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The Business Case For Green Marketing of Building Products PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Thursday, 20 August 2009 13:20

I'm often asked by potential clients to give them some business reasons, or the return on investment case, for taking a green marketing approach. So I gathered some of the most compelling reasons a couple of years ago from the many discussions I've had with colleagues and through my active participation in events hosted by the building and renewable energy industries. While this list is by no means comprehensive and is a little dated (circa. 2007), I think it can be a good starting point for the discussion about going green if your company has not already begun the process.

  • The largest “landlord” in the United States, the GSA (Government Services Administration), requires all new federal buildings to be built or renovated to the LEED-Silver certification levels. The entire country of Canada requires LEED certified construction, as well as a growing number of U.S. cities and school district. The state of Ohio now requires all public schools gain LEED certification.
  • The financial incentives for building owners to build green have never been so abundant since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence Act of 2007, and more recently the federal stimulus package. Some financial incentives even provide tax credits or rebates to both the owner and the contractors installing more energy-efficient products.
  • Intangible benefits include: brand differentiation and perceived value, higher morale in contractors installing environmentally preferred products, and avoidance of negative publicity from special interest groups.
  • Many Fortune 500 companies already know, companies doing business internationally can be asked to verify their compliance with ISO 14000 guidelines, a family of requirements for an Environmental Management System (EMS) for companies as well as guidelines on labeling, performance evaluation, life cycle analysis, communication and auditing of products attributes and manufacturers.
  • The Sarbanes Oxley Act (2002) could mean companies will have to report any potential environmental liabilities on their balance sheets to shareholders, including CO2 emissions and especially when Cap & Trade legislation requires companies to off-set emission.
  • The pressure on smaller suppliers often comes from larger organizations, which are starting to require product innovations, documentation or eco-labels certifying the sustainable attributes of building products as a condition of continuing to do business with them.
  • The EPA has promised to step up enforcement of “greenwashing” claims by product manufacturers for the building industry, as the Federal Trade Commission and many states have already done to suppliers to the residential market.
  • The Polluter Pays Principle (1972) is loosely enforced but also remains a constant potential threat.

The LEED Green Building Rating System is the leading national benchmark for sustainable design, construction and operations of buildings. It is the way in which building teams take their environmental focus and they need products to fulfill their mandates from owners, governments regulators, and society. Manufacturers with documentation of their LEED Potential readily available to these busy professionals will gain the edge in today’s “green” marketplace. Call Green Apple Group today for a free consultation on how to start your green marketing program.

 

Green Apple Group, Sarbanes Oxley Act, LEED, green marketing, ISO 14000, CO2 emissions, Energy Policy Act of 2005

 

 
Stimulus Provides Money for Energy Efficiency Upgrades PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 14:39

The economic stimulus package contains more than $20 billion in financial incentives for consumers, governments and utilities for investing in projects that will improve energy efficiency. Manufacturers of green products, especially those addressing energy conservation or generating renewable energy sources, are set to gain increased business and profits by communicating these incentives to potential buyers.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will extend and triple the total available tax credit from $500 to $1,500, according to the Alliance To Save Energy (www.ase.org). The stimulus also increases the tax credit to 30 percent of the cost of each qualified energy efficiency improvement.

The ARRA could create more than 100,000 jobs over the next two years and, over the life of the measures, reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 200 million metric tons, according to the Alliance.

One of the best reports on the financial incentives, comes from The Alliance, which listed the following ARRA incentives for energy efficiency:

  • $5 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program, which will go a long way in meeting President Obama’s goal of weatherizing one million homes per year while creating an estimated 32,000 jobs in the auditing and retrofitting industries;
  • $4.5 billion to make 75 percent of federal buildings more energy efficient;
  • $3.1 billion for the State Energy Program (SEP), which delivers important energy efficiency services and innovations in every state; the language contains incentives for states to adopt utility regulatory reform and stronger building energy codes; this program has the needed infrastructure to quickly absorb the new funding and create new jobs;
  • $300 million for state matching grants for rebates to consumers who purchase higher-tier energy-efficient appliances;
  • $3.2 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG) that will allow state and local governments to aggressively implement energy efficiency programs;
  • $400 million of the EECBG funds to be awarded on a competitive basis; and
  • More than $8 billion for state and local government investments in public transportation.

While the stimulus is still being digested, the best all around resource for financial incentives on the Web is at www.dsireusa.org. Check it out. Everything from the federal incentives down to the utilities are listed on this site.

(This article is a repost of an article that was originally posted on February 21, 2009.)

Energy Efficiency, Green Apple Group, Stimulus Funding, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Stumulus Package, Weatherization Assistance Program

 
Technorati blog claim code PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Sunday, 16 August 2009 17:26
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Technorati blog claim code PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Sunday, 16 August 2009 15:19
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Report Sites Opportunities & Challenges for Energy Efficiency Retrofits of Buildings PDF Print E-mail
Written by Paul Nutcher   
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 17:58

There is a new report showing that the renovation of existing buildings is a growing market segment for manufacturers providing energy conversing materials and products. Just read this great reporting from the blog of Jeff McIntire-Strasburg in a post entitled: Building Efficiency Upgrades: The Best-Kept Secret in Washington? Check out his post at the following link or read an exert I've reposted below:

http://www.stumbleupon.com/s/#1vFwjI/www.sundancechannel.com/sunfiltered/2009/08/building-efficiency-upgrades-the-best-kept-secret-in-washington//

The report from the Center for American Progress and the Energy Future Coalition notes, retrofitting our built environment also faces a number of market hurdles, including:

  • A lack of information for consumers about energy consumption habits;
  • Misconceptions about the costs and options for retrofitting; and
  • High up-front costs for efficiency upgrades.

The report, titled Rebuilding America, argues that using stimulus funds to support efficiency and weatherization upgrades to existing buildings (which are responsible for about 40% of our total greenhouse gas emissions) could reap dividends on numerous fronts. A $500 billion investment from both public and private sectors aimed at retrofitting 50 million buildings by 2020 could “directly and indirectly generate approximately 625,000 sustained full-time jobs and save consumers $32 billion to $64 billion a year in energy costs, or $300 to $1,200 a year for individual families.”

Renewable technologies and green building practices definitely belong in the equation: they’re smart as well as sexy. Combining them with common-sense retrofits creates a true “win-win,” though: we get the best performance out of our existing building stock, prepare it for the eventual integration of renewables, and insure that, in decades to come, our built environment isn’t guzzling energy at unsustainable levels.

 

LEED for Existing Buildings, building energy efficiency, building retrofits, building energy upgrades, energy costs

 
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