Stirring Giants: Green Homebuilding Progress Report
Mar 31, 2011 11:34AM
America’s 10 largest publicly traded home-builders have started to improve their environmental policies and practices, but much progress remains to be achieved, according to the latest Survey of Sustainable Practices by the Homebuilding Industry, by Calvert Asset Management Co. KB Home, based in Los Angeles, and Pulte Homes, of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, were ranked as the top industry firms.
Calvert reports that out of 42 possible green data points, the average total score was just over six points, or 15 percent. Without the top two companies in the mix, the average overall score would have been less than 6 percent.
Green building represents a major industry opportunity. “Whereas two years ago, the industry had not yet begun to embrace sustainability as a core part of building design and construction, companies today have taken many meaningful steps toward developing greener and cleaner homes,” says Rebecca Henson, a sustainability analyst at Calvert and co-author of the report. “However, given the environmental impact that homebuilding has, the industry has significantly more progress to make.”
Companies are most active in energy efficiency and conservation, paying more attention to sustainability issues that can offer short-term financial benefits to operating costs and customers, such as building material recycling and energy and water efficiency measures. Issues with long-term benefits, such as climate change, are not well addressed.