Green building, also known as sustainable building, is growing like weeds. “The global green building market is projected to double in size…over the next four years,” according to State of Green Business 2008, a report by Greenbiz.com.
With the promise of even bigger payouts and benefits, the green building market is also attracting impressive seed money. Global venture capital investment in clean technologies, a core component of green building, jumped 43 percent last year according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
As an economic powerhouse, green building will cross-pollinate many secondary and tertiary industries, making rain for business owners and sun for its inhabitants. For example, a research report by Clean Edge projects that Solar “will grow from a $20.3 billion industry in 2007 to $74 billion by 2017.” And a report by the American Solar Energy Society says that by 2030 the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors could generate up to 40 million jobs and $4.5 trillion in revenue.
In addition, a report released by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation called Green Building in North America says: “In the United States, the annual cost of building-related sickness is estimated to be $60 billion. According to researchers, green building has the potential to generate an additional $200 billion annually in worker performance improvements by creating offices with better indoor environmental quality, including air and natural light.”
With much at stake and much to gain, the race to secure the sustainability leadership edge among the States is on. To maintain its competitive advantage, Oregon – a nationally recognized leader in green building – is successfully securing its frontrunner status by planning, preparing, and promoting its green future. Oregon’s 2008 Policy Initiative and Playbook lays it all out: “Economies built on sustainability…will better navigate emerging constraints in resources and regulation by reducing their environmental footprint, making better use of raw material, producing products more efficiently, and reducing costs and improving margins.”
But, more importantly, Oregon is executing on its plan to lock down the green edge. A big part of that plan is ensuring that there’s enough skilled labor to support its rapidly growing green industry. So Oregon, like other states around the country, offers green certificate programs at its colleges and universities – some in conjunction with the Cascadia Sustainability Academy.
This week, I begin a nine-month certification program to become a “National Sustainable Building Advisor.” As a seasoned marketing communications professional, why would I want to become certified in sustainable building?
I’m passionate about sustainability and its power to stimulate local-to-global markets, and positively impact professional and personal lives. For me, I believe that obtaining a green certificate will complement not only my career but also my retirement – particularly when I build my own sustainable home one day.
The grass really is looking greener on the other side.
NOTE: Here’s more information about the National Sustainable Building Advisor program and its intent: “To build a community of Sustainable Building Advisors who can confidently and knowledgeably promote sustainable building to the industry and the public.”