At that point, more than 80 percent of companies will have opted for sustainable materials in at least 16 percent of their building stock.
The recognition of the benefits of green practices among executives is expanding very quickly, according to the report, "The Greening of Corporate America," which is the latest in a series of extensive SmartMarket reports released by McGraw-Hill and produced in partnership with Siemens Building Technologies.
"Today's corporate leaders are already very conscious of using green practices when considering new facilities, and they expect green building to have an increasing impact in the future," said Brad Haeberle, director of marketing for Siemens Building Technologies. "Moreover, they believe that green building is in their company's best interests, not only for the clear economic benefits, but for the market differentiation and competitive advantage."
According to the study's findings, 18 percent of the corporate leaders surveyed are in a position to transform the market -- 15 percent view sustainability as a competitive advantage and the other 3 percent are 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 report found that by early 2009, but perhaps sooner, American businesses will have reached a tipping point in embracing green as a cornerstone of their corporate philosophy. At that point, 82 percent of the companies will have greened 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. Haeberle concurs, "These results show us that the market can only grow for more efficient, clean-energy technologies, particularly as they relate to building design and operation."
Among the other notable findings in the "Greening of Corporate America" report:
- Government and internal management are strong drivers of green activities.
- Risk concerns are no longer the primary reason for a company to move toward sustainable practices.
- 60 percent of CFOs see the market differentiation that sustainability activities and green building can provide their companies, with over half of other respondents seeing this same benefit.
- 63 percent of CEOs recognize the financial benefits of green building, and 67 percent of them see a specific operating cost benefit from green.
- 57 percent of respondents think green fosters innovation within their companies.