Today GreenBiz gave a great online seminar today on the State of Green Business. The Take Away: Top talent prefers a sustainable workplace. Here are some of the highlights.
The State of Green Business - The Good News and Bad
GREEN OFFICE SPACE
Holtzer cites talent retention as another part of green buildings’ allure. “Our clients’ newest and youngest employees are demanding green workspaces,” Holtzer says. “For the newest entrants into the workforce, acting sustainably is critical. Many of our tenants see occupancy in a green building as a tool to attract and keep the brightest and most productive workforce.”
What We Found: Despite a downturn in the real estate market, new construction projects in the United States continued to pursue LEED green building certifications. However, interest in LEED certification among owners of existing buildings dropped from 2010 to 2011.
What We Measured: 2011 saw nearly 2,000 new offices certified under the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, with the majority of that growth coming from newly constructed buildings. Meanwhile the number of buildings seeking the relatively new LEED for Existing Buildings certification dropped in 2010 after rapid growth in 2008 and 2009.
Why It Matters: There are 4.8 million commercial buildings in the United States, and collectively, they are responsible for 46 percent of the nation’s building energy use. Addressing the impacts of the built environment is key to addressing a wide range of environmental issues. Also, green workspaces are often more efficient, both in terms of operating costs and in the ability to accommodate people comfortably in less space, thereby cutting real estate costs. And studies have shown that green workplaces are healthier and promote higher productivity and employee satisfaction.
What We’re Seeing: Despite the recession and a sagging real estate market, green office spaces command a premium and post above-average occupancy rates. Rents are 4 percent higher for Energy Star–rated buildings and 5 percent higher for LEED-certified buildings. Green office buildings also sell at a premium—about 25 percent for both LEED and Energy Star.
Executive Editor, GreenBiz Group
Joel is Executive Editor of GreenBiz.com and author of “Strategies for the Green Economy,” among other books. For more than 20 years, he has been a well-respected voice on business, the environment, and the bottom line. The Associated Press has called Joel “the guru of green business practices.