In 2017, President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, a multi-national agreement within the United Nations to fight climate change.
The Executive’s decision to withdraw did not prevent industries and organizations within the country from choosing to be more environmentally friendly. In fact, many industries that traditionally had a bad reputation for waste are making significant efforts to become more ecofriendly.
The construction industry is one of them. The construction industry accounts for about 20% of global emissions. In order to lesson its footprint, the industry is adopting better technologies and opting for cleaner materials.
The projections of change are encouraging. A 2018 report from World Green Building Trends revealed that “47% of those surveyed expect the majority of their projects, 60%, to be environmentally friendly by 2021.”
A shift in consumer demand
Today’s consumers are environmentally conscious. Constant coverage on climate change has pushed people into discovering new ways of better protecting the environment and limiting waste. Americans who accept climate change now outnumber those who don’t 5 to 1. And 86% of consumers expect companies to act on environmental issues.
Regardless of what you personally believe, the issue matters to most Americans. They expect companies to try and protect the environment. Organizations that don’t meet this expectation risk losing customers who would prefer to support greener alternatives.
Technology and affordability are driving change
There is a long-standing perception that healthier, ecofriendly options are more expensive.
That perception is starting to disappear along with the cost gap between traditional and green solutions. Today, green building materials and green technology are no longer only reserved for luxury, high-cost projects.
For example, renewable energy costs from solar and wind power continue to decrease and will soon be less expensive than some traditional energy sources. Cheaper energy and the adoption of modern tools and electric construction equipment mean that construction sites are less wasteful and more efficient.
The importance of LEED certification
What is LEED? It stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), it is available for almost every project type, including construction. When a project or building is LEED certified, it symbolizes that it is efficient and eco-oriented.
That matters. Remember, consumers are looking for companies that act on environmental issues. LEED certification is an immediate indicator that an organization or project aligns with what consumers expect. Not to mention, as more people understand what LEED means and learn the benefits of LEED objectives, the more people will demand LEED certification in all industries, including construction.
Deciding to go green