Sarah Stanley

China tops the list as number one market for LEED outside U.S.; LEED certification supports sustainability and climate change efforts globally

Washington, D.C.—(Jan. 22, 2018)—Today, USGBC, the creators of the LEED green building rating system, announced the Top 10 Countries and Regions for LEED. The list recognizes markets outside the U.S. that are using LEED to create healthier, more sustainable spaces that work to improve quality of life. China tops the list, for markets outside of the U.S., followed by Canada and India.

The list represents 6,657 LEED-certified projects totaling more than 158 million square meters of space globally and ranks countries and regions in terms of cumulative LEED-certified gross square meters as of Dec. 31, 2017. China remained in the top spot with more than 47 million gross square meters, and for the first time Mexico appears on the Top 10 list with more 5.6 million gross square meters.

“LEED is a full-scale global movement and plays a key role in helping cities, communities and countries manage their built environment,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the global certifying body for LEED projects. “When we prioritize green buildings we are committing to creating spaces that perform at the highest levels, conserving resources and enhancing human health. The work being done in each of these markets is raising the bar for the global market.”

Ranking Country/Region Number of Projects Gross Square Meters*
1 China 1,211 47.16
2 Canada 2,970 40.77
3 India 752 20.28
4 Brazil 461 14.83
5 Germany 276 7.0
6 Republic of Korea 106 6.66
7 Taiwan 124 6.15
8 Turkey 245 6.06
9 Mexico 305 5.16
10 United Arab Emirates 207 4.41
** United States 30,669 385.65

*Gross square meters are reported in millions. Data is reported as of December 31, 2017.

**The United States, where LEED originated, is not included on the list, but remains the world’s largest market for LEED.

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is the world’s most widely used green building program with projects in more than 167 countries and territories and more than 205,800 gross square meters of space certifying everyday. LEED is a global, regional and local solution that provides a framework for buildings, communities and cities to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving spaces while working to improve quality of life.

The Top 10 Countries and Regions for LEED are part of a growing number of markets dedicated to a greener, more sustainable built environment. According to a Dodge Data & Analytics World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, to which USGBC was a contributing partner, countries indicated that economic forces were the most important drivers for green building. The SmartMarket report also revealed that increasing consumer demand has pushed the world’s green building market to a trillion-dollar industry that has led to a corresponding increase in the scope and size of the green building materials market, which is expected to reach $234 billion by 2019.