Joseph Crea

Washington, D.C.—(January 27, 2016)—Today, USGBC announced the 2015 Top 10 Provinces and Municipalities in Mainland China participating in LEED, the world’s most widely used and recognized green building rating system. The Top 10 list highlights the provinces and municipalities in China making significant strides in sustainable building design and accelerating market transformation by bringing healthier buildings to the people of China.

Shanghai topped the list, with over 2.4 million gross square meters (GSM) of LEED-certified space, followed by Guangdong (over 1 million GSM) and Beijing, with over a million GSM as well. The findings are based only on projects certified in 2015 and not on the total amount of certified space in China’s provinces and municipalities.

The announcement comes at a time of increased environmental awareness across China that has enabled sustainability to gain vast social and political traction. Heightened concerns over unsafe levels of PM2.5 air pollution in major population centers such as Beijing and Shanghai have helped to demonstrate the important role that green buildings play in maintaining the health and wellness of the Chinese people. Additionally, China has pledged to cap its emissions by 2030, and coal emissions in China fell 2 percent last year—further underscoring the country’s commitment to sustainability.

“Every story about a LEED building is a story about leaders, and leaders in China understand that LEED is a powerful market tool that works,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, Chief Operating Officer of USGBC and President of GBCI. “I want to thank the Chinese business leaders and policymakers who are leading the way. Together, we are moving forward to create a healthier, more sustainable future for China through wide-scale adoption of green building rating systems.”

The 10 provinces and municipalities that made the list are geographically, demographically and economically diverse: five of them are from the developed coastal region (Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Zhejiang and Jiangsu), Sichuan and Chongqing are from the western inland region, Liaoning is from the northeast and Henan is from central China, as is Beijing, China’s political and cultural center.

The full ranking is as follows:

Absolute Rank China mainland provinces and municipalities LEED GSM certified in 2015 Population
1 Shanghai 2,462,439 20,019,148
2 Guangdong 1,066,661 104,303,132
3 Beijing 1,044,298 19,612,368
4 Tianjin 669,276 12,938,224
5 Sichuan 585,931 80,418,200
6 Zhejiang 510,126 54,426,891
7 Jiangsu 499,279 78,659,903
8 Liaoning 394,104 43,746,323
9 Chongqing 289,954 28,846,170
10 Henan 271,841 94,023,567

Across Mainland China, there are 732 projects participating in LEED, covering 26.7 million GSM of certified space.

A sample of notable projects certified in China in 2015 include:

  • Shanghai: Shanghai Tower, LEED-CS Platinum
  • Beijing: Ocean Plaza, LEED-EB Gold

Every day around the world, nearly 172,000 GSM of space are LEED-certified, and there are currently nearly 70,000 commercial and institutional projects, representing 1.23 billion GSM of space, participating in the green building rating system. An additional 76,500 residential units have been certified under LEED for Homes. LEED projects can now be found in more than 150 countries and territories.