The Green Industry Is Flourishing, According to USGBC Study

The green building industry is expanding rapidly, and creating millions of jobs in the process.

By Anca Gagiuc, Associate Editor


According to a new U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) study from Booz Allen Hamilton, the green building sector will account for over 2.3 million American jobs in 2015. Furthermore, the industry is outpacing overall construction growth in the country. The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study shows that the green building industry contributes more than $134 million in labor income in the U.S.

Moreover, the report reveals that the number of jobs generated in green construction will exceed 3.3 million over the next three years—representing more than one-third of the entire U.S. construction sector. The industry’s direct contribution to the U.S. GDP will also reach an estimated $303 million from 2015 to 2018. New developments will save more than $1 billion in energy usage and $100 million in water use by 2018.

The green industry is rapidly expanding not only through new constructions, but also through retrofitting existing buildings. A good example of a company that enlisted Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps program to accelerate clean energy projects to meet its corporate energy goals is JLL. One of their managed properties in Chicago—77 West Wacker—found the ways to reduce 32 percent of its energy use through LEED certification. Currently the building is advancing new approaches to reach the goal of cutting another 26.5 percent of its energy use by 2018.

Shorenstein Properties of San Francisco holds one of the industry’s most respected sustainability programs with 15 million square feet of its portfolio LEED-certified and an average ENERGY STAR score of 82 out of 100 points. Shorenstein is the winner of the last two consecutive years of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark Green Star, the highest rating, for its sustainability strategy on smart operation, investment in efficiency, and tenant engagement.

Image courtesy of USGBC