Economic Impact


Can local communities reap fiscal and economic benefits from sustainability programs – investments in energy efficiency, green infrastructure, water and waste-water management, well-designed communities, efficient transportation, and other best practices? The environmental and social benefits of sustainability best practices, which can advance the economic, social and environmental “Triple Bottom Line” are usually plain to see.

Economic development benefits

Consist of improvements in the economic growth, competitiveness, and vitality of a community. Sustainability strategies can improve a business’ bottom line, enhance the built environment and attract new economic activity into more walkable and revitalized areas. These efforts are key to encouraging local residents and outsiders to invest and spend within a jurisdiction, thereby spurring further economic development. These economic benefits can take many forms:

  • Sustainability best practices generate savings to residents and businesses through reduced expenditures on water, energy, gas and other resources. These local savings are then available to support additional local investments and economic activity.
  • Communities that are well-planned with a variety of housing options, commercial developments and efficient and convenient transportation choices attract investments in new and expanded businesses. These investments can increase local economic activity and employment, saving time and money for employees and employers alike. Well-designed communities and efficient transportation are especially important for retaining and supporting the competitiveness of small to medium-sized businesses, which are the source of most employment growth.
  • Communities that create opportunities for residents through sustainability practices to engage in physical activity and make healthy food choices generally have healthier residents. The economic benefits include lower healthcare costs for business, employees and public agencies, more productive employees, and students better prepared to learn.