“What’s it going to cost me…” seems to be one of the most common phrases we hear today. Followed by, “I can’t afford it” or “That’s too expensive.” More than ever these phrases have been the go-to response in terms of building projects, especially those involving energy-efficiency and sustainability. The ‘green’ movement has also tied itself to ‘green’ spending in the public’s mind. Unfortunately, such a negative connotation has resulted in many people missing an opportunity of financial gain.

Upfront cost is often the greatest hindrance to jumping on the Green bandwagon. Although, what most people don’t consider is the rate at which that expense can not only be compensated but can also turn to profit. Corporations can especially benefit from sustainable design, as their eye is always on the bottom line. Energy efficiency and environmental conscientiousness has turned into annual profit for many companies, just by practicing stewardship.

A plethora of case studies have been conducted on the Adobe Corporation, and for good reason. Founders, John Warnock and Charles Geschke envisioned attracting the best by being the best. Based on their immense success since their start in 1982, aspiring business leaders would be foolish not to admire and learn from their practices. Adobe thrives by living and breathing ideologies of innovation and change. They incorporate even their construction of company buildings with this mindset.

Adobe holds the keys to 23 LEED certified office buildings, 17 of which have reached the highest LEED certification, Platinum. In fact, because of their vast accomplishments in the field of Green design, LEED is creating an even higher bar of success for Adobe to aspire to achieve. Adobe originally invested 1.4 million into a Green design for a corporate building. In the first year, their adjustments in energy waste and usage kept 1.2 million dollars within that company that otherwise would have been energy cost expenditures. Since that initial year of upfront cost, Adobe has experienced nothing but gain.

Accompanying Adobe in the corporate world of the elite environmentally conservative is Alberici Construction. Founded in 1918 as a concrete contractor, Alberici Construction has now expanded to an international company completing roughly a billion dollars a year of construction projects. Most interesting about this company is the transformation it took in 2002 under 3rd generation owner John S. Alberici.  When John succeeded his father in 1999, he had a new vision for the future of Alberici Construction. Focused on sustainable construction, Alberici converted an abandoned warehouse in St. Louis, Mo into their new headquarters. Utilizing the existing structure to reduce waste, Alberici and his team have built a state-of-the-art facility that now employs over 250 employees. When it was completed, Alberici Headquarters became the 9th building to ever reach LEED Platinum certification. The facility uses wind and solar power that covers 85% percent of their heating and cooling and 20% of their remaining energy requirements. In addition, their advanced air and water quality systems provide a clean, healthy, and efficient environment for employees to enjoy.

Corporations taking steps toward sustainability are giving back to more than the environment, their practices are giving back to their employees as well. Reports of happier, healthier employees from both of these companies has meant less sick days and increased positivity. This change in environment has meant a change in productivity; which, in business, translates to exceptional work and exceptional profit for Adobe and Alberici.

After looking at these remarkably successful companies, it’s hard not to move forward with a green building program. If more business people would take the lead of Adobe and Alberici Corporations, our world would be a cleaner, healthier, and happier place. Implementing sustainable practices is not only good business it has been proven to increase your bottom line.