US Green Building Industry Employs 2.3 Million People

Did you ever think there would be 2.3 million people employed in green building in the US? 

That’s how many are employed this year, according to the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton for the US Green Building Council. As have previous studies, it shows that green construction is rapidly outpacing conventional building and will continue to rise.

By 2018, green building will support more than 3.3 million US jobs – about a third of the construction industry – and directly contribute $304 billion to GDP, along with critical savings in energy, water and construction debris that is recycled, rather than trashed.

States are also benefiting from LEED building projects, estimated to reach $8.4 billion by 2018. Texas alone has close to 1.3 million jobs in green building.

Read our article, US Still Leads On Green Building: Top 10 Countries.

Seattle’s Bullitt Center under construction:Bullitt Center Smaller

Global Real Estate Industry Embraces Sustainability

Last year, the global real estate industry cut greenhouse gas emissions 3%, increased on-site renewable energy 50% and improved environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance 19%, says Netherlands-based GRESB, which evaluates the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios.

"The global property industry is at the heart of critical global issues that include resource constraints, climate change, and urbanization. There is strong evidence that more sustainably designed and operated buildings can provide solutions to these challenging issues, while also creating value for real estate investors and shareholders," they say.

Its latest study concludes the industry is increasingly integrating ESG considerations in corporate policies, strategy, and practices, such as energy and water efficiency programs.

Report Highlights:

  • More property companies and REITs issue Sustainability Reports: 707 companies and funds, representing $2.3 trillion and 61,000 assets; 
  • Better environmental performance: in addition to reducing emissions 3%, energy consumption is down 2.87% and water use is down 1.65%.
  • On-site renewable energy generation has reached 445 gigawatt-hours (GWh), up from 296 GWh in 2014.

North American REITs and private equity funds trailed the global market slightly, with an average sustainability score of 44 compared to 46 globally. 88% of US funds have sustainability policies and a growing number – but still too small – include specific provisions that address climate risk (36%) and resilience (26%). 86% of North American property companies and funds implemented water efficiency systems over the past  four years.

Download the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study:

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