About USGBC | U.S. Green Building Council
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Published on
Posted in Media

This article was updated May 2018.

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 10,000 member organizations, global network of more than 202,000 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.

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 93,800 commercial projects participating in the LEED green building certification system, comprising more than 19.8 billion square feet of construction space in 50 states and 167 countries and territories.
  • LEED professional credentialing is provided by Green Building 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 386,000 jobs to the U.S. economy by 2018.

USGBC initiatives

  • USGBC advocacy: USGBC's advocacy efforts work 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 U.S. and globally.
  • 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.
  • USGBC communities: Many of USGBC’s local chapters have merged into the national USGBC organization. The USGBC community consists of one integrated network of local, regional, and national leaders. Prior to 2016, USGBC had 76 chapters that were separate 501(c)(3) organizations. Chapters that did not integrate, continue to be chapters of USGBC, retaining separate governance structures. USGBC communities are driving the mission and vision locally.
  • Education @USGBC: Access best-in-class sustainability and green building education to grow your knowledge and fulfill continuing education for LEED credentials, AIA, and others. Education @USGBC includes the LEED v4 web-based reference guide; the ability to learn anytime from anywhere in the world, with online and offline components; content in ten languages that is regularly updated and refreshed by partners; the ability to fulfill continuing education requirements for all LEED credentials; and streamlined CE reporting experience.
  • USGBC membership: USGBC is a movement of community leaders, professionals, businesses and innovators working to accomplish a single bold vision: healthy, efficient and equitable buildings and communities for all. USGBC members make an impact within their sphere of influence and advance the movement for a more sustainable built environment. Employees of member organizations receive exclusive access to resources, education and programs.

GBCI, USGBC's partner GBCI leading on energy, wellness & green business

  • Arc: The Arc platform allows users to measure performance, make improvements and benchmark against other projects. Arc is a complement to LEED and other green building rating systems, standards, protocols and guidelines and allows buildings and spaces to compare performance metrics and connect those metrics to green building strategies. Arc enables incremental improvements and can put a project on track for LEED or other rating system certification.
  • City Climate Planner: The City Climate Planner Program helps city staff and their partners develop the skills needed to advance local climate action in cities worldwide. Led by GBCI in partnership with World Resources Institute (WRI) and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the program aims to raise the global talent base of city climate planning professionals through training and professional certifications.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Investor Confidence Project: The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) defines a clear road-map from retrofit opportunity to reliable Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™. With a suite of Commercial and Multifamily Energy Performance Protocols in place, ICP reduces transaction costs by assembling existing standards and practices into a consistent and transparent process that promotes efficient markets by increasing confidence in energy efficiency as a demand-side resource.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TRUE: TRUE (Total Resource Use & Efficiency) Zero Waste Certification helps facilities define, pursue and achieve zero waste goals becoming more resource efficient and environmentally responsible.It also includes a credential, TRUE Advisor that indicates a person is a verified expert on the TRUE certification process.
  • WELL: The WELL Building Standard, developed by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and 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.
  • USGBC's Greenbuild International Conference & Expo is the world’s largest event dedicated to green building. Greenbuild is held in the U.S., India, China, Europe, and Mexico each year and brings together leaders from industry, government and nonprofits to learn about the newest, most groundbreaking green building products, services and technologies. The dates and locations for all of the Greenbuild conferences taking place in 2018 are:
    • Europe will be held from April 17-18, 2018 in Berlin.
    • Mexico will be held from June 19-21, 2018 in Mexico City.
    • China will be held in October 23-24, 2018 in Shanghai.
    • Chicago will be held from Nov. 14-16, 2018 at McCormick Place.
    • India will be held Nov. 15-18, 2018 in Mumbai.

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