (Gold rating), and the U.S. Federal Building in San Francisco (Gold rating). So prevalent are green buildings in New York City, every one of the more than 50 projects valued above $25 million now developing in lower Manhattan is being built along environmental guidelines, according to the Financial Times.
In this fast-rising environment, green building is becoming less the exception than the norm, embraced by sectors ranging from hotels to health care to housing. Nearly 80 percent of workplace and corporate real estate executives say being more environmentally sustainable is a major issue for today’s businesses, and they are willing to pay a premium to achieve it, according to a survey from CoreNet Global and Jones Lang LaSalle. More than half of corporate respondents in the study said they now own, manage, or lease a green property, according to a survey published in Real Estate Investor and Retail Traffic magazines.
The price premium for green building is shrinking, reducing one of the few remaining barriers to the industry’s growth. Indeed, that premium is often overestimated, sometimes significantly, according to a study from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Moreover, green building can provide a competitive advantage in a tough market, says a report on energy saving building technologies from Carbon Free.
Several industry initiatives have promised to give a further push to green building practices. The Clinton Climate Initiative partnered with Wal-Mart and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to help make energy–efficient building products more affordable. CCI will enable its purchasing consortium to offer cheaper environmentally friendly products to the 1,100 U.S. cities involved in the mayors’ conference. Another Clinton initiative involved some of the world’s largest cities, from Bangkok to Berlin, which will benefit from a $5 billion Large Buildings Retrofit Program aimed at helping reduce energy use and curbing greenhouse gas emissions around the globe.
Where will all this go? A report from market researcher SBI found that the booming green building market will continue its rapid expansion through 2011, more than doubling in size to $4.7 billion in the next four years. The report predicted that the market for green building materials, which has been growing at a rate of 23 percent annually through 2006, will slow slightly, to a “mere” 17 percent, still at ear-popping heights.
© 2008 Greener World Media, Inc. (www.greenbiz.com)