WASHINGTON — The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently announced its international rankings of the Top 10 Countries for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The Top 10 list highlights countries outside of the U.S. that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction, and transformation, illustrating the ever-growing international demand for LEED green buildings. The announcement comes at a time of increased international focus on climate change mitigation in the lead up to the U.N.’s COP21 climate negotiations last December.
“International demand has grown steadily for tools supporting sustainable economic growth, and it has become increasingly clear that we’re reaching a tipping point around environmental sustainability. It’s now impossible to view social and economic development as separate issues from a robust sustainability agenda,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “The global success of LEED in these countries is a sign that international business leaders and policymakers recognize that a commitment to transforming the built environment is crucial to addressing major environmental challenges. The countries on this list are pushing this commitment forward.”
USGBC noted that the 10 countries that made the list for 2015 are geographically and culturally diverse, representing seven of the world’s 20 largest single-nation economies by gross domestic product (GDP) — China, Germany, Brazil, India, Canada, South Korea, and Turkey — as well as six of the top 11 emitters of greenhouse gases — China, India, Germany, South Korea, Canada, and Brazil. While Canada tops the list, Brazil and the Republic of Korea have moved up in the rankings, and Turkey and Sweden are new to the Top 10 this year.
This is the second year the USGBC has provided rankings on the Top 10 Countries for LEED outside of the U.S. The analysis used to develop the list ranks countries in terms of gross square meters and numbers of LEED projects to date. The U.S., the birthplace of LEED, is not included in this list but remains the world’s largest market for LEED. The U.S. is the world’s largest economy by GDP as well as the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Canada ranks No. 1 on the list as the largest user of LEED outside of the U.S. with 26.63 million of LEED space. There are now more than 4,814 LEED-registered and LEED-certified projects representing 63.31 million gross square meters (gsm) of LEED space in Canada. China (21.97 million gsm), India (13.24 million gsm), and Brazil (5.22 million gsm) finished second through fourth on this year’s list, respectively. These three countries currently represent more than 33 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China and India representing the largest source of projected growth in global emissions in the coming decades.
For more information, visit www.usgbc.org.
Publication date: 9/7/2015