WASHINGTON —The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced on July 22 its international rankings of the Top 10 Countries for LEED.
The Top 10 list highlights countries outside of the U.S. that are making significant strides in sustainable building design, construction and transformation. The announcement comes at a time of increased international focus on climate change mitigation in the lead up to the United Nations’ COP21 climate negotiations this December.
“International demand has grown steadily for tools supporting sustainable economic growth, and it has become increasingly clear that we are reaching a tipping point around environmental sustainability. It is now impossible to view social and economic development as separate issues from a robust sustainability agenda,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC, in a statement. “The global success of LEED in these countries is a sign that international business leaders and policy makers 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.”
The 10 countries that made the list for 2015 represent 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 that 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 (GSM) and numbers of LEED projects to date. LEED-certified spaces use less energy and water resources, save money for families, businesses and taxpayers, reduce carbon emissions and create a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community. 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.