6 Steps to get your Piece of the Green Building Market

Mar 3, 2020 4:39:07 PM

Materials Health, Product Design

Moving into 2020, the growth of the green building market has been immense and is projected to continue expansion.  Largely emerging in the mid-2000s, the sustainable building market has grown from a small niche to a giant industry.  Estimates expect a green building materials market size worth around $365 billion by 2022 – a size nearly eight times larger than just 10 years earlier.

Green Market Growth Statistics

This growth is being driven by larger market influences.  With each passing year, more customers and building owners want and are demanding more sustainable and greener buildings.  In reaction, certifications, hazard lists, labels, regulations, and other standards have saturated the industry.  The LEED building certification standard has long been at the helm of this movement which has requirements for materials and resources.  As such, with the market becoming increasingly lucrative, coupled with new barriers to entry and increased competition, it begs the question, “How does one get a piece of the green building market?”

6 Steps to get your Piece of the Green Building Market

 

1. Tell a compelling story and mission around sustainability

2. Develop and understand sustainability metrics for your product

3. Offer a broad set of options that meet green standards

4. Provide warranty, brand backing for industry standards, & communicate

5. Publish to green products library

6. Have product reporting and labeling available

 

1. Tell a compelling story and mission around sustainability

It may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked or is half-baked.  To better penetrate green markets, creating a larger story around your product lines is a key component to improving sales.  Why?  It’s memorable.  When customers, architects, or other purchasing agents are in need of a supplier that meets sustainability objectives, you want your name to make the short list.  As such, when promoting your products, include all the aspects that make it unique in the sustainable space such as responsible sourcing, recyclability, sensible end-of-life options as well as any certifications or labels.  Envelop all of this into a compelling narrative supported by a mission that will be remembered.

2. Develop and understand sustainability metrics for your product 

All products have a source, a supply chain, a chemical make-up, and end-of-life options.  Do you know yours?  Knowing and understanding this information allows you to pull valuable data that will contribute to your value proposition.  Products that are responsibly sourced, have low carbon footprint, high recyclability, and limited chemical hazards can score well with purchasers and on LEED scorecards.  But you often can’t derive this information unless you truly know your products thoroughly.  You may already have products in your library with a strong sustainability value proposition that would be received well in green markets.

3. Offer a broad set of options that meet green standards

When buyers and architects are making purchasing decisions, out of ease they typically will engage as few suppliers as necessary.  Highly correlated to important relationship building, customers will return to ask if you have additional products that meet sustainability criteria for their projects.  To meet those requests, having a broad green product library means that they will keep coming back giving you opportunity to expand the account.  If you can’t meet their sustainability requirements, they will look elsewhere.

4. Provide warranty and brand backing for industry standards and make sure that’s communicated

Commonly overlooked is the guarantee of your sustainability products.  Because of sustainability market influences, green products are often relatively new or perceived as ‘untested’.  Furthermore, updated formulations that are greener might impact durability and other desirable factors.  True or not, these factors raise questions, and buyers need and want assurances.  Stand behind your products and brand.  Ensure warranties and standards are communicated and received to put your customers’ minds at ease. 

5. Publish to Green Product Libraries

Products that meet developed sustainability standards can be published to green product libraries.  Knowledgeable buyers that require sustainable products for their projects will start here for their searches knowing that the database only contains items that meet predetermined criterion.  Often acting as a gateway to larger business opportunities, it is an inexpensive way to promote products and attract buyers.  Common and popular green product libraries include:

  • Origin
  • Ecomedes
  • UL Spot
  • Mindful Materials

6. Have product reporting and labeling available

In the green product marketplace, it is a standard for suppliers to provide validation and verification of their products.  This is largely driven by LEED scoring methodology but acts as a mechanism to contribute substantiate product attributes.  Customers have grown to expect and even demand this documentation.  A variety of reporting and labeling options are available which can include the following:

  • Declare Label
  • Health Product Declaration (HDP)
  • Cradle to Cradle
  • LEED Disclosure
  • Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

Benefits and advantages vary amongst the options and the type of report required can vary among customers and may even be a matter of preference.  It would be recommended that if a specific report or label is requested, if possible, take steps to understand the goal behind the request.  Another labeling option may fulfill the underlying objective.

 

About Toxnot

Toxnot is a cloud-based SaaS platform that allows teams to build and maintain the foundation of their sustainability and green product go-to-market strategy.  The system allows manufacturers to uncover missing data elements in their supply chains down to a chemical level.  Using that data, teams generate all necessary customer reports on the fly, publish directly to green product libraries, win more business, and can ultimately design more sustainable products that meet customer needs and requests.


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