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Green Building Could Meet 10% of U.S. Carbon Reduction Goal

For Immediate Release: 
May 25, 2016

More Jobs, Business Savings Among Green Benefits

Contact Info
Bob Keener

WASHINGTON, DC (May 25, 2016)—A new report found that if applied comprehensively nationwide, green building standards can achieve about 10 percent of the total carbon reduction that, the U.S. must deliver under the climate agreement reached in Paris last December. The report from the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) also describes market trends and projected economic activity resulting from the growth of green building construction and retrofitting.

“Green building is an important part of addressing climate change, which, if unmitigated, will cost billions in economic damage over coming decades,” said David Levine, CEO and co-founder of ASBC. “We found that green building could make a big dent in the carbon reduction goals our country committed to under the Paris climate agreement. At the same time, this win-win strategy is proven to create jobs and deliver cost savings for businesses and consumers alike. Policy makers should do what they can to accelerate the green building trend.”

Green building is the process of creating or retrofitting a building through an environmentally- and resource-mindful process, from conception to design and through operations and maintenance. Green building depends on rating systems that have existed for decades, but the last ten years have seen aggressive consumer demand and market uptake in systems and practices.

The report, “How Green Building Helps the U.S. Economy,” makes these key points:

  • Green jobs are good jobs, and have significant growth potential
  • Green buildings save money for businesses and homeowners
  • Green buildings protect the economy from the cost of environmental degradation
  • Green buildings contribute to occupant satisfaction and productivity
  • Governments are saving money with green building

For policy recommendations, the report calls for government policies that contain incentives or requirements for energy-efficient building projects as well as government-based financing mechanisms to encourage more adoption. In addition, the report lists related policy areas that would further accelerate green building, including Clean Energy Victory Bonds, chemical policy reform, and state plans for reducing power plant pollution.

The report also includes short profiles of companies that are leveraging green building to their advantage in their own operations:

  • Bank of America
  • Earth Friendly Products
  • Hines
  • Kohl’s
  • New Belgium Brewing Company
  • Nucor
  • Sloan Valve Company
  • South Mountain Company

Read the report:

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network it represents more than 200,000 business owners, executives and investors from a wide range of industries.