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Skaer-Tactics: Will Green Prevail in Down Economy?

December 15, 2008
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According to a national survey, America’s current financial slowdown could threaten to put the push for green on the back burner. The CMO Survey, recently released by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, states that “As the economy tightens, marketers report that their firms have a weaker emphasis on ‘marketing that is beneficial for society’ and that ‘minimizes the impact on the ecological environment.’”

In the case of green products, a financial slowdown could shift the priorities of consumers, causing them to switch to less expensive brands that are not green. That’s the overall fear, since the majority of the public believes going green means spending more. That is the perception, though not necessarily accurate.

The study “Costing Green: A Comprehensive Cost Database and Budgeting Methodology” compared the square-foot construction costs of 61 buildings pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to those of similar buildings without green goals. Taking into consideration climate, location, and other variables, the study determined that for many of the sustainable projects, aiming for LEED certification resulted in little or no impact on the budget.

It is a matter of convincing the public accordingly. Dan Bulley, senior vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) of Chicago and executive director of the Green Construction Institute, is at least one soul trying to get the word out.

“Green buildings require intensive planning to ensure optimal results,” he assured, “but that additional effort is worth it, when you consider that operating costs will be substantially reduced for the life of the facility.”
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