Green Business Market Penetration Facts

Feb 8, 2011 1:45 PM ET

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) February 8, 2011 - There is one statement that tends to evoke a knee-jerk reaction, and that occurs when I say that the reputable Green business programs have had less than a 3-5% penetration into the marketplace.  This does include such good programs as LEED, ISO, and Green Business League that perform live audits instead of some token programs that use self-assessment or Internet forms.  The honest programs always prove their value by requiring a live audit and benchmark for achievement.  The rest are simply not credible.

As for the statement of 3-5% penetration into the business, the 2009 U.S. census showed that there were over 27 million business in the United States.  So, we have a fair starting point for the further facts that will be related.

According to an April 2009 report by the U.S. Green Building Council, they state that there are 2,476 LEED certified projects and 19,524 registered projects, distributed in over 90 countries.  ISO reported in 2002 that the of ISO 9000 total stood at 510,616 in 161 countries.  While both of these numbers are impressive in the progress being made, it seems obvious that the penetration of the Green business program is a small percentage of the U.S. or world marketplace.

Look at the major cities.  Another LEED provided statistic relates the extent of LEED buildings in major metropolitan areas:

1 – Chicago, IL — 88
2 – Portland, OR — 73
3 – Seattle, WA — 63
4 – Washington, D.C. — 57
5 – Atlanta, GA — 53
6 – San Francisco, CA — 50
7 – New York City, NY– 46
8 – Grand Rapids, MI — 44
9 – Los Angeles, CA — 40
10 – Boston, MA — 38

So, while these numbers are not critical of LEED or ISO, the concern for the real impact of our efforts are real.  Businesses are slow to the process, at best.  There seems to be a pressure to make progress combined with an inability to accomplish the task in a meaningful way.

To that end, the Green Business League now invites cities, communities, business organizations, and other organizations to adopt the Green Path Assessment™ software as a power solution.  Any business or any size may sign up on the Green Path Assessment software without charge.  The software guides the business manager through a variety of well-organized categories that have an assigned point value.  Businesses can measure their success in Green and sustainable areas and request an audit that will lead to a credible Green business certification.

Making the program accessible to whole cities, chambers of commerce, or business organizations allows communities to install a powerful Green business program at literally no cost to the community or the customer.  Fees apply only for requested training, auditing, or certification programs.



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