Occupiers want green buildings – and they are prepared to pay for them, according to the first ever CORENET sustainability survey conducted by Jones Lang LaSalle.

The survey found 65% of the 50 big-name corporate occupiers who responded to the survey said they were willing to pay more for sustainable buildings. It also found 51% were prepared to pay between 1-5% more, and 12% were prepared to pay 1-10% more in renting or buying the building if it was sustainable.

CORENET’s membership includes names like The Walt Disney Company, Shell and the BBC. 84% said that the environment was either a critical concern currently or looked likely to become one in the next year.

Chris Hiatt, head of national offices at Jones Lang LaSalle and a member of the company’s global sustainability board said: ‘This shows that sustainability is really here to stay. It’s been six months of people saying it is just a perception but this shows that it is real.’

According to Hiatt, the concept that sustainable offices are lots more expensive is a myth. He said that the rental would tend to be around 5% more. He said: ‘If occupiers are saying they will pay it then the developers can deliver it and charge more – it’s a concern but it is also an opportunity.’

He added: ‘There’s the cynical side – chief executives have worked out that appearing to be Green means dollars. But then more importantly we can all point at climate change, whether or not it’s man-made, and start to think we need to change our behaviour. It comes back to what we’re leaving for our children.’

The results showed that brokers, agents, developers and landlords were bottom of the pile on the list of who occupiers thought were the greenest. However Hiatt said that JLL, along with a number of other agents, was taking steps to go green. Its global sustainability board is a year old, and it is currently recruiting new people for the sustainability team.

Selling environmental services was also potentially in the pipeline in future, Hiatt said. The survey also found that 80% of companies would like more education on how to be green.