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Companies that retrofit commercial buildings sooner rather than later stand to reap greater benefits than those that delay, according to a recent study conducted by consulting firm Deloitte & Touche, LLP and Charles Lockwood, real estate consultant.

A growing number of companies are implementing green retrofits and deriving substantial bottom-line benefits that include cutting water and energy use and costs, opportunities for tax credits, permitting and other regulatory incentives, greater worker productivity and satisfaction, improved brand image and better community relations—all at a relatively modest cost, the study found.

"But for every organization that embraces green retrofits, there are many others that forego the many benefits of green in favor of conventional retrofits," the study states.

"Deloitte believes that organizations taking this overly cautious approach should reconsider. We believe that within the next three years, companies that do not have green workplaces will be at a competitive disadvantage from higher operating costs, lower productivity, declining attraction and retention of skilled workers and an increasingly negative brand image," the study concluded.

Companies don't have to engage in floor-to-ceiling renovations to benefit. Companies that can't afford a new building, an extensive retrofit or the disruption of moving to a green building, "may find that green retrofits are a practical way to improve their sustainability, reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and reap the many benefits of green workplaces," according to the study.

Read the complete study, "The dollars and sense of green retrofits," here.