World Green Building Council Makes ‘Business Case for Green Building’

March 18, 2013
The report highlights costs and benefits for developers, investors, and occupants.

A new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) highlights benefits realized by various stakeholders throughout the life of a green building.

The report, “The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants,” “synthesizes credible evidence from around the world on green buildings into one collective resource, and the evidence presented highlights that sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense,” Jane Henley, chief executive officer (CEO) of the WorldGBC, said.

“From risk mitigation across a building portfolio and citywide economic benefits to the improved health and well-being of individual building occupants, the business case for green building will continue to evolve as markets mature,” Henley continued. “Indeed, we have already seen this momentum grow globally, where, in more and more places, green is now becoming the status quo.”

Key findings include:

• As investors’ and occupiers’ knowledge of and concern about the environmental and societal impacts of the built environment increase, so will the marketability of buildings with better sustainability credentials. Studies from around the world show greener buildings being able to attract tenants more easily and command higher rents and sale prices.

• Research shows green buildings can be delivered at a price comparable to that of conventional buildings, particularly when cost, program-management, and environmental strategies are integrated into the development process.

• Green buildings have been shown to save money through reduced energy and water use and lower long-term operation-and-maintenance costs. Typically, energy savings alone exceed any cost premiums within a reasonable payback period.

• Research shows green-design attributes can improve worker productivity and occupant health and well-being, resulting in bottom-line benefits for businesses.

• Green buildings mitigate regulatory risks. The report concludes that by greening the built environment at the neighborhood and city levels, the buildings industry can deliver on such large-scale economic priorities as climate-change mitigation, energy security, resource conservation, and job creation.

“This report underscores that green buildings play a fundamental and cost-efficient role in tackling some of the immediate challenges of our times,” Rick Fedrizzi, chair of the WorldGBC and president, CEO, and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, said.

The report was produced in partnership with PRP Environmental, along with sponsors Skanska, Grosvenor, and the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council/Estidama.

To download the report, go to

About the Author

Scott Arnold | Executive Editor

Described by a colleague as "a cyborg ... requir(ing) virtually no sleep, no time off, and bland nourishment that can be consumed while at his desk" who was sent "back from the future not to terminate anyone, but with the prime directive 'to edit dry technical copy' in order to save the world at a later date," Scott Arnold joined the editorial staff of HPAC Engineering in 1999. Prior to that, he worked as an editor for daily newspapers and a specialty-publications company. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University.