Are we thinking “deep”? New survey uncovers important findings

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) surveyed real estate and construction executives in the European Union, India, China and the USA commissioned by the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN).  423 senior executives from the real estate and construction industries. Over half (51%) were C-level executives or above and nearly half (49%) came from organisations with more than US$500m in global annual revenue.

The recently published survey, entitled Energy efficiency and energy savings: a view from the buildings sector, had the following key findings:

  • The survey shows that there is a large consensus among executives worldwide on the issue of climate change. In Europe, China and India, 84% of respondents consider cutting carbon missions associated with their business to be their responsibilities. In the US, however, barely 60% of respondents are of that opinion.
  • Many companies are ill informed about energy realities and the true cost of energy consumption. One third of the respondents underestimate the financial significance of energy consumption in their own business. Many are also unclear about the cost of constructing energy efficient buildings. While the actual additional cost varies between 5 to 15%, two thirds of respondents overestimate the cost saying that energy efficient buildings cost 15% more than a standard construction.
  • There is clear evidence in the report that the message that energy efficiency is good for business is gaining momentum across the building sector. 63% of the respondents say that energy efficiency influences their investment decisions; and this is true across all regions. Half of respondents are taking a longer-term view of investments. More than 50% of respondents are ready to tolerate payback terms of 5 years or longer.
  • Companies are already taking action and going beyond equipment upgrades. Half of respondents are adding building insulation, almost the same proportion is adopting more efficient HVAC systems and replacing inefficient lighting (57%).
  • Businesses welcome carrots and sticks. They see legislation as a mean of levelling the playing field, thus strengthening the business case for energy investments. 68% of respondents estimate that carbon taxes are helpful to drive investments in efficient buildings. And the same proportion believes that global agreements limiting carbon emissions would create a level playing field for businesses.

The report is available here.

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