Information or Marketing? Lessons from the History of Private-Sector Green Building Labelling

  • Jeremy GabeEmail author
  • Pernille H. Christensen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Sustainable Business In Association with Future Earth book series (PSSBAFE)


What can we learn from a quarter century of voluntary green building labelling? Market competition for certification has evolved two dominant labelling strategies, which we classify and describe as “voluntary environmental building codes” and “measured building performance audits”. The former creates a structured framework to support claims of environmental and human health design intentions while the latter supports claims of environmental performance in operation. Empirical research on green building labelling concludes that while labels are often associated with higher property values, there is a growing literature on the systematic disconnect between design intentions and operational performance outcomes, implying that consumers of labels are either primarily interested in the marketing value of certification or unaware of being misinformed. This chapter calls for an integrated certification process across all phases of building design, construction, and operation in order to align incentives between building designers and occupants.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of Technology SydneySydneyAustralia

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