Using LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings increases revenue generated by bank branches even when they offer the same products and services, according to a new study coauthored by University of Notre Dame management professors Edward Conlon and Ante Glavas.
In their study of 562 PNC branches (93 LEED, 469 non-LEED), Conlon and Glavas found that PNC employees who work in LEED-certified branches are more productive and engaged in their work.
Although they're not yet certain if it's because LEED buildings are more attractive to visit or because their employees are more satisfied, and consequently providing better service, Conlon and Glavas find that sustainability equals a big difference to the bottom line at LEED bank branches — $461,300 per employee after controlling for other variables that influence performance (e.g., consumer net worth, employee demographics, market demographics, size and age of branch, marketing spend).
"It's a significant finding, and it surprised me," said Conlon, associate dean and Sorin Society Professor of Management, in a press release. "We compared the amount of money deposited at LEED and non-LEED branches, and we found more money has been deposited in the LEED branches. We divided the amount by the branches' total number of employees to come up with a per-employee dollar amount."