6 March 2014 — Sustainable development is becoming the “new normal” for retail and hospitality in the United States, a recently released McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket report states.

Some of the key points from the Green Retail and Hospitality report include:

  • In 2013, 52 per cent of owners in the retail and restaurant sectors expected that more than 50 per cent of their new projects will be green construction.
  • All hotel owners surveyed in 2013 were undertaking a proportion of green building projects, with researchers attributing this partly to the marketing of “green hotels” shaping consumer expectations.
  • Between 2011 and 2013 the number of retail owners taking a green approach to operations and maintenance increased to roughly half of all owners surveyed, in hospitality the number claimed to approximately two thirds taking a “green or very green” approach to O&M. The report pointed out that hotels being large users of energy and water have a clear cost incentive to implement efficiency measures, which can also enhance the hotel’s green reputation without the need for costly capital improvements.
  • A case study into restaurants examines the challenges of greening these kinds of operations, and outlines the success of the US Green Building Council’s LEED Volume Programme, which allows businesses to achieve certification across multiple sites, as Starbucks has done with LEED certification for 154 stores in 17 countries.
  • In 2013, 61 per cent of retail owners and 71 per cent of hotel owners reported increases in the value of their assets due to green building, with retail owners achieving an average seven per cent increase in value, restaurant owners 12 per cent and hotel owners 11 per cent.
  • The report also examines the influence of government policy, the relative importance of water, energy and waste management measures, and the triggers and obstacles for green building initiatives in the sector.

Download the full report here.