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More Evidence that Green Technology is a Smart Business Decision
The World Green Building Council (WGBC) recently released “The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants”, a report which only adds to the mountain of evidence about why sustainable building projects are a smart business decision.
Now clearly we have reached a point where the naysayers, desperately clinging to specious arguments, can easily be refuted on a point by point basis. Much like the Flat Earth Society, which shockingly still denies the round shape of our planet, failing to embrace the green movement will ultimately be viewed in a similarly backwards fashion.
Kris Bevil of Prairie Business Magazine, has an article that nicely summaries the WGBC reports (“Sustainability: The Benefits of Being Green”, April 5, 2013). The following passage succinctly lays out WGBC’s analysis:
“While green buildings have well-documented environmental benefits, we have made a conscious decision to focus this report on the economic and social benefits of green building,” the authors said in the report. The green building movement has matured over time, and a deeper understanding of the “triple bottom line” value of green buildings has emerged, shifting the emphasis from “planet” to “people” and “profit.” Consequently, the conversation is now geared around how green buildings deliver on economic priorities such as return on investment and risk mitigation and on social priorities such as employee productivity and health.”
The report breaks down the business benefits of building green into five categories: design and construction costs, asset value, operating costs, workplace productivity and health, and risk mitigation. It states that while green projects do tend to cost more than traditional projects initially, the actual costs are generally not as high as they are perceived to be, and the additional up-front costs of green buildings are often recouped in the long term by way of reduced energy costs, water usage and other factors.
From an asset standpoint, the report concluded that certified sustainable buildings enjoy increased marketability and can command higher rents and sale prices. Because green buildings typically use less energy and water, they also cost less to own and operate and can sometimes achieve additional savings through property tax reductions, rebates and reduced insurance rates.
At Eco-Source Technologies our energy efficiency and sustainability solutions are first targeting existing buildings. We look at prospective clients current monthly output and expenditures, then offer remedies based on our various proven products.
However, the WGBC report is primarily focused on new construction and the benefits that will be accrued by the up-front investments. We certainly want to be a part of new construction products. For example, we have a heavy presence in the Washington, DC metropolitan region where a tremendous building boom is underway, so the opportunities are plentiful. But regardless of whether we are doing retro-fitting for an existing building or coordinating for the placement of our products in a building under construction, we believe our energy performance contracts (EPC) financing model is a win-win for the client.
This is an arrangement where we design, implement and finance all necessary investments in an energy efficiency or renewable energy project. Our guarantee is that the cost of a project will be recovered from the energy savings as well as assuming certain performance risks during the project?s economic lifetime by some of our remuneration being directly tied to the energy savings achieved. Where traditional contracting activities focus on managing the scope of the project, our activity emphasizes managing the outcome of the project. We hope this type of focus will be brought to the masses by more and more companies, because it will facilitate a more rapid and sweeping adoption of green technology. If that occurs then the next WGBC report could actually react more stark conclusion of chastising the building management decision-makers for walking and not running to get on board the green technology train.
By: John Norton