Green building programs are major influencer when it comes to tenants deciding to look for a place to stay or do business, according to a recent international survey done by GE Capital Real Estate. The recent international survey on green building programs are done on office tenants around the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, and Canada.
The survey included about 2,220 office tenants. An average of 50 percent of those who have taken the poll said that green building programs are taken seriously when leasing a commercial office building.
Japan has the highest percentage among the polled countries with 59 percent, followed by Sweden and Canada with 52 percent, compared to only about 43 percent for the United States—the lowest among the polled countries to rate green building programs.
A building’s energy and water efficiency or conservation programs are top factors tenants in most polled countries are looking for in green building programs, followed by waste reduction and indoor air quality.
The survey also included green building certifications like the LEED or the UK’s equivalent BREEAM. In the United States, only about 40 percent rated the LEED Certifications as “valuable” in choosing an office space.
About 51 percent of office tenants in Sweden rated energy certifications as “important factors” in choosing an office building, while 46 percent of tenants in the United Kingdom and Spain see energy certifications as valuable.
According to Michael Rowan, GE’s global asset management president, the company has seen distinct and growing interest in building sustainability in its global tenant base.
The company conducted a similar poll last year and has seen an increasing support for green building programs.