BOSTON — Consumer interest in sustainability is growing and doesn't appear to be affected by the economy. As interest in green buildings has grown, the U.S. Green Building Council is reponding by updating and redefining its certification scope.
 
The South Florida Business Journal reported that The U.S. Green Building Council will soon roll out its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines, updated for 2009 and newly approved by the USGBC membership. The upgrade will make climate change and energy efficiency even higher priorities.
 
In addition, the Washington Business Journal reported that the U.S. Green Building Council is moving beyond rating only commercial construction and has opened its first public comment period for its LEED rating system for neighborhood development.
 
The program - a collaboration between the USGBC, the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council - is the first national certification system for green neighborhood design and development that brings buildings together in a neighborhood. It provides guidelines on better location, design and construction of residential, commercial and mixed-use development.
 
More consumers think, buy green
 
In Adweek, A new Yahoo-commissioned study revealed that three in four consumers defining themselves as "green."   According to the survey, the green market has grown far beyond its roots as a niche, with 77 percent of consumers identifying themselves as "green." Over half (57 percent) said they made a green purchase decision in the past six months. Green consumers are most likely to take sustainability into account when buying cleaning and personal care products.     About 23 percent of consumers as "deeply committed." A larger segment, about 24 percent, finds green "trendy," particularly young consumers 18-34.   Advertising Age reported on the second-annual Edelman Goodpurpose study, which found that more than half of the 6,000 consumers surveyed would be prepared to pay more for a brand if it supported a good cause even in the throes of a recession. And more than two-thirds said they would be willing to pay more for eco-friendly products.

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