Businesses Going Green And Seeing Green

When you acquire something, you might be purchasing the entire life cycle of a product or service- the good, the bad, along with the ugly. By stepping up, we give businesses the reason to become sustainable. Did you know that in the US, architectural structures account for over 40% of total energy consumption, 13% of total water consumption, and produce 39% of total carbon dioxide emissions. It really is obvious that a something has to change.

The new shop you see by your home may possibly look the same as everything else. Nevertheless, its tile, wall coverings, and even crown moulding are most likely made from recyclable materials. Inside the bathrooms, sensors control the water, timers manage the lights, as well as the toilets have a low flow option. You might even see LED lighting, priority parking for low emission vehicles, extremely efficient meat and freezer cases, a bin for plastic bags, and environmentally friendly flooring (like bamboo!)!!! In Chicago (and in surrounding suburbs), we are already seeing this in companies including Starbucks, Dominick’s, Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Subway, and Jason’s Deli.

You will discover a variety of factors that have contributed to this increase in making use of eco-friendly products. Chicago has streamlined the process of getting green permits (for things like a “cool” roof for example). The economy is finally taking off a bit too, so some businesses have a lot more money to spend. Organizations are also realizing that there are great backend savings involved with spending more cash upfront to build and/or remodel with energy efficiency in mind! Green buildings cost much less to operate and maintain. They also have higher asset values than conventional properties. By including items free of toxic chemicals (like bamboo soap), taking advantage of natural light, and using superior ventilation systems, employees will be healthier and far more productive (and use much less sick time!). Green properties also use 25%-30% less water and energy than standard buildings.

Lastly, these adjustments are being demanded by the consumer. The US GRN Building Council even provides LEED building certification, so enterprises can show the customer that they’re making alterations to make their buildings high performance green structures. In the past ten years, LEED has certified more than 13,500 eco-friendly homes and commercial structures with more than 60,000 waiting. With technology catching up with consumer wants and needs, it is becoming more affordable to go green.

And going green is putting money into pockets of workers as well as corporations. According to a study completed by Booz Allen Hamilton and the US Green Building Council, the green construction market will add 8 million jobs and $396 billion in wages to the US economic system over the next four years, so this looks to be a trend which will take hold in places beyond Chicago. One day, eco-friendly will simply be the way that everybody does business.

What corporations in your area are making these changes? Do you frequent them more because they’re green (or trying to be greener)? What adjustments would you like to see done?