Survey: Green Building Could Support 8 Million Jobs

Despite a challenging economic outlook, green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the U.S. economy, including $396 billion in wages over the next four years, according to a new study from the U.S. Green Building Council and Booz Allen Hamilton, a strategy and technology consulting firm.

The study was released at USGBC’s annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the industry’s largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement.

“Our goal is for the phrase ‘green building’ to become obsolete, by making all building and retrofits green — and transforming every job in our industry into a green job,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chairman of USGBC. “This study validates the work that the 25,000 people gathered here at Greenbuild, and every member of our movement, do every day.”

The study determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million U.S. jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages. The study also found that the economic impact of the total green construction market from 2000 to 2008 contributed $178 billion to U.S. gross domestic product.

It also assessed the USGBC’s 19,000-plus member organizations and found that they generate $2.6 trillion in annual revenue, employ approximately 14 million people, come from 29 industry sectors and include 46 Fortune 100 companies. The total value of green buildings and the results the study considered includes all industry professionals involved in green construction, including contractors and architects, in recognition of how extensive the impact of green building is.

“The study demonstrates that investing in green buildings contributes significantly to our nation's wealth while creating jobs in a range of occupations, from carpenters to cost estimators,” according to Gary Rahl, officer of global government market at Booz Allen Hamilton. “In many ways, green construction is becoming the standard for development. As a result, it is expected to support nearly 8 million jobs over the next five years, a number four times higher than the previous five years,” Rahl says. The following statistics are a few of the report’s findings, regarding the economic impact of the total green construction market.

Contribution to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP): 2000-2008:
$173 billion 2009-2013 forecast: $554 billion

Wages: 2000-2008: $123 billion
2009-2013 forecast: $396 billion

Energy savings: 2000-2008: $1.3 billion saved
2009-2013 forecast: $6 billion saved

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=1954. In support of the green building industry’s potential to drive tremendous job growth, USGBC has bolstered its commitment to education as a key component of its organizational mission toward a sustainable built environment.

A new course catalog at https://www.usgbc.org/coursecatalog/coursecatalog.aspx helps green building professionals find educational resources and training that support their learning needs at any level, and in a variety of learning formats.

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