If a city or state wants to encourage environmentally responsible commercial real estate development, one of the most powerful tools it can use is tax incentives. That’s a key finding of the 2010 Green Building Survey conducted by National Real Estate Investor in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council.

A whopping 77% of corporate executives responding to the survey say they would find tax incentives the most beneficial among enticements for retrofitting green buildings. An overwhelming 75% of the corporate respondents say green initiatives have proven to lower operating costs.

The survey results were revealed today by NREI and the Green Building Council at Greenbuild International Conference and Expo in Chicago, where former Secretary of State Colin Powell and a litany of other speakers kicked off the largest global conference and expo dedicated to green building. Half of the developers surveyed by NREI, and nearly three-fourths of the corporate respondents say green design is more important this year than it was two years ago, as the nation struggled with recession.

Read more about the green survey, and how the environmental movement is transforming the commercial real estate industry. Click here.