Russia, the UAE, India and Spain were the only other countries where a percentage of surveyors felt that sustainability was not important to their clients, however in these instances the negative responses were outweighed by those placing greater importance on the issues.
In the UK more than three quarters of respondents felt that sustainability was of importance to their clients, however none of them felt particularly strongly about it, indicating that more needs to be done to convince people of the benefits of green buildings.
Overall it is profitability that is driving the push towards more sustainable buildings with 38% of respondents globally citing this. In the UK 57% of surveyors feel that it is business bottom line that is driving the sustainability agenda, with marketing purposes (29%) and competitive advantage (14%) also cited.
Considering the depth of the current downturn it is encouraging to see that so many countries are still placing a level of importance on sustainability. The fact that this is being driven by clients wanting to improve their bottom line shows that the economic argument for energy efficiency and green buildings may be growing in strength.
Ursula Hartenberger, Global Head of Sustainability Policy said: ‘It is worrying that some countries still seem slightly indifferent to the issues, and particularly with the Copenhagen summit on climate change coming up next month, it is a concern that the US still does not appear as on board as other major economies.’
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