Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Four P’s of Green Construction

Green Building. Image Credit: Public domain.

Companies can no longer afford to say no green practices. It is almost essential to business survival, considering the many benefits that companies stand to be gain, ranging from energy savings to corporate marketing. It is no stretch to say that businesses will depend on their green practices to expand their profitability in the next few years. After all, these green practices can possibly triple your bottom line, provided that you do it right. 

In this note, there are four P’s to be addressed when you turn to green practices: people, planet, profit, and policy—with each P providing you with a compelling reason why green construction is an investment you cannot afford to pass up.

1. People 

People are no longer looking for quality, well-made products. Most of them also take into account the green practices — or lack thereof — of the vendor. Your green construction, along with other sustainable ethical practices, should be your material for your next marketing campaign. 

2. Planet 

As climate change is at the forefront of the world issues today, the environment is everyone’s concern – including that for your business. Your compliance with greens standards says a lot about how much you care for the environment. If for no other reason than this, green construction is a venture that is well worth it.

3. Profit

Green construction will not just lure customers in, it will also conserve energy and water resources. And we all know what that means for your business: less operational costs. Ultimately, this will lead to the inescapable conclusion that finally turning to green construction means profit for your business. So what else are you waiting for?

4. Policy

Whether it’s your local building code or your federal regulations, there is surely a policy on green construction that you can benefit from in the form of tax deductions or exemptions. Take advantage of these benefits, and you will see how green construction is well worth your investment in more ways than one.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Green building a Must in the Hospitality Industry

Proximity Hotel, a Platinum LEED Certified Hotel in Greensboro, North Carolina.
A green building is not exactly the most profitable investment for businesses in the retail and hospitality industry, but retail stores and hotels are nonetheless making the big move. In fact, the Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report by McGraw Hill reports that over half of projects in the industry will be green come 2015.

Green buildings, including steel buildings, have grown tremendously over time, and in the past two years alone, its growth rate has almost doubled. Green projects, classified as those with LEED certification or any other green building standard, and characterized by high resource efficiency, have especially made their way into the hospitality sector.

In 2011, green projects jumped by 18%. This was followed by an even more tremendous growth in 2013, at 38%. This is expected to hit 52% by 2015. The same goes for the hotel industry, where 28% of hotel owners turned “green” in 2011, leaping to 48% growth in 2013. The figure for green projects is expected to rise to 62% by 2015.

There is a reason why investing in green buildings is especially difficult for the hospitality industry. Unlike other businesses, turning green comes at no cheap cost for restaurateurs and hoteliers. With more extensive HVAC requirements, the constant presence of occupants, and a unique franchise ownership model, it is definitely more difficult initially to convert to green building methods within the hospitality industry.

But it is something that needs to be done, considering the many financial benefits that can be gained from it. For one, it increases asset values for retail stores (7%), restaurants (12%), and hotels (11%). It also increases building return on investment and decreases annual operating costs. This last benefit, energy efficiency, is the reason why most owners have been turning green. More than half (58% for restaurateurs and 67% for hoteliers) reported that turning green resulted in more efficient energy use with an average decrease of 15%. 

Another benefit is higher occupancy rates. Most hotels report higher occupancy because of their green efforts. Customer satisfaction also increased by 69%.

It is difficult to ignore these glaring benefits of green buildings over time if you are a hotel or restaurant owner, so when will you finally make the change?