World Green Building Council members identify future trends for the industry as opportunities

26 Feb 2019

World Green Building Council Interim CEO, Cristina Gamboa, forecasts huge growth for membership as more markets open the door to sustainable development. 

Just as I took over the CEO role at WorldGBC, the team were analysing the results of the annual member value survey, focusing on what challenges and opportunities our movement is facing as the market is expected to increase.  56 out of 68 GBC’s participated in the survey and I’ve summarised the main findings which I believe identify the trends which are opportunities for our global movement.   

Green Building Councils (GBCs) have a combined global revenue of $91.6 million USD.  In 2018, 2.65 billion m2 of green building space was certified globally by GBCs.  With their local leadership position, GBCs have been advocating for green buildings and collaborating with all levels of government which resulted in policy changes in 35 countries.  This strategic collaboration includes working in many countries on local incentives for green building. 

GBCs membership is collectively made up of 22,800+ companies and 14,000+ individuals.  The biggest challenge for GBCs is retaining and attracting members.  The GBCs are experiencing a decline in revenue from sponsorship and grants, particularly Established GBCs. 

The big trends GBCs have identified as having an impact on our industry are climate change, energy transition and energy efficiency.  This has led to a focus on existing building – retrofits, as well as performance in operation.  GBCs identified an increase in the supply of green products and a focus on the circular economy.

The residential market is greening, starting with social and affordable housing and supported by green mortgages.  GBCs had noticed a focus on health, including air quality and technology is being used as an enabler for sustainability.

The international market for green construction projects has grown significantly in the past 10 years, and demand for green building activity is poised to grow further – according to the World Green Building Trends 2018 SmartMarket Report published in November last year by Dodge Data & Analytics. The study, supported by our Green Building Councils (GBCs) in five regions, demonstrates that green building is seen by the industry as a key business benefit. Additionally, around the world, green building is considered to have an impact beyond significant environmental benefits, such as increased employee productivity and satisfaction.

Our movement is growing, our GBCs have over 800 staff and trained over 46,800 people in the last year.  And the work is attracting attention with GBCs collectively being mentioned in the media over 32,000.  The future is full of opportunities to continue the global and local leadership of our movement bringing green buildings to everyone, everywhere.