A Greener Corporate America - Saving the Environment by Saving Money

Research Abstract 

A Greener Corporate America

This paper will examine the central question concerning green construction as follows: what is the future of new green construction as it relates to trends and changes in government standards and regulations, the environmental movement, and the constant need of businesses to gain a competitive advantage through cost cutting, creating a positive public image, and the drive for sustainability? Using LEED as the standard for green buildings, we projected what the net present values and payback periods for newly constructed LEED Silver, Gold, and Platinum buildings in the year 2020. In order to make a baseline forecast we first examine how long LEED buildings have historically taken to repay themselves using case-study data points to estimate the initial costs and long term benefits of going green. The long-term savings from LEED construction are broken down into three categories: water, electricity, and productivity. Combining the initial costs and long-term savings of green construction into a net present value equation, we are able to project what percentage of all newly constructed commercial buildings in 2020 will be LEED certified as our baseline forecast. We then examine alternative scenarios based on uncertainties and potential disruptive change. In conclusion, an assessment of the relevant implications for business will be provided for each scenario.

Poster PDF (1.8MB)