Natural Resources Defense Council BUILDING GREEN FROM PRINCIPLE TO PRACTICE
Home Build Your Business Case Set Your Budget and Goals Adopt a Whole-Building Approach Apply Sustainable Building Strategies Capitalize on Your Achievement
POLISH YOUR PUBLIC IMAGE

Building green offers you a great way to boost your profile as a good corporate citizen -- in the eyes of your employees and your community. Getting your project certified through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED green building rating system can help earn free publicity for your achievement and your business. LEED certification also provides proof to you, your employees and the public that you have achieved your sustainability goals.

At the same time, studies show that green building features such as abundant natural light, superior indoor air quality, views of the outdoors and landscaped surroundings help keep employees satisfied and increase productivity -- allowing you to attract and retain the best talent.

Build Your Reputation as a Good Corporate Citizen

As people grow increasingly aware of environmental dangers in the areas where they live and work, companies that take steps to reduce these risks are receiving paybacks. Buildings have the largest environmental impact of any sector in the United States, consuming staggering amounts of energy and other resources and contaminating our air and water with countless tons of harmful pollution.

In the United States, buildings account for:
  • Over 40 percent of total energy use -- twice as much as passenger vehicles, including 70 percent of electricity consumption
  • 40 percent of global warming gas emissions
  • 40 percent of raw materials use
  • 30 percent of municipal solid waste (136 million tons annually)
  • 80 percent of potable water consumption
By constructing high-performance buildings that are visually stunning, comfortable and healthy, you can establish your reputation as a good corporate citizen as you build your business. Generating increased public interest in your company means you'll have an easier time attracting and retaining the best employees or drawing the notice of prospective tenants and buyers.

By building green, you can:
  • Keep pollution from power plants out of the air by reducing energy consumption by as much as 70 percent and by making use of wind or solar power. For every $1.00 per square foot you save in electricity costs, you will keep 1 ton of carbon dioxide out of the air.


  • Eliminate the energy, materials and other environmental costs associated with building new infrastructure.


  • Potentially reduce vehicle-related air pollution by cutting commuting distances by 30 percent or more through location efficiency.


  • Prevent pollution from washing into waterways and swimming areas by cutting stormwater outflows by 50 percent or more.


  • Reduce potable water consumption by 50 to 70 percent.


  • Help keep forests intact and promote the vitality of forest ecosystems by specifying certified forest products and using agriculturally based products.


  • Promote biodiversity and limit pollution from harmful pesticides and fertilizers by landscaping with native plants instead of exotic varieties.
Next: Lower Your Operating and Maintenance Costs »
TOP BUSINESS BENEFITS
FOR COMMERCIAL BUILDERS
Distinguish Yourself in the Marketplace
Improve Your Lease-Up and Occupancy Rates
Command Higher Rents
Reduce Your Risk
Increase the Market Value of Your Project
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TOP BUSINESS BENEFITS
FOR OWNER-OCCUPANTS
Polish Your Public Image
Lower Your Operating and Maintenance Costs
Increase Employee
Satisfaction and Productivity
Reduce Your Risk
Increase the Market Value of Your Project
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RESOURCE CENTER

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