This article was updated January 2017.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous, healthy and sustainable future through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, nationwide network of local members, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that support cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings and communities. USGBC serves a diverse marketplace and its LEED green building program is the foremost program for green building in the world – saving money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reducing carbon emissions, and contributing to a healthier environment.
USGBC mission and reach
- USGBC serves a diverse global marketplace including building owners and end-users, real estate developers, facility managers, architects, designers, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, product and building system manufacturers, government agencies, and nonprofits through the LEED green building certification.
- USGBC’s more than 12,000 member organizations, global network of more than 201,500 LEED professional credential holders and network of local leaders across the United States and throughout the world are the heart of USGBC's grassroots efforts. Members join as individuals at one of the local communities to realize USGBC's mission of transforming the built environment within a generation through education, outreach and advocacy.
- USGBC's advocacy team works to accelerate the uptake of state, local and national policies that advance energy conservation, green building and livable communities. From the more than 400 municipalities, 32 states and 14 federal agencies that reference LEED as a best-practice for achieving sustainability goals to the Coalition for Better Buildings, the partnership between political advocacy and the green building movement is reflected in accomplishments across the United States.
LEED green building program
- USGBC's LEED green building program is the foremost program for the design, construction, maintenance and operations of green buildings, homes and communities. By using less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
- There are more than 89,600 commercial projects participating in the LEED green building certification system, comprising more than 17.2 billion square feet of construction space in 50 states and 164 countries and territories.
- LEED professional credentialing is provided by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) and offers a pathway to success for those seeking to demonstrate their technical knowledge, experience and credibility in the exploding green building marketplace.
- A LEED professional credential signifies leadership in the field and active participation in the green building movement by contributing expertise in the design, construction, operations and maintenance of buildings and neighborhoods that save energy, use fewer resources, reduce pollution, and contribute to healthier environments for their occupants and the community.
- The 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, released by USGBC and prepared by Booz Allen Hamilton, found that LEED will contribute $29.8 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 386,00 jobs to the U.S. economy by 2018.
Leading on green schools, energy, wellness & investment
USGBC’s globally recognized programs include:
- Center for Green Schools: The Center for Green Schools at USGBC is making sure every student has the opportunity to attend a green school within this generation, because high-performing schools result in high-performing students. The Center works directly with staff, teachers, faculty, students, administrators, elected officials and communities to drive the transformation of all schools into sustainable places to live and learn, work and play.
- PEER: Performance Excellence in Energy Renewal (PEER) is a comprehensive, consumer-centric, data-driven system for evaluating power system performance. Through PEER certification, power grids have an opportunity to gain competitive advantage by differentiating their performances, documenting the value produced, and demonstrating meaningful outcomes. In the process, the metrics serve as a tool to accelerate transformation of the electricity sector in the marketplace. Modeled after LEED, PEER is the driving force behind USGBC's vision to transform the way power systems are regulated, designed and operated.
- WELL: The WELL Building Standard, administered by GBCI, is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
- GRESB: GRESB is an investor-driven organization committed to assessing the environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of real assets globally. More than 250 members, of which about 60 are pension funds and their fiduciaries, use GRESB data in their investment management and engagement process, with the clear goal to optimize the risk/return profile of their real asset investments. Founded in 2009, the dynamic benchmark provides real assets investors with actionable information and tools needed to proactively monitor and manage the ESG performance of their investments and prepare for increasingly rigorous sustainability issues at the forefront of business decision-making.
- EDGE: An innovation of International Finance Corporation, EDGE is a green building certification system focused on making new residential and commercial buildings more resource-efficient. EDGE is comprised of a web-based software application, a universal standard and a certification system.
- SITES: The Sustainable SITES Initiative (SITES®) is the most comprehensive program for developing sustainable landscapes. SITES offers a systematic, comprehensive rating system designed to define sustainable sites, measure their performance and elevate the value of landscapes.
- Parksmart: Parksmart (formerly known as Green Garage Certification) is the world’s only rating system that defines, measures and recognizes high-performing, sustainable garages. Certified green garages save money in operational costs, along with offering many other benefits for building and property owners, drivers, tenants and local communities.
- Zero Waste: The Zero Waste credential, which was formally available from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, is designed for businesses to define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals, thereby reducing their impact on the natural environment and our collective health. Zero Waste certification promotes positive forces for environmental and economic sustainability in the built environment.
- USGBC’s Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is the world’s largest event dedicated to green building. Greenbuild brings together leaders from industry, government and nonprofits to learn about the newest, most groundbreaking green building products, services and technologies. Greenbuild 2017 will take place Nov. 8-10, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts at the LEED Silver Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.