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Green Building and Sustainability: Study Confirms Corporate America Trends

McGraw-Hill Construction (MHC), part of The McGraw-Hill Companies, in conjunction with its research and report partner Siemens, today released the Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket report detailing corporate America's opinions on green building and sustainability.

The landmark green building study, sixth in a series, reveals that not only are most U.S. corporate leaders interested in sustainability, but the majority of leaders are also examining proactive ways to make sustainability a consistent part of their companies' missions. Eighteen percent of leaders surveyed are in the upper, or market transformational, stages, with 15% viewing sustainability as a competitive advantage and 3% actually driving their entire businesses through this value-driven lens. Over the next three years, more companies see themselves as entering this top tier, with nearly a third of the sample aiming to be market leaders in sustainability.

"The SmartMarket report's current numbers are encouraging, and the predictions are even more exciting," explains Harvey M. Bernstein, MHC vice president of Industry Analytics, Alliances and Strategic Initiatives. "Almost 60% of the top decision-makers in America's most important corporations are seeing the value in sustainability concepts now, with that number expected to increase dramatically to 88% in just three years."

"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, Siemens Building Technologies, Inc,. "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," he added.

The study also found that:
  • Government and internal management are strong drivers of green building activities.
  • Risk concerns are no longer the primary reason for a company to move toward sustainable practices.
  • 60% of CFOs see the market differentiation that sustainability activities and green building can provide their companies, with over half of other respondents seeing this same benefit.
  • 63% of CEOs recognize the financial benefits of green building, and 67% of them see a specific operating cost benefit from green.
  • 57% of respondents think green building fosters innovation within their companies.
The research results contained in the Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket Report were drawn from a study conducted for Siemens by MHC's Research and Analytics group under a proprietary agreement. The research is a quantitative study into the opinions of 190 of corporate America's top firms, with no firm having revenues less than $250 million. The majority of respondents were at the CFO or CEO level (84%), or senior vice presidents in environmental or investor-relations positions.

The Greening of Corporate America SmartMarket Report also includes articles from George S. Dallas, Managing Director and global practice leader for corporate governance at Standard & Poor's (like MHC, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies); from SustainAbility, Ltd., a consultancy focused on sustainable development and corporate responsibility trends; and interviews with executives from DuPont and Citigroup, two leading corporate proponents of sustainability.

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