Environmental pollution and carbon emissions have remained at the top of the list of global health concerns in recent years, according to a peer-reviewed study in The Lancet. Many companies have undertaken eco-friendly measures such as sustainable building design in an effort to improve their environmental impact. Why? Here are at least six reasons the that eco-friendly design should be among your company’s top priorities:
The research makes clear that consumers (especially younger ones) put a lot of weight on eco-friendly initiatives when it comes to their opinion of your company:
- 76% of consumers say supporting companies that are addressing social and environmental issues helps them feel they are doing their part.
- 78% of Americans believe companies must do more than just make money; they must positively impact society as well.
- 90% of Gen Z believes companies must act to help social and environmental issues.
Nielsen has also shown that consumers of every age feel it’s important for companies to take efforts to improve the environment.
They’ll put their money where their mouths are, too. A study from Environment + Energy Leader demonstrated that over half (53%) of global consumers prefer to make purchases from companies with strong environmental reputations.
Businesses, too, agreed that sustainability and eco-friendly strategies are critical elements of corporate ethics and integrity in a recent study from BSR/Globescan.
- 64% of North American businesses see sustainable strategies as an important opportunity for impact.
- 75% of corporate sustainability professionals agree that businesses must get better at incorporating sustainability into business practices.
- 63% of companies are actively reducing energy consumption, and 61% are actively reducing waste (McKinsey).
Speaking of reduced waste, eco-friendly design initiatives can help you to positively impact the sustainability of world resources. Leverage reclaimed, re-used, and recycled building materials to reduce the impact of your building’s design on landfills and the waste stream.
Reduced Energy Consumption
Recycled materials take less energy to manufacture than all new materials, which reduces wasted energy in the manufacturing process as well as your carbon footprint. PETRA reports that up to 40% of PET’s energy use is trapped in the raw materials. Any strategy that includes recycled PET products, such as eco-friendly window graphics and other furnishings, is therefore recapturing and reusing all of this otherwise wasted energy. Eco-friendly design can also rely on environmentally conscious products to help the building conserve energy through insulation, ventilation, and natural lighting properties.
All of these efforts can have a real impact on your bottom line. McKinsey has found that 33% of businesses actually integrate sustainability efforts to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. The government even provides rebates, tax credits, and other monetary incentives for green architecture and eco-friendly design.
The evidence is mounting that eco-friendly design, construction, and operations initiatives lead to increased growth, new business opportunities, and positive ROI. McKinsey research has revealed that leading companies pursue sustainability because it has direct financial benefits. A technology executive participating in the study told them that “Leading on sustainability is driven largely by our desire to grow.”
Other research corroborates this perspective:
- Green policies, technologies, and growth strategies have the potential to help businesses realize $26 trillion in economic benefits (The New Climate Economy).
- S&P 500 companies with eco-friendly strategies enjoy 18% higher ROI and outperform the companies that don’t (The Guardian).
- Sustainability initiatives were proven to “yield both bottom-line and top-line returns” for 30 large corporations (Harvard Business Review)
- Companies with purpose-driven and green initiatives grow 28x faster than average companies (B Corp).
The impact of eco-friendly design can be far-reaching for your company, affecting everything from consumer perspectives to the climate, your budget, and your company’s growth rate. If you haven’t yet, it’s time to make sustainable building design a top priority.