Sarah Stanley

Beijing surpasses Shanghai as the leader in new LEED-certified space

SHANGHAI – (August 24, 2017) – Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the creators of the LEED green building rating system, announced the Top 10 Provinces and Municipalities for LEED in Mainland China. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) is the world’s most widely used green building rating system. The top 10 is an annual ranking from USGBC that highlights areas in Mainland China that have made significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation over the past year. China is the number one market in the world for LEED green building projects outside the United States.

The announcement comes as the country prepares to host Greenbuild China in Shanghai from October 17 to 18.

The ranking is based on green building projects that were LEED certified in 2016. Beijing surpassed Shanghai, which held the top spot for 2015, as the leader in new LEED-certified space with more than two million gross square meters (GSM). The 10 provinces and municipalities that made the list are geographically, demographically and economically diverse. Five of the top 10—Shanghai, Guangdong, Tianjin, Zhejiang and Jiangsu—are based within the developed coastal region. Sichuan represents the western inland region, while Liaoning represents the northeast. Hubei efforts demonstrate the progress made across central China and Jiangxi leads the southeast.

“We have a simple vision of a sustainable built environment within a generation, where buildings, communities and cities will regenerate and sustain the health and vitality of all life,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC and Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the organization that certifies all LEED projects worldwide. “China is an important engine for green growth and the Chinese business leaders and policymakers are helping drive the adoption of green business practices in this key market. By using LEED, China can continue to broaden its reach in the global market as LEED is a universal language of sustainability used by leaders across the world.”

In China, there are more than 1,150 LEED-certified projects totaling more than 42 million GSM. Used widely by Fortune 500 companies and multinationals, LEED is a powerful economic development tool for revitalizing and advancing sustainable communities in ways that deliver financial, economic and environmental benefits. LEED-certified projects use 25 percent less energy, 11 percent less water, create less waste and are healthier for occupants. China’s dedication to LEED mirrors an increasing level of environmental awareness and governmental focus on sustainable development. With continuing concerns over air quality, new targets have been set by the Chinese government to lower the levels of PM2.5 air pollutants. The Chinese government also aims to cut coal consumption in its total energy use and increase the adoption and share of clean energy usage. The full LEED top 10 ranking is as follows:

Rank Province/Municipality Gross Square Meters LEED-certified
1 Beijing 2.09 million
2 Shanghai 1.75 million
3 Jiangsu 1.36 million
4 Guangdong 1.05 million
5 Tianjin 563,491
6 Sichuan 465,719
7 Zhejiang 306,574
8 Liaoning 304,048
9 Hubei 257,045
10 Jiangxi 189,100

As part of its efforts to support China in this pivotal sustainability movement, USGBC will host Greenbuild China in Shanghai from October 17 to 18. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building and is presented by USGBC. Greenbuild China will bring together professionals from the Asia-Pacific region for two days of inspiring speakers, invaluable networking opportunities, industry showcases, along with LEED and other green building rating system workshops. Greenbuild delivers the latest market trends and first-class green solutions that will help drive market transformation in China.

Building on the previous year’s green building progress, earlier this year China surpassed 1,000 LEED-certified projects. As business leaders and governments continue to look for opportunities to mitigate climate change in China, LEED is expected to remain a comprehensive tool that works to ensure a sustainable future for all.