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Corporate America Nears Green Tipping Point

Profitability of America’s corporations will be closely tied to proactive sustainability practices and Green Building principles, according to findings from a new McGraw-Hill Construction Report commissioned by Siemens Building Technologies. The study shows that most U.S. corporate leaders are interested in sustainability, with the majority looking at proactive ways to make it a consistent part of their mission.

According to the study’s findings, 18 percent of responding corporate leaders are in the upper -? or market transformational stages -? with 15 percent viewing sustainability as a competitive advantage and three percent 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 data indicates a tipping point in corporate America, from those mostly uninvolved, to mostly involved in Green, will be reached in early 2009, but perhaps as soon as next year. That translates to 82 percent of corporate America greening at least 16 percent of their building stock.

Rising energy costs were identified as a fundamental driver of green building in corporate America, with an overwhelming 75 percent of participants listing that trend as a major motivator.

The study found that 63 percent of CEOs recognize financial benefits of green building and 67 percent see a specific operating cost benefit from Green. Additionally, 57 percent of respondents think green fosters innovation within their companies. Respondents clearly view both government and internal management as the strongest drivers pushing their organizations toward adoption of green policies and practices. Finally, 60 percent of CFOs see the market differentiation sustainability activities and green building can provide their companies as a definite benefit, with over half of the other executive respondents agreeing as well.

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