Thursday, July 7, 2016

Texas Ranks No. 1 in Site Selection Magazine's 2016 Sustainability Rankings

(Atlanta, July 7, 2016) Texas has been named the No. 1 state for sustainability by Site Selection magazine's 2016 Sustainability Rankings, and will feature in the award-winning publication's July 2016 issue.  The Lone Star State-- along with California, North Carolina, Virginia and Colorado-- top the list of most sustainable states in the country. And Dallas-Fort Worth, Greater Boston, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids and Chicago top the metro area rankings. At the country level, Germany, Canada, the United States, Denmark and the UK top the rankings, in that order.

Reprising and upgrading rankings published every summer from 2010 through 2013, the data-rich, one-of-a-kind index balances a number of factors comprising cleantech and green industry activity, energy awareness, the built environment, redevelopment of polluted sites, policy, and human well-being and quality of life. Where applicable, per-capita calculations (see methodology below) give proper credit to those smaller territories fighting above their weight when it comes to the not-easy task of being green. The rankings also include US regional rankings of states and metro areas.

"Like Site Selection's other rankings, the 2016 Sustainability Rankings reflect where the action is, and where the 'dirty work' of cleaner living is taking place, whether it's a new factory making solar panels, a new city incentive, increased renewable energy deployment, a new LEED-certified building going up, or intensified brownfield cleanup activity," says Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection.

Texas and California, rivals in economic development, each bring their own brand of street cred when it comes to sustainability, in the form of substantial renewable power generation and deployment, green buildings and commitments to transit-oriented development and walkability. Meanwhile, in No. 8 Massachusetts, "It only makes sense that the globe's leading life sciences cluster in Greater Boston should also foster a leading sustainable operating and living environment," says Bruns, whose report notes the recent North American headquarters relocation to Boston from Veolia, whose CEO William DiCroce noted the region's "rock-solid commitment to sustainability" in explaining the move.

Sustainable Methodology

In addition to gauging sustainable practices in relation to natural resources, the new edition of Site Selection's Sustainability Rankings also includes factors measuring sustainability of the human resource. One of those factors comes from CSRHub, whose co-founder and CEO Bahar Gidwani cross-matched three years of global facility investment data from Site Selection's proprietary Conway Projects Database with his firm's rich data measuring corporate social responsibility (CSR) perceived performance among more than 16,000 companies around the world.

The result

A valuable window onto where socially responsible companies are already headquartered or currently investing. "We hope that the information will start a conversation on this subject that is useful for those who are tasked with selecting which companies to encourage to site in a state," says Gidwani. "We believe the information may also be interesting to companies who seek to locate new facilities in an environment that fits their culture and social goals."

Like the overall rankings, some of the CSRHub results are counter-intuitive on the surface, but ring true thanks to the depth of real data. Bruns points to Texas and its two Top-10 metro areas as a case in point.

Texas is leading the way in renewable energy

"How could an oil-and-gas territory like Texas beat out states such as California and Colorado?" he asks. "By leading the nation in renewable energy deployment — especially wind. By performing near the top in various measures of green building. And by welcoming a new era of transit-oriented development and yes, walkability in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth — as well as Austin and San Antonio — typified by the new development in and around the new Toyota headquarters campus in Plano."

The Sustainability Rankings appear in the same Technology-themed July 2016 issue as features exploring Locations of the Future, the "Rise of the Robots," Advanced Manufacturing, Research & Science Parks, Cybersecurity and Data Centers.

Below are the sources and methodology, by category, behind Site Selection's 2016 Sustainability Rankings:

COUNTRIES: LEED buildings (number & per capita, USGBC); Renewable energy capacity (IRENA, in megawatts & MW per capita); Renewable energy deployment (RECAI); Green industry projects (investments in "green industries" such as wind and solar energy, environmental controls, recycling, etc., in Conway Projects Database; tally & per capita); *CSR rankings: Ranking areas by degree of facility investment tracked in 2013-2015 by Conway Projects Database made by companies with high corporate social responsibility ratings as measured by CSRHub; Ocean Health Index; Gallup/Healthways Global Well-Being rankings

 *Original analysis produced in collaboration with CSRHub

US STATES: LEED buildings (number & per capita); Energy Star buildings (number & per capita, EPA); Renewable energy generation (EIA); Green industry projects (Conway Projects Database; tally & per capita); CSR rankings; Brownfield grants (EPA, tally & per capita, 0.25 weighting); Brownfield cleanups (EPA, tally & per capita, 0.25 weighting); Green laws/incentives (DSIRE database, tally & per capita); Gallup/Healthways Well-Being rankings

US METRO AREAS: LEED buildings (number & per capita); Energy Star buildings (number & per capita); Green industry projects (tally & per capita); CSR rankings; Brownfield grants (tally & per capita, 0.5 weighting); Brownfield cleanups (tally & per capita, 0.5 weighting); Gallup/Healthways Well-Being rankings

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 45,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via siteselection.com.

(Note: All circulation information is publisher’s own data unless otherwise specified).