Sound data, smart decisions: UTC's John Mandyck on the economic impact study
We have a belief at United Technologies that data drives decisions. Thanks to USGBC’s new report with Booz Allen Hamilton, the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, it looks like we can count on continued informed decision-making when it comes to the future of our built environment.
The data in this report is nothing short of impactful. We all know green building delivers when it comes to conserving natural resources, but what about other, equally important benefits of green construction? Take the economic benefits, for instance:
- From 2011-2014, the green construction industry supported nearly 2 million jobs.
- The green construction industry has generated $167 billion in GDP while providing $148 billion in labor earnings.
- LEED-related construction spending has supported 1.1 million jobs, generated $81 billion in GDP and provided $71 billion in labor earnings.
When the movement began, green buildings were seen as the sustainable solution for a rapidly urbanizing world. This study demonstrates that the economic value of green buildings is more than real—it’s significant. From the industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy to the millions of people employed, these findings are a valuable addition to our existing body of research on the benefits of green building beyond energy efficiency.
Perhaps the most important takeaway is that green activity continues to grow. It's projected that from 2015-2018, the green construction industry in the United States will support 3.9 million jobs while generating an additional $303 billion in GDP. This matches what we see at the global level, from the World Green Building Trends report issued by Dodge Data & Analytics (formerly McGraw Hill Construction) in 2013, showing global green activity doubling every three years.
Overall, this is outstanding news for the movement. Because data drives decisions, this data will drive smarter decisions for buildings. The message is clear: green buildings are excellent for business and generate significant economic value while also being good for the planet.
We must continue to share this message to further accelerate the green building movement. Whether it’s connecting green building professionals in emerging economies with international green building leaders, as we’ve done through our Distinguished Sustainability Lecture Series, or sharing the message on social media, continued education is critical to ensuring sustainable urbanization.
Together, we can continue advancing the green building movement and make our world a better place to live today—and for generations to come. Thanks, USGBC and Booz Allen, for providing new data to drive those smart decisions.
John Mandyck is the Chief Sustainability Officer for United Technologies Corporation. A global leader in the aerospace, food refrigeration and commercial building industries, United Technologies provides high-technology systems and services that set the standard for performance, reliability and energy efficiency.
John also chairs the Corporate Advisory Board of the World Green Building Council, and serves as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Urban Green Council in New York. He is a member of the Corporate Council at the Harvard University Center for Health and the Global Environment. He was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to co-chair the Department of Energy’s Appliance Standards and Rulemaking Federal Advisory Committee. He has presented energy efficiency, sustainability and future of food strategies to audiences around the world. He blogs about sustainability issues at SustainabilityView.com and can be found on Twitter @JohnMandyck.