Most people immediately associate green buildings with the environment—renewable resources, energy efficiency, reduced pollution and eco-friendly practices. While they often receive attention for their environmental advantages, the economic benefits of green buildings are just as significant! Business owners should be aware of the many long-term economic gains that sustainable buildings and practices can have on their operation.
Some of the economic benefits of green buildings include:
Maintenance and Operational Costs
According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. buildings use 36% of the national energy demand and 68% of the country’s electricity. Businesses, schools and factories need lighting, heating, cooling, water and technology to operate, all of which require energy.
Sustainable buildings use energy-saving methods and technologies to ensure structures and processes are as efficient as possible, resulting in significant long-term cost savings on utility bills. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED-certified buildings have reported almost 20% lower maintenance costs than typical commercial buildings. They also consumed 25% less energy and 11% less water, and diverted more than 80 million tons of waste from landfills, reducing day-to-day operating costs.
Green building construction creates millions of jobs for Amercians and contributes billions of dollars in labor income to working Americans. Green construction requires skilled professionals that understand energy and environmental design, as well as the criteria for LEED buildings. The industry is on the rise, as more and more companies prioritize a sustainable approach to their business operations.
One of the greatest economic benefits of sustainable buildings is a boost in local competition. Green buildings are often used as vehicles to spur economic development in a community, as they invite more businesses to settle in a sustainable and progressive environment where they can save money and fulfill corporate responsibility. As more businesses looking for a competitive edge invest and grow in the market, the local economy expands.