Ashley Eusey

Ashley Eusey

Associate | Sustainability

The vast majority of consumers want to support companies that implement green practices and policies

Although gaining credibility, bias and misconception surround sustainability. High costs, lack of necessity, and negative socio-political associations are among the objections raised when green design alternatives are presented. But these objections can be overcome. What’s the best way to make this happen?

First, do your research. What performance metrics matter to your client? Although statistics—like more thermal insulation increases productivity by 9%, or abundant daylight equals fewer sick days—can be compelling, they’re only effective if they resonate with the owner’s goals. For example, employee benefits are irrelevant to a developer looking to lease or sell off a building soon. They may want to hear that sustainable buildings deliver higher rent and longer-term leases, which in turn attract a higher sale price.

On the retail side, while employees are a consideration, driving sales is paramount. For these businesses, statistics on sustainability’s impact on buyer behavior, which have proven to drive sales, will be heard loud and clear. Millennials, for example, will pay a premium for goods for brands that show environmental stewardship. Additionally, more than 90% of global consumers want to see more brands support environmental issues. Hospitals focus on recovery times, and schools value test scores and knowledge retention. Presenting clear data about sustainable design’s impact on relevant outcomes makes a sound business case.

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