Why LEED

Our buildings can create a healthier, more sustainable future.

LEED certification

Value of LEED

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building types, LEED provides a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership.

Millions of people are living, working and learning in LEED-certified buildings around the world. Here's why.

 

Economic benefits: Save money with LEED

Gain a competitive edge

61% of corporate leaders believe that sustainability leads to market differentiation and improved financial performance.

Attract tenants

LEED-certified buildings command the highest rents, while lease-up rates typically range from average to 20% above average; vacancy rates for green buildings are an estimated 4% lower than non-green properties.

Manage performance

LEED is the world leading green building project and performance management system. It delivers a comprehensive framework for green building design, construction, operations and performance.

Meet ESG goals

LEED helps investors meet their ESG goals by providing investors with the robust and globally recognized green building framework to measure and manage their real estate performance. LEED helps investors implement management practices to prioritize building efficiency, decrease operational costs, increase asset value and ensure productivity, comfort, health and wellbeing for occupants.

Cost Effective


$1.2 billion
in energy savings*


$149.5 million
in water savings*

 


$715.3 million
in maintenance savings*


$54.2 million
in waste savings*

*Estimate from LEED-certified buildings from 2015-2018


Health benefits: Stay healthy with LEED

Happier employees, happier occupants

Employers in LEED-certified spaces report higher recruitment and retention rates, and increased employee productivity.

Bringing in the good and keeping out the bad

LEED creates healthier spaces with cleaner air, access to daylight, and free from harmful chemicals found in paints and finishings.

Indoor environmental quality

Improving indoor air quality can reduce absenteeism and work hours affected by asthma, respiratory allergies, depression and stress, and leads to and self-reported improvements in productivity.

Reduced pollution

Energy-efficient buildings help reduce pollution and improve outdoor air quality in major industrialized areas, making LEED a critical tool in reducing smog.


Environmental benefits: Help the environment and reduce carbon with LEED

Reduced energy use and carbon emissions


34%
lower CO2 emissions*


25%
less energy consumed*

 


11%
less water consumed*


80 million
tons of waste diverted from landfills*


89/100
average ENERGY STAR score for LEED projects


25%
less energy on average used by LEED buildings compared to commercial buildings

 


1.3 million
tons of coal equivalent saved each year


78 million
tons of avoided CO2 emissions

*Re‐Assessing Green Building Performance: A Post Occupancy Evaluation of 22 GSA Buildings. Kim M. Fowler. Emily M. Rauch. Jordan W. Henderson.

Conserving water

Expected water savings from LEED commercial buildings is more than 7% of all non-residential water use.

Reducing waste

By 2030, LEED projects will have diverted more than 540 million tons of waste from landfills.

Fewer cars, fewer miles driven

Nearly 4 billion vehicle miles traveled have been avoided by occupants of LEED buildings, thanks to efficient locations and alternative transportation options.

Green materials

Certified projects are estimated to have specified more than $100 billion in green materials, cumulatively.

Implement sustainable strategies

LEED can help both new and existing buildings to implement sustainable and greener strategies to become high performing buildings.

Why certify

We stand for accountability, and we translate that accountability through the LEED third-party certification process. Behind LEED is an infrastructure developed by industry leaders that supports project teams as they innovate and create high performing buildings, homes and neighborhoods. USGBC invests more than $30 million annually to maintain, operate and improve LEED and its customer delivery.

The LEED plaque stands for leadership, and demonstrates that a building has been designed, built and is operating as intended. Being "built to LEED” or “LEED equivalency” doesn’t exist—there is no substitute for LEED certification.

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